Access Vikings | Star Tribune
Access Vikings

Access Vikings

Vikings beat writer Matt Vensel and Digital Sports Editor Michael Rand are bringing all you football enthusiasts another way to stay connected to the purple. Consider this podcast to be similar to any Vikings season: full of ups and downs, but never boring.

Episode 89: Listen: 17 things we know about the Vikings heading into training camp

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (5) joins other quarterbacks including Sam Bradford, right, during the NFL football teams practice Tuesday, June 6, 2017, in Eden Prairie, Minn. Bridgewater is recovering from a knee injury that kept him out last season. Bradford was signed to replace him as starting quarterback.

Intro: Breaking down what we learned during OTAs and minicamp; three hot takes (and a couple really hot ones) about the Vikings; will this be the last training camp in Mankato?

Episode 88: Listen: Who are the breakout and bounceback players for 2017 Vikings?

Vikings cornerback Mackensie Alexander worked on drills Wednesday in Eden Prairie.

Intro: What did we learn from OTAs so far: 15:00: Who are Vikings candidates to break out and bounce back this year? Are they going 'backwards' as one NFL executive said? 31:00: Which Viking would you want to take a long car ride with? 40:00: Twitter questions.

Episode 87: Listen: How are Teddy and Zimmer? Which Viking would you live with?

Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater embraced coach Mike Zimmer at the end of a 2015 game.

Intro: What did we learn about Teddy Bridgewater's recovery and Mike Zimmer's eye in the last two weeks? 26:00: More nuggets from OTAs, including the configuration of the rebuilt offensive line and picking your ideal Viking roommate. 45:00: Your good questions.

Episode 86: Listen: Bridgewater's recovery takes interesting turn with Zimmer comments

Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer addressed the press a news conference during the first day of Vikings rookie minicamp at Winter Park, Friday, May 5, 2017 in Eden Prairie, MN.

Intro: Vikings coach Mike Zimmer had a lot of interesting things to say at rookie minicamp, including optimism about Teddy Bridgewater's eventual return. What does it mean? 16:00: Get to know the Vikings rookies. 25:00: Will Zimmer be tougher on his players this year? 32:00: Marion Barber II gets his college degree. 35:00: 8.5 wins -- over or under for the Vikings?

Episode 85: Listen: Recapping the Vikings' 2017 NFL draft and top pick Dalvin Cook

Former Minnesota Vikings player John Randle, right, announces Florida State's Dalvin Cook as the Vikings selection in the second round of the 2017 NFL football draft as NFL commissioner Roger Goodell stands by, Friday, April 28, 2017, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Intro: Columnist Chip Scoggins joins. We go pick-by-pick recapping the Vikings' 11-man draft class for 2017. (19:15) Our thoughts on Rick Spielman's trade-heavy approach that landed nine Day 3 picks. (26:30) The MMQB's Robert Klemko joins to discuss his profile on Dalvin Cook, a potential star with off-field concerns. (40:00) What will the backfield look like with Cook, Latavius Murray and Jerick McKinnon? (45:20) What about the new guys and openings on defense? (50:15) We attempt to answer your Twitter questions.

Episode 84: Listen: NFL draft is near; who will the Vikings take?

Minnesota Vikings general manager Rick Spielman speaks during a press conference at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, Wednesday, March 1, 2017. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Intro: A look at the Vikings' major areas of need in the draft; 20:00: Matt Vensel's round-by-round Vikings mock draft. 38:00: All-time Vikings draft steals. 43:00: Wait, Adrian Peterson might sign with the Saints and play against the Vikings in week 1?

Episode 83: Listen: With draft approaching, are Vikings in the mix for Mixon?

FILE - In this Sept. 19, 2015, file photo, Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon (25) before the start of an NCAA college football game against Tulsa in Norman, Okla. In a video released by the Norman Police Department, Amelia Molitor said a group of men with Mixon sexually harassed her and she rejected Mixon's advances before Mixon punched her and broke bones in her face in July 2014. (AP Photo/Alonzo Adams, File)

Open: Catching up on significant recent news, including Teddy Bridgewater's throwing video and Sharrif Floyd's injury update; 18:00: Draft expert Matt Miller of Bleacher Report checks in on Vikings options, including controversial running back Joe Mixon; 40:00: Twitter questions galore.

Episode 82: Listen: Are the Vikings better off now than they were last year?

Oakland Raiders running back Latavius Murray (28) celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the Houston Texans in the first quarter of the AFC Wild Card Playoff at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas, on Saturday, Jan. 7, 2017. The Texans won, 27-14. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group/TNS) ORG XMIT: 1195715

Intro: Breaking down the Latavius Murray signing and what it means for Adrian Peterson. 16:00: A lot of free agents decided not to sign with the Vikings. Why? 21:00: A bunch of them did sign, though. Are the Vikings better now than they were last year? 30:00: What holes are left to fill and who would start if the season began right now?

Episode 81: Listen: Are the Vikings doing enough in free agency?

FILE - In this Oct. 2, 2016, file photo, Detroit Lions tackle Riley Reiff (71) sets to black against the Chicago Bears during an NFL football game in Chicago. The Minnesota Vikings have signed former Detroit Lions offensive tackle Riley Reiff. The Vikings announced the deal on Friday, March 10, 2017. (AP Photo/Jeff Haynes, File)

Intro: Looking at the Vikings' two new offensive tackles; 12:00 -- so how are the Vikings doing in free agency? 22:00 -- Why didn't Alshon Jeffery sign here? 28:00 -- What about Eddie Lacy vs. Adrian Peterson; 34:00 -- A lot of Vikings players are leaving, and Rhett Ellison's dad spouted off about the organization.

Episode 80: Listen: Are the Vikings going to sign some offensive linemen or what?

Preston Smith (94) celebrated after sacking Sam Bradford for a 14-yard loss late in the fourth quarter.

Intro: With free agency starting Thursday, what exactly are the Vikings going to do. So many teams need offensive linemen, just like them. 20:00: And then there's the question of what happens with Adrian Peterson. 32:00: Giving retiring LB Chad Greenway his due.

Episode 79: Listen: Are the Vikings done with Peterson, and is their new RB at the combine?

Adrian Peterson, the soon-to-be 32-year-old will likely have to continue his chase of the career rushing record elsewhere.

Intro: Taking a look at the ripple effect of news that the Vikings won't pick up Adrian Peterson's option. 13:00: Story lines out of the NFL Combine with free agency looming next week. 30:00: Strengths and weaknesses by position at the NFL Draft.

Episode 78: Listen: What moves should the Vikings make? One attempt at an 'ideal' offseason

Xavier Rhodes celebrated his second interception of the game, a deep Carson Palmer pass intended for Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Michael Floyd in the third quarter.

Open: Columnist Chip Scoggins joins. Does he sound like Tony Gwynn? 2:55: The guys take control of the Vikings' reins for an 'ideal' offseason. 6:10: How much should go into a Xavier Rhodes extension? 9:20: On the Adrian Peterson decision. 18:30: Who to keep among Vikings' free agents? Captain Munnerlyn? Cordarrelle Patterson? 30:50: Into free agency, where a few tackles intrigue. Andrew Whitworth? Rick Wagner? 40:11: Mocking a Vikings draft after all our moves. Still an offensive lineman with the first pick? Where do they invest in a running back? 48:55: Plan at QB? Pick up Teddy Bridgewater's option? Extend Sam Bradford? 51:30: We're $45 million over the cap.

Episode 77: Listen: The Minneapolis Super Bowl is a year away; can the Vikings make it?

U.S. Bank Stadium will host the Super Bowl next year, which gives the Vikings the opportunity to become the first team to play the Super Bowl in their home venue.

Open: What do the Vikings have to do to be this year's Falcons and get to the Super Bowl Minneapolis is hosting next year? 22:00: What will it be like to have the Super Bowl here? 31:00: Maureen Bausch, CEO of Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee, joins. 45:00: Your questions.

Episode 76: Listen: Grading the 2016 Vikings and looking ahead to the 2017 draft

A busy Vikings offseason will include decisions on several veterans, including, clockwise from upper left, QB Sam Bradford, DB Terence Newman, RB Adrian Peterson and LB Chad Greenway.

Intro: What have we learned from the playoffs so far and is Sam Bradford ELITE; 15:00 -- Dane Brugler of CBS Sports joins to talk NFL draft and the Vikings options. 35:00 -- Breaking down Andrew Krammer's team grades. 43:00 -- Listener questions.

Episode 75: Listen: Five burning offseason questions for the Vikings

Adrian Peterson cleans out his locker.

Part II of our massive season-ending podcast: Five burning offseason questions. Which Vikings will stay and which will go? What are the biggest positions of need to address in the draft and free agency?

Episode 74: Listen: Mike Zimmer solved the offseason QB dilemma, but others remain

While acknowledging at his season-ending news conference that there is still no timetable for Teddy Bridgewater’s return and not denying there is a chance that the devastating knee injury might have ended Bridgewater’s career, Vikings coach Mike Zimmer endorsed Sam Bradford, who was 7-8 as the starter in 2016.

Intro: Breaking down Vikings coach Mike Zimmer's comment that Sam Bradford has earned the right to start. 20:00: What about Pat Shurmur, Adrian Peterson and other decisions? 35:00: Season awards. 42:00 Drew Magary joins and tries not to swear.

Episode 73: Listen: Several players may be taking last snaps as Vikings on Sunday

Minnesota Vikings cornerback Captain Munnerlyn (24), left running back Adrian Peterson (28) , and linebacker Kentrell Brothers (40) on the sideline late in the forth quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium Sunday December 18,2016 in Minneapolis, MN.

Intro: Andrew Krammer and Matt Vensel take a different approach to breaking down Sunday's Vikings season finale vs. the Bears. (2:20) Have Vikings like Adrian Peterson and Matt Kalil already played their last game in Minnesota? (8:50) Are Cordarrelle Patterson, Captain Munnerlyn and others playing their last Vikings games on Sunday? (24:10) A brief preview on the Bears, QB Matt Barkley and RB Jordan Howard. (28:40) Krammer and Vensel are split on Sunday's winner.

Episode 72: Listen: Untangling the Vikings' DB mess and 2016 with Patrick Reusse

Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers celebrates his touchdown run with fans during the first half of an NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings Saturday, Dec. 24, 2016, in Green Bay, Wis.

Intro: Matt Vensel and Andrew Krammer are joined by Patrick Reusse to untangle the Vikings' coverage mess at Lambeau. (2:00) So, what happened? (18:40) Adam Thielen, 'one of the greatest stories in team history' (32:30) Where does 2016 rank among bizarre Vikings seasons? 2010? 1972? (39:00) Looking ahead to Sunday's season finale vs. the Bears. (44:20) Twitter questions on the 2017 offseason

Episode 71: Listen: Did the Vikings defense break after carrying the load?

Linval Joseph sacked Packers QB Aaron Rodgers on their final drive.

Intro: Jon Krawczynski of the Associated Press joins us to recap the Vikings' colossal letdown against the Colts. 5:00: Was Linval Joseph's gaffe an example of trying to do too much? 20:45: Krawczynski on the Gophers football scandal, Vikings' off-field troubles. 36:00: Nonsense with Terence Newman, talking his love for golf. 40:30: Previewing the Vikings' task in Green Bay on Saturday. 50:55: Twitter mailbag looking ahead to the 2017 offseason.

Episode 70: Listen: Why the Vikings' pass rush could have a big day vs. Colts, Andrew Luck

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (12) throws a pass by Minnesota Vikings outside linebacker Chad Greenway (52) during NFL matchup between the Minnesota Vikings and the Colts Sunday September 16, 2012, in Indianapolis, IN. at Lucas Oil Stadium. ] Jerry Holt/ STAR TRIBUNE.COM)

Breaking down the upcoming Vikings-Colts game with playoff implications for both teams. 00:25: Andrew Luck is on pace for a career-worst sack total and the Vikings' rushers are surging. 9:45: Sam Bradford dealing with a right shoulder injury. What to make of Adrian Peterson's return to practice? 24:30: DT Tom Johnson talks the start of his career in Indy as an undrafted free agent and the time they sent him to the now-defunct NFL Europe. 28:00: Andrew and Matt pick their 'X factors' for Sunday's game vs. the Colts.