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 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.

Episode 69: Listen: WR Stefon Diggs goes inside the 2016 Vikings season

Breaking down the Jacksonville victory and digesting the news on Sharrif Floyd and Adrian Peterson. 23:00: Stefon Diggs breaks down the crazy season-to-date. 35:00: Are the Lions Super Bowl contenders? 40:00: Diggs rejoins, opines on Old Bay seasoning. 45:00: Will the Vikings beat the sliding Colts?

Episode 68: Listen: Turnover-prone Blake Bortles might be what reeling Vikings need

Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles (5) slides in front of Oakland Raiders outside linebacker Malcolm Smith (53) during the fourth quarter of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 23, 2016, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton)

Can the Vikings take advantage of the NFL's interception leader in Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles? What will they do without safety Harrison Smith? Why could center Joe Berger (or Nick Easton) play a critical role on Sunday in Jacksonville? And Matt Vensel has sensitive eyes.

Episode 67: Listen: Will Adrian Peterson return to save the Vikings before it's too late?

Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (28) on the sideline at U.S. Bank Stadium Thursday December 01,2016 in Minneapolis MN. The Minnesota Vikings hosted the Dallas Cowboys

Intro: Recapping the Dallas game, another crunch-time loss. 13:00: Chip Scoggins joins to talk about Mike Zimmer's eye problems. 19:00: The playoff picture is looking dire. 30:00: Will Adrian Peterson be healthy this year, and will it be too late? 42:00: The Jaguars are bad.

Episode : Access Vikings podcast: Assessing the Vikings' playoff chances with five games to go

Lack of big plays is an epidemic on offense. Jerick McKinnon is part of a Vikings running game that averages just 2.8 yards per carry.

- Can the Vikings get their act together in time to make the playoffs? We look around the NFC and assess their chances. - Will they start the turnaround against Dallas, the NFC's top team? We delve into that difficult matchup for the Vikings defense. - Also, special guest Mark Craig joins to discuss the Vikings season, playoff hopes and his book: "100 Things Vikings Fans Should Know and Do Before They Die."

Episode 64: Listen: Vikings get off the schneid with first win in over a month

Xavier Rhodes (29) intercepted a Carson Palmer pass and returned 100-yard for a touchdown in the second quarter.

In this Access Vikings game plan podcast, reporters Matt Vensel and Andrew Krammer and columnist Chip Scoggins recap the wild and imperfect win over Arizona and what to make of the defensive effort. They talk about Xavier Rhodes, who was Sunday's hero, but is still seeking consistency, and ask whether Cordarrelle Patterson has now earned another contract in Minnesota? They also look ahead to the Vikings-Lions, who faced off just three weeks ago.

Episode 63: Listen: Are the Vikings catching Carson Palmer at the right time?

Carson Palmer (3) attempted a pass in the third quarter.

In this Access Vikings game plan podcast, reporters Matt Vensel and Andrew Krammer also discuss the Vikings' toughest running back test yet in David Johnson, what to expect from the Stefon Diggs-Patrick Peterson matchup, and whether Arizona's so-so protection will allow the Vikings' pass rush to find a groove again?