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The Daily Norseman Mailbag, August 12th, 2021

Middle of Training Camp Mailbag

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Inside The Dutch Mail Group PostNL Sorting Office

Good Morning!

Two email questions, excellent!

One question via Twitter this week, SWEET!

For salary cap questions I’ll continue using overthecap.com so I’m consistent with the numbers I throw out there.

Any trades involving draft picks I’m using the updated NFL Trade Value Chart developed by Rich Hill available at https://www.drafttek.com/NFL-Trade-Value-Chart-Rich-Hill.asp

For evaluating or looking up draft prospects or rookies my go to is thedraftnetwork.com

If I can’t come up with what I think is a legitimate answer, I’ll ask someone who I think can provide one.

Enough from me, let’s see what was on everyone’s mind.

RingoNo4 asked via Twitter:

What role do you see Kene Nwangu fulfilling on this squad? I think he can be more than just a returner as has been mentioned. Any chance he makes some noise and supplants Ameer Abdullah?

As you indicated he’s got return skills and speed. Running backs coach Kenny Polamalu has said some good things about him via the Vikings Entertainment Network. The Vikings know what they have with Abdullah. Nwangu is a 4th round pick so the Vikings are unlikely to want to cut him, I think he’ll make the roster and get some time with the offense this year when Cook needs a breather.

From GA Skol ponders:

What is your favorite medical drama on TV (past or present)?

St. Elsewhere by far, it ran on NBC from 1982 to 1988 and is regarded as one of the best medical dramas by TV Guide. Some of their story lines involved addiction and AIDS, which for the time was ground breaking. mrs_rob and I also watched “ER” when we were going to college, we stopped watching shortly after Anthony Edwards character died.

Norsecoder asked:

What’s the real reason Kirk (and about half of our team) won’t get vaccinated?

The first of rule of “Fight Club” is don’t talk about “Fight Club.” The first rule of the Daily Norseman is “No discussion of politics or religion.”

I wrote a bunch of paragraphs about the beginnings of the anti-vaxxer movement, then transitioned into social media (obligatory FU bookface) but then...I tried a couple of different ways to give you a legitimate answer but I can’t without violating the first rule...ours, not “Fight Club.”

Whether you’re a Kirk fan, naysayer or somewhere in between the league and NFLPA have worked out protocols each side agreed too for players that have decided not to get vaccinated. Now as to Kirk’s press conference the other day where he tried to blame the team, the room size and basically everyone but himself (again).

Kodiakviking pondered:

Last season the Vikings were 29th in pass blocking. With the loss of their highest graded olineman at the most important position of LT being replaced by Hill, since Darrisaw has missed almost all of camp due to injury, and Dozier being replaced by Udoh so far, do you think their pass defense will maintain that high of rating through the first four games of the season or digress out of the top 30?

I asked Kodiak a reply question as the verbiage leads me to believe he’s asking about pass blocking not pass defense, but he went into hibernation...so we’re going with pass blocking. PFF listed the Vikings as the 28th, not 29th in pass bocking but it’s not like that isn’t atrocious either.

From PFF:

Ezra Cleveland’s 6.9% pressure rate allowed ranked 37th out of 40 qualifying right guards in his first year at guard after starting three seasons as Boise State’s left tackle. In that same vein, Garrett Bradbury’s 5.1% pressure rate allowed ranked 34th out of 36 qualifying centers, and Dakota Dozier’s pressure rate allowed of 8.0% ranked 36th out of 39 qualifying left guards. None of their three starters on the interior cracked the top 32 at their respective position.

As Kodiak pointed out, Darrisaw has an injury and hasn’t been available to practice, however with a Mike Zimmer team rookies have to earn their way onto the field (O’Neil, Jefferson and Diggs come to mind) so I’m not sure if Darrisaw would have outplayed Hill enough to this early earn the start at LT.

But the issue last year wasn’t the tackles, it was the interior three offensive lineman. So let’s go left to right.

Cleveland-played left tackle in college but ended up playing guard. I think spending an entire season at one position will help him, along with having a veteran presence in Hill next to him.

Bradbury-this is his third year, from what I’ve read playing center is one of the most difficult positions because you’re calling the protections, snapping the ball and blocking someone. Will he get it figured out? I hope so....although he won’t be an All-Pro or get selected to the Pro Bowl anytime soon he still has a lot in his game to improve, and I think he will.

Finally, thepositionknownasthesieve or right guard. Last year the combination of Samia and Dozier were awful. I was really hoping Wyatt Davis would come in and win the job, like Darrisaw he’s been injured and already missed some practices...that leaves us with the aforementioned duo or Oli Udoh who has emerged as a surprise starter at guard. If Udoh can manage league average run and pass blocking that represents a huge improvement over last year...low bar is low in that regard.

szilip asked:

Chances of Vikings losing a game because of their vaccination status?

Here’s the verbiage from NFL.com: if a game cannot be rescheduled during the 18-week schedule due to a COVID-19 outbreak among unvaccinated players, the team with the outbreak will forfeit and be credited with a loss, per sources informed of the situation.

In addition, players on both teams will not be paid for the lost contest, and the team responsible for the cancelled game due to unvaccinated players will cover financial losses and be subject to potential discipline from the Commissioner’s office.

I don’t know what the chances are because we’ve never encountered this.

So that’s a possibility, if we’re talking individual players the most important is Cousins. I can see the offense getting by without Thelien or the defense getting by without the Hitman; but like him or hate him there is only one QB1 on the roster. If Cousins is out I’d bet on the other team to cover....and for all of us to meltdown over it, me included.

UnderToad pondered:

Has Osborne been getting any work as a kick returner - if so how has he done? I have heard that as a receiver he has been getting some positive press.

I looked at all the sportswriters notes that I follow, I don’t see mention of who’s been returning kicks. We’ll probably get some insights during the joint practices and preseason game this weekend with the Broncos.

pirateflip77 pondered:

Will Mond be considered as vaccinated because he has had the plague and thus should have developed the antibodies, or will they still make him take it to be included in the “lessor” protocols?

I reviewed the NFL protocols, I don’t see a mention of antibodies. So get vaccinated or sit out if you’re a close contact.

Benjaman asked:

I had a question to ask but I forgot.

VikingsFanInChennai pondered:

I’m looking at the recently released first official depth chart for the Vikings, especially at the WR position.

Is it my eyes or do you really see any depth in the receiver position?

Let’s see: Jefferson, Thelien, Westbrook (who hasn’t practiced yet) then:

Osborn is listed as WR3, kind of a surprise considering last year but he’s had a good camp. Beebe, Chisena, Smith-Marsette, Proehl, Philyor, Mitchell and Jackson.

The Vikings like Beebe, but he is who he is at this point, the rest are going to have to make the team playing special teams (Chisena, ISM) the rest are either practice squad candidates or cut.

So really after the first three plus Westbrook, it’s just a bunch of guys.
Proehl was injured yesterday in practice, from what I’ve read he’s likely headed to IR for the year.

Vhcadet asked via email:

What are the chances that Zim swings a trade and sends Kirk to the Broncos for Teddy?

Zero, it’s not happening.

Surly had another question to ponder:

Do the Coral admin types realize that since the preseason is now upon us, we are killing the threads once we hit 300 comments? And, are they “working on it”?
We will need 7-8 threads once Kirk actually plays or gets another covid benching.

I’ve made my thoughts very clear about Coral, so much so that I’ve drawn some notice from Vox/SB Nation, which is not necessarily a good thing for me. Looking back at last year’s game day threads they were averaging 400-500 comments per quarter and without gifs seemed to flow fairly well....for Coral.

Under_Toad asked:

Do we have an answer for Akiem Hicks on our offensive line? He makes watching Vikings vs Chicago just miserable when he is healthy.

Oli Udoh is 6’5” and listed at 327 which is about 10-15 lbs. more than Dozier, I hope Udoh’s size is a better match for Hicks because like you I’m tired of Hicks setting up a lounge chair in the Vikings backfield.

HiVike pondered:

Let’s get to priorities here.
With the return to fans at U.S. Bank Stadium is there any new menu items? Or for that matter, food served at all????
Also, what food is delicious but a pain to eat?

The return of fans to US Bank is a great thing, it was disconcerting last year watching games with no fans, and all the people who work there have jobs again. I’ve been to US Bank once, back in 2019 for the poopeaters game. Like most stadiums (besides the Sarlacc in Atlanta) the food and beverages are okay but overpriced. Since I’m not local I don’t know if they have anything new on the menu.

Crab legs, takes a bunch of time to get the meat out for very little in return.

Mn-Fan-OutWest asked:

Being in Jaguar country... are they your 2nd favorite team ? I’m all in on the Bills mafia as my fave AFC team and Josh Allen has local ties to the West so it’s awesome seeing him do well.

The Jags have been so bad recently besides the 2017 season that mostly I rag on the guys at work about how awful of a team they are. My new tactic is to remind them they hired a moran college coach that brought in a failed QB to play tight end.

I don’t watch Jags games unless I’m looking for Vikings scores or updates while I’m at work. As far as following an AFC team, you mentioned the Bills, I’ll look and see how Diggs is doing but that’s the extent.

Thank you again to everyone who took the time to pose questions either via Twitter, email or in the mailbag post. Look for the next mailbag post in two weeks.

Skol