Burleson still aiming big

Burleson has lofty post-injury goals: Can Nate Burleson reach 1,000 receiving yards this season despite missing time after a pizza-related car accident that even he is laughing about now? He certainly thinks so. Burleson averaged about 80 receiving yards per game in the first three weeks of the season, which would have put him on pace to go well over 1,000 over the course of a 16-game season. But the recent accident will become a bigger obstacle the longer it lingers. The good news, though? With a number of inter-divisional games left, the Vikings, Packers and Bears all rank in the bottom 10 at defending the pass this season. Yes, it’s early. But the opportunities will be there. Get back […]

Veteran DE Jared Allen weighs his own mortality, talks about the Vikings rebuilding

Jared Allen is… hilarious. He is. The Vikings defensive end appears at ease in just about any situation, and he makes other feel that. I learned that when he made fun of me from the news conference podium this spring out in Minnesota — before we’d even met. Don’t let that jovial side fool you. Allen is very serious about football, as his 22 sacks will attest. And he says what he thinks in a very serious manner. So, when we talked before he hit golf balls at the American Heritage Celebrity Golf Tournament this week, we got right down to business. The subject was rebuilding and insanely young Vikings, a team that has stocked its roster with youth with […]

Recapping this road trip: The Minneapolis edition

So, after a few crazy days in Minnesota, I’m back home in Dallas. Gotta say, it was eventful. We can all thank Percy Harvin for that. I’ve probably written enough on Harvin to last a lifetime. Maybe that was his idea — to get people to write about, notice, and talk about him. It worked. Want to hear about the trip? Some highlights… – Late yesterday, the Harvin saga reached a ridiculous point when Harvin took to Twitter to laugh at reports that he was unhappy and note that he’ll be at training camp. Um, ok then. What can we take from all this? Well, sounds like we all spent a lot of time on something that may just work out. Harvin’s issues — whatever […]

My story: How GM Rick Spielman handled his first controversy running the Vikings

A seemingly sleepy Vikings minicamp was turned on its head this week by comments made by WR Percy Harvin. He said he was unhappy, then demanded a trade, then bolted for the second day of practice. Sure he’s back today, but nothing has been resolved. It was a mess that was not rare for the Vikings. This is the same organization that allowed its coach Brad Childress to waive Randy Moss without telling management. What stood out to me after two days at Winter Park is how things have changed. This time, for the first time in a long time, there is one man running the franchise. GM Rick Spielman emerged as the face of the team, and that became […]

Shocked Vikings players and coaches react to the news that WR Percy Harvin wants out (Updated!)

The NFL world woke up this morning to the news that Minnesota Vikings WR Percy Harvin wants out. He said he wasn’t happy yesterday, reiterated that, and now asked for a trade. News to the Vikings. They were stunned. So was Harvin’s good buddy, RB Adrian Peterson. He learned the news watching the ticker yesterday, and the star hadn’t talked with Harvin about it. Today, he offered his reaction. “Whatever the issue is, I’m sure they’ll get things squared away,” said Peterson, who often trains with Harvin. Peterson was asked how distracting it was, and he turned that answer into essentially a plea for Harvin and his team to make nice. “Distracting? I wouldn’t say distracting,” Peterson said. “It’s more […]

My story: Vikings RB Adrian Peterson has been in the lab for the hardest offseason of his life

Vikings RB Adrian Peterson tore his ACL on December 24, triggering the longest offseason of his life. He’s targeted Week 1 for his return, and he seems to be on track. That’s all come with work. “I’ve been in the lab,” Peterson told me, and that’s an apt description. How is he doing? What he has been doing? Will he be ready? All pertinent questions. At Vikings minicamp yesterday, I spoke with Peterson for a while, and here is the full interview. Peterson has always worked. No surprise. Everyone knows that. But this offseason has made him work even more. He’s been humbled, and that’s changed his sense of urgency. He is just dying to be out there. “It really […]

Vikings RB Adrian Peterson, on bounties and the NFC title game: “The NFL taught the entire league a lesson”

Much of the focus of the NFL’s bounty investigation has included talk of the 2009 NFC title game featuring the Saints and the Vikings. During that game, QB Brett Favre was repeatedly drilled, and he wound up limping from it. Unveiled yesterday was the NFL’s evidence that had Saints players and others pledging $35,000 to knock out Favre. Yikes. Our own Steve Wyche had a thorough look at all of this. Well today, after the Vikings’ walk-through, I talked with Vikings RB Adrian Peterson, who was on that team. We talked about plenty of things, including his knee, and a lot of our interview aired on NFL Total Access. There will also be an in-depth story on NFL.com Wednesday. But with […]

My story: The Vikings have secured a deal for a new stadium… what to do now?

After 10 long years, the Vikings finally have a deal for a new stadium. It took a serious effort from all sides, but one of the NFL’s storied franchises is staying in Minneapolis. That doesn’t mean this process is over. Far from it. As stadium guru Lester Bagley told me in a recent visit to Eden Prairie, Minn., it’s only the beginning. There are decisions to be made, plans to collect, architects to choose… and a bunch of other things. For instance, will an MLS team join the Vikes in the stadium, too? “Now we can move on to the exciting part,” Bagley told me. “That’s to design and build a first-class facility that everyone can be proud of, that […]

Adrian Peterson and Percy Harvin ran up a hill… and other Vikings things!

Minnesota was sooooo yesterday. I’m actually in New Orleans now, gearing up to go to Saints OTAs in a little bit. But before I do, let’s get reflect on what we saw in Eden Prairie during Vikings OTAs (which I talked about on TV here). What happened? – The biggest thing that happened was that rehabbing Adrian Peterson and Percy Harvin ran up a hill. And I’m not lying, it was one of the coolest things I’ve seen. Two electric athletes, both fighting their way back to health, just absolutely going after it. They were racing. Harvin won almost all of them, but Peterson did get him twice — ACL tear and all. “It was a bit tough,” Harvin said. […]

Vikings GM Rick Spielman was just as surprised as anyone that Asher Allen retired

Here in Eden Praire, Minn., the big story of the Vikings OTAs was that rehabbing stars Adrian Peterson and Percy Harvin put on a show racing each other. More on that later. But the most surprising story? That was that cornerback Asher Allen decided to retire. At just 24 years old, Allen is calling it quits. Coach Leslie Frazier announced the news, saying it wasn’t for health reasons. It was just what Allen wanted. “I didn’t see that coming,” Frazier said. “But everybody has to make decisions that are the best for their family. … He came in my office last Thursday, talked about it and informed me of what he wanted to do.“ After the OTAs, I spoke with GM Rick […]

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