Report 1: Captain Munnerlyn - This report is with Vikings Free Agent Cornerback acquisition Captain Munnerlyn. He signed a three year deal for more than 14 million during the off season. We talked to him about his hamstring injury, which he is battling right now, his transition to the Vikings Defense this year, and reuniting with middle linebacker Jasper Brinkley from their college days at South Carolina.
Report 2: Antonio Richardson - This report is with undrafted LT Antonio Richardson out of Tennessee. As I say in my report, he was projected by many publications to go in the second or third round of the NFL Draft, but somehow went undrafted. He has looked good in camp and could easily stick as a backup offensive lineman, with a huge upside.
Report 3: Kyle Rudolph - This report is with Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph. He just signed a big contract extension this week and we talk to him about his new contract, being one of the faces of the franchise, and the new offensive scheme which may feature the tight end more.
Report 4: Adam Thielen - This report is with Vikings second year WR Adam Thielen. He is making quite an impression in training camp this year; a lot of precision routes and catching the ball extremely well. We talked to him about enjoying camp thus far, running great routes and catching everything in sight, and what it would mean coming from high school in Detroit Lakes and college in Mankato, to suiting up as a starting wide receiver for the Vikings.
Report 5: Chad Greenway - This report is with Vikings Linebacker Chad Greenway. Greenway and the Vikings are coming off a sub-par year defensively. We discussed various acquisitions and how they will help make the defense better including those on the defensive line, defensive backfield, and linebackers.
Report 6: Jasper Brinkley - This report is with Vikings MLB Jasper Brinkley. He is back after spending last season with the Arizona Cardinals. He was signed as a free agent during the off season. We talked to Jasper about being back in purple, adjusting to a new scheme for the third straight year, how he feels physically with his hip troubles from the past, and reuniting with CB Captain Munnerlyn from their college days in South Carolina where they were roommates.
Report 7: Antone Exum - This report is Antone Exum, defensive back for the Vikings who they drafted in the sixth round this year out of Virginia Tech. Exum is making a good impression in camp so far and is buying for the starting safety spot next to Harrison Smith and is getting some reps with the first team. We talk to Exum about his transition so far, where he's most comfortable in the defensive back field, and finally the Vikings defensive scheme and how he might specifically fit into that.
Report 8: Audie Cole - He is vying for a starting spot after getting the start at middle linebacker the last five games of last season. Cole is being looked at in the middle and on the outside. We talk to him about how that five game start helped his confidence going into the offseason, playing outside linebacker with the first group some during training camp in Mankato, and his off-field charitable work including having his haircut and donating it to benefit kids fighting cancer.
Report 9: Anthony Barr - This report is with Vikings first round pick, number nine overall, Anthony Barr out of UCLA. As everyone has probably heard, he is an amazing athlete that runs the 40 yard dash in the 4.5 range and weighs around 260 pounds, with the potential to play outside linebacker and defensive end. The Vikings are seemingly trying to figure out how he may do both and have him on the field for a lot of their defensive sets. We talk to Barr about the transition to the NFL, where he is most comfortable playing from a position standpoint, and what it's like to be a Californian playing outdoor home games this year in the north.
Report 10: Jeff Locke - This report is with Vikings punter Jeff Locke, who is now in his second year out of UCLA. He also serves as the holder for kicks on special teams. We talk to him about his transition to the NFL last year, which started slowly but matured, about the nuances he is finding punting in TCF verses the metradome, and finally the special teams trio of himself, Loeffler, and Walsh as the kicking unit for field goals and extra points (snapper, holder and kicker).
Report 11: Kurt Coleman - This report is with Vikings Safety Kurt Coleman. The Vikings won their first preseason game Friday night with a win over Oakland and the defense was the key. Coleman had a very good game with coverage and an interception in the 2nd quarter. We talk to Kurt about that interception, the win and progress of this Vikings' defense, and a look ahead to the safety depth and what he needs to do to make the team and even be a starter.
Report 12: Shaun Prater - This report is with Vikings' CB Shaun Prater. Prater was originally drafted in the 5th round by the Bengals in 2012 so he played under Head Coach Zimmer for awhile there. He later was picked up by the Eagles, released and became a Viking for about half of last season. He played well in the win over Oakland Friday night as he had excellent coverage on numerous plays. We talk to Shaun about the win Friday night and the D's excellent performance, how last year gave him confidence as a Viking & getting regular playing time, and what he has to do to earn a spot on this team with a crowded defensive backfield.
Report 13: Jerome Simpson - This report is with Vikings wide receiver, Jerome Simpson. He is back with the Vikings after nearly tripling his receiving yards from the year before and finds himself in a crowded group at wide receiver. We talk to Jerome about being a fan favorite down in Mankato and seemingly making himself available to fans often for autographs. He also talks about what the fans mean to the team. And finally, we talk to Simpson about being together again with head Coach Zimmer after his Cincinnati days with him, and how close the Vikings are to turning it around to a winning season.
Report 14: David Yankey - This report is with Vikings 5th round pick David Yankey, guard out of Stanford. Draft publications had him going much higher in the draft, so the Vikings were fortunate enough to get him in this slot. We talk to him about his transition to the NFL, if he felt slighted being taken as late as he did, his versatility, and the buzz in training camp right now with Coach Zimmer and his staff.
Report 15: Teddy Bridgewater and Matt Cassel - This report is on the Minnesota Viking quarterback situation following last Friday's game against Oakland. We take a look back with the two leading candidates for the starting job, Teddy Bridgewater and Matt Cassel. We talk about their first game, how they're getting used to the new Norv Turner system on offense, and their new home field for the next two years, TCF Stadium.
Report 16: Corey Wootton - This report is with Vikings free agent defensive end, Corey Wootton. He came over from Chicago where he played his first four years. We talk to him about getting a lot more reps as a starter last year and how that helped his game. He comments on getting to play defensive end again after being moved to the tackle spot last year, and about playing in this new scheme under Coach Zimmer. Wootton also touches on what attracted him to Minnesota.
Report 17: Everson Griffin - This report is with Vikings defensive end, Everson Griffin. He will be assuming a right defensive end position vacated by all-pro Jerad Allen, as he has departed to Chicago. We talk to Griffin about he and Robison being the elder statesmen on the defensive line now with WIlliams, Allen, and Guion becoming free agents and signing elsewhere. We also talk to him about the big contract he signed with the Vikings in the off season and what that means now as far as becoming a leader on defense. He also talks about the new system under Coach Zimmer and how his and the teams talent play into that; in addition, he gives us an analysis of the new defensive tackles on the team along with Sharrif Floyd and Fred Evans.
Report 18: Jerick McKinnon - This report is with Vikings rookie running back, Jerick McKinnon. He was a third round pick out of Georgia Southern and is converting from playing several positions, including quarterback in college, to running back in the NFL. We talk to McKinnon about his college days and big playoff games he had against NDSU, his transition to running back, and his role on special teams.
Report 19: Matt Asiata - This report is with Vikings running back, Matt Asiata. He will be backing up Adrian Peterson again this year and maybe having a role in the offense along with rookie Jerick McKinnon. We talk to Matt about his increased playing time last year after injuries to Peterson and Gerhart. We also talk to him about the new offense this season, and his role on special teams over the years.
Report 20: Harrison Smith - This report is with Vikings safety Harrison Smith. He has quickly become one of the top hard hitting safeties in the league. He missed about half of last season due to an injury and is anxious to get back on the field in 2014. We talk to Smith about how frustrating it was going through the injury last year and not playing, his perspective on staying healthy, and how excited he is to play in this new aggressive defensive scheme.
Report 21: Marcus Sherels - This report is with Vikings cornerback/punt returner Marcus Sherels. He improved his punt return average to about 15 yards per return last year and has become one of the best in the league at that spot. He also did well last year as a nickel and dime defensive back in passing situations. We talk to Marcus about his long shot to make the NFL, how the punt return position has become his favorite on the field, and playing defensive back under the new scheme of Head Coach Zimmer.
Report 22: Cullen Loeffler - This report is with Vikings long snapper Cullen Loeffler. He is the longest tenured Viking on the roster and looks to hold those duties down again this season. We talk to him about his longevity in the league, his relationship with punter, kicker, and holder, who are the same again this season, and finally his charity work he does for the team and himself.
Report 23: Brian Robison - This report is with Vikings veteran defensive end Brian Robison. Robison is now the elder statesman on the defensive line as Jared Allen and Kevin Williams left via free agency. We talk to Robison about the defensive line's new look with its personnel, taking on a leadership role this season, and the defensive scheme evolving under Coach Zimmer.
Report 24: Sharrif Floyd - This report is with Vikings defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd. He is in his second year after being drafted in the first round out of the University of Florida last season. His numbers last year were not eye popping, but he has huge upside and with Kevin Williams and Latroy Guion leaving via free agency he will have ample opportunity this year to emerge. We talk to him about that opportunity, his mindset going into this year as far as goals, and how the defensive line is shaping up with new faces on the starting unit and in backup roles.
Report 25: Blair Walsh - This report is with Vikings kicker, Blair Walsh. Walsh is coming off another fine season where he only had four misses compared to just three his rookie year. We talk to the third year kicker about that consistency, about moving outdoors this season to TCF stadium the next couple years, and also the mood of the team this preseason under new Head Coach Mike Zimmer.
Report 26: Brandon Fusco - This report is with Vikings OG, Brandon Fusco, who is again a starter on the right side. We talk to Fusco about his maturation coming from a small college in Slippery Rock. We discuss having the same offensive line intact again and what his first preseason is like under Head Coach Zimmer and offensive coordinator, Norv Turner.
Report 27: Phil Loadholt - This report is with Vikings RT, Phil Loadholt. He is going into his sixth year with the Vikings and has become one of the top at his position in the game. We talk to Loadholt about how quickly time has gone into his career, playing with the same set of linemen now for the past several years, and what it's like going against the Vikings defensive ends in practice leading up to the regular season.
Report 28: Chad Greenway - This is our second report for our series with Vikings linebacker, Chad Greenway. In this report, we talk to Greenway about how bad the defense was last year and how they look to make marked improvements this year. We also discuss the new defensive scheme under Head Coach Zimmer and also how the team has tried to make him more versatile this preseason.
Report 29: Kerby Wilson - This report is with Vikings new running backs coach Kerby Wilson. Wilson is in his 17th year as a running backs coach, including many years in Pittsburgh. We talk to Wilson about his impression of his running back this year, including the best running back in the game, Adrian Peterson. We also get his impressions of third round pick Jerick McKinnon and back up running back Matt Asiata.
Report 30: Scott Crichton - This report is VIkings rookie defensive end Scott Crichton, a third round pick out of Oregon State. We talk to Scott about rushing the quarterback, his adjustment to this league, and his impression of the Vikings offensive line he's gone against so far in the preseason.