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From ClevelandBrowns.com

 

The first in a series of capsule previews of the Browns' first four 2009 opponents...

 

The Vikings have been in the news lately for who might eventually, potentially, possibly, be their quarterback.

 

But let's deal in definites. The Vikings' first-ever regular-season trip to Cleveland Browns Stadium comes in the Sept. 13 season opener. And the guys in purple are definitely one of the NFL's most talented teams.

 

The Vikings are certainly a formidable opponent and a team that has a right to set high goals for itself in '09.

 

2008 RECAP: The Vikings overcame a 1-3 start to finish 10-6 and win the NFC North Division. They were eliminated in their Wildcard playoff game against the Eagles.

 

STAR POWER: Plenty. Just two years into his career, Adrian Peterson might be the league's best running back. The defensive line features Jared Allen, Pat Williams and Kevin Williams, three key reasons the Vikings had the league's best run defense last fall. The guys behind them on defense -- including cornerbacks Antoine Winfield and Cedric Griffin and linebackers Chad Greenway and Ben Leber -- are playmakers, too. There are still some questions, but the formula is there: Stop the run and dare their opponents to stop Peterson. With Peterson totaling better than 3,000 yards in two years, that's something not many have done. He runs behind a powerful left side of the offensive line, Steve Hutchinson and Bryant McKinnie.

 

FREE AGENCY: Longtime center Matt Birk signed with the Ravens, and veteran safety Darren Sharper went to the Saints. The Vikings cut Gus Frerotte after he started 11 games at quarterback, traded for possible starting quarterback Sage Rosenfels and signed veteran cornerback Karl Paymah, who figures to play on passing downs.

 

DRAFT ADDITIONS: The Vikings used the 22nd overall selection on Florida wide receiver Percy Harvin, who will need to adjust to the NFL game but brings elite speed and playmaking ability. They got another potential starter in the second round in Oklahoma right tackle Phil Loadholt. Third-round corner Asher Allen joins Paymah in providing secondary depth, and fifth-rounder Jasper Brinkley may see some time immediately in a linebacking corps that needs depth.

 

AREAS OF CONCERN: The Vikings got 45 sacks last year but gave up 43, and they're hoping to shore up the offensive line. Frerotte's TD-to-INT ratio was minus 3; as a team, the Vikings were minus 6 overall in turnover ratio. Tarvaris Jackson's struggles (15-of-35 passing, 1 INT) doomed the Vikings in the playoff game, another reason the quarterback situation remains unresolved.

 

SHAPING UP: Bernard Berrian was the big-play receiver last year, averaging better than 20 yards per catch and scoring 7 touchdowns. He might get even more big-play chances with the arrival of Harvin and continued development of Peterson, who's complemented by veteran Chester Taylor. Peterson and Taylor combined for 146 rushing yards per game last fall, fifth best in the league. Second-year man Tyrell Johnson should slide in for Sharper and join Madieu Williams in providing a solid safety duo. This is a top-shelf defense capable of pushing the Vikings back to the postseason.

 

POTENTIAL KEY MATCHUPS: With so much new for the Browns, it's too early to tell exactly who will play where on opening day. But there are some intriguing potential battles...

 

Joe Thomas vs. Allen

 

Pro Bowler vs. Pro Bowler on the edge; Allen had 14 sacks last year after the Vikings gave up a first-rounder to get him from the Chiefs and gave him a rich new contract to change games the way he did.

 

Braylon Edwards vs. Winfield

 

Ahh, yes. The Michigan guy and the Ohio State guy. Winfield is coming off his first Pro Bowl appearance, and Edwards will be out to prove he shouldn't be left in single coverage against anyone.

 

The entire Browns defense vs. Peterson

 

It takes a total team effort to slow Peterson, and keeping him bottled up can handcuff the Vikings offense as a whole. When he gets going, things open up for the passing game in the middle and deep, and Berrian and Harvin are definite big-play threats.

 

It's 124 days until opening day...

 

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I see this game as the first winnable game on the schedule. The Vikings, while they have some talent, are not that good. They are looking at the forever never retiree, Brett Favre, as their possible starter at QB. Didn't last season prove that, at this stage in his career, he is just average? Regardless of Favre or not, they really haven't done anything to improve on their turnover ratio. Favre will throw plenty of picks and will provide a distraction, just like he did in NY. The Browns are greatly improved over last year. And they have all new coaching across the board, providing a new attitude that was never there before. As long as the players all pick up on the new schemes on time this team could start the season with a win!

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I agree with lcd...this game is quite winnable stop peterson and apply timely smart anticipated pressure on whomever is qbing for them...and score some points on offense...the vikes are a very good team but they depend heavily on 2 guys and this is a great game for demonstrating that our lb corp is vastly improved and play smart ball...im taking the browns in an upset here the first of many...;)

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If the "Williams Wall" Pat and Kevin, cant win their court battle with the NFL, regarding the "StarCaps" dieuretic, They will sit out 4 games. I personally hope this happens, so the Vikes defense may be a bit more vulnerable against the run, put more pressure on the linebackers. Jared Allen can get doubled more, and Brad Childress hot seat watch starts week 1! { and Brett Farve throws a few picks!!! maybe pick 6! } Hey, its still the off season, a guy can only hope and dream :P

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If the "Williams Wall" Pat and Kevin, cant win their court battle with the NFL, regarding the "StarCaps" dieuretic, They will sit out 4 games.

Good point.

 

Also ... whether it's Jackson, Sage or Favre... their QB will be turning the ball over ... that's the only thing those three have in common.

 

Zombo

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Guest Aloysius
NFL wins StarCaps case

By Jason Cole, Yahoo! Sports

 

The NFL earned a significant victory in the Minnesota federal court on Friday, a win that could hurt the Minnesota Vikings and New Orleans Saints in the upcoming season.

 

A federal judge dismissed the claims of five NFL players who had been suspended last season for use of a banned diuretic in the diet supplement StarCaps. Among the five are four starting defensive linemen for the Vikings and Saints, including Pro Bowl defensive tackles Pat Williams and Kevin Williams of Minnesota and starting defensive ends Charles Grant(notes) and Will Smith(notes) of New Orleans.

 

All four are expected to sit the first four games of next season without pay. Their suspensions had been blocked last season while U.S. district judge Paul Magnuson heard arguments from the league and the NFL Players Association.

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Be interesting to see if they take this in to appellate court.

 

 

NFLPA outside counsel Jeffrey Kessler issued this statement Saturday regarding Magnuson's ruling: "We are disappointed in the ruling and continue to believe that the NFL violated its fiduciary and health and safety obligations to the players. We will review the opinion with the players and their counsel and consider our appellate options."

 

Ginsberg said he hasn't discussed with the Williamses whether to appeal Magnuson's decision to throw out most of their claims but said he's happy to move forward with the case in state court.

 

http://www.twincities.com/ci_12438125?source=most_viewed

 

 

I think its slim to none they win. They just bought time for last years playoff push.

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I agree with lcd...this game is quite winnable stop peterson and apply timely smart anticipated pressure on whomever is qbing for them...and score some points on offense...the vikes are a very good team but they depend heavily on 2 guys and this is a great game for demonstrating that our lb corp is vastly improved and play smart ball...im taking the browns in an upset here the first of many...;)

 

YUP...that's all it is...

just apply that ole' timely smart anticipated pressure....on whomever!!...

God, the NFL is such a simple game!!! Now only if Romeo thought of that last year???

 

 

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  • 1 month later...
Guest Aloysius
NFL can't suspend Vikes ... yet

 

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- A judge has blocked NFL plans to suspend Minnesota Vikings players Kevin Williams and Pat Williams.

 

Hennepin County District Judge Gary Larson on Thursday granted the players' motion for a temporary restraining order. That keeps the NFL from suspending them until their case is decided.

 

That may be a while. The judge also scheduled a hearing for July 22 on whether he should put state court proceedings on hold while a federal appeals court considers other issues in the case.

 

The defensive tackles tested positive last summer for a banned diuretic that can mask the presence of steroids, though they've never been accused of taking steroids.

 

The NFL had intended to enforce the Williamses' four-game suspensions at the start of the upcoming season.

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I see this game as the first winnable game on the schedule. The Vikings, while they have some talent, are not that good. They are looking at the forever never retiree, Brett Favre, as their possible starter at QB. Didn't last season prove that, at this stage in his career, he is just average? Regardless of Favre or not, they really haven't done anything to improve on their turnover ratio. Favre will throw plenty of picks and will provide a distraction, just like he did in NY. The Browns are greatly improved over last year. And they have all new coaching across the board, providing a new attitude that was never there before. As long as the players all pick up on the new schemes on time this team could start the season with a win!

I love my Browns, but I don't think they'll win this first game based on what I know today.

 

We're unsettled at QB, we have an aging RB, we couldn't stop a 4th string RB from running the ball against us, we were not playing as a team offensively, and while improved on D we still could not stop teams when we had to. Nothing the Browns have done so far tells me they're a better team than the Vikings, who have a great defense, and if they get Favre will only make them better. If things really improve over the first 4 preseason games, I will change my mind. But as of now, what have they done? Added some avg players from the Jets and drafted one player who will make an impact from Day 1 - Mack.

 

The Browns are greatly improved over last year? Grealty?

 

Really?

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Good points dogg but what you're basing your opinion on is all about last year...

 

In 2009;

 

I think we're greatly improved in the coaching area.... Mangini is bringing a mind set that has been missing for quite some time.... We finally have a coordinator who is not a rookie (Ryan) and I believe our defense will finally make us proud....

 

I think we're greatly improved with addition by subtraction.... With Winslow gone we will finally have tight ends that can help the running game yet also be productive enough in the passing situations....

 

I think our defensive backs will be greatly improved as our corners will have an entire season under their belts and will play closer to their potential.... No longer will they have to contain the receivers for up to 6 seconds cause our D line and Linebackers will finally give us a pass rush......

 

If anything, all of our QB's sucked last year.... Average play by this years group would be a great improvement over last year---SO that position will be greatly improved.....

 

Stallworth gave us nothing and we sorely missed JJ.... Edwards was pushed into the "go to" receiver role which he is not suited for and the only way Winslow could get open was to push off which he was starting to get called for more frequently.... With the additions of new receivers I think this position will be greatly improved.....

 

Our offensive line should be greatly improved with the addition of Mack and the return of Tucker.... I think the players vying for Shaffers old job are head and shoulder better than he was.... He was a soft RT............

 

If we can stay healthy that would be a great improvemant over last year.... We were among the league leaders with players on the IR.....

 

peace

 

T.Dawg------ Im off to a jam session, back atcha later.....

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T. dawgt

 

If the browns walk away with a game 1 win it will be a large indicator for the rest of the season.

 

Farve could throw a bigger kink in the plans but a W will be a tell tale sign of good things to come.

 

A Loss shouldn't wipe us out as long as AP doesn't go apeshit on us.

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Every little bit helps, if it meant the Williamses were off the roster for game one, but looks like they will be in uniform ....

 

http://wcco.com/vikings/williams.vikings.nfl.2.1079039.html

 

 

"Hennepin County District Judge Gary Larson granted the players' request for a temporary restraining order that keeps the NFL from suspending them until their case is decided. The order also prohibits the league from subjecting them to extra drug testing."

 

 

"The Williamses, the players union and the NFL are all appealing various parts of that order. The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals has tentatively scheduled oral arguments for Aug. 18 in St. Paul."

 

 

8th circuit usually takes A LONG time to get a ruling. NFL is pissed at Minnesota / Henn Co. Judge Gary Larsen for sticking up for the home team.

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I think our defensive backs will be greatly improved as our corners will have an entire season under their belts and will play closer to their potential.... No longer will they have to contain the receivers for up to 6 seconds cause our D line and Linebackers will finally give us a pass rush......

I read this same line over and over last season. We'll see.

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I read this same line over and over last season. We'll see.

 

DD, I still don't see where we have a pass rush. It can only improve hopefully, but it's not like we have studs just waiting to be unleashed. I'm not sold on Wimbley whatsoever, but maybe they can get something out of him. It's a shame to waste Rogers.

 

We shall see.............

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Shep your post has a more in-depth view of our team but I think we're singing in the same choir.....

 

I realize at this time of year it's all on paper surrounded by speculation but for some reason I'm pretty optimistic.....

 

I swore that I would no longer drink the cool aid that they were serving in Berera but as things keep unfolding this new regime has me optimistic.....

 

I really can't fault any moves they made so far.... I questioned them not selecting Ray Ray when he fell so low but every other team in the league did the same.... Only time will tell on that one.....

 

Except for possibly 2 games our QB play last year really sucked..... Admittedly, other than the Giants game, I really didn't get to view many games but from what I've read and seen in tapes, QB was a position of terrible play---maybe the worst in the league, a real embarissment... The last 4 or 5 games we didn't really have a QB..... That position will be greatly improvrd this season if only by playing average.....

 

 

The offensive line potential has me drooling... This unit could turn out to be the premier line in the league.... With a dominant line it gives the offense so many variables that it becomes difficult to game plan for them....

 

We finally have a defensive coordinator with experience and in Ryans case, some good genetics..... I'm so fed up with rookie coordinators it makes me want to barf.... Not since we had Fazio & Ariens (sic) have we had any experience at those hugely important positions on our coaching staff.....

 

Injuries are of my biggest concern.... We must stay healthy even though we have great depth at most positions....

 

For the 1st time in years I have a really good feeling for this squad..... I wouldn't be overly surprised if we would win 10 or more games.... The vibes just feel right so far this year....

 

I'm officially on the bandwagon and am hoping for one hell of a ride....

 

peace

 

T.Dawg

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