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Bleacher Report – Vikings

5 takeaways from Rick Spielman’s bye week comments

By Matthew Coller

Minnesota Vikings general manager Rick Spielman met with the media to discuss the state of his 5-0 team, their injury and cap situations and the future of the franchise. Here are five takeaways from his comments:

– Spielman took some (emphasis on *some*) criticism for spending a first-round pick on Sam Bradford, who currently is rated as the fourth best QB in the NFL by Pro Football Focus. Spielman said he knew that Bradford could be a fit based on the tape from last year.

QUOTE:

“We did a lot of tape work on him. I know the way Pat Shurmer described him was exactly what came into this building. He’s an extremely hard working. If you watch the last three or four games of last season with Philadelphia and how he played and the preseason this year that you saw all the things he’s doing now for us. I think coming into our building, it’s been unbelievable job that Norv and Scott Turner have done with them. He’s come in and performed well to date, but we have a long season left. Right now I’d say we’re pretty happy with the returns we’ve gotten.”

– On the signing of Jake Long, Spielman would not to commit to whether the former No. 1 overall pick is expected to take a job away from TJ Clemmings. He also said that the veteran tackle, who has struggled with injuries, is healthy enough to play.

QUOTE:

“Well, I would say we looked at all the options out there. I would say that last week, knowing potentially what would happen with Andre Smith, I spent a lot of time with the scouts watching all the potential guys out there. I know Jake the last time he played significant time was 2014, and he was with Atlanta last year and maybe played only 10 or 11 snaps and was in a backup position. We brought in other guys to work out, as well, yesterday.

“He hasn’t had a training camp, so he’s relatively healthy when he came in for the physical. He passed our physical or we wouldn’t have signed him. And we know that he was a pretty good football player when he was healthy. So, we felt it was the best option for us out there.”

– Spielman was asked about Adrian Peterson’s future. Peterson has an $18 million cap hit next season and has seen a decline in numbers.

QUOTE:

“Adrian was kind of getting back into it. I think because we adjusted some of the things offensively our offensive line was still trying to gel early. When he played in those first couple games – usually Adrian becomes stronger as the season goes along. I look at it as, he’s going to do everything he can to get back. I also look at it as that it will be at least eight or nine weeks of not taking hits on that body, which is going to make him pretty fresh. At the end of the season, we’ll assess everything. I have looked at a lot of what our 2017 roster is going to look like and the significant contracts we’re going to have coming up and some of the guys we may not be able to afford.”

– The Vikings’ general manager, like Mike Zimmer, indicated the performance of kicker Blair Walsh has been below satisfactory but he does not plan on bringing in any extra kickers. Walsh has missed three field goals and two extra points so far this year.

QUOTE:

“Blair has had some struggles and he will admit that but…I’ve been pretty patient, especially with these young guys and last week he kicked the ball well with his kick offs and he hit all of his PATs and hit the 19-yard field goal. I know coach Zimmer has addressed that as well. We’ll monitor that as well, but we don’t have any plans of bringing in a kicker at this point. There is no question that it’s not physical ability or leg strength or anything like that, it’s just him getting his confidence back up to where it was and I think he’ll be able to do that.”

– Spielman says he is not concerned about the fact that his first two draft picks this year Laquon Treadwell and Mackensie Alexander have combined for fewer employees than 40 total plays. Treadwell’s absence is especially concerning since the Vikings lost Stefon Diggs to injury in Week 5 and he still could not get on the field except when Cordarrelle Patterson was out with an injury for a few plays.

QUOTE:

“I don’t think our coaches do or I have any doubts that when these guys’ numbers are going to get called that they’ll be ready. It’s amazing how a four week period can change a guy and how quickly all of the sudden they’re not thinking as they’re out there playing they’re just playing naturally and how much more comfortable they feel in this environment, in the locker room and in the schemes. At some point these guys are going to have to step up and play.”

One other note – Spielman said there is a total of $33 million in cap room on injured reserve and the team has only around $50,000 in space, so it will be difficult to make any other moves.

The post 5 takeaways from Rick Spielman’s bye week comments appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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