Chris Tomasson / St. Paul Pioneer Press
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn.—Vikings coach Mike Zimmer figures it's time to branch out. Zimmer, a longtime defensive coordinator, spent most of his first three seasons as the Vikings' head coach working on that side of the ball. There have been few complaints about a unit that last season ranked third in the NFL in total defense. The offense, though, has been a different story. With the Vikings coming off a season in which they ranked 28th in total offense, Zimmer is looking to be more involved in that area.
MINNEAPOLIS — Vikings coach Mike Zimmer received good news from his eye doctor this week. Zimmer, who has had eight surgeries on his right eye since last November, said he was told Wednesday, June 14 his "retina is perfect" and "pressure is great." Zimmer missed two weeks of practice after his most recent surgery, on May 17, but said he doesn't expect his eye condition to prevent him from working the rest of the summer. Zimmer, though, did say he was informed by his eye doctor it's possible he could have a future issue with his left eye.
MINNEAPOLIS — Vikings coach Mike Zimmer predicted last August that Edmond Robinson would become a "really good linebacker someday.'' That time might arrive soon. Entering his third season, Robinson has emerged as perhaps the leading candidate to replace the retired Chad Greenway as Minnesota's starting weak-side linebacker. "I think I'm head over heels better than last year," Robinson said. "I know the playbook better. I feel I'm moving better. I'm a little stronger. Mentally, I'm stronger and I understand everything a lot better."
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn.—Robert Smith didn't rush for 1,000 yards until his fifth Vikings season. He figures Dalvin Cook might get off to much quicker NFL start than that. Smith, the second-leading rusher in Minnesota history, chatted with Cook, a Vikings rookie running back, after a Wednesday morning organized team activities session. Then Smith played in the annual Vikings charity golf tournament at The Meadows at Mystic Lake in Prior Lake.
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — It doesn't sound as if the Vikings will be going after former University of Minnesota star receiver Eric Decker. General manager Mike Maccagnan said Tuesday, June 6, that if the New York Jets can't trade Decker, they will move forward without him.
The Vikings finally signed former Nebraska quarterback Tommy Armstrong, adding him to the roster Tuesday as a safety. Armstrong told the Pioneer Press on May 7 the Vikings planned to sign the undrafted rookie to play safety. But he said four days later he was told they didn't have room for him on the 90-man offseason roster. On Tuesday, May 30, Minnesota waived receiver Mitch Mathews to add Armstrong to the roster. Mathews was undrafted in 2016 out of Brigham Young and spent time last year on Cleveland's practice squad.
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn.—The Vikings released a video of Teddy Bridgewater throwing to teammates during organized team activities on Tuesday, but the team is still uncertain about whether the 2014 first-round draft pick will ever play in the NFL again. "This entire organization (is) just hoping that eventually he'll be able to come back on the field, but that's still the unknown," general manager Rick Spielman said Wednesday.
The NFL Players Association has advised agents for the Vikings' 11 draft picks not to sign contracts yet because of specific language in the proposed deals that the union believes violates the league's collective bargaining agreement. The Vikings began organized team activities Tuesday, May 23, without a single pick signed, but all 11 practiced under injury protection agreements. NFLPA assistant executive director George Atallah said the union supports rookies eager to start their NFL careers, but advises them to be aware of what they're signing.
MINNEAPOLIS — After yet another surgery on his right eye, Mike Zimmer will not coach the Vikings when organized team activities begin Tuesday, May 23 and will a take a few weeks off from coaching, the team announced Monday. General manager Rick Spielman released a statement Monday following Zimmer last Wednesday having his eighth eye surgery since last November.
ST. PAUL — A retirement party last June for former Cretin-Derham Hall High School football coaches Mike and Mal Scanlan drew an unexpected guest: Michael Floyd. Floyd, who had starred at wide receiver for the Raiders a decade earlier, had gotten wind of the Scanlans being honored at St. Paul's Plums Bar & Grill. Mike was his head coach, and Mal an offensive assistant. "He came in and he gave me a nice congratulatory hug and best wishes," Mike Scanlan said. "That was very thoughtful of him. That's the kind of guy he is."