Thanks for swinging by out humble little corner of the Internet on a lazy Saturday. The Midwest is in a Vulcan Death Grip of a Heat Wave; at one point a couple weeks ago a 10 day average for St. Louis was 104 degrees. That was the average. It cooled considerably, it's in the mid 90's now.
With training camp around the corner, there are several nuggets of info on our favorite football team, so I thought I'd do a roundup of the local beat writers from the Strib, Pioneer Press, and other outlets.
This time next week, we'll have actual, by God football to talk about, as the Vikings will re-convene in Mankato.
Ah, Mankato. Every time I hear that word, I know football is close. Don't forget, Skol Girl, Eric, Kyle, and Arif will be reporting live as our on scene war correspondents, sending dispatches from the front lines. There is no truth to the rumor that Hemingway and Gellhorn are in Mankato.
Anyway, news and notes after the jump.
The Godfather goes way out on a limb and says the Vikings are taking a big gamble on The Blair Walsh Project (© Christopher Gates). Look, when you're north of 90, you can mail it in, too, but Don Corelone does have a point--cutting Longwell was a big surprise to most Vikings fans. We all thought there would at least be a competition for the job, but Walsh is the only kicker on the roster, so barring injury, he's the guy. Longwell's kickoff and field goal distance had been shrinking over the last few years, but he was still balls on accurate. Walsh has a cannon for a leg, but his accuracy was a problem last year. The Vikes think they found a mechanical flaw in his motion, so maybe we'll have a kicker with length and accuracy. We'll see.
Dan Wiederer tells us Everson Griffen is ready to go at linebacker. Although Arif is dead set against Griffen at linebacker, and goes into some serious technical detail as to why, the Vikings have apparently blown him off and are proceeding forward with the plan. For what it's worth, Griffen is embracing the role and says he will play wherever the Vikes want him to. Which is good.
Both Wiederer and Bob Sansevere interviewed GM Rick Spielman earlier this week, and got a whole lot of nothing. Spielman is happy with all the draft picks (no way!) has yet to think any of them are a bust (shut up!) and has no worries about Matt Kalil's contract negotiations (shut the front door!). As to the recent Percy Harvin kefuffle that flared up at the most recent mini-camp, Spielman said:
So yeah, nothing to see here, folks. Move along. Show's over.
Over at ESPN 1500, Tom Pelissero's been doing a great positional breakdown and scouting reports in the days leading up to training camp. In his latest installment, he goes in depth on the tight end position. Right now, he's also in agreement that the Vikes are leaning towards keeping four tight ends, but hey, lots can happen between now and week one.
Pelissero also has a post out about DN favorite E.J. Henderson. He's apparently dropped his salary demands, and is now starting to draw interest from several teams, although EJ has slowed and his titanium rod that sstabilizes his leg hasn't reacted well to heavy workloads. I'm sorry, but the dude has played professional football at a high level...with a titanium rod in his leg. I'm still pissed that Michael Vick beat him out for Comeback Player of the Year a couple season back. According to Pelissero, the Vikes aren't closing the door on Henderson, but it's s till a longshot to him returning. Jasper Brinkley is atop the depth chart at the Mike LB position, and unless his hip really isn't healed, I doubt we'll see Henderson back in Minnesota. Good luck to you, E.J., and thanks for your time in purple. You're one bad ass man.
Finally, ESPN North Blogger Kevin Seifert posted a Jared Allen interview with Ed Werder. Any Allen interview is quality viewing. Watch it if you get a chance.
That's pretty much it. Things will be ramping up this next week, though, as we move closer and closer to training camp.
Have a fun Saturday, everyone!