Vikings notes from Preseason game #2 by Joel Schafer


With game preseason game number two in the books. We are starting see clearly what the roster may look like on opening day for the Vikings.  The Vikings defense once again was solid with very few questions about who will start and who will be the back up.  The same is true for the offense. The only exception is  who will play right tackle due to the loss of Phil Loadholt?

The injury to Phil Loadholt  leaves the question, can T.J. Clemmings  fill the shoes of a Phil and keep Teddy off the ground? T.J. is a Monster of a man at 6’6″ and supposedly 305 lbs, he uses his feet well and seemed to fit in nicely against the Bucs pass rushers, in whom he handled easily. The question will be can he handle guys like a Khalil Mack who line up in multiple spots? If  Clemmings can’t handle it, does Evan Mathis get a phone call ? Mathis was a pro bowler last year and can play guard or tackle. Preseason game number 3 vs the Raiders may just give us an indication of what will happen.

Robert Blanton continues to be unimpressive as a starter. He has missed assignments including a large gain to Vincent Jackson.  Antone Exum played well again, he turned over an overwhelmed Jamis Winston.  Exum hurt his chances of grasping the starting role by getting hurt. He will be inactive for game 3.  To quote coach Zimmer “You can’t make the club in the tub.”

Middle linebacker spot is up for grabs. Veteran Audi Cole has played well and has done nothing wrong to lose his spot as the week one starter.  Eric Kendricks has been impressive moving to the ball and being in on almost every play. Kendricks is making the coaches look four and five times at him.  Kendricks was tied for the team lead in tackles with 6, five being solo, one sack and one tackle for loss.

Newcomer, wide-out Mike Wallace needs to run his routes better. To be effective with Teddy Bridgewater at the helm, the throws will come out on time. Mike has to be more than the guy that takes the top off a defense. Teddy has shown in his young career that the ball will be out on time.  Teddy has misfired on 2 passes in 2 games. He has been good at getting the ball out at or before his target the breaks on the route. Look for this to continue in the short and medium  throws. I would also expect to see at least one or two deep balls from Bridgewater  in the next game.teddyeric kendrickstjNFL: Carolina Panthers at Minnesota Vikings