Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Kenechi Udeze to Retire

Don't have the time to type out or own story, so I'm reposting the news from Sid Hartman of the Minneapolis Star Tribune:

[Kenechi Udeze, the Vikings defensive end who missed last season because of leukemia, has retired.

Coach Brad Childress said today that Udeze, the team's first-round draft choice out (20th overall) in 2004 out of USC, has ended his comeback attempt. Efforts to reach Udeze were unsuccessful.

Udeze tied for the team lead in sacks in 2007, but got sick following the season and
was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in Feb., 2008. He had a bone marrow transplant last July and felt well enough to participate in this springs mini-camps and organized team activities.

But after the practices, Udeze apparently decided he needed to devote his time to fighting his illness.

After a June workout, he told the Star Tribune: "I'd be lying if I said it was easy here was never an easy point. The first time I went back to USC and started working out with the fellas, I fell. I took two steps and I fell. I took small steps at first and, to here I am now, I can't complain."

At the time, Udeze said he had recently had a biopsy. Childress also said at the time he thought Udeze, who was a little heavy, would be 100 percent by the time the team reported to Mankato.]

We here at The Purple Report wish Udeze all the best and hope that his life is full of nothing but positives from here on out.

Bookends In Place

Today marks the opening of the Vikings 2009 training camp and it's off to an exceptional start. Rookie tackle Phil Loadholt, one half of the bookend tackles (opposite Bryant McKinnie), has inked a deal with the Vikings this morning. Terms of the agreement are still unknown to the public, but we hope to have more details as the day progresses.

UPDATE: Reportedly, the deal is a four-year contract, but the dollar amount is still a mystery.

This leaves wide receiver Percy Harvin as the only remaining rookie in Minnesota that hasn't signed a deal with the squad. With Loadholt now off the list, Harvin is one of seven other rookies in the NFC North still waiting on a contract.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Favre's Retirement Plan

With just one more day before training camp for the Minnesota VIkings, it has been announced this afternoon via Judd Zulgad of the Minneapolis Star Tribune that Brett Favre will stay retired.

The word comes from Brad Childress who was also quoted as saying "I just think it was a rare opportunity to explore a Hall of Fame quarterback who had background in the NFC and in this division. He knows our system inside out ... This doesn't change anything about how I feel about our football team."

In light of the current news, I've taken the liberty of deciding Favre's fate in 2009. Here are a few suggestions that stray from the obvious:

1) John Deere spokesman.
I think this speaks for itself. Throw this in with the Wrangler bit and he's set for life.

2) AARP Retirement Consultant
Think of the possibilities. Through his own example, he could save the nation billions in Social Security funds by inspiring other elderly citizens to unretire (if only for a little bit). He c

And now for the only serious suggestions in this post:

3) Quarterback or Assistant Coach at Oak Grove High School
Sure, Favre could possibly land himself a gig at the pro level, but he seems to have such a great liking for playing with these high school kids. Sure, the team would see an enormous increase in interceptions, but they could learn how to make plays happen when it matters. Most of those kids have grown up idolizing him anyway, so there's no doubt he'd have any problems commanding a locker room.

As for T-Jack and Sage, now is the time for both players to prove that not only can they take the reins, but that they can stay unfazed by this distraction. It's going to be an intense competition between two rather similar QBs (high potential with mistakes when it matters).

What a great way to start training camp, eh?

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Week 13: Vikings (6-5) vs. Bears (6-5)

Coming off last Sunday's dominating victory over Jacksonville, the Vikings find themselves in a dogfight for first place atop the NFC North. Tonight's game against the Chicago Bears will be the tiebreaker for first in what has been a neck-and-neck division race. Here are a few keys to the game:

1) A Thorn In Their Side
In his three career meetings against the Chicago Bears, Adrian Peterson has rushed for an average of 141 yards and seven touchdowns. It's no doubt that No. 28 will continue to give the Bears defense fits throughout the night.

2) Pass Attack
Although he hasn't been a factor over the last couple games, Bernard Berrian put up 81 yards on six receptions with one touchdown against his former team during Week 7. Look for the Bears' 30th-ranked pass defense to struggle agaist Berrian and the improved Visanthe Shiancoe.

There's plenty more to this game, but not enough time. My apologies for the short post, but we will have more for you after the game.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Busy Day at Winter Park

Numerous reports have filtered in from Winter Park this Wednesday:

1) Left Tackle Switch
As reported in a previous post, Vikings left tackle Ryan Cook has been replaced by Artis Hicks. Hicks should have a good warmup for the Sunday night collision with Chicago in two weeks as the Vikings will take on Jacksonville on the road. The Jaguars currently rank 18th in the league in sacks.

2) Ready to Rumble?
Former Vikings wide receiver Troy Williamson told Minnesota reporters during a phone conference that "[Childress and I] could meet on the 50-yard line and we can go at it.."

In response, Childress said, "obviously he doesn't know that there is a buffer zone, which far be it from me to violate.

Williamsion will be inactive for this Sunday's matchup due to a groin injury that has plagued him since training camp.

3) Detention for Allen?
Jared Allen paid a visit to the principal's office this week. Allen met with league officials to discuss a possible suspension for two low hits to Houston QB Matt Schaub and a helmet-to-helmet hit on Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers.

The entire state of Minnesota has let out a sigh of relief today, as Allen will NOT receive a suspension, but merely a $25,000 fine for his hit to Rodgers.

4) Williams Wall to NYC
Defensive linemen will visit NFL offices in New York on Thursday to plead their cases after testing positive in October for bumetanide, a weight loss drug and a banned substance in the NFL commonly used as a steroid-masking agent. Each Vikings player's case will be heard seperately, unlike the joint hearing for the three New Orleans players who tested positive for the same diuretic.

If suspended, the Williamses will face a four-game suspension this season. We will have more information on this matter as it becomes available.

-Dan Beer

Cook Out, Hicks In

Chip Scoggins from the Minneapolis Star Tribune has just reported that Vikings coach Brad Childress announced today that Artis Hicks will be replacing Ryan Cook at right tackle.

Cook, now in his third season out of New Mexico, has been under heavy scrutiny from fans lately for numerous holding penalties and sub-par performance in the pass protection. He's been a weekly hot topic on KFAN's Vikings Fanline, with many fans begging for his replacement.

After eleven weeks of the regular season, Childress and Co. have finally answered these pleas.

“It’s a cumulative work,” Childress said. “You’re trying to put yourself in the best position to win games. That’s all I’m doing.”

Asked whether or not he was surprised by this decision, Cook said, "not really. My performance in the last two games wasn’t very good per se so I kind of saw it."

Hicks, who covered for LT Bryant McKinnie during his four-game suspension at the beginning of this season, says he is more comfortable on the left side, but is not worried about the shift to the right.

“I played right tackle a couple snaps," Hicks said. "I think like two or three snaps in a real game situation but I’m looking forward to it. It’s not that big of a deal to me. That’s not to say that I don’t feel comfortable on the right. Naturally, I feel a little bit better on the left. So, I don’t think it will be much of a problem at all. I’ve played the right before. The plays, it’s just a matter of flipping them in your head and just going with it.”

Hicks will get to prove himself as a starter once again this week on the road against Jacksonville's 18th-ranked defense.

-Dan Beer

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Williams Wall to Meet With NFL

It was reported earlier this week by The Associated Press that Vikings defensive linemen Pat and Kevin Williams will meet with league officials this week to appeal their suspensions after testing positive for a banned weight-loss diuretic commonly used to mask steroid use.

The Williams' will be appealing a potential four-game suspension from the league along with six other NFL players, including New Orleans Saints running back Deuce McAllister and defensive ends Charles Grant and Will Smith.

The story was first reported in late October by Fox Sports' Jay Glazer. Six to eight NFL players all tested positive for known steroid-masking agent bumetanide, which later was reported to be an unlisted ingredient in a weight-loss pill called StarCaps. The makers of StarCaps have since seized shipment of the product since the allegation.

Players will appeal to the NFL officials this week that they were simply taking a weight loss pill to maintain weight standards. However, the NFL policy states "the use of so-called 'blocking' or 'masking' agents is prohibited by this policy. These include diuretics or water pills, which have been used in the past by some players to reach an assigned weight. Players are responsible for what is in their bodies."

No word yet on when a league decision will be announced.

-Daniel Beer