Tag:Minnesota Vikings
Posted on: August 13, 2010 3:30 pm
Edited on: August 25, 2010 11:09 pm

NFC North Preview, Podcast Style

It's that time again, folks -- yes, Friday afternoon. And what else would make the last few hours of work go by faster than checking out an NFC North Preview Podcast? Nothing, that's what.

(Well, maybe getting fired, but that won't work well for anyone.)

Andy Benoit joins me to discuss whether the Packers should be the runaway favorites in the division, why the Bears are so consistently mediocre (and whether Julius Peppers can change that), what the Vikings can do if Brett Favre decides to hang the old cleats up, and whether the Lions are a dangerous sleeper team. (OH THEY ARE, JUST YOU TRUST ME. Sigh.)

So, go ahead. Click the play button. Got a question you want answered on the show? Hit us up on Twitter (@CBSSportsNFL) or email will.brinson [at] cbs [dot] com

We'll be running out a few of these a week, so there's plenty of time. Oh, and also, be a friend and subscribe either by RSS or iTunes below.

If you can't view the podcast, click here to download .
Or, make it easy on yourself and  Subscribe via iTunes .

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Posted on: August 13, 2010 1:23 pm

Vikes use 'left squad' exemption for Harvin

Posted by Will Brinson

The Vikings have plenty to worry about -- read: Brett Favre and the deadline that Jared Allen imposed for the quarterback's return -- without the absence of star second-year wideout and general NFL handyman Percy Harvin.

But that doesn't mean they're free from the literal headaches around the former Gator; in fact, the team was forced to use a "left squad" exemption on Harvin, according to the Minnesota Star-Tribune "Access Vikings" blog .

Harvin's status is a result of two unfortunate scenarios (the death of his grandmother and the recurrence of his migraine headaches) colliding -- as such, he's been absent from the Vikes since July 31.

In order to completely process this exemption status, the Vikings had to send Harvin a letter informing him that in five days they hold the right to place him on the "reserve/left squad list." If Minnesota followed through with that action, Harvin would not be eligible to play for the entire 2010 season.

Needless to say, they don't plan on doing that; Brad Childress told the Star-Tribune that sending the letter was a requirement to get the exemption and that the team is being "supportive" of Harvin. (Of course, they didn't plan on failing to get a pick in during the 2008 NFL Draft, and you saw what happened there.)

But, as the fellas at AV point out, the simple fact that the team is being forced to even send the letter and use the left squad exemption is a pretty firm indication that Harvin won't be in camp any time in the immediate future.

For a team that's already dealing with the possible loss of it's most important offensive player (Favre), Harvin's status is likely only beefing up the stress level in Minnesota.

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Posted on: August 12, 2010 6:37 pm
Edited on: August 12, 2010 6:39 pm

Allen: 'In fairness for us' Favre needs to decide

Posted by Will Brinson

Jared Allen welcomed ESPN's Chris Mortensen into his own RV bus (spoiler: it's freaking awesome) on Thursday, in a segment that aired on Sportscenter . He also talked with Mort about Brett Favre and the looming in decision that will either give Tavaris Jackson a starting job or not.

"I do hope Brett comes back," Allen said. "But at this point, we're pushing towards the preseason, so a decision has to be made pretty quickly here. And just in fairness for us, for our team, for Tavaris, if Brett's gonna come back, we're done with camp, let's move forward. If not, we need a formal 'no' that way Tavaris has the opportunity to take this team over as his own, once that third preseason game comes. Because, as vets, that's kind of our earmark of 'we're ready to rock and roll."

Brad Childress' response was a little different, as he continued to not-so-directly point out that he would really, really like Favre to play.

"I stayed away from any artificial deadlines," said Brad Childress. "We're good with it if he plays. We're good with it if he doesn't play."

Childress, obviously, doesn't want to pressure Favre -- his job is a lot more dependent on No. 4 than Allen's is. But Allen makes a good point -- and presumably the other Vikings players are on board with his idea -- in that it's NOT fair for Favre to just sit back and wait and wait and wait some more before making a decision.

He can easily jump back into the offense and just do what he does -- Jackson's transition to a starting role is a much more difficult one, and he needs all the time he can to prepare.

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Posted on: August 12, 2010 3:53 pm

Favre visits Dr. James Andrews

Posted by Andy Benoit

As expected, Brett Favre left Mississippi today to visit Dr. James Andrews about his surgically repaired ankle. Andrews operated on Favre's ankle during the offseason.

Favre took a private flight to Pensacola, FL. As confirmed by NFL Network's Scott Hanson , Favre's plane stayed in Florida for about three hours before returning to Mississippi.

Earlier this summer, Andrews said he expected Favre to play in 2010. No word on whether the doctor has also changed his mind about this.

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Category: NFL
Posted on: August 10, 2010 11:50 pm
Edited on: August 10, 2010 11:52 pm
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Posted on: August 10, 2010 1:10 pm

Frazier still believes in Rooney Rule

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Leslie Frazier still has faith that, one day, he will earn a head coaching job. Seven times, he’s been interviewed. Seven times, the job has gone to somebody else.

And though the Minnesota defensive coordinator – who is one of the most respected assistant coaches in the league – has been a beneficiary (and probably had his heart broken because) of the Rooney Rule, which requires an NFL team to interview at least one minority candidate for every head coaching or front-office job opening, he’s felt that he’s received a fair shot in each his interviews.

Well, except for one.

In this St. Paul Pioneer Press story, Frazier doesn’t name last year’s Seattle interview as the one he “was a little concerned about,” but it doesn’t take much imagination to reach that conclusion.

It was widely thought that Pete Carroll was the only coach the Seahawks had in mind in the offseason, but they granted Frazier an interview. In reality, Frazier – who also interviewed with Buffalo in the offseason – never had a chance in Seattle.

From John Shipley’s article:

"With those interviews that I was in back in January, I went into them with the best intentions, based on advice I got from key people, and just tried to approach it the right way," he said. "Now, I can't answer for ownership, you know, what they were looking for and what they wanted out of the interviews. But I went into it believing each one would be a legitimate interview.

And did he come out feeling they were legitimate interviews?

"Um, I don't want to say which team, but one of them I was a little concerned about, and we went right down to the wire about whether I should even do the interview," he said. "On one of them, I left just wondering."

So, is the Rooney Rule, at this point, even a worthwhile venture? Frazier thinks so.

"The Rooney Rule serves its purpose. It still needs to be in place," Frazier told the paper. "There are so many great minority candidates out there, and hopefully teams will give them the opportunity to interview, and hopefully someone will be hired through that process.

"It hasn't happened of late. It seems like guys have been hired from within as ownership has gotten comfortable with them. Maybe soon somebody will be hired through an interview."

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Posted on: August 10, 2010 10:50 am

The curious case of Sidney Rice

S. Rice's hip has not allowed him to practice yet this season (AP). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

We told you the latest with Percy Harvin’s possible migraine headaches , but perhaps a bigger unknown is what’s going on with Vikings WR Sidney Rice’s hip.

The Minnesota Star-Tribune today calls the Rice issue “a curious case.”

People don’t doubt that Rice’s hip is injured, but you also have to remember that, after an extraordinary year (83 catches, 1,312 yards, eight TDs) and a big improvement on his first two seasons in the NFL, he’s making a $550,000 base salary this year. Perhaps that’s part of the reason Rice has yet to practice during training camp.

Here’s where the Star-Trib gets suspicious:

Rice and the Vikings have declined to reveal the exact nature of the problem - no one outside of the organization knew he was hurt until Rice's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, tweeted about it last month - and there appears to be no timetable for his return. In fact, coach Brad Childress said last week that Rice was "a ways away from returning."

The situation is so vague that it has led to a growing feeling that Rice isn't rushing back in part because of a contract … with no escalators. Rice is in the last season of his four-year rookie deal that averages less than $1 million per year.

Rice, who has been doing dry-land training and rehab as his teammates go through practices, only stopped long enough Monday to say that anything involving his contract is between the team and Rosenhaus.

Without Harvin and Rice in the lineup – if this scenario were to occur – the Vikings would go from one of the best WR corps in the league to having to use Jaymar Johnson (one catch last year) and Greg Lewis (eight catches) more than they’d like. Bernard Berrian obviously is one of the top receivers in the NFC North, but without Rice and Harvin around, opponents could shut him down with double-teams and force a relative unknown WR to try to beat them.

And we STILL don’t know anything about Brett Favre.

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Posted on: August 10, 2010 8:44 am
Edited on: August 10, 2010 8:45 am

Vikings taking it slow with Harvin

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

You might remember, if you’re a Vikings fan or a Vikings hater, that coach Brad Childress hasn’t always seemed so sympathetic to the sufferings of his players.

Remember in 2007, he fined former WR Troy Williamson a week’s paycheck after Williamson left the team to deal with the death of grandmother (Childress eventually changed his mind, after he took major heat from his initial decision). Now that WR Percy Harvin is in a similar circumstance – his grandmother died in late July – it’s clear Childress is taking a different tact.

But that still doesn’t change the fact that Harvin, obviously through no fault of his own, has the Vikings in a strange position. The second-year player coming off a Pro Bowl selection in his rookie season is vital to Minnesota for his offensive skills and his abilities on special teams. But now it’s thought he might be suffering from stress-induced migraine headaches – which frankly puts the early part of his season in jeopardy.

Meanwhile, the team doesn’t know when Harvin will return.

"I'm kind of flying in the dark a little bit," Childress told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune . "I'll let you know when I know something."

As the paper points out, Childress is taking a different approach to Harvin than he did to Williamson. From the Star-Trib:

Fast forward to the Harvin situation and it's pretty clear Childress is trying to be fair. There is little question, however, he would like the player back at camp. Obviously, the migraine issue throws a curveball into the situation because there were times last season when Harvin had to completely shut it down due to the headaches.

"The thing that I've learned is that everybody grieves differently," Childress said Monday. "That's just the fact of it. You've got to be able to respect that and appreciate that."

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com