2021 REPORTS CAN BE FOUND BELOW
Report 1: Randy Hedberg - Trey Lance had a terrific career at NDSU. We talk to his QB Coach Randy Hedberg on what attracted them to Trey as a QB when some larger schools wanted him to switch positions. We ask Randy about Trey's transition to college ball, that he suspected SF traded up to get him, Trey's next step to the NFL, and what he might learn from a verteran like Jimmy Garoppolo.
Report 2: Brock Teets - What a difference a year makes! We talk to Vikings season ticket holder Brock Teets about how things look a lot brighter for season ticket holders this year. We ask him about the options presented to him this year vs last year as a season ticket holder, how much he is looking forward to the season, and he shares his optimism for the Vikings season.
Report 3: Kevin Seifert - This report is with Vikings insider Kevin Seifert from ESPN. Seifert is also a former Star Tribune Vikings beat writer. We talk to Kevin about the Vikings quarterback situation. Of course, the Vikings quarterback room was that of national headlines this week. We talk to Kevin about that predicament and the current quarterback depth. We also discuss the 3rd wide receiver situation, which seems to be in better shape this year.
Report 4: Luke Braun - Luke and I discuss the Vikings defense in this report . The defensive line in particular. We discuss their defensive tackle acquisitions over the past couple of seasons. We also discuss the defensive end position opposite Danielle Hunter. We talk depth at this position as well.
Report 5: Bud Grant - This report is with former Minnesota Vikings head coach, Bud Grant. Bud is now 94 years of age and is in the CFL and NFL Halls of Fame. In this first report with Bud, we discuss what he is up to nowadays and also delve into if he misses coaching at all. He also tells us how his strategy for hunting has changed, given his age.
Report 6: Randy Hedberg - This report is with NDSU quarterbacks coach, Randy Hedberg. In this report, we talk to Hedberg about coaching during the pandemic. He shares challenges such as vaccinations, scheduling, and a possibility of forfeits.
Report 7: Tommy Kramer - This report is with former Vikings QB Tommy Kramer. Kramer was selected #27 overall in the first round by the Vikings back in the 1977 draft out of Rice University. He has recently moved back to the Twin Cities and has been engaging with fans across the region. In this report, we talk to Tommy about the current quarterback situation, his thoughts on Kirk Cousins, and his impressions of rookie Kellan Mond.
Report 8: Luke Braun - This report is with Vikings insider Luke Braun from Locked On Vikings. Luke and I discuss the wide receiver situation in this report. We discuss how Adam Theilen and Justin Jefferson are two of the top receivers in the league, but after that it is often a distant third for the next receiver. This year might be different however, as several young receivers in camp may strengthen the third, fourth, and fifth receiver roles.
Report 9: Kevin Seifert - This report is an encore with ESPN's Kevin Seifert. We talk defense in this report. We discuss the overhaul of the defensive unit today, versus late in the season last year, who has caught his eye in camp (spoiler alert - Patrick Peterson,) and how the defensive line has much better depth and talent compared to a year ago.
Report 10: Bud Grant - This report is an encore with legendary Hall of Fame former Vikings head coach Bud Grant. In this report we talk coaching innovations. Bud discusses how they came up with the zone defense and why it was so successful. We also discuss the so-called "West Coast Offense." Bud explains this short game passing attack actually started with Jerry Burns and Fran Tarkenton, along with great receivers such as running back Chuck Foreman.
Report 11: Randy Hedberg - This report is an encore with NDSU quarterbacks coach, Randy Hedberg. In this report, we talk about their remarkable string of quarterbacks over recent years. Carson Wentz going number two overall in 2016, followed by Easton Stick in 2019 as a fifth rounder, and Trey Lance going number three overall in April. Hedberg talks about the culture at NDSU and also discusses Easton Stick at length with us.
Report 12: Bud Grant - This report is an encore with legendary Hall of Fame former Vikings head coach Bud Grant. Bud and I discuss his relationship during his coaching days with Vince Lombardi. We discuss how they seldom saw eye to eye, how their coaching styles differed, and how he dealt with him on a specific instance when Bud was coaching in the CFL and Vince was in Green Bay.
Report 13: Luke Braun - This report is an encore with Vikings insider Luke Braun of Locked on Vikings. Luke and I discuss the offensive line in this report. The Vikings spent two high draft picks on the O-Line this year, including first round pick, Christian Darrisaw, an OT out of Virginia Tech, and a third round pick, Ohio State G Wyatt Davis. Luke discusses how Darrisaw has been battling an injury throughout the preseason and how the open guard position might be going to Oli Udoh, who is having a great preseason. Wyatt Davis, by the way, is back in action after battling through early camp injuries himself, dating back from the end of his college season last year. He will likely back up Udoh to start the season.
Report 14: Bud Grant - This report is an encore with legendary Vikings head coach Bud Grant. In this report, we talk about a team's final cuts heading into the season. Bud said this was always one of his toughest days of the year as he developed relationships with many veteran players. We talk about that week of making cuts, having to cut two of his favorite running backs in Bill Brown and Dave Osborn, as well as keeping mindful of his coaching job during the process.
Report 15: Tommy Kramer - This report is an encore with former Viking quarterback Tommy Kramer. Kramer was a first round pick for the Vikings in 1977 out of Rice University. Tommy shares with us the story on how he was nearly a Packer, how his move back to the Twin Cities has been, and he also tells us about some charity work he's been doing.
Report 16: Luke Braun - This report is an encore with Vikings insider Luke Braun of Locked On Vikings. In this report, Luke and I discuss the Vikings QB situation. We discuss how Cousins is the obvious starter going forward for the season, but how the number 2 slot is still being sifted out. We discuss how rookie 3rd round pick Kellan Mond is in the mix but may need more seasoning. Jake Browning impressed early in camp, but has been inconsistent. And, how the Vikings might even look outside the organization with final cuts coming up Tuesday.
Report 17: Randy Hedberg - This report is an encore with NDSU's quarterback coach, Randy Hedberg. We talk Carson Wentz in this report. Randy and I discuss the day Carson was drafted by the Eagles #2 overall, his highs and lows with Philadelphia, his recent trade to the Colts, and a look ahead to this year as his new team looks like a really good fit.
Report 18: Bud Grant - This report is an encore with legendary Hall of Fame Vikings head coach Bud Grant. Bud discusses a few of his favorite players over the years. On the defensive side, DE Jim Marshal set the consecutive games streak for starting a game. Bud shares with us how tough Marshal was and how he recovered from injuries in a remarkable fashion. On the offensive side, C Mick Tingelhoff, finally made it into the Hall of Fame a few years ago. Another very durable player that always put the team first.
2020 REPORTS CAN BE FOUND BELOW
Report 1 - We kick the series off with an update on COVID-19, and what all 32 teams are dealing with as far as rule changes. These changes are intended to be for this season only and seem to be in a state of flux. We do nail down several highlights that are intended to help teams cope this season given the pandemic. We also give an update on how many players and NFL officials have opted out, which includes Vikings DT Michael Pierce.
Report 2 - This report is with Vikings fan Bill Harbort. Bill is from west central North Dakota and is actually a transplant from out east, but quickly adopted the Vikings and has bled purple for more than a decade. Harbort's always had a summer vacation plan for Mankato during Vikings camp every summer. We talk to Bill about his favorite camp memories, his thoughts on games possibly without fans this year, and finally his favorite Viking all time.
Report 3 - This report is with Vikings "insider," Luke Braun. Luke is the host of the podcast "Locked on Vikings." We talk the O-line in this report. Luke gives us an analysis on the tackle, guard, and center positions.
Report 4 - This report is with Vikings "insider," Luke Braun. Luke is the host of the podcast "Locked on Vikings." We talk the defensive line in this report, including the losses of Linval Joseph and Everson Griffen.
Report 5 - Friday Flashback! The report is actually with Kyle Rudolph entering his rookie season in the league. This will be Kyle's 10th year. We talk to Kyle back then about his thoughts on his rookie year coming into the league, playing with Donovan McNabb at quarterback, and what he might learn from veteran tight ends on the roster such as Jim Kleinsasser.
Report 6 - This report is with Vikings insider Luke Braun, talking the Vikings CB situation. The Vikings lost arguably their three best corners last year via free agency when Tray Waynes, Xavier Rhodes, and McKenzie Alexander all departed. Some new faces in camp include first round pick, Jeff Gladney, third round pick, Cam Dantzler, the fifth round, Harrison Hand, and undrafted free agent Nevelle Clarke. These will be candidates to make the roster along with young veterans, Mike Hughes, Holton Hill, and Kris Boyd.
Report 7 - We talk Vikings wide receivers in this report. We're joined again by Vikings insider Luke Braun of "Locked on Vikings" podcast. We discuss how Justin Jefferson may be the ultimate piece to replace Stefon Diggs, and take a look at the Vikings depth at this position.
Report 8 - This report is with Minnesota Vikings season ticket holder, Brock Teets. Brock is from Minot and has been a season ticket holder for about 20 years. We talk to Brock about options season ticket holders have given the COVID-19 situation and the possibility of no fans, or perhaps a limited crowd at best. We also discuss a fan's outlook on the team for 2020.
Report 9 - This report is with Mike Aldridge. Mike recruited CJ Hamm out of high school in Duluth to play at Augustana in Sioux Falls. Mike is currently the head football coach at Minot State. Mike tells us about his recruiting visit with CJ, what makes CJ such a great professional, and tells us how great of a family CJ comes from.
Report 10 - The NFL obviously isn't the only football league dealing with COVID-19. It has actually hit many high schools and colleges much harder lately. We talk to a coach from the NSIC, Mike Aldridge, about the rollercoaster and dilemmas of the current situation. We discuss how he broke the news to his players and what it means for some of the top players in the conference trying to get a crack at the next level.
2019 REPORTS CAN BE FOUND BELOW
Report 1: Irv Smith - Smith is one of several tight ends in camp, but seems to be a lock to make the team and even get plenty of playing time come regular season. We talked to Smith about his first training camp, being around football his entire life, what he's picking up from the vets, and finally how excited he is for the possibly of some two tight end sets in the offense.
Report 2: Brandon Zylstra - He graduated from Concordia-Moorhead and went on to star in the CFL, leading the league in 2017 with 1687 yards with 100 receptions. We talked to Brandon about how he thinks he has matured so far in the NFL, what his next step as a receiver might be, his role on special teams and how he likes it.
Report 3: Alexander Mattison - He is a 3rd round pick out of Boise State where he was a first team mountain west selection last year and led that conference in rushing. We talked to Mattison about getting into full contact drills, where his size, speed and skill set will fit the Vikings offense well in 2019. He's used to being a work horse back, carrying the ball more than 30 times a game on several occasions. He also gives his outlook on playing specials teams.
Report 4: Karter Schult - He is out of the University of Northern Iowa and is getting another shot at the NFL after having a solid stint recently in the AAL with the Salt Lake Stallions. We talked to Karter about his seven sacks in eight games for the Stallions, his other NFL stints with the Browns and Green Bay, how it might be different this time, and finally about his thoughts on being a local Iowa kid and fulfilling his football dreams.
Report 5: Jake Browning - He is an undrafted free agent rookie QB out of the University of Washington. He set all sorts of records at that school including 94 touchdown passes. He is in a battle in camp for the back-up QB job with Sean Mannion & Kyle Sloter. We talk to Jake about his first NFL Camp, why he chose the Vikings over other teams, how the Vikings offense fits his skill-set, and finally, his goals in camp.
Report 6: Dan Bailey - Bailey is in his 9th season kicking after coming over to the Vikings last year from Dallas upon being cut from the Cowboys. He is the 5th most accurate kicker in NFL history, converting 86.6% of his field goal attempts. It should also be noted, although not officially on the team's website yet, the Vikings have reportedly traded a 5th round pick to Baltimore for kicker/punter Kaare Vedvik. We talk to Bailey about his transition to Minnesota last September, kicking in US Bank stadium, and thoughts on all of the pieces in play for a successful kick.
Report 7: Matt Wile - Wile was picked up last year at the start of the regular season after being let go by Pittsburg. Wile will be competing with newly acquired kicker/punter Kaare Vedvik. The Vikings have traded a 5th round pick to Baltimore Vedvik; it was finally put on the team's website late last night after reportedly being completed earlier on Sunday. We talk to Wile about his first year with the Vikings, his impression of the new special teams coach, the difference in taking snaps now from 7th round rookie LS Austin Cutting verses Kevin McDermott who was waived yesterday, and about punting in US Bank Stadium. He also comments additionally on holding for kicks.
Report 8: Jeff Badet - He is in his second season with Minnesota where he was signed to the practice squad last year after being cut. He's trying to earn a spot on the fifty-three man roster again. We talked to Jeff about how he has improved since coming out of Oklahoma, if he is the fastest WR in camp, his rapport with Kirk Cousins and the other QBs, and finally, who the toughest CB is in camp in his opinion.
Report 9: Kyle Sloter - He has a few outstanding preseasons under his belt, but is still awaiting his first NFL start. Sloter is battling Sean Mannion and Jake Browning for the spot behind starter Kirk Cousins. We talk to Kyle about having to work with four different offensive coordinators in his two years in the NFL already, his impressions of the offense under Stafanski and Kubiak, and how well he likes throwing to the Vikings receivers in camp.
Report 10: Austin Cutting - He was a 7th round draft choice out of Air Force. Cutting was battling veteran LS Kevin McDermott, but McDermott was recently cut. We talked to Austin about how cool it was to get the phone call that had been drafted by the Vikings, how important the special team plays are during a game, and finally, how the transition is going in the NFL.
Report 11: Chad Beebe - Beebe is in his second season after getting cut last year, but then being added to the team's practice squad whre he went on to play in three regular season games. We talk to Beebe about making the most of his opportunities, trying to earn a spot as a wide receiver in camp again this year, getting an opportunity in the pre-season to return punts, and the possibility of following Marcus Sherels. Coincidentally, Beebe has gotten a lot more reps in the past week as the holder on kicks as the Vikings acquired a new kicker last week.
Report 12: Dru Samia - Samia was taken in the fourth round out of the University of Oklahoma in this past year's draft. He comes out with some good credentials including blocking for and giving time to Heisman trophy winning quarterbacks, Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray. We talk to Dru about giving QBs time to throw, characterizing his game for fans, being a part of a rebuilt offensive line for the Vikings, and finally, his goals for the coming season.
Report 13: Kris Boyd - Boyd is a seventh round pick out of the University of Texas. He was college teammates with Holten Hill. He has had a good rookie camp and could very well stick with the 53 man roster. We talk to Boyd about his excellent NFL combine and ties to not only Holten Hill but also defensive backs coach Jerry Gray who is also a Longhorn and went on to be a first round pick for the Rams in 1985.
Report 14: Garrett Bradbury - Bradbury was the Vikings first round pick this year in the NFL draft. He was also the Rimington Trophy winner for being the top center in the country. We talk to Bradbury about his first NFL pre-season, thoughts on being pegged as a starter on day one since the draft, his transition to the NFL & the speed of the game, and finally, his goals for the season.
Report 15: CJ Ham - Ham is going into his fourth season with the Vikings as an undrafted free agent out of Augustana, and also, a Duluth High School product. We talk to Ham about how sweet the sound of "NFL veteran" sounds, the new offense being put in place with Stafanski and Kubiak, being named the 2018 Special Teams Player of the Year for the Vikings, and finally, how he gives back to the community.
Report 16: Anthony Harris - Harris is in his fifth season as an undrafted free agent out of Virginia. He has been a strong special teams player since his rookie season, and in the last season or so has earned a starting safety spot next to Harrison Smith. We talk to Harris about where the defense is here in the pre-season, his uncanny ability to create big plays, and how he likes playing next to Harrison Smith.
Report 17: Devante Downs - Downs was a 7th round draft choice in 2018 out of Cal, and had an impressive reel going until he injured his knee his senior year; slipping his draft status. Downs made the team last year and played in 11 games earning four special teams tackles. We talk to Downs about his impressive play Saturday including a big sack in the 4th quarter against the Cardinals, getting more comfortable in the Vikings defense in his second year, playing special teams, and finally bouncing back after that serious knee injury his senior year in college.
Report 18: Mike Boone - Boone was an undrafted free agent last year out of Cincinnati, and went on to have a strong training camp in 2018. He has continued that good impression in 2019s preseason. He appeared in 8 games last year, and ran the ball a total of 11 times along with two receptions. He is competing for a backup running back spot behind Dalvin Cook. We talk to Boone about getting some experience last year and getting more comfortable in this Vikings offense, his touchdown run Saturday along with a touchdown earlier in the preseason, and a big run on Saturday of 20+ yards getting the Vikings out of a hole, playing special teams and being a gunner on Saturday, and finally, his goals for this season.
Report 19: Stephen Weatherly - Weatherly was drafted in 2016 in the 7th round by the Vikings out of Vanderbilt. Weatherly got his chance to start last year when Everson Griffin was absent from the team for several weeks. We talk to Weatherly about getting an opportunity to show his stuff last year. We also have him comment on the depth of the Vikings defensive line. And finally, some of his passions off the field including music and day trading.
Report 20: Phil Loadholt - Loadholt was a second round pick out of Oklahoma in 2009 and went on to start at right tackle for many seasons with the Vikings. We talk to Phil about training camp today verses yesteryear, his impressions of the Vikings new look offensive line, and finally, what he's up to nowadays.
Report 21: Harrison Smith - Smith has garnered plenty of honors during his career including his franchise record 12 career sacks for defensive backs. We talk to Smith about playing alongside Anthony Harris at the other safety position and what it takes to nurture that relationship. He also tells us how he hopes the team can avoid a bit of a skid like they had last season.
Report 22: Eric Kendricks - Kendricks is in his 5th season out of UCLA. He led the team in tackles for the 4th consecutive season last year finishing with 122. We talk to Kendricks about the status of the defense after a bit of a rollercoaster last year, how sweet it was when his former college teammate and now Viking teammate Anthony Barr rejected the NY Jets at the last minute and decided to stay with the Vikings, and the outlook for the team as a whole along with week one against Atlanta.
Report 23: Danielle Hunter - Hunter is in his 5th year out of LSU after being drafted in the third round in 2015 by the Vikings. He took a lot of raw college talent and has turned it into being one of the best defensive ends in football. Hunter tells us what has keyed his success early in his career, what the Vikings system has meant for him and other young D-linemen, and finally, he tells us who is one of the more improved players to catch his eye in the preseason.
Report 24: Adam Thielen - Thielen is in his 6th season out of Minnesota State/Mankato. Thielen is one of the top receivers in the NFL, and is part of a great combo with Stefon Diggs. We talk to Thielen about his progression from being undrafted to being a top receiver in the league, what he and the offense are working on right now, and how cool it was to be named in the top 100 list of the NFL players voted on by his peers, coming in at #33.
Report 25: Sid Hartman - Sid has been covering the Vikings for all of their nearly 60 years. I understand he was instrumental in fact in bringing several sports franchises to Minnesota, such as the Vikings and Lakers. He is 99 years young and still working! We talk to Sid about covering the team for nearly 60 years and what stands out, which Vikings team he thought might be the best ever, and finally, his thoughts on the team this year.
Report 26: Mike Wobschall - Mike oversees the Vikings website content and other social media; etc. We talk to Mike about some new directions his department is taking, specific highlights to look forward to, and finally, some of this favorite Viking interviews over the years.
2018 REPORTS CAN BE FOUND BELOW
Report 1: Tyler Conklin - Conklin is out of Central Michigan and impressed during the Senior bowl; improving his draft status. We talked to Conklin about his first NFL camp, his skillset as a tight end, how he likes receiving from Kirk Cousins, and finally his goals for the pre-season.
Report 2: Colby Gossett - He is a 6th round pick out of Appalachian State. The guard made a nice impression at the Senior Bowl prior to the NFL draft. We talked to Colby about slipping in the draft, the transition to the NFL from a smaller school, his performance at the senior bowl, and goals this preseason.
Report 3: Nick Easton - Easton has proved to be a valuable part of the Vikings Offensive Line. The line seemed to take a step back last season after he was lost to injury the last several games. Easton came to the Vikings in the Gerald Hodges trade in 2015. We talked to Nick about how rewarding last year had to be for him as he finally became a starter in this league. We also discuss his versatility on the line. And finally, we ask Nick about some new pieces that have been brought in for the offensive line the last couple of years.
Report 4: Kendall Wright - Wright was signed as a free agent in the off season after playing last year with the Bears. He was drafted by Tennessee in the first round of 2012 and spent his first five seasons with the Titans. We talked to Kendall about his style of play, his thoughts on the Vikings receiving corp, and his impression of Kirk Cousins.
Report 5: Trevor Siemian - This will be Siemian's 4th NFL season and his first with the Vikings after coming over in a trade from Denver in March. Siemian started 24 games for Denver over the past two seasons. We talked to Siemian about his first camp with the Vikings, how his shoulder feels, how he is gelling with the other QBs on the roster, and his ties to Minnesota as that is where his fiancee is from.
Report 6: CJ Ham - CJ played high school football in Duluth and his college ball in Sioux Falls Augustana. He's become a versatile player who can handle both halfback and fullback duties. We talked to CJ about that versatility, which position he prefers most, having Dalvin Cook back, and finally his impressions of the performance center.
Report 7: Daniel Carlson - The Vikings moved up into the 5th round to select the kicker. He is the highest drafted kicker in team history. We talked to Daniel about the pressures of being a kicker, ending his Auburn career as the SEC scoring leader with 480 points, his thoughts on his 198/198 conversion of extra points in college, and kicking in US Bank stadium.
Report 8: Kyle Sloter - Sloter was signed by Denver last year after being drafted out of Norther Colorado. Upon his release, he signed a deal to be on the Vikings practice squad and was soon moved to the 53 man roster. We talked to Kyle about feeling wanted last year after his release as the Vikings paid him nearly three times the going rate for a practice squad player, his impression of the team as he nears the one year mark as a Viking, how preseason is going, impression of other quarterbacks in camp, including starter Kirk Cousins and his former Bronco teammate Trevor Siemian.
Report 9: Andrew Sendejo - Sendejo is now in his 9th season out of Rice and signed with the Vikings as a free agent back in 2011. He has teamed with Harrison Smith the past several years as the safety tandem for the Vikings. Sendejo became known for some of his big hits last season on opposing receivers. We talked to him about the elevation in his game (in particular big hits,) how the league is clamping down on defensive hits, how he drew some questionable flags and fines last year, getting national attention for a hat he wore during training camp, and how the Vikings secondary is looking after adding a few more pieces including first round pick Mike Hughes.
Report 10: Holton Hill - Hill was undrafted out of Texas, but impressed many scouts coming out of college with his tackling ability. He has gone from a long shot, to having a good shot at making the 53 man roster. We talked to Hill about how fitting in well already, a draft publication saying he was perhaps the best tackling CB in the draft, if going undrafted gives him extra incentive, and who is the toughest Viking receiver he has covered so far.
Report 11: Jake Wieneke - Wieneke lead South Dakota State in many receiving categories last year. His 59 career college TD receptions are second best in FCS history behind only Cooper Kupp. He was a four year starter at SDSU and an undrafted free agent. He led the Vikings with three receptions on Saturday verses Jacksonville. We talked to Jake about his Jack Rabbit career, what he is learning at training camp to make the next step, what it would mean to make this team being a Maple Grove, MN kid to boot, and thoughts on playing special teams.
Report 12: Brandon Zylstra - Zylstra dominated the CFL last year, leading it with nearly 1,700 yards on 100 receptions. He played High School ball at Spicer, MN and college ball at Concordia-Moorhead. Zylstra has been battling a hamstring recently but hopes to play Friday against the Seahawks. We talked to Brandon about the key to his CFL success, how he would compare that league to the NFL, what he is picking up from Viking veteran WRs, and his goals for the season.
Report 13: Sheldon Richardson - Richardson was signed as a free agent in the off season. He is a former first round pick of the New York Jets. He played last season in Seattle. He and Linval Joseph should combine to be a powerful force up the middle for the Vikings. We talked to Richardson about playing next to Joseph, why he chose the Vikings, his goals for the season, and how good the defense could be this year.
Report 14: Brian O'Neill - O'Neill filled the need for the team at T and was drafted in the 2nd round out of Pitt. O'Neill's reps have been elevated this preseason due to some injuries on the O line. We talked to O'Neill about his three year stretch in college after he was moved to the offensive line where he beca,e one of the top rated tackles of the draft, his great 40 time among linemen and what that means, if there is a certain tackle he models his game after, and his transition to the NFL from Pittsburgh.
Report 15: Jalyn Holmes - Holmes was a fourth round pick out of OSU. The Vikings like his versatility to potentially play on the inside or outside of the defensive line. We talked to Jalyn about playing a lot on the edge in college and being moved around now as a pro, what he is picking up from other D linemen this preseason, the thought of playing special teams, and the facilities in Eagan.
Report 16: Chad Beebe - He is listed at 5'10" and 183 lbs which might be a stretch on both. He was rather unheralded coming out of college, but has made a big splash in the preseason with the Vikings as he also caught a touchdown against Denver along with a big TD grab Friday night against the Seahawks. We talk to Chad about the big touchdown catch, working with QB Kyle Sloter, punt returning, and finally, his dad Don Beebe, former NFL star with the Buffalo Bills.
Report 17: Eric Wilson - Wilson was an undrafted free agent last year out of Cincinnati. He made his mark on special teams last season and is really starting to show promise as a full-time player at some point with a good combination of size and speed. We talk to Eric about his growth into this preseason, his role on special teams, and his thought on emerging into the regular lineup on at least a rotational basis.
Report 18: Denielle Hunter - Hunter ranks 1st among the 2015 draft class with 25.5 career sacks. He recently signed a new $70 million plus deal with the Vikings to remain in Minnesota for some time to come. We talked to Hunter about only having 4.5 sacks in his LSU career, what has made the difference in that category for him now that he is in the NFL, the addition of Sheldon Richardson to the D-Line, he possibility of D-Linemen rotating more this season, and visiting Minneapolis grade schools this past year.
Report 19: Brian Robison - He is entering his 12th NFL season, all with the Vikings. He signed a deal in the off season for what could be his final year. We asked Brian about the decision to come back, what decided it, the new facility in Eagan, the Vikings defense in 2018, and his "Reel 'Em In" foundation.
Report 20: Harrison Smith - Smith is considered among the best at his position in the league after earning first team all pro honors last season. We talked to Smith about being recognized by the league last year, the teams defensive ranking that had the best in many categories in 2017, playing alongside fellow Safety Andrew Sandejo, how giving back to the community is rewarding for him, and thoughts on the season ahead.
Report 21: Ryan Quigley - Quigley is in his 6th NFL season and his 2nd with the Vikings. We talked to Ryan about pinning the offense of the opposing team deep and his zero touchbacks last season, being the only punter in camp after fierce competition in camp last year for him, and finally, how the special teams overall are looking for the Vikings.
Report 22: Greg Coleman - We talked to Greg about the new facility and how it compares to facilities under head coach Bud Grant, aand his thoughts on Ryan Quigley and the Vikings current punting situation.
Report 23: Adam Thielen - Adam is now in his 5th year as a Viking. He is coming off a career year last season where he caught 91 passes for 1276 yards and 4 touchdowns. We talk to Adam about that great season and how it helped with the success of last year's offense, about the training camp in Eagan now verses his old campus Mankato State now in the rearview mirror for Vikings training, and also the depth of this year's receiving crew as several from camp competition have ended up on the practice squad.
Report 24: Anthony Harris - Harris became a valuable member of the Vikings during his first three seasons as a member of special teams and as a backup S; getting 7 starts so far in his career. He was an undrafted free agent coming out of Virginia when he broke into the NFL with the Vikings. We talk to Harris about his roles as a special teams player and as a backup at both aafety positions, his comfort zone with the team and defense now in his fourth season, his big game last year against the Rams, and thoughts on the defense coming together in the preseason for 2018.
Report 25: Hank Thomas - Thomas was drafted in the third round out of LSU back in 1987. He played alongside Keith Millard for a number of years and was in Eagan recently with Millard checking out the new team facilities. We talked to Thomas about the new facilities versus back in his day, his impression of the Vikings defense today, how defense starts in the middle, and he catches us up to what he is doing nowadays.
Report 26: Keith Millard - Millard was in Eagan checking out the new facility for a few days per an invite from the team. He was with former DT Hank Thomas. We talked to Keith about the new facility, playing alongside Hank Thomas back in the late 1980s, the year he had 18 sacks, and what he is up to nowadays.
2017 REPORTS CAN BE FOUND BELOW
Report 1: Bishop Sankey - We kick off our "Training Camp Today" series with running back Bishop Sankey. He racked up huge statistics as a college RB at Washington. He was drafted by Tennessee and played for them for several seasons and bounced around a few practice squads before landing in Minnesota late last season. Sankey talks to us about his time with the Vikings, the Vikings' new stable of running backs, and finally about meeting his new teammate and cousin Darnell Sankey for the first time.
Report 2: Kentrell Brothers - Brothers is a 5th round pick from last year out of Missouri where he led the nation in tackles his senior year. He is fighting a hamstring injury right now but hopes to emerge again on special teams and perhaps play a role as a linebacker. We talk to Brothers about the difference from last year to this year at training camp, expanding his role on the special teams, and what it would mean to be the middle linebacker for the Vikings.
Report 3: Pat Elflein - Elflein is a 3rd round pick following an outstanding career at Ohio State including winning the 2016 Rimington Trophy. We talk to Elflein about OTA's and Mankato, the speed of the game vs. college, who is the toughest to block at camp, and what position he prefers to play, center or guard.
Report 4: Andrew Sendejo - Sendejo has been with the Vikings since 2011. He started a career high 14 games last year and was 5th in tackles with 72. We talk to Sendejo about his hard work, patience and making the most out of opportunities in life after starting his career in the UFL. Coach Zimmer says he's always in the right spot as we also talk to him about playing alongside Harrison Smith.
Report 5: Taylor Symmank - Symmank has spent two year in the Vikings Rookie Mini Camp. He finished his career at Texas Tech as the career record holder in gross punting average. He is competing for this years starting punter position against Ryan Quigley after the departure of Jeff Locke. We talk to Symmank about how he's feeling in training camp, the key to success at this level vs. college, how his soccer experience has helped him and his thoughts on the battle against Quigley.
Report 6: Datone Jones - Jones played for UCLA and was a first round pick for the Green Bay Packers where he played four years. We talk to Jones about reuniting with many of his UCLA teammates on the Vikings roster, if the D-Line in Minnesota feels like home yet, his favorite spot to play on the line, and his impression/reception of Viking fans.
Report 7: Brian Robison - Robison is in his 11th season with the Vikings after being drafted in the 4th round out of the University of Texas in 2007. He has 56 career sacks for the Vikings. We talk to Brian about his 10 plus years in the league, his signature post-sack move, and finally, memories of training camp in Mankato given its final year in the city.
Report 8: C.J. Ham - C.J. spent last year on the practice squad but did dress on the game at Green Bay vs the Packers on 12/24. He went to high school in Duluth and played his college ball at Augustana (SD). We talk to Ham about the difference now verses a year ago, playing in Pat Shurmur's offense, his role on special teams, and finally his outlook for the season.
Report 9: Case Keenum - Keenum comes to the Vikings as a free agent after being the starting quarterback for the LA Rams. We talk to Keenum about why he decided on the Vikings given his options, his impressions of the Pat Shurmur offense, what he likes about the Vikings receiving corps, and his record college career yet battling for a spot in the NFL.
Report 10: Kai Forbath - Forbath is in his second season with the Vikings as he joined the team in November and went on to kick 15 field goals in 15 attempts. He is in his 6th season and competing against Marshall Koehn for the job in camp. We talk to Forbath about how he has been in a position battle each of his first five seasons, how last year's success has to give him confidence going into camp, how he likes kicking at U.S. Bank Stadium, and the competition in training camp.
Report 11: Ben Gedeon - Gedeon is a 4th round pick out of the University of Michigan. He looks to be well positioned to make the 53 man roster and play a big part on special teams and is even challenging for some regular playing time on defense. Coach Zimmer has mentioned him on several occasions in camp in a positive manner. We talk to Gedeon about his thoughts on the preseason, playing linebacker at this level, playing special teams, and his thoughts on fellow rookie Delvin Cook who the Wolverines played in a bowl game where Gedeon was very impressed with the running back.
Report 12: Edmund Robinson - This is Robinson's 3rd season coming out of the small college of Newberry. He is in the hunt to become a starting linebacker with the retirement of Chad Greenway. We talk to Robinson about his confidence growing on the field, how reads are coming quicker to him, and what it would mean for him to be a starting linebacker in the NFL.
Report 13: Jaleel Johnson - Johnson played for Iowa where he earned All-Big Ten Honors last year. The Vikings were fortunate to see him slip to the 4th round. We talk to Jaleel about his impression of his first NFL camp, what he is picking up from other defensive tackles like Linval Joseph, how wrestling in high school has made him a better football player, and thoughts on playing special teams.
Report 14: Mike Remmers - Remmers signed as a free agent in the off-season. He has been brought in, along with Riley Reiff, to be the Vikings bookend tackles this season. He actually was on the Vikings roster for a while in 2013. We talk to Remmers about being back in Minnesota, how an NFL career can take a strange path, the new look-offensive line of the Vikings, and his preferred spot to play on the line.
Report 15: Taylor Heinicke - Heinicke is coming off an injury last season where his leg went through a window inadvertently and cost him the season. He is in camp battling free agent QB Case Keenum for a backup roll. We talk to him about being back on the field, if there is any rust after a year on the sidelines, playing in the Pat Shurmur offense, and what he is learning from Sam Bradford and others.
Report 16: Will Sutton - Sutton was acquired as a free agent from the Chicago Bears during the offseason. This will be his 4th NFL season out of Arizona State. We talk to Sutton about his impression of Vikings fans, his thoughts on playing in the highly touted Vikings defense, how he's feeling coming off an injury which ended his 2016 season, and finally his goals for 2017.
Report 17: Jarius Wright - He is in his 6th season out of Arkansas. Wright saw his role diminished somewhat last season but has always been a solid veteran the Vikings can count on. We talk to Wright about his time in the league, his rapport with three quarterbacks that were not taking reps with the team a year ago, advice he passes along to younger receivers, and finally, a reflection on Mankato.
Report 18: Jerick McKinnon - McKinnon is in his 4th season with the Vikings out of Georgia Southern. The former 3rd round pick was instrumental in the Vikings backfield last season as the team went through a series of injuries. McKinnon is now part of a new group of running backs including free agent Latavius Murray and 2nd round pick Dalvin Cook. We talk to McKinnon about leading the team in rushing last year and finishing strong in the Chicago game, how healthy he feels going into 2017, the new stable of running backs, and his thoughts on the possibility of returning kicks.
Report 19: Laquon Treadwell - He is in his second season out of Ole Miss after being drafted in the first round last year. Treadwell only caught one ball last year, but has become one of the harder workers on the team. He looks to be a bigger part of the offense this season. We talk to Treadwell about his work ethic and becoming a bigger part of the offense, his comfort zone in the Pat Shurmur offense, thoughts on the quarterbacks on the roster, and finally, what it's like going against Xavier Rhodes in practice.
Report 20: Bucky Hodges - The 6th round pick had a couple of nice catches on the Vikings last touchdown drive against Seattle in which he caught the touchdown. He was a heralded receiving tight end with questionable blocking skills coming out of college and into the draft. We talk to Hodges about slipping in the draft, his position change from quarterback to tight end his freshman year at Virginia Tech, what he's picking up from veteran receivers and tight ends at camp, and finally, goals for the 2017 season.
Report 21: Tashawn Bower - Bower is an undrafted free agent out of LSU where he only started seven games, but he has been a dynamo in the preseason so far. He helped key the second team defense in their win over the 49ers Sunday night. He is also a former LSU teammate to Danielle Hunter. We talked to Bower about his strong showing tonight and in the preseason, his smooth adjustment to the NFL, what is next for him, and what it would mean to be on the final 53 man roster.
Report 22: Antone Exum Jr. - Exum had a huge interception which helped turn the game in the Vikings favor Sunday night. He is in his 4th year out of Virginia Tech and is battling for the starting spot next to Harrison Smith. We talk to Exum about the play where he intercepted the 49er's pass, how he has progressed this preseason, the depth at safety on the Vikings, and if he is content with his play so far.
Report 23: Adam Thielen - Thielen is in his 4th year out of Minnesota State in Mankato. Thielen elevated his status on the team last year as he hauled in 64 receptions for 967 yards. We talk to Thielen about how each preseason keeps getting better for him, at what point did he realize he could not only play at this level but beat cornerbacks at this level, what it feels like being an integral part of the offense going into the season, and finally, how the last year the team had camp in Mankato obviously had special meaning for him.
Report 24: Eric Kendricks - Kendricks is a rising star in the league and has quickly become one of the best LBs in the NFL. He led the Vikings in tackles his first two years, getting 126 last season. We talk to Kendricks about his strong finish last year. his favorite LB spot to play, replacing Chad Greenway, and the ceiling to this Vikings defense.
Report 25: Harrison Smith - Smith is one of the most respected defensive backs in the NFL. He is in his 6th season out of Notre Dame and is signed to a long term contract. We talk to Smith about his extension, along with that of Rhodes, and the thought of them anchoring the d-backfield for years to come. We also discuss the rest of the defense and off the field: recently getting his pilot license.
Report 26: Pete Bercich - We discuss the Vikings linebacker situation and his thoughts and memories of his days at Mankato as a player.
Report 27: Danielle Hunter - Hunter is a 3rd year defensive end out of LSU. He is becoming one of the best up and coming edge rushers in the league. We talked to him about what the difference has been the last few years in the NFL with his increased sack production. He also commented on what he's been working on in the off-season, and the credit he gives to teammates Everson Griffen and Brian Robison for his development in the league.
Report 28: Kyle Rudolph - Rudolph is in his 7th year out of Notre Dame. He is coming off his best season as a pro with 83 receptions last season. We talk to Rudolph about his career numbers last year, breaking Steve Jordan's touchdown record, the rapport he developed with Sam Bradford, and finally, his impression of other tight ends on the team.
Report 29: Terence Newman - Newman is in his 15th season out of Kansas State. He will again bring a leadership role to the Vikings defense and secondary. We talk to Newman about being the 2nd oldest defensive player in the league, next to Harrison from Pittsburg, his track success at Kansas State, how five pages of the media guide are devoted to him, and finally, his impression of Waynes and Alexander.
Report 30: Marcus Sherels - Sherels is in his 7th season out of the University of Minnesota and Rochester, Minnesota. We talk to Sherels about his excellent season last year, the thought of also returning kicks possibly at some point in the season, and a reflection on Mankato being a Minnesota kid.