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Purple FTW! Podcast: Vikings-Seahawks Preview: Kirk Land, Washington feat. Jordan Reid + Danny Kelly (ep. 676)

By Andy Carlson

The Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings can re-take control of their season by going in and stealing a win Monday Night against the Seedy Seattle Seahawks. Jordan Reid (@JReidNFL) of Inside The Pylon and Climbing the Pocket. makes his weekly stop to chat about how the Purple can do just that. Plus Friend of the Program Danny Kelly (@dannybkelly) of The Ringer swings in for a look at the Seachickens.

All that and more “Vikings By a Million” chatter on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

A Carlson Digital Joint

Subscribe to Our YouTube Channel!

Listen to the Episode Below!

Dedicated to the Pain AND Pleasure that is the Minnesota Vikings.

Subscribe: iTunes | iHeart | Stitcher | PodcastOne | 1500ESPN

The post Purple FTW! Podcast: Vikings-Seahawks Preview: Kirk Land, Washington feat. Jordan Reid + Danny Kelly (ep. 676) appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

Kirk Cousins: We haven’t sustained “the level of potential in this locker room”

By Josh Alper When the Vikings signed quarterback Kirk Cousins as a free agent this offseason, the thought was that his arrival would help the team build on last year’s 13-3 record and trip to the NFC Championship Game. It hasn’t quite worked out that way. The Vikings are 6-5-1 with a trip to Seattle for a game [more]

Source:: ProFootballTalk

Rookie O’Neill can be a weapon for Vikings’ run game

By Matthew Coller

EAGAN, Minn. — When the Minnesota Vikings selected Brian O’Neill in the second round of the 2018 draft, it wasn’t clear whether he would play during his rookie year. But the college tight end turned tackle has not only won the starting job, he has also become part of the solution for the Vikings’ struggling running game.

Running back Dalvin Cook picked up 84 yards in nine carries last week against the New England Patriots and 50 of those yards went on runs to the right side.

On one of the successful runs, an 18-yard carry, the Vikings ran a pin and pull to the outside right with Kyle Rudolph hitting the outside linebacker and O’Neill getting out in space. You can see in the screen grab below that O’Neill is blocking the Patriots defensive back No. 30.

The Vikings also had success in 2017 using the offensive line’s athleticism, specifically center Pat Elflein (who pulls on the run above) and guard Nick Easton.

Head coach Mike Zimmer said O’Neill’s athleticism can be a major asset in the run game.

“If you’re running away from [O’Neill} a lot times he’s not blocking the guy that’s over him, he’s blocking the guy the next guy inside and that’s guy’s going to be running with the back and in order to get there and get him blocked, or cut off, or pushed by the hole you have to be athletic,” Zimmer said. “And if it’s going to him they maybe combination block off of two guys to one and up to the backer depending on where he goes. The athleticism is important.”

Athleticism was a major reason the Vikings selected O’Neill. He rank a 4.82 40-yard dash, which ranks in the 98th percentile among tackles. His 3-cone drill was also in the 98th percentile.

The play highlighted above is a trap run not outside zone, but Zimmer pointed out on Thursday that running outside zone plays can be particularly effective using athletic linemen.

“It’s about stretching the defense and then hopefully get a cut back seam in there typically,” Zimmer said. “It’s stretch, stretch, stretch, put your foot in the ground and get back downhill. The ball might start on this hash and it might press to outside the other hash but cut back inside the hash. It makes the defenders run and so that’s where if defenders start turning their shoulders then that’s when cut back seams occur.”

From the website, here is the X’s and O’s look at the outside zone scheme.

O’Neill has had plenty of ups and downs in his rookie season, but has largely been solid since taking over for Rashod Hill. He has not allowed a sack, but has given up 22 QB pressures in 397 pass snaps. Last week against the New England Patriots he did not allow a single pressure — though he gave up five against the Green Bay Packers the previous week.

This week the Vikings will have a chance to open up their run game against the Seattle Seahawks on Monday night. They are tied for last in yards per carry allowed.

Got together with @VeteranScout to break down the start to Brian O’Neill’s career at RT, Sheldon Richardson’s impact and why Danielle Hunter is taking his game to another level

— Matthew Coller (@MatthewColler) November 29, 2018

The post Rookie O’Neill can be a weapon for Vikings’ run game appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

What Does ‘Skol’ Actually Mean?

By Vikings – WCCO | CBS Minnesota

vikings fans What Does ‘Skol' Actually Mean?

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — We know it as the “Vikings War Chant,” the rally cry, the word that brings the fans together.

Skol! We hear it and say it all the time, but what does “skol” actually mean? Good Question.

“Skol has been in our lexicon since the very beginning of the franchise back in 1961,” said Erin Swartz of the Minnesota Vikings.

The word itself dates back more than 1,000 years.

Gregg White teaches Swedish at the American Swedish Institute. He says the word is actually spelled “skål,” and you’ll probably be surprised at its actual definition.

“It means bowl,” White said. “You picked [the bowl] up, the first person would take a sip, say ‘skål,’ and you pass it onto the next person.”

White says it was a greeting of warmth and camaraderie.

“Exactly like a ‘cheers’ in British English,” he said.

(credit: CBS)

It was never an ancient Viking war cry.

“There’s no evidence the Vikings ever used it as a chant,” White said.

In fact, the Vikings used a different word to toast, which meant “to your memory.”

And the story that “skol” came from Vikings drinking beer from the skulls of their enemies?

“That’s a really wonderful myth, but it’s not fact,” White said.

In 2016, the Minnesota Vikings introduced the “Skol Chant,” after seeing it used by the Icelandic soccer team and its fans.

“We reached out to them directly and said, ‘Would you be willing to lend us this idea from one Viking fan to another?’” Swartz said.

And they did, ensuring “skol” will be used to intimidate opponents for seasons to come.

Source:: CBS Minnesota

On And Off Field, Kyle Rudolph Keeps Giving Value To Vikings

By Vikings – WCCO | CBS Minnesota

EAGAN, Minn. (AP) — Kyle Rudolph’s value to the Minnesota Vikings could easily be taken for granted at this stage of his career, given his streak of 61 consecutive games started that’s the longest active run by a tight end in the NFL.

Whether his contributions have been fully appreciated or not, Rudolph has continually carried a significant presence for the team on and off the field.

Three quarters of the way through the 2018 schedule, Rudolph is on pace for the second-most statistically productive season of his career with 46 receptions for 463 yards, trailing only 2016. His catch rate of 76.7 percent out of 60 targets is his highest since he was a second-round draft pick out of Notre Dame in 2011.

Rudolph’s durability is at the forefront of his player portfolio these days. Attitude, intelligence and awareness have long been cited as strengths by his coaches and teammates. But any evaluation of the 6-foot-6, 265-pound Rudolph inevitably circles back to those oven mitts he has long used to haul in all those passes in traffic.

“If the ball is in his general direction, he catches it. He brings it in one way or another, makes the tough catch,” quarterback Kirk Cousins said. “That’s a trait that I really appreciate. He’s proven it time and time again, so I’m excited to just continue to put the ball in his general area and let him bring it in.”

Rudolph collected only two receptions in each of the two games preceding the game against Green Bay on Nov. 25.

Coincidentally or not, the offense was ordinary at best on those days, a win against Detroit and a loss at Chicago. During the week leading up to the Packers game, Rudolph met with coach Mike Zimmer to air his concern, not out of self-importance but rather to reiterate his confidence in being able to help the team move the ball and score once it nears the end zone. Then Rudolph had seven catches by halftime, as the Vikings went on to beat Green Bay for their most important win in more than a month.

“I felt like I could help our team and it kind of clicked there,” Rudolph said.

With 39 touchdown receptions, Rudolph holds the career Vikings record for tight ends. He has 101 career starts, entering Minnesota’s game at Seattle on Monday night.

“I still feel like I have a lot of football left in me, hopefully another 100,” Rudolph said.

Many families around the Minnesota area would sure appreciate that. Rudolph was announced on Thursday as the team’s nominee for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award for community service.

Rudolph and his wife, Jordan, have led and funded outreach at the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital for sick kids enduring treatment. The Vikings produced a video celebrating the honor , featuring interviews with children, parents and staff who’ve been affected by his effort as well as an emotional Rudolph crying as he read their thank you letters to him.

“Getting to know these people, getting to know their families, being welcomed into their families, we say all the time, ‘Some of our happiest memories are when we get to reconnect with these families once they’re out of the hospital,’” Rudolph said.

(© Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Source:: CBS Minnesota

Playoff Stakes High As Vikings Travel To Seahawks

By Vikings – WCCO | CBS Minnesota

SEATTLE (AP) — With where both the Minnesota Vikings and Seattle Seahawks sit in the NFC standings, Monday night’s matchup might as well carry a playoff title.

NFC play-in game? NFC elimination game?

“I think going on the road with that crowd and the type of football team that they are, I think yeah, a little bit. These next four games will determine what we do and where we go and how we perform in the clutch. Yeah, I guess you could say that,” Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said.

The Seahawks (7-5) host the Vikings (6-5-1) in a meeting filled with playoff implications. The Seahawks won’t be able to catch the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC West, but their three-game win streak has them sitting in the No. 5 spot in the NFC playoff picture going into the final quarter of the season, with three of their final four games at home.

It’s far from a foregone conclusion Seattle is headed to the postseason after missing the playoffs last year. But a win over the Vikings would be a huge step in locking up a postseason berth.

“Keeping your head down and grinding is really what it’s all about at this point,” Seattle coach Pete Carroll said. “We’re upbeat and we’re positive. We know that we can win every game and we’re going out to get that done.”

If the Vikings want a chance at catching Chicago in the NFC North race, a win in Seattle is almost a must. Far easier said than done, especially when it comes to night games. Seattle is 15-2 at home in Thursday, Sunday or Monday night games dating to Carroll’s arrival in 2010.

Minnesota is currently in the No. 6 spot in the NFC and its tie earlier this season against Green Bay could end up being a hindrance — or a benefit. The Vikings are a half-game ahead of Philadelphia, Washington and Carolina entering the week.

“It’s big. It’s very big. It’s a road game. We want to go out there and put a full game together as a whole team on the road,” Vikings RB Dalvin Cook said. “This is another game to go out there and do that to show that we’re still in this thing. We’re still fighting. We’ve got to just put it together.”

Here’s what else to watch as the teams face for the first time since the 2015 NFC wild-card game:


Is anyone going to be able to slow down the efficiency of Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson?

Through 12 games, Wilson has 29 touchdowns and just five interceptions. He’s thrown at least two TD passes in eight straight games and 11 of 12 this season. Last week against San Francisco, Wilson had three touchdowns passes on four completions in the first half.

And it’s not just underneath throws or short passes that are turning into touchdowns. Wilson has six TD tosses of 30 or more yards.

“He is moving around a little bit. The guys take off. They are second in the league in red-zone touchdown percentage,” Zimmer said. “A lot of that has been obviously they run the ball well. He moves in the pocket and guys get open. They’ve had some guys where they had been pretty open, too.”


Minnesota’s Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs are the only receiver duo in the NFC each with more than 80 catches. Thielen has 98 receptions and Diggs has 84. They’ll be facing a pass defense that has been struggling of late, allowing 315 yards per game passing over the past three weeks.


Revenge might be a strong word, but Minnesota defensive tackles Sheldon Richardson and Tom Johnson might have a little bit more incentive for the game. Richardson played for Seahawks last season before signing with Minnesota in free agency. Seattle couldn’t match the money offered by the Vikings, so Richardson found a new home in Minnesota.

Johnson’s situation is a bit stranger. He signed as a free agent with Seattle during the offseason with the intent of being part of the defensive line rotation. He started Week 1 with Seattle, then was released before the Week 2 game at Chicago because of Seattle’s need for a roster spot. The Seahawks believed they would be able to re-sign him the following week, but Johnson chose to return to Minnesota and rejoin the Vikings, the team he had spent the previous four seasons with. Johnson has played in nine games with the Vikings and has 3 ½ sacks.


Carroll already owns the team record for most victories, regular season and playoffs combined. He can claim the franchise record for most regular-season wins with his next victory. Carroll is currently tied with Mike Holmgren for the top spot with 86 regular-season wins.

Asked if he had a regular season win that stuck out, Carroll immediately went to a 2012 overtime victory at Chicago. It was the start of a five-game win streak to close the regular season that got Seattle into the playoffs.

“We haven’t been the same since,” Carroll said.

(© Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Source:: CBS Minnesota

Pete Carroll knows running the ball is the best way to not screw things up

By Mike Florio Monday night’s game between the Vikings and Seahawks features a pair of old-school defensive coaches who harp on running the ball offensively. So why do defensive coaches want to run the ball so much? “Because it’s the best way to not screw it up,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll told reporters on Thursday. “It’s the best [more]

Source:: ProFootballTalk

Doug Baldwin misses practice with hip injury

By Charean Williams Seahawks receiver Doug Baldwin missed practice Thursday with a new injury. While it’s unclear whether his hip injury is serious, it was bad enough to keep him sidelined as the team began its first day of work for its Monday night game against Minnesota. Baldwin missed Weeks Two and Three with a knee injury, only [more]

Source:: ProFootballTalk

Purple FTW! Podcast: This Coffee Has No Kick feat. Darren Wolfson + #VikesOverBeers! (ep. 675)

By Andy Carlson

The Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings are looking to percolate their 2018 season with a win Monday Night in Seattle. Darren “Doogie” Wolfson (@DWolfsonKSTP) of The Scoop Podcast swings in for a look ahead to the game. Plus Vikes Over Beers with my guy Josh Pelto (@JoshPelto)!

All that and more “Dark Roast” chatter on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

A Carlson Digital Joint

Subscribe to Our YouTube Channel!

Listen to the Episode Below!

Dedicated to the Pain AND Pleasure that is the Minnesota Vikings.

Subscribe: iTunes | iHeart | Stitcher | PodcastOne | 1500ESPN

The post Purple FTW! Podcast: This Coffee Has No Kick feat. Darren Wolfson + #VikesOverBeers! (ep. 675) appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

Seattle no longer ‘Legion of Boom’ on defense, but Wagner is a game-changer

By Matthew Coller

EAGAN, Minn. — It shows you how quickly things change in the NFL that the Seattle Seahawks’ “Legion of Boom” secondary is completely gone. It was just three years ago the Seahawks were led by the likes of Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas to the fewest allowed points in the NFL.

The 2018 version of Seattle’s defense isn’t inept by any means, but they do not dominate like the good old days. The Seahawks are ninth in points allowed and 16th in opposing QB passer rating.

Part of the reason they have survived the exits of multiple stars is the rise of the NFL’s most underappreciated linebacker Bobby Wagner, who ranks as the No. 1 player at the position by Pro Football Focus’s grading system.

Bobby Wagner is the NFL’s top linebacker through 13 weeks.

— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) December 5, 2018

Wagner has an admirer in both Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer and quarterback Kirk Cousins.

“It’s a combination of a lot of things,” Zimmer said Thursday. “He has great speed. I think he sees things really well. He is very instinctual. You know, with that position and their defense, it gives them a lot of flexibility to run and get to the football.”

“I told him in preseason that he’s one of — if not the best — linebacker in the NFL,” Cousins said. “I believe he was NFC Defensive Player of the Week last week and rightfully so. He’s playing at a high level and that’s what I expected from him.”

Wagner offers the unique challenge of being a dominating coverage linebacker. He has been targeted 51 times this season and allowed just 33 receptions and a QB rating against of 78.3, the fourth best in the NFL (per Pro Football Focus). The former Utah State standout also has seven passes defended. Wagner is one of only five linebackers with more than 350 coverage snaps who has not allowed a touchdown into their coverage.

Zimmer said the value of linebackers in coverage has morphed over the years. Players with Wagner’s skill set are much more dangerous with the increase in passing attacks and play-action games.

“There’s much more of a throwing league so linebackers have to be able to cover in space a lot more than they used to,” Zimmer said. “A lot of times back in the day they’d ask one guy to go to the middle now a lot of a guys have to run vertical with guys, so yeah I think that’s changed quite a bit.”

The Seahawks do not ask Wagner to blitz often, but when he does rush the passer he has a high success rate with nine pressures on 31 rushes.

“You have to block him, you have to protect him, you have have to know where he is when he drops back in coverage, those are the challenges,” Cousins said. “If you don’t block him, if you don’t pick him up in blitzes, and if you don’t know when he zone drops, then he’s going to have a great day and you’re not.”

Keeping Wagner at bay will be important for a team that has struggled at times on offense against quality teams.

The one weakness in the Seattle defense that the Vikings may be able to take adavantage of is the Seahawks’ run stuffing ability. Seattle is tied for last in yards per rush allowed. But Wagner can impact the running game too. He is the No. 2 rated linebacker against the run by PFF’s grades and ranks 13th in total run stops.

The post Seattle no longer ‘Legion of Boom’ on defense, but Wagner is a game-changer appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire