Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Vikings Off-Season Goals

The off-season in the NFL is always a time for reflection of last years’ success and heartache. For the Minnesota Vikings, that reflection includes a pat on the back to a solid defense team and a hole in the head for the stagnant offense. As the 2007 season continues to approach, the Minnesota Vikings need to decide what they can do to keep the defense at a top performing level and reignite the pathetic offense.

One significant change for the offense will be the change in the quarterback position. Brad Johnson has moved on and several young guns including Tarvaris Jackson and Brooks Bollinger will be battling for the starting spot. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Vikes don’t acquire one more QB just to make sure that next years starter earns his spot.

I am looking forward to the Vikings moving and shaking things up in the offense, because let’s face it – if they don’t do something this year, the meager fan base that remains will be lost for sure and that new stadium ? it may end up in another state.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Grand Marshall Matt Birk

This past Saturday was the annual drink green beer day or some refer to the day as St Patrick’s Day. After each beer, I kept sticking my tongue out and asking my beermates if it was green . . . it wasn’t, so I had to drink more beer! Everyone knows that our capitol city of St. Paul celebrates St. Patrick's Day in grand fashion and this year the man leading the parade was none other than Minnesota Viking, Matt Birk. As a native of St Paul and a local restaurant owner, Matt thought the job was a perfect fit. In fact, the original idea for the St. Patrick's Day Parade was formulated at Gallivan's restaurant and bar in 1967, which is where Matty B's Supper Club is currently located…coincidence? I think not.

I didn’t personally see Matt Birk in his Irish costume, but word on the street was that he looked pretty funny – definitely not ready to hold off any 300 pound linebackers. Maybe we should change it to the Minnesota O’Vikings team – they could use the luck!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Chad Greenway gives advice to Draft hopefuls

Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway took a few minutes and sat down with for a chat to catch up on what's going with his offseason, plans for next season and advice for NFL draft hopefuls. I love Greenway since he is a lovable local Midwestern boy. I thought I would post some of the Q&A’s on my blog:

Where have you spent most of the offseason?
I've been here, in Eden Prairie, at the house and working out. I've been in the facility daily, working out four days a week. I'm just trying to get the knee stronger. My wife, Jenny, and I spent two weeks in Hawaii for our Honeymoon, so that was a great time. It was nice to get away for a little bit. But this is where I know I need to be right now, getting ready for next season. Then maybe next offseason we can take a longer break.

You got married two months after being drafted. Describe that period of your life.
It was exciting. We were actually apart for most of that time because I was up here at minicamps and she was down in Iowa City working. So it was hard at first, but we were just excited to have an opportunity here to be drafted and being close to both families. Her family is from Chicago and I'm from South Dakota, so we're right in the middle. Plus, we're part of a great community up here. It was exciting and now we're expecting our first child in August, so the excitement keeps going and going.
As a player on injured reserve, what was your football routine last year?
During the season, obviously Sunday is a game day. But I would rehab four days a week. Monday would be a rehab day for me and then Tuesday would be a day off. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday would all be the same - I would come in and lift, rehab, get stronger and keep going all the way through.

What were some other activities you could do last season that were afforded to you because of the injury?
I did the radio show with PA and Dubay on KFAN, which was great because that's what I eventually want to do once I am finished with a long career. That was great experience for me to do that weekly. Other than that, I tried to stay involved with what's going on at the facility, with defensive play-calling and defensive schemes. I tried to learn how NFL defenses operate week-to-week and how they adjust.

Are you anxious for minicamp and the offseason program to begin?
I'm very excited. I've never looked forward to football as much in my life as I have these past six months. The minicamps are going to be a great experience for me because we are going to be putting some different defenses in. Some of it will be the same but there will also be some differences. It will be a great chance to go out there and learn and a great chance to go out there and learn that my knee is strong and stable. I'm just so excited to play football. It's been a long six months for me, a hard six months. I know I'll be ready.

As the draft approaches, what's going through the mind of a typical NFL prospect right now?
It's a very nerve-racking experience. You may have done well at the Combine, you may have done well at your pro day, so these guys are nervous. There are expectations of where they might be drafted, they've heard that they could be a third-round pick, or whatever, but they don't really know what to expect. They might have another pro day coming up, so the thinking is to keep the foot on the gas pedal and keep working hard because they still have more opportunities to improve in the next couple weeks to increase their draft status. Then it goes into the interview process, which means you just want to put your best step forward. You want to look nice and present yourself well and show the team what you have to offer them as far as work ethic and things that they can't control. They want to know that you won't get in trouble and that you'll maintain a clean slate.

What would be a piece of advice to one of them?
My advice would be to stay out of trouble, first and foremost, because that's the thing that is going to kill you. Stay out of the bars, stay away from situations that are going to get you in trouble. Just keep working hard and stay in shape because you're going to have pro days but then you'll get a month or so off before minicamps. So you really need to work on your shape and condition so you can enter minicamps in a position to compete and earn a spot.

Drafted Vikings players will receive this hat when they are drafted in 2007. Fans can buy the hat as well for around $25. Personally, Vikings Vixen, likes the hat. The Norseman logo is on the front, Reebok symbol on the side and NFL Equipment Tag on the back. It is a micro mesh hat similar to the one that sold out so quickly last year so you better buy them fast or get ready to bid on ebay for them!

Monday, March 5, 2007

Vikings start the Free Agency madness

The free agency madness of the National Football League has just begun. They don’t call it March Madness just because of basketball season, ya know! The Minnesota Vikings have been active in the market and have already signed a pair of free agents and let a few other bodies go.

The Vikings team added tight end Visanthe Shiancoe from the New York Giants and line backer Vinny Ciurciu from the Carolina Panthers. Has anyone ever seen two last names with so many vowels??? Oh my goodness – Vanna!

Despite the funky names, both players are solid and know what it feels like to win. Shiancoe has not missed a game in his 4 seasons and is a proven blocker and pass catcher. Shiancoe definitely helped pave the way for Tiki Barber to rush for over 1,200 yards in each of the past 4 seasons. Ciurciu has been a key part of the Panthers special teams units. He led the team in special teams tackles in 2006 and was 2nd on the team in 2005. Let’s hope the addition of these two players is just one step of many to get the Vikings a solid competitive team for 2007.

The Minnesota Vikings have also let go of three players that just weren’t putting up the numbers last year. The released players were #75 Mike Rosenthal (I personally liked him and was sad to see his name on the list), Fred Smoot (no love lost there) and Jermaine Wiggins (mediocre with the Vikes, but I see him doing alright somewhere else).

I am excited to see more moves! Let’s build this Vikings ship into the solid boat that it needs to be in order to navigate the rough waters of the NFL!!!!

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Vikings say buh-bye to Johnson

The Minnesota Vikings released veteran quarterback Brad Johnson. I was surprised by the Vikings move. Brad Johnson is an outstanding guy and Coach Childress always says how important class act players are to the organization. I thought the Vikings would keep Johnson as a back-up or a mentor, but then again Johnson has no fan base left in Minnesota anyway. When the Vikings pulled Brad Johnson and put Tavaris Jackson in during the Cardinals game last year at the dome, the crowd went wild. I have to say I am not a Johnson hater and I was dumfounded by the crowds idiotic response. If the Vikings fans think Tavaris Jackson is going to solve our problems, they are sorely mistaken. TJ is not the answer to the Minnesota Vikings Quarterback problems – WAKE UP VIKINGS OFFENSE – you need a solid quarterback to win some games and to keep the fans interested. I hope the Vikings don’t sit around too long waiting for Jackson to develop or for the right quarterback to fall into their laps, we need a QB and we need one, soon. I hope the Vikings didn't let the wrong Brad go.