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Chad Beebe

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Interview with Chad Beebe

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Photo: Travis Ellison
By: Preet Shah

With the start of Training Camp right around the corner and the preseason following that, we at Vikingnations were lucky enough to be able to interview last preseasons standout wide receiver, Chad Beebe, son of former Superbowl winner Don Beebe.

We asked a total of 10 questions and hopefully, this gives you a better insight into Chad Beebe as both a person and a player.

Below is a transcript of the interview.

What did you learn from being around other professional football players at such a young age?

“The biggest thing that I’ve learned and am still learning is how to best take care of my body. The best ability is availability.” 

Who are you the closest with on the team?

“Tough question because there are a few guys, but to name one probably Adam.”

What have you learned from the Vikings coaching staff about your game?

“That I need to keep working on the vertical route game as I continue to grow in the NFL game.”

What changes have you noticed in the new offensive regime?

“That our offensive room is full of confidence as well as attitude to prove ourselves this year.”

What are you looking to improve upon in your second season with the team?

“I hope to improve my vertical route game. I also hope to bring another element to our offense this year to help us go far in the postseason.”

What type of music do you listen to before the game?
“I listen to a bit of everything honestly. Variety is key. Some worship music, some Bob Marley, a little bit of hip hop.”

How do you think going against the Vikings secondary has improved your game?

“We have one of the best secondaries in the league and there is no doubt that they have made me a better wideout. Super thankful for that.”

What is something you hope to accomplish by the end of this year? Doesn’t have to be football-related.

“My goal is to always just do my best in everything I do and try to be the best example for young kids. I want to be an impact for the better.”

How has playing alongside Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen improved your game?

“I’ve been able to watch how they run routes and how they carry themselves on game day. Those two aspects have been crucial for me to improve my game. But another big key is how I’ve been able to watch them off the practice field. How they live life outside of football. Whether it’s taking care of their bodies or the camaraderie they bring to the locker room.”

Describe an experience you’ve had with Coach Zimmer?

“After my first first down catch at the Detroit game at home, I ran to the sideline and coach Zimmer gave me a nod and said ‘good job.’ Haha small but nice to hear as a rookie.”

That concludes the interview with Mr.Chad Beebe, we thank him for his time and for allowing us to put this on our website. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter to be alerted to more interviews as they come out. As always, Skol Vikes.



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Chatting with Zylstra

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Recently I had the privilege of having a conversation with Vikings WR Brandon Zylstra and we talked about numerous subjects including OTAS, how he has been impacted by his teammates and his expectation for the 2019 season.
I started the conversation by asking how the offseason training programs were going to which he expressed a great deal of optimism. Zylstra explained how he has enjoyed getting back to the grind of playing along with his excitement of the new offensive scheme. This past offseason the Vikings made former quarterback coach Kevin Stefanski the full-time offensive coordinator after liking what they saw from him in that role that last quarter of the season. While not receiving a lot offensive reps last year, one area Zylstra did get a lot of playing time was special teams including brief action as a punt returner. I asked Brandon if being a punt returner is something he would be interested in full-time this season to which he replied “ I’m 100 percent a team player, I’m cool with wherever they want to put me, wherever is going to help the team succeed.’’ The Vikings have the need for a primary punt returner after long time returner and Minnesota native Marcus Sherels left via free agency to sign with the New Orleans Saints.

Another topic we talked about was his NFL journey and how it compares to that of fellow wide receiver and all pro Adam Thielen. Thielen and Zylstra have similar journeys that both include being from small Minnesota towns, not receiving any Division 1 college scholarships, playing college football locally and having to try out for the Vikings before receiving a contract offer. Zylstra acknowledged the comparisons and noted that he does receive a lot of questions about Thielen and also mentioned how their games are similar and that he tries to learn as much from Adam’s game as he possibly can.

The last thing Zylstra and I talked about was what his expectations were for the 2019 season. It can be a conflicted questions because some players only goal and expectation is winning a championship and other players may have personal statistic goals they desire and expect to accomplish. For Zylstra, he explained that his goal is to become the number three receiver on the roster behind Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs, while also expressing his desire to do what he can to help his team win.
Being able to have an opportunity to talk to Brandon Zylstra gave me an in depth look into the journey of becoming an NFL player. Since becoming a Viking he has done nothing but shown up everyday and worked hard to show what he is capable of. I personally am excited to see him play this year and I wish him all the best.
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Kyle Rudolph Stays Home; Signs Extension

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By: AJ Condon
June 11, 2019
Photo: Vikings.com

While most people were watching Game 5 of the NBA Finals late Monday night, the Minnesota Vikings were able to keep Minnesotan-loving Kyle Rudolph with the team for four more years.

Contract Details

The Vikings and Rudolph have been in contract talks this whole offseason as well as some rumors of being traded. The Vikings draft selection didn't help those rumors simmer out either, when they selected Irv Smith Jr., tight end out of Alabama, with the 50th pick in this years draft.

All those rumors were put to rest late Monday night when Rudolph posted a very meaningful post about how much Minnesota meant to him with the caption "#UnfinishedBusiness #Skol" with this screenshot.

That was quickly followed by multiple reports of Rudolph and the Vikings coming to terms. Later that night, the details came out for the deal, four years, $36 million. This puts Rudolph as the fourth highest paid tight end in terms of average per year behind Jimmy Graham, Travis Kelce, and Jordan Reed.

Rudolph's cap hit for this season is $3.55 million and the future four-year breakdown will come out soon. Multiple reports reported that this deal actually freed up $4 million in cap space for this season.

Looking Forward

With Rudolph being locked up until 2023, the Vikings have many weapons that fans should be excited for. Kirk Cousins behind center with Dalvin Cook in the backfield, Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs out wide, and Smith Jr. and Rudolph running a two-tight end set.

I will bring back this stat of Kirk Cousins while in Washington when he was working with a two-tight end set. Cousins has been the best quarterback from 2015-2017 when working with two tight ends. Given his two tight ends were Jordan Reed and Vernon Davis, Rudolph and Smith Jr. aren't as dangerous as those two were, but don't be surprised if we see the tight ends being used more these next couple of years than Vikings' fans are used to.
The two-time Pro Bowler will turn 30-years-old later this season, but he has been one of the most reliable tight ends in the league and for the Vikings. He has played in all 16 games in the last four seasons, and had his career year in 2016. He has averaged 625 yards and six touchdowns over those years.

Last season Rudolph was targeted 82 times, which was 13.5% of Cousins attempts and had his highest catch percentage catching 78 percent of balls that came his way. He also has only fumbled the ball once in his career.

It isn't just his strong hands that impress me, his red zone presence is very reliable. In the past two seasons, Rudolph has hauled in 71 percent of his targets and reeled in ten touchdowns inside the 20. In the past two seasons he has also been responsible for 20.8 percent and 25.8 percent, respectively, for his teams' targets in the red zone.

This is probably the last offseason move for the Vikings, but caps off a busy one. The Vikings resigned Anthony Barr, restructured Everson Griffen, and signed Thielen to a long-term deal.
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Minnesota Vikings Draft Dru Samina

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Minnesota Vikings Draft Dru Samina

 Oklahoma's Dru Samia poses for a photo during the University of Oklahoma's football media day at Gaylord Family -Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Okla., Sunday, July 22, 2018. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman

   Photo by: Brian Terry, The Oklahoman 

By: Preet Shah
In the 4th round of the Minnesota Vikings selected Dru Samia. The Vikings started their third day in the draft by trading up to pick 114 to select the guard out of Oklahoma. The Vikings traded pick 120 and 204 to the Seahawks for pick 114. This is the 4th consecutive pick in this draft where the Vikings selected a player on offense, which comes as a surprise due to the well documented defensive nature of coach Mike Zimmer. Samia was part of the best offensive line in college football last year where he helped keep first overall pick Kyler Murray clean in the pocket. He will now team up with the Vikings first round pick, Garrett Bradbury, and join the offensive line.
   

I would doubt with the signing of Josh Kline that Samia will start right away but instead will prove to be a much-needed depth piece on the offensive line. Samia has experience at both right tackle and guard but will likely play at guard due to his shorter size. I think that Samia will compete with Brett Jones and Danny Isidora to be the first guard off the bench.

This pick, much like the Bradbury pick seems to have Dennison’s and Kubiak's fingerprints all over it as Samia was rated considered one of the best zone blocking lineman in the draft. This pick will be good for providing competition and depth to a position group that in recent years has lacked both. As always leave your comments and opinions below and Skol Vikes.
   






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Vikings Draft Irv Smith Jr

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Minnesota Vikings Draft Irv Smith

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Photo:Kevin Kuo-USA Today Sports
By:Preet Shah

With the 50th pick in the NFL Draft, the Minnesota Vikings selected Irv Smith Jr., a tight end out of the University of Alabama. With this pick, it seemed like the Vikings went with the best player available to them. Irv Smith Jr. is the son of former first-round draft pick Irv Smith Sr. who played tight end for New Orleans, San Francisco, and Cleveland. Irv was considered the best tight end in the after T.J. Hockenson and Noah Fant and projected to go in the late first round or the early second round by most draft experts, but the sheer absurdity of the first round and the run on defensive backs to start the second pushed him into the mid second round.

When I asked my friend Savitra Kulkarni, who is a huge crimson tide fan, about Irv he had this to say “He’s your prototypical modern-day tight end, he possesses some blocking skill but that area needs a bit of improvement. However, when he has the ball is when he really shines. With the athleticism and the speed that he has he always is a threat to gain yards after the catch.”

    Irv may be the player to take over as the true third-receiving option to take the pressure off of Diggs and Thielen. This pick may also signal the end of the Kyle Rudolph era in Minnesota as the Vikings currently have just over a million in cap space and need about seven million to sign all of their draft picks to deals. Though cutting Rudolph would be devastating as he is a class act both on and off the field, it would free up about 7 million dollars which would be just over the amount needed to sign the rookie class. Another scenario could have Rudolph restructure his deal to get less money but get it guaranteed.

I like this pick due to both Irv’s athleticism and ability to run after the catch, which Kirk also loves in tight ends, and also the potential for the Vikings to get more cap space quickly. As always leave your comments and opinions below and Skol Vikes.



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Vikings Draft Garrett Bradbury

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Minnesota Vikings Draft Garrett Bradbury

NC State Wolfpack guard Garrett Bradbury against the South Carolina Gamecocks during the college football opener at Bank of America Stadium. (Jim Dedmon/USA TODAY Sports)
Photo:Jim Dedmon/USA TODAY Sports
By: Preet Shah

The Minnesota Vikings selected Garrett Bradbury at pick number 18 in the 2019 NFL Draft finally addressing the need at the interior offensive line position. The Center from NC State was the first center off the board and for good reason, as he was voted the best center in college football this past season, winning the Rimington Trophy. Now Bradbury joins the Vikings offensive line where he will most likely displace current center and 2016 Rimington trophy winner Pat Elflein.

With the overall absurdity of this Draft, the Vikings were put in a tough position at pick 18. They could have bolstered up the tackle positions by selecting Andre Dillard or Jawaan Taylor or they could have taken former Mississippi State standout Montez Sweat to add more depth to the defensive line. This pick, however, seems to have Kubiak and Dennison's fingerprints all over it as Bradbury’s mobility makes him a great fit in the outside zone scheme that they plan to run next year. Most experts loved this selection, with an analyst from nfl.com Daniel Jeremiah saying “This is the best center in the draft and one of the best to come out in the last handful of years.”

To gain further insight on this pick I spoke to my friend Jake Kistler, a die-hard NC State fan, to understand Bradberry more. Jake went on to say “He’s very versatile for a big guy. He is very light on his feet and he should make a big Impact fast.”

Overall I am a huge fan of this pick. I believe that this is exactly what the Vikings needed and Bradberry fits perfectly with the other young offensive lineman in O'Neill and Elfein who both can get out into space and attack blockers at the second level. Leave your opinions on the selection in the comments below and as always Skol.


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Vikings Schedule Released

The time has finally come Viking fans, the 2019 NFL schedule is here. After months of speculation and rumors from experts and fans we now know what exactly the Vikings’s slate of game is going to look like. The Vikings will be opening season at home vs Atlanta and closing the season at home vs Chicago, the same team they played in week 17 last year who ultimately keep them out of the playoffs. They are also playing whole NFC East as well as NFC west. The Vikings schedule has five prime time matchups, which is tied for a league high. Those primetime games are what will make or break the season, as a poor record in prime time hurt the team heavily in 2018. Overall Kirk Cousins has struggled mightily in primetime games over his career with a poor 5-13 record. If that trend continues, the Vikings will not be going anywhere this season no matter who they are playing. With that being said, all you can do as a fan of the purple is stay faithful to your team and start your countdown to the regular season (144 days!) Below is the full 2019 schedule, enjoy!

Week 1 | Sunday, Sept. 8 | NOON | vs. Atlanta Falcons | FOX 
Week 2 | Sunday, Sept. 15 | NOON | at Green Bay Packers | FOX 
Week 3 | Sunday, Sept. 22 | NOON | vs. Oakland Raiders | FOX 
Week 4 | Sunday, Sept. 29 | 3:25 PM | at Chicago Bears | CBS 
Week 5 | Sunday, Oct. 6 | NOON | at New York Giants | FOX 
Week 6 | Sunday, Oct. 13 | NOON | vs. Philadelphia Eagles | FOX 
Week 7 | Sunday, Oct. 20| NOON  at Detroit Lions | FOX
Week 8 | Thursday, Oct. 24 | 7:20 PM | vs. Washington Redskins | NFLN 
Week 9 | Sunday, Nov. 3 | NOON | at Kansas City Chiefs | FOX |

Week 10 | Sunday, Nov. 10 | 7:20 PM at Dallas Cowboys | NBC |

Week 11 | Sunday, Nov. 17 | NOON | vs. Denver Broncos | CBS |

Week 12 | Sunday, Nov. 24 | Bye Week |

Week 13 | Monday, Dec. 2 | 7:15 PM | at Seattle Seahawks | ESPN |

Week 14 | Sunday, Dec. 8 | NOON | vs. Detroit Lions | FOX |
Week 15 | Sunday, Dec. 15 | 7:20 PM | at Los Angeles Chargers | NBC 
Week 16 | Monday, Dec. 23 | 7:15 PM | vs. Green Bay Packers | ESPN 

Week 17 | Sunday, Dec. 29| NOON | vs. Chicago Bears | FOX
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