VU Daily Blog: Weekend Edition

From Toby Gerhart to Jasper Brinkley, the young Vikings are in the news as the team tries to keep the pipeline of talent flowing. See all the Vikings news and speculation as it progressed through the VU Daily Blog.

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Posted by: Kevin Brown
on Saturday, June 05, 2010 at 9:12:00 PM

Vikings looking for Gerhart to balance running attack

It may or may not be the Saints' original blueprint for success pounding the ball with big men who can make the running game go, but it is definitely a trend for success to balance an effective passing game for a championship-caliber team.

The Vikings led the league in average yards per carry (5.3) during Adrian Peterson's rookie season in 2007.  But over the past two years, those numbers have slid to the middle of the pack (4.1).

As Vinnie Iyer points out in this SportingNews.com article, the Vikings need to save on the wear and tear on Peterson by relying on another back who can take more than 150 carries, like Chester Taylor did in 2007.

While Taylor was an effective runner in his own right, his primary role was that of a third-down back who did a splendid job of picking up the blitz and catching passes out of the backfield.  But the Vikings are hoping that rookie Toby Gerhart (6-0, 231) can also pound it between the tackles every third series.  Gerhart is also well suited to pick up some red zone touches from Peterson, hopefully keeping him fresher for the home-run threat.

A more balanced and consistent running game, along with a healthier offensive line in 2010, would go a long way in limiting the number of hits Brett Favre might have to take in the pocket over the course of the season.


Posted by: Kevin Brown
on Saturday, June 05, 2010 at 5:04:00 PM

Vikes proceeding with Brinkley as starting MLB

It's been encouraging to hear of the progress E.J. Henderson is making in returning for the horrific broken femur injury he sustained last season, but the Vikings are still moving ahead at this point assuming that second-year pro Jasper Brinkley will be their starting middle linebacker when they open the regular season against the New Orleans Saints.

Brinkley has worked with the No. 1 defense throughout OTAs, and according to defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier, the Vikings consider that arrangement open-ended.

"We're proceeding right now as if ‘Jasp' is going to be the middle linebacker," Frazier told Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com.  "E.J. hasn't really gone out and done any drills with us.  So, you can't say that he's going to be ready when we get ready to play the Saints.

"If it happens, we all would be extremely happy.  But right now, we're looking at Jasper being that guy."


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Shiancoe done with Twitter battle ... for now: Darren Sharper was told to shut down his Twitter trash talk with Vi... http://bit.ly/blSOaG

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NFC North news, notes and quotes: Mike Martz laughed off concerns about his relationship with Jay Cutler. The Lion... http://bit.ly/dujRYd

Posted by: Tim Yotter
on Saturday, June 05, 2010 at 8:00:00 AM

Atogwe could still end up in NFC North

Vikings coach Brad Childress confirmed Friday that the team has no interest in free-agent safety Oshiomogho Atogwe. "No interest. We've got who we need right now on this football team," Childress said.

But the Lions are still one of the few teams that have shown some level of interest in Atogwe and a former teammate of his sent a little recruiting message to him. Here is the report from The Sports Exchange:

Lions CB Jonathan Wade sent a text message to Atogwe after he became an unrestricted free agent.

"I asked him if he was a Lion yet," Wade said. "I was just being funny. He wouldn't dare say anything to me."

Atogwe grew up a Lions fan in Windsor, and he could fill the hole alongside safety Louis Delmas, a second-round pick last year. He intercepted 19 passes and forced 14 fumbles in five seasons with the Rams.

"He makes the plays – not necessarily the big hits, but he will find the ball, the strips, the turnovers when you need it," Wade said. "He's very motivational. He's a great leader on and off the field. With the young secondary that we do have, I think he would be very beneficial."

But Atogwe, who turns 29 on June 23, is coming off shoulder and hernia issues, and the Lions are mum.

"I'm never going to say who we are or who we're not interested in, because it doesn't help us in any way at all," general manager Martin Mayhew said.

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Posted on Twitter at: 7:44:00 AM
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Posted by: Kevin Brown
on Friday, June 04, 2010 at 11:00:00 PM

Journeyman QB retires from CFL; will settle in Minnesota

Only the most serious of football fans have probably ever heard of Gibran Hamdan, a graduate of Indiana University, who served as a backup during most of his seven seasons in professional football.

Hamdan has decided to retire from professional football and plans to settle down in Minnesota, with his new wife, Jenny Grant, who happens to be the daughter of legendary Vikings head coach Bud Grant.  The two were married in May.

This Canada.com report details the interesting path Hamdan has taken, beginning with losing everything his family owned when Iraq invaded Kuwait when he was a young child.  It's an interesting read.


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