VikingBuzz BLOG: 7/6

Owner Zygi Wilf

Your daily dose of the latest news, information, commentary and analysis on any and everything related to the Minnesota Vikings.

>A couple Viking fans step up big for Zygi
Michael Silver of SI.com put up a list that ranked all 32 NFL owners recently. In it, Vikings owner Zygi Wilf came in at No. 23 overall.  Well, at least a couple of Viking fans stepped up strong to defend the team’s owner.  Collin from Austin, Tex. said in part:  “…Man, you are too much.  The reason this is all coming to a head is your hack job on Zygi Wilf, who has been an awesome owner of a team in transition. You put Snyder up there?  Are you insane?  You have Wilf below Al Davis and Ms. Frontiere?  My God, you are an embarrassment to all Deadheads.  I wish you'd just retire and cover Cal softball or whatever…”  Or this from Big J in Minneapolis:  “You might want to re-think your opinion on Wilf.  He is purchasing the blocks around the Big-inflatable Toilet to build his own complex.  This team is staying in MN. Red ran this like what he was, a car salesmen that stripped the car.  Try again Skippy.”  In Silver’s defense, he published their responses, but did not back down on his opinion of Wilf.  Personally, we’d take Zygi over many of the guys Silver picked ahead of him, but it’s a free country.  I wonder where he would have put Robert Kraft in the early years of his ownership of the Patriots?

>What to do with all the cap space?
Judd Zulgad’s blog highlights the proactive utilization of any leftover money against the salary cap.  He documents the players they extended last year with that money and identifies the key player (DT Pat Williams) right now for this year in that regard.  Another player for consideration there is C Matt Birk.  He also addresses the question of why the team isn’t bringing in veterans like WR Eric Moulds or QB Kelly Holcomb at this time.

>Black and Blue review
Here’s what Court Mann of Pro Football Weekly has to say about the NFC North in 2007.  He puts the Vikes at the bottom of the division.  He describes the team’s offseason as lackluster, expresses concerns about quarterback Tarvaris Jackson in his first year as a starter and the pass rush on defense.  But concludes with:  “It will all come together if … Jackson and WR Troy Williamson suddenly emerge to fulfill their first-day potential, and the Vikings are proven geniuses with their investments in Wade and Shiancoe … Peterson and RB Chester Taylor combine to lead one of the NFL’s most productive running games … [Erasmus] James and DE Kenechi Udeze rediscover the talent that made them first-round picks. … WLB Chad Greenway, the team’s 2006 first-round pick, is as healthy and dynamic a playmaker as the team suggests following his injury-ruined rookie season.

>No need to panic (yet) on Peterson signing
Division rival Chicago got on the board first by signing their top pick, TE Greg Olson, first among the league’s first-round draft picks this year.  The Vikings top pick, RB Adrian Peterson has not signed yet and negotiations haven’t really heated up in earnest.  However, last year’s top pick, Chad Greenway, was signed on time but didn’t sign until July 27, the first day of training camp.

>In the summer, it’s coach Bollinger
Vikings QB Brooks Bollinger and his father, Rob, the former offensive coordinator at the University of Minnesota, will host their fourth annual Bollinger QB and Receiver School, July 8-11 at the University of North Dakota.  The camp will have a passing game influence with focus on attitude, character and leadership.  Staff of NFL players, college and pro coaches will be participating.  "It's a lot of fun," Bollinger told the Bismark Tribune.  "It's something that, as you get older, my summer's pretty short.  I've got a lot going on, so it's good to have four days to spend a ton of time together and work on football together."

>Jackson the clear favorite to start
ESPN.com reporter Len Pasquarelli reports barring a massive upset during training camp, Minnesota Vikings QB Tarvaris Jackson will be the Vikings’ starting quarterback entering the 2007 season.

>Supplemental draft set for July 12
The NFL has granted eligibility to 10 players for the 2007 supplemental draft, which will be held at Noon CDT, next Thursday, July 12.  Pro Football Weekly has the full list of players who will be eligible, as well as the selection order and criteria.

>Vikings and FSN North host All-Star game
The Vikings and FSN North joined forces at Husky Stadium in St. Cloud on Saturday, June 30, to showcase the state's top football players as they participated in the Minnesota High School All-Star Football Game for the 34th consecutive summer.  The game pits the Metro All-Stars against the Outstate All-Stars, with live broadcast features from Anthony LaPanta, Ann Carroll, former Vikings RB coach Dean Dalton and Vikings FB Tony Richardson.  Former Vikings LB Matt Blair and one-time Vikings longsnapper Mike Morris were celebrity coaches.  "This was a great experience," Blair said.  "Something like this gets my blood going again, just like when I was playing."  The Outstate team won 27-14 in front of a crowd of 3,400 people.

>Video clip from Greenway dual sports camp
There’s a 1:10 video clip report from keloland.com from Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway’s dual sports camp held in Mitchell, S.D.

>Vikings to sponsor Ride for Life Rally
The Vikings will sponsor the 13th annual Minnesota Vikings Ride for Life Motorcycle Rally to benefit the Viking Children's Fund on Saturday, July 14.  Bikers travel 75 miles to Hinckley where a welcome celebration at Hinckley's Outdoor Amphitheater is thrown in their honor.  The party features live music, food and over $20,000 in prizes.  Participants can also win a pair of Super Bowl tickets if they register in a group of six or more.  Vikings personnel along with the Vikings Cheerleaders will be signing autographs.

>NFC North preview
Here’s a preview of the NFC North by Chance Harper at sbrforum.com.

>Dolphins release ex-Viking Campbell
Former Vikings receiver Kelly Campbell was let go by the Miami Dolphins just three weeks before the start of training camp.  Campbell caught 57 passes over a three-year span (2002-04) with the Vikings, averaging 18.6 yards per catch and scoring 8 touchdowns.  Campbell hadn't played a regular-season game since 2004 because of leg problems, yet he had declared himself healthy during mini camp workouts.  The Dolphins had re-signed him as a free agent in March.

>Vikings QB situation a mess?
Not everyone is comfortable with the Vikings entering the season with Tarvaris Jackson and Brooks Bollinger at quarterback.  At least not the vikingslocker.com blog.  We say relax, this analysis offers a little more hope.

>Ex-Viking Liwienski in the running for starting spot with Dolphins
Former Vikings OL Chris Liwienski is pushing for the starting left guard spot with the Miami Dolphins this summer.  One in he has is his connection with new head coach Cam Cameron, who was his college coach at Indiana.

>Ex-Viking Nelson putting up big numbers in Arena League
St. Cloud
State graduate and former Minnesota Viking WR Ben Nelson appears to have found a home in the Arena Football League.  In his second season with the San Jose Saber Cats, Nelson has turned in another strong season despite a knee injury.  The 6-3, 191-pounder has 101 catches for 1,258 yards and 25 touchdowns.  Nelson spent most of two full seasons with the Vikings, mostly as a practice squad player.  Nelson, who saw action in three regular season games with the Vikings, briefly signed with Tampa Bay after catching 94 passes for 1,405 yards and 26 touchdowns with the SaberCats last year.  But he was released before the start of training camp.  “I’d be willing to go if I get another opportunity,” Nelson told the St. Cloud Times.  “My knee injury was kind of a big blow to my chances.  I’m wearing a brace right now and not many teams want to sign a wide receiver in a brace.  My conditioning and strength are a little down.  But I’m getting a lot of my explosiveness back, so if the chance came along, I’d leap at it.”

>Minnesota beats Chicago 20-14
Oops, sorry, I guess that was a baseball game.

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