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Joe Oberle, senior writer at vikingsterritory.com and purplePTSD.com and Mark Craig, Vikings writer and NFL Insider for the Star Tribune newspaper and startribune.com are ready for some football. They are here each week on the VT Breakdown podcast to preview the games, breakdown the action and then analyze the results. Don’t miss the preview of this big game on VT Breakdown this week. This one sets up the whole season for Minnesota and it will tell us a lot about them going forward. Tune in and check it out!See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Listen to the Star Tribune’s Mark Craig and VT's own Joe Oberle on this week’s Vikings Territory Breakdown podcast as they talk about another Vikings game on Sunday and another head-scratcher for the Purple faithful.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
The Vikings move to 1-1 and into a tie for first place with every other team in the NFC North Division, with the Detroit Lions coming to town next week. And the Vikings Territory Breakdown podcast dudes (Joe Oberle from VT and purplePTSD.com and the Star Tribune’s Mark Craig) are on hand to break it all down. For those fans not having a breakdown of their own (or not) after this big-time letdown of a game can tune into the podcast. It’s only week 2 of this NFL season, so there is plenty of football to be played and dissected. We’re here to help figure out where the Purple is heading next. Stop by!See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
There were a lot of purple-helmeted heroes in such a solid and dominating victory—but too many mention them all here. Joe Oberle, senior writer for vikingterritory.com and purplePTSD.com and Mark Craig, Vikings writer and NFL Insider for the Star Tribune and startribune.com will be on the VT Breakdown Podcast, attempting to talk about them all. (One of those guys picked the Vikings to win and the other did not—so you will want to check that recap out.)See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
On cutdown day in the NFL, the Minnesota Vikings made some moves (in fact they made “moves like Jagger” to quote a popular song). The Vikings were tasked with paring their roster down to the 53-man limit by 3 p.m. Tuesday, and general manager Kwesi Adolfo-Mensah took that journey along a most circuitous path. Kwesi cut at least one starter, traded away a potential starter and acquired another with some fast and furious cutdown-day moves. He waived defensive end Armon Watts, who had a decent season last year but might not be the right fit for the new 3-4 defensive scheme. Watts had reached incentives in 2021 which raised his base salary to a number that didn’t appear to be tenable for this cap-tight roster. The Vikings then traded a 6th-round pick to the Houston Texans for their former second-round draft pick Ross Blacklock (and a 7th rounder), saving them more cap money. Later in the day, the Vikings traded Jesse Davis (the odds-on-favorite to start at right guard when he was signed as a free agent this spring) to the Pittsburgh Steelers for a 7th-round pick. Davis had lost playing time in the preseason to rookie guard Ed Ingram and it now appears he has won the RG starting job for the Vikings offense this season. Finally, on Wednesday, the Vikings acquired wide receiver Jalen Reagor from the Philadelphia Eagles (for a 7th-round pick and a conditional fourth). Reagor was selected a pick ahead of Justin Jefferson in the 2020 draft—which should make for an interesting wide receiver room. Kwesi and head coach Kevin O’Connor are clearly building the team they want to build. It’s like it’s been a second draft day for this new regime. Tack on the waiving of backup quarterbacks Sean Mannion and Kellen Mond (made possible by the trade for former Las Vegas Raiders backup QB Nick Mullens last week) and you have a jam-packed busy day for the Vikings personnel staff and for the Vikings Territory Breakdown podcasters—VT’s senior writer Joe Oberle and Star Tribune NFL Insider Mark Craig. The lads will break down a load of Purple cuts and look at who remains, either on the 53-man roster or the practice squad. There is plenty to tune in to check out, so we hope to see you there.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Wake me up when the season starts. After two weeks of second and third-stringers, it is time to either get the starters in the game to knockoff the rust or go watch the Twins. The Vikings' offense was under whelming against the San Francisco 49ers on Saturday at U.S. Bank Stadium. After a week of hearing about fireworks and some great plays (and fiery words from one Kirk Cousins), we didn’t get to see the starters and the Vikings lost 17-7. Talk about a buzzkill. Nick Mullens joins the Vikings so we can skip talking about the regression from second-year quarterback Kellen Mond, who had some flashes but then threw two bad picks. Sean Mannion was more of the same, some moments bracketed by less than stellar play. (Although a nice throw up the seam to Zach Davidson, who dropped it on his way to a huge gain, could have changed our impression of Mannion.) And rookie corner back Andrew Booth, Jr., left the game limping badly on an injured ankle. The defense played well and several of them distinguished themselves: Ty McGill (1.5 more sacks); LB Brian Asamoah shined again and looks like the real deal; and Ty Chandler ran his way into our hearts once again with a decent performance. And Mark Craig from the Star Tribune will be on hand at the Vikings Territory Breakdown podcast to discuss all of the above with co-host Joe Oberle, senior writer from VT and purplePTSD.com. They certainty spice up the doldrums of more preseason football to come. There are only three preseason games this year and still the regular season can’t come soon enough. There is one more exhibition game next week in Denver—hopefully the starters can take the field to get in the swing of things before the season opener against the Packers. But the VT Breakdown pod fellas are in mid-season (well, mid-preseason form, anyway) so tune in and check it out.  See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
The Vikings travelled to Las Vegas this past weekend, not to bet on themselves to win the Super Bowl (they can’t do that, the betting part, I mean), but to face the Raiders in their first preseason game of the 2022season. There was good, there and was bad and there was not so pretty, but the Vikings although losers on the scoreboard, were winners in that the team finished the tilt fairly healthy (let that be the first healthy mention of the show). They also gave us plenty to talk about on the Vikings Territory Breakdown podcast with VT senior writer Joe Oberle and Star Tribune Vikings and NFL writer Mark Craig. Some of our early perceptions were realized(Lewis Cine is fast, active and a hard hitter) and some of them demand more consideration(Kellen Mond played well enough at times to make us think that maybe, just maybe, the new regime can salvage him from Zimmer’s scrap heap). There is now a new running back battle going as Kene Nwangwu and rookie Ty Chandler both splashed, flashed and dashed against the(admittedly) second or third string Raiders defense. Nonetheless, their proficiency had Twitter all atwitter about putting Alexander Mattison on the trading block for a center or back up QB, perhaps (good luck), because the RB room is pretty deep. We will dive into this topic. The illegal contract penalty reared its ugly head as it has become a point of emphasis for referees this season, and the Vikings had three in the first half. Notably, rookie corner back Andrew Booth, Jr., had one on his way to a slightly disappointing performance after all the attention he has received early in camp. Booth will turn it around, as he gets used to the league and the position, but many of us were probably hoping for more. We did get more out of linebacker Brian Asamoah and less out of backup QB Sean Mannion, both of which will be discussed on the podcast. Tune into the VT Breakdown podcast and check out our assessment as the Vikings first preseason of the season and get ready for number two this week.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Week 3 of Vikings training camp is underway and the story lines keeping popping like the pads of a running back running off tackle. Head coach Kevin O’Connell spoke about his center Garrett Bradbury saying that he has been good against the run but not as good in pass protection. His starting position for the Purple in 2022 is not guaranteed and that will continue to be a storyline to follow throughout camp. Which we, Joe Oberle and the Star Tribune’s NFL Insider Mark Craig are most certainly following on the Vikings Territory Breakdown podcast. As the line goes, so goes the offense and the a big question mark right in the center of that unit is growing by the day at TCO Performance Center in Eagan. Another big storyline is the tight end position, which became a problem shortly after we taped out podcast last week. Starting tight end Irv Smith, Jr. left practice with an injury and the next day had surgery on his thumb. He was projected to be available for the Vikings opening regular season game against the Green Bay Packers, but nothing is for certain. The Vikings have a number of other tight ends in camp, and Craig and Oberle will take a look at the potion depth and Oberle will wring his hands over his upcoming decision in Fantasy Football at the tight end position. Please tune into the Vikings Territory Breakdown podcast for answers to burning questions to the Vikings team as they work their way toward the season. They might not be the right answers, but they are bound to be-entertaining! See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
It’s Week 2 of Vikings Training Camp at TCO Performance Center in Eagan, and it’s time to let the hitting begin. The Vikings put the pads on for the first time this season and it wasn’t a moment too soon for rookie corner back Andrew Booth, Jr., who had already been mixing it up with his new team’s wide receivers last week in camp.   Booth covered Justin Jefferson last week and made a couple nice plays (including a diving interception) and this week he angered wide out Bisi Johnson, who is battling to make the team, and the pair had to be separated, according to training camp reports. Mark Craig NFL Insider and longtime Vikings writer for the Stat Tribune, has already come out and declared Booth to be a standout at camp and the odds-on favorite to grab a starting corner position. It will be interesting to hear what Craig has to say about Booth after seeing him in pads for the first time. Craig will let us know (and what other players are getting a lot of first team reps and garnering a lot of steam on the Vikings Territory Breakdown podcast this week. He will be joined by co-host Joe Oberle (from VT and purplePTSD.com) to discuss some of the other happenings from Week 2 at camp. We know Craig is anxious to talk about the new suggestion to fans and media from Vikings brass to not film any of the plays in practice at TCO as those videos in the hands of the Vikings competition just might put the hometown team at a competitive disadvantage (of course that doesn’t take into consideration that any team opponent’s scout could come to practice and make their own videos. Does this smack of some Zimmer-era clandestine ops (such as never talking about injuries) or is that just run of the mill paranoia from any new or old coach in the NFL. It should be fun to hear what Craig has to say on that. We will also talk about the news that former Vikings defensive end Jared Allen will be put into the Vikings Ring of Honor at U.S. Bank Stadium this season. The former “skullet-wearing” quarterback roping’ sack master will be getting his due on October 30 (during the Vikings-Cardinals game) and the VT Breakdown lads will be giving him his due this week. Tune in for that all the latest news from Vikings training camp.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
The Vikings are here! The Vikings are here! Well, they’re at TCO Performance Center, anyway, for the 2022 Training Camp. It is finally time to start looking toward the coming season, and the Purple story lines are beginning to pop. There have been some minor roster adjustments coming out of camp (WR Blake Proehl and LB Ryan Connelly were put on the physically-unable-to-perform list to open training camp and a camp body was signed at TE); LB Jordan Hicks was not at the first practice and Troy Dye took his reps; Kellen Mond was seen splitting second-team reps with backup QB Sean Mannion at the first practice—be still our collective heart; CB Nate Hairston’s missed for a non-covid, non-injury, oh and Justin Jefferson made some comments on Kevin O’Connell’s previous stud receiver Cooper Kupp--and more. Mark Craig, NFL Insider and Vikings writer for the Star Tribune is at his weekly post on the Vikings Territory Breakdown podcast to offer the inside scoop. Craig has a press credential out at TCO and will breakdown what’s been happening the first week at practice. (He is also a Pro Football Hall of Fame voter and may have some insight as to why Jim Marshall, a member of the final 25 on the Senior Circuit didn’t make the cut to the list of12.) Tune into the VT Breakdown podcast to keep up on all the latest as the Vikings, under new general manager Kwesi Adolfo-Mensah (who apparently is now staying too much?) and head coach O’Connell, get the 2022 season underway. This is a huge training camp for the Vikings and you can always find the inside story here. Tune in and check it out.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mark Craig and Joe Oberle talk Vikings. The rubber is about to meet the road (and in this heat will likely melt), but it is time for the 2022 Minnesota Vikings Training Camp at TCO Performance Center in Eagan and we are all here for it. The off-season of change and massive expectations and speculation is over. Camp beings and it is now time to shut up and put up.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mark Craig, NFL Insider and longtime Vikings writer for the Star Tribune newspaper and startribune.com is also a HOF elector and has a vote on whether or not Marshall should finally get the call. Craig will be with us on the Vikings Territory Breakdown podcast to discuss the  election process for HOF inductees and perhaps give us an inkling on how difficult it is to make it from the Senior Division. While Craig is sworn to secrecy about much of the process, he has been there before and knows plenty about what Marshall is up against. Craig and I will discuss Marshall and even Vikings’ former star running back Chuck Foreman, who deserves consideration for the Hall, as well. Don’t miss Craig’s thoughts on that. In addition, the current Vikings are closing in on the 2022 Training Camp when things start to get real. And with a new head coach and general manager on board the biggest questions for the new regime is are they ready? There are some potential free agents still out there, some who have been linked to the Vikings (Ndamukong Suh, for one), so we’ll take a look at if any of these rumors are more than just social media click bait. Finally, check into the VT Breakdown podcast for another round of Random Questions with Craig about the Vikings. Craig has been around a while (although he never misses an opportunity to remind me he hasn’t been around as long as I have) and he may have some interesting responses. It’s getting down to the wire for the Purple and Jim Marshall. Tune in to check it out.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
July 4th is behind us. The fireworks are past (at least my dog hopes that is the case). And now it is just a matter of surviving a hotter than hell July and waiting for the Vikings training camp to start. TheVikings will start reporting to TCO Performance Center during the last week ofJuly, with the first practice open to the public taking place on July 30thin something called: Back Together Saturday. I am not sure if that kind of moniker is for the benefit of the players or the fans, but we are all looking forward to the Vikings getting back onto the field. There are so many questions to be answered by the team this season, which will be the first under new general manager Kwesi Adolfo-Mensahand head coach Kevin O’Connell. If you have been following along here at theVikings Territory Breakdown podcast, we haven’t always embraced the touchy, feely kumbaya approach of Kwesi and KOC, but hey, if it works, how are you going to knock it? We just won’t know for a while if it works. One would presume that the new regime came from successful programs (SF and LA, respectively,with a stop along the way in Cleveland for Kwesi) and that they would bring along some things that work with them. So, very soon, we can start determining how it is working. But until then, we have some questions. At least I, JoeOberle, senior writer at VT.com and purplePTSD.com have some. And we hope that MarkCraig from the Star Tribune and startribune.com has some answers. This week we will fire some of the following questions at him:See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
So, with Cousins being the card, we decided to rank him here on Vikings Territory Breakdown podcast. Mark Craig from the Star Tribune and startribune.com joins Joe Oberle from Vikings Territory.com and purplePTSD.com and weigh in on where we think he should be ranked and what other think.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Actually, we are a bit early. Camp, which begins on July 25 (players report) is still more than a month away—it’s only the summer temps that are a tad bit early. So we will have to wait, and speculate. And there is much to speculate on. Last week on the Vikings Territory Breakdown podcast, Joe Oberle, senior writer for VikingsTerritory and purplePTSD and Mark Craig, NFL Insider and Vikings writer for the Star Tribune newspaper and Startribune.com speculate on the depth of the Vikings defense. There were a lot of changes to the defense this off-season, so depth could become an issue.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mark Craig of the Star Tribune isn't a big kumbaya kind of guy, so he will be on the Vikings Territory Breakdown podcast to douse the grill and shank a seven-iron out of bounds. Craig will also address the acquisition of new linebacker Andre Mintzie, who the Vikings picked up from Denver. Another Ed Dontell disciple in the house. The linebacker unit is going to change this season for Minnesota, and Craig joins VT senior writer Joe Oberle to discuss if it will be better than in the past.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
They say Kirk Cousins is a smart dude—just look at the contracts he has secured in Minnesota. Well, if reports we’re getting out of TCO Performance Center are valid, perhaps the Vikings need a refund. The Star Tribune’s NFL Insider Mark Craig has been at Vikings minicamp this week and so far he reports that Kirk is confused by Ed Donatell’s defensive scheme. (Please tell me Kellen Mond is picking it up . . . ). Craig says the defense is ahead of the offense at this point, and the result has been a confused Cousins. Craig has seen several plays in 11 on 11 in which Kirk was throwing the ball away or holding on to it long after he would have been sacked. It’s early. No need to panic, Purple Nation. Maybe Kirk is still seeing Zimmer-disguised blitz ghosts and needs to clear his head. And then maybe the defense is always ahead of the offense—particularly when the unit is learning a new offense—because a lot of the D’s job is to react and the offense needs time to get things tight. Or is it the other way around? Well, we’ll let Mark Craig, with his co-host Joe Oberle (who is as confused as Cousins), sort that out on the Vikings Territory Breakdown podcast. There is news from Craig on the offensive line—particularly at the muddled right guard position. Craig will have some clarity for us. And QB 3 Kellen Mond was getting time with the second team during minicamp. Does that mean he is QB 2? Or does it mean Zimmer, I mean KOC, knows what he has in Sean Mannion? More intrigue to sort out—or to speculate on anyway. Finally, we will take a deeper dive into the Donatell Defense. Are there any break-out performances? Will Lewis Cine make the scene as a starter? Are D and Za’D giving Kirk fits? The Vikings have had their last practice until Training Camp in late July (but there is an all-team cookout/picnic on the schedule that Kumbaya Craig is just geeked about), so stop by to get the latest until we get more. VT Breakdown podcast—check it out!See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins spoke last week and once again proved to be a master of allocution when faced with the media's questions. He demonstrated his agility behind a microphone, avoiding the rush of media inquiries and a deft touch in saying much without ever giving away any team secrets or providing a stark inspection of what lies behind his winning smile. It's great if you're a young fan wanting to hear from the star quarterback, but it's frustrating for members of the media trying to get the story and inside the QB’s head. Kirk is adept at providing plenty of verbiage without really revealing much (not unlike this article), yet Joe Oberle, senior writer for Vikingsterritory.com and purplePTSD.com and Mark Craig from the Star Tribune and Startribune.com will be here to break it down and mine it for every essential morsel. In fact, Kirk offered a glimpse of his duties under new head coach Kevin O’Connell’s offense, comparing to his time with flashcards “trying to memorize plays and terms and formations and protections and just the rules around all those things so it becomes instinctual” to an eighth-grader cramming for a quiz. A very Kirkian response in my opinion. But he is primed to do the work. As is Adam Thielen, who said the following of KOC’s playbook on the Pat McAfee show: "It's wild, it's the most learning I've ever had to do." Well, they better get cramming on the new offense or the defense, newly liberated from Mike Zimmer’s clutches, will surpass them in effectiveness this season (not to be confused with ineffectiveness). To be sure, both units have a lot of classwork to do before training camp this season, so they must get the head spinning over with during OTAs. Mark Craig has been out at TCO for OTAs and will be on hand at the VT Breakdown podcast to give us a report. The lads will also talk about the latest Vikings news, including wideout Dede Westrbrook coming in for a workout, the signing of wide receiver Albert Wilson to a one-year contract, Kellon Mond’s dad comments on his son in Zim’s doghouse (captured by the Pioneer Press’s Chris Tomasson) and the untimely and tragic death of former Vikings CB Jeff Gladney. Tune in to the podcast for all the latest Purple Updates and we promise to answer each other’s questions with the same finesse and panache as our favorite Purple QB, Kirk Cousins.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Joe Oberle and Mark Craig from the Star Tribune talk Vikings offseason and what is going on with MN VikingsSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mark Craig of the Star Tribune has been on hand at TCO to check out the new players, and he will here on the VT Breakdown podcast to well, break it down. Tune in and see for yourself.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
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