VikingBuzz BLOG: 8/31

The VikingBuzz BLOG is your daily source for the latest news, information, commentary and analysis on the Minnesota Vikings.

Peterson likely to challenge team rookie mark

The Vikings’ single-season rookie rushing record is some 34 years old, with Chuck Foreman’s 801 yards rushing as a rookie in 1973.  The second-best mark in the team record books is Alfred Anderson, who rushed for 773 yards as a rookie in 1984.  Third is Michael Bennett, who rushed for 682 yards as a rookie in 2001.

The chances of rookie running back Adrian Peterson topping that mark in 2007 would appear to be pretty good, even in a rotating role with Chester Taylor, who rushed for 1,216 yards last season.

This story covers the fast start his pro career with the Vikings is off to thus far.

How will the Vikings get down to 53?

It is never as cut-and-dried as simply cutting the number of players needed to get down to the opening-day roster limit of 53 players.  There are simply too many options – trades, other waiver claims, practice squad candidates, injured reserve, etc.

In all likelihood, the Vikings will bring in at least a couple new players, both for their 53-man roster and for their practice squad.  But for now, here’s this writer's prediction:

Quarterback (3):  Tarvaris Jackson, Kelly Holcomb, Brooks Bollinger.
Cut:  Tyler Thigpen (with hopes of bringing back to practice squad).

Running Back (4):  Chester Taylor, Adrian Peterson, Mewelde Moore, Artose Pinner.
Cut:  Ciatrick Fason.

Fullback (2):  Tony Richardson, Jeff Dugan.
Cut:  Naufahu Tahi (practice squad eligible).

Wide Receiver (5):  Troy Williamson, Bobby Wade, Sidney Rice, Robert Ferguson, Aundrae Allison.
Cut:  Billy McMullen, Cortez Hankton, Martin Nance, Jason Carter, Chandler Williams (with hopes of bringing back to practice squad).

Tight End (3):  Jim Kleinsasser, Visanthe Shiancoe, Richard Owens.
Cut:  Stephen Spach.

Offensive Line (8):  Steve Hutchinson, Bryant McKinnie, Matt Birk, Ryan Cook, Artis Hicks, Anthony Herrera, Marcus Johnson, Norm Katnik.
Cut:  Kyle Cook, Brian Daniels, Seppo Evwaraye, Chase Johnson, Jimmy Martin (with at least two practice squad players).

Defensive End (6):  Kenechi Udeze, Ray Edwards, Darrion Scott, Erasmus James, Brian Robison, Jayme Mitchell.
Cut:  Khreem Smith (practice squad eligible).

Defensive Tackle (4):  Kevin Williams, Pat Williams, Fred Evans, Spencer Johnson.
Cut:  Howard Green, Conrad Bolston.

Linebackers (6):  E.J. Henderson, Ben Leber, Chad Greenway, Dontarrious Thomas, Heath Farwell, Vinny Ciurciu.
Cut:  David Herron, George Hall.

Cornerbacks (5):  Antoine Winfield, Cedric Griffin, Marcus McCauley, Charles Gordon, Dovonte Edwards.
Cut:  Ronyell Whitaker, Chad Johnson.

Safeties (4):  Darren Sharper, Dwight Smith, Mike Doss, Greg Blue.
Cut:  Tank Williams, Patrick Body.

Specialists (3):  K Ryan Longwell, P Chris Kluwe, KC Cullen Loeffler.

That would be 53, but don’t etch anything in stone.  Questions remain.  Will they keep only 5 receivers, or will they keep 6?  Will they keep 3 tight ends, or does the versatility of Dugan enable them to keep only 2?  Would they be comfortable with just 8 offensive linemen?  Can they afford to keep 6 defensive ends?  Will they keep 4 defensive tackles?  How many and what mix of defensive backs will the decide upon?

Add to that the very real possibility of a trade in the next couple days, a waiver pickup or two, and you can see it’s much more of an art than a science.

Other stories:

>Several veterans sit out
>Bevell enjoys calling plays
>Wilf pleased with off-field progress
>Bollinger rebounds with respectable effort
>Bollinger rebounds vs. Cowboys
>Vikings turn to Tarvaris, seek life on offense
>Packed with info, NFL playbooks are sacred
>Ticket sales have impact on money from NFL
>Ex-Viking Steussie breaks foot in preseason finale

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