Breaking down new-look Vikings Bridgewat
#1 Kasım 2, 4:18 pm
Breaking down new-look Vikings Bridgewat
The entire NFL is getting reacquainted with the Minnesota Vikings, and many of them are getting acquainted with each other. The team thats entering 2017 is recognizable in some areas, but in others, itcouldnt be more different from the same one a year ago.Losing one of the greatest players in franchise history will do that. So will a catastrophic injury to the franchise quarterback, and a shakeup on and off the field triggered by that injury. The Vikings are going to look a lot different post-Adrian Peterson and, for the time being, post-Teddy Bridgewater.They have to. Between that and the rapid decline after their 5-0 start last season, they have no choice. Here is where things are changing as the end of minicamp season approaches.MORE: SN's NFL QB rankings for 2017QuarterbackSam Bradford is the man, and its odd to realize that he's turning 30 this yearand entering his eighth season since going first overall in 2010. He has his offensive coordinator, Pat Shurmur, hired by Mike Zimmer to replace Norv Turner atmidseason last year, taking over permanently. He also has a new quarterback coach, Kevin Stefanski, getting a staff promotion. More important, he doesn't have to do the crash course in their scheme the way he did when he was acquired right after Bridgewater's devastating training-camp knee injury.They need to translate numbers (career high in yards and pa ser rating, career low in interception percentage, NFL record 71.6 completion percentage) into a far more productive offense (23rd in total yards, 29th in yards per play, dead last in rushing and in yards per carry). And they have to do that with several new weapons and a rebuilt offensive line. More? Theyre still hoping to find out soon how Barry Church Jersey far Bridgewater is back. For now, the break-gla s-in-case-of-emergency quarterback is Case Keenum.Running backThey're not intending to use free agent Latavius Murray and rookie Dalvin Cook the way they used Peterson. They both have skills in the pa sing game that Peterson only occasionally did. And, of course, those two are not intended to be workhorses on the ground, not with what the Vikings want to do.How Shurmur plans to use Murray, Cook, returnee Jerick McKinnon and others, and in what combinations, should be creative and, likely, liberating for longtime observers. Cookin particularis the future, and at his best, he can do it all.Wide receiver/tight endKyle Rudolph put up the best numbers of his career his 83 catches were third-best in the league for tight ends, and his 840 yards were fourth-best. Yet, again, as is the case with Bradfords precedent-setting season of safe calls and throws, repeating that isnt ideal. (He was targeted more than any tight end, and was tops on the Vikings.)They started in the right direction in last years draft by taking Laquon Treadwell in the first round, then this offseason put pre sure on him to take a Year 2 leap when the team signedMichael Floyd in free agency.Stefon Diggs looks to be much healthier, and Adam Thielen looks to match a big season last year. They werent lamenting losing Cordarrelle Patterson to free agency for a reason: As much as they mi s him on returns, they have depth at receiver that they can exploit, and thats what Shurmur does well.Offensive lineNone of the fresh talent and clever schemes at the skill positions will matterunle s the Vikings fix a line that Justin Blackmon Jersey was a disaster last season. Free agent tackles Riley Reiff and Mike Remmers will play right away and end the revolving door of last year.Third-round pick Pat Elflein was taken high for a reason, and the Ohio State center will likely find a home fast somewhere on the line. The same likely goes for fifth-round guard Danny Isidora. Veteran guard Alex Boone is healthy, and it helps them if he stays that way. Youngsters like T.J. Clemens and Jeremiah Sirles, pre sed into service last year, have windows to make an impre sion. This line needs all the help it can get.MORE:Vikes' femalescouting coordinatorwas 'twice as good' as male internsDefensive lineThe Vikings goal is to not overburden this defense Branden Albert Jersey , the way it was last season, and to not create offense-vs.-defense rifts. Not that their front line couldnt handle it: Everson Griffen, Linval Joseph and Danielle Hunter were very good and often great under the circumstances.Former Packer Datone Jones was signed as, e sentially, Sharrif Floyd insurance; Floyd played just one season, underwent knee surgery and has suffered from complications since and is struggling to return at full strength. They also have high hopes for rookie tackle Jaleel Johnson.LinebackerTheyll mi s newly-retired Chad Greenway. Last season, they mi sed the Anthony Barr who was on the verge of tearing up the league in his first two seasons. He was surprisingly invisible often in 2016, and coach Mike Zimmer noticed. He had just two sacks, one forced fumble and one takeaway last season, and hes proven capable of being an impact player all over the field on every down.Its a very young group without Greenway Barr, Eric Kendricks, Edmond Robinson and Kentrell Brothers are 25 or younger, and they drafted Ben Gideon this spring. Barr is perfectly positioned to be the centerpiece of that unit. Based on his previous play, hes capable.MORE: Second-year breakout candidatesSecondaryAnchors like safety Harrison Smith and cornerback Xavier Rhodes make the entire secondary (and the defense overall) more solid. That said, the other spots havent solidified completely, even with high draft picks (Trae Waynes, Mackensie Alexander) on hand.Terence Newman, Zimmers longest-standing disciple on the Vikings, is back, which says a lot about him and how much he means to the secondary. Captain Munnerlyn moved on in free agency. A lot of youngsters need to separate themselves to match the level of play of Smith and Rhodes.Special teamsPatterson was an All-Pro returner, but the Vikings have options for replacing him. Treadwell will get a chance to take the kickoff return job. Marcus Sherels ran back two punts for touchdowns. Diggs is as explosive as it getsbut also spent much of last year hurt, and theyd rather save him for his primary job. Rookie wide receivers Rodney Adams and Stacy Coley might find rosters spot this way.Kai Forbath finished last season as their kicker, but hell likely have training camp competition. Punter Ryan Quigley came in free agency after Jeff Locke went to the Colts. Read This Marqise Lee Jersey http://images.performgroup.com/di/library/sporting... Impact rookies who will elevate NFL teams immediately in 2017 Tadd Haislop Bottom lineA lot has to come together for the Vikings' offense to fulfill its potential, and the vision Zimmer and Shurmur have for it. If it does, they are in position to take over the NFC North; the Packers, Lions and (since they have to be included) Bears have significant flaws. But the Vikings have just as big an "if" as their division foes.
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