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Mark Craig

Reporter/Columnist | Vikings/NFL
phone: 612-673-7011
Mark Craig covers the NFL and the Vikings.
Recent content from Mark Craig
Craig: Bridgewater aims for lofty completion percentage in second year

Craig: Bridgewater aims for lofty completion percentage in second year

Teddy Bridgewater's goal is to complete more than 70 percent of his passes.
Hodges gets next start at middle linebacker for Vikings

Hodges gets next start at middle linebacker for Vikings

Gerald Hodges, a backup at both outside linebacker positions, will get the start at middle linebacker in the Vikings’ preseason game in Dallas on Saturday.
Kendricks gets a leg up in battle for Vikings' middle linebacker job

Kendricks gets a leg up in battle for Vikings' middle linebacker job

The Vikings aren’t ready to announce their starting middle linebacker for the fourth preseason game, but second-round draft pick Eric Kendricks hasn’t hurt his chances of ultimately securing the job for the Sept. 14 season opener.
Route to Vikings bench is still in Patterson's hands

Route to Vikings bench is still in Patterson's hands

No one’s quite sure how long it will take to polish Cordarrelle Patterson’s raw ability, so, he appears to be a role player without much of a role behind Charles Johnson, Mike Wallace and Jarius Wright.
Vikings need backup plan to the backup plan at offensive line

Vikings need backup plan to the backup plan at offensive line

Phil Loadholt and Carter Bykowski are out due to season-ending injuries and T.J. Clemmings is the starter at right tackle. David Yankey and Tyrus Thompson are the new men trying to be the next man at tackle.
Craig: Improving run defense is Vikings' priority

Craig: Improving run defense is Vikings' priority

As the Vikings showed vs. Bucs, proper positioning is the key to improvement.
Adam Thielen still battling to make roster

Adam Thielen still battling to make roster

Wide receiver Adam Thielen, whose fate in 2015 is up in the air, made the roster last season after making the practice squad in 2013.
Vikings quarterbacks set a speedy tempo vs. Bucs

Vikings quarterbacks set a speedy tempo vs. Bucs

What stood out most about the Vikings on Saturday was the speed with which quarterbacks Teddy Bridgewater and Shaun Hill played both mentally and physically.
Rookie RT Clemmings thrust into role as possible starter

Rookie RT Clemmings thrust into role as possible starter

Clemmings didn’t look crisp, but he also didn’t appear to make any glaring errors in Saturday's preseason game.
Long shot Peters relying on hope, confidence to make Vikings roster

Long shot Peters relying on hope, confidence to make Vikings roster

Brian Peters won’t be a Hall of Famer. But he’d settle for being the next Heath Farwell, an undersized linebacker who went from undrafted rookie to Pro Bowl special teamer
Vikings notes: Zimmer's late father 'a heck of a mentor'

Vikings notes: Zimmer's late father 'a heck of a mentor'

Bill Zimmer passed away Tuesday night in Naples, Fla., at the age of 84.
Craig: 'I don't know' is OK answer about upcoming Vikings season

Craig: 'I don't know' is OK answer about upcoming Vikings season

We all could take a deep breath, tone down the hype and admit we don’t know how the Vikings will do this year.
Tight end Rudolph gives Bridgewater a comfort zone

Tight end Rudolph gives Bridgewater a comfort zone

Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is confident his tight end will be in the right place at the right time.
Vikings rookie Stefon Diggs impressive, but had plenty of help

Vikings rookie Stefon Diggs impressive, but had plenty of help

Fleet feet weren’t the only reasons behind Stefon Diggs’ 62-yard punt return during the Vikings’ 14-3 victory over the Steelers in Sunday night’s Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio.
Vikings starters look sharp in stopping Steelers

Vikings starters look sharp in stopping Steelers

Both starting units played only one series as a group before turning things over to backups that made enough plays to silence a pro-Steelers crowd . Teddy Bridgewater threw six passes, completing five.
Adrian Peterson still driven to be NFL's best ever

Adrian Peterson still driven to be NFL's best ever

As Sunday's Hall of Fame Game looms to kick off the Vikings' season, Adrian Peterson vows to be best player in NFL history.
Tingelhoff's Hall-of-Fame induction short but sweet

Tingelhoff's Hall-of-Fame induction short but sweet

A 1 minute, 14 second NFL Hall of Fame acceptance speech was handled by Mick Tingelhoff’s presenter, Vikings Hall-of-Fame quarterback Fran Tarkenton
Tingelhoff takes a break to prepare for NFL Hall of Fame induction Saturday

Tingelhoff takes a break to prepare for NFL Hall of Fame induction Saturday

The 75-year-old skipped a media event Friday as the week caught up to him.
Vikings great Tingelhoff well-suited for Hall of Fame induction weekend

Vikings great Tingelhoff well-suited for Hall of Fame induction weekend

Vikings great Mick Tingelhoff finally donned the gold jacket of a Hall of Fame member.
Vikings graced by numerous ironman streaks

Vikings graced by numerous ironman streaks

The Vikings have been blessed with a number of players who have put together long streaks of consecutive played games, which aren't expected to be as common anymore.

Chart: NFL's iron men

NFL’s iron menThirteen NFL players have started at least 200 consecutive regular-season games, and five have played for the Vikings. A look at those 13:
Vikings notes: Wright carries on for Childs (and all of Arkansas)

Vikings notes: Wright carries on for Childs (and all of Arkansas)

Jarius Wright is thankful for his NFL career, especially because his best friend Greg Childs, the former Vikings and Arkansas receiver, has suffered another injury setback in the CFL.
Vikings tailbacks in a rush to step up their pass protection

Vikings tailbacks in a rush to step up their pass protection

Pass protection is really, really hard for an NFL running back. So hard that even Adrian Peterson isn’t great at it. But keeping Teddy Bridgewater upright will be vital to the Vikings success.
Top honors, at last, for Vikings' Tingelhoff

Top honors, at last, for Vikings' Tingelhoff

The durable, tenacious center finally gets his day in the football sun as he prepares for Canton.
Vikings seek a role for linebacker Hodges

Vikings seek a role for linebacker Hodges

The Vikings tried Gerald Hodges in the middle "just to see what he’s like in there.”
Vikings day at camp: Perfect weather upon return

Vikings day at camp: Perfect weather upon return

A daily dispatch from Mankato:
Vikings notes: Patterson 'impressive,' according to Zimmer

Vikings notes: Patterson 'impressive,' according to Zimmer

Third-year receiver Cordarrelle Patterson has mostly worked with the second team during training camp but has impressed coach Mike Zimmer.
Vikings backup QB is no ordinary 'Hank'

Vikings backup QB is no ordinary 'Hank'

Shaun Hill has built a name for himself heading into his 14th NFL season. That wasn’t the case during his first go-round with the Vikings.
New deal for Harrison Smith will wait for now

New deal for Harrison Smith will wait for now

“The contract stuff doesn’t really come into my mindset when I step on the field,” Smith said. “When I’m on the field, I want to go make plays. End of story.”
Vikings notes: Kicker Walsh gets four-year, $14 million extension

Vikings notes: Kicker Walsh gets four-year, $14 million extension

The new contract makes Blair Walsh the fourth-highest paid kicker in the NFL.

Craig: With Peterson back, expectations soar for the Vikings

The Vikings are a trendy playoff pick with Adrian Peterson here.
Craig: A wild decade of Vikings ownership for Wilfs

Craig: A wild decade of Vikings ownership for Wilfs

The Vikings have been under Wilf ownership since 2005.
Craig: Norv Turner the big winner with Peterson back

Craig: Norv Turner the big winner with Peterson back

On Tuesday, a ball was snapped on the first play of Adrian Peterson’s first on-field football activity since last September. “Everybody knew Adrian was getting the ball,” Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said.
Vikings notes: Changing guard helps rookie

Vikings notes: Changing guard helps rookie

Although he admits it could benefit struggling left tackle Matt Kalil, Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said the decision to move Brandon Fusco from right to left guard had nothing to do with that.
Craig: Undrafted safety Harris can intercept passes — a Vikings' need

Craig: Undrafted safety Harris can intercept passes — a Vikings' need

Intercepting the opposing quarterback can be a wonderful, game-altering experience. The Vikings should try it more often.
Craig: Lots to like/dislike in NFL draft

Craig: Lots to like/dislike in NFL draft

Among the things to 'like' about this year's NFL draft: The Vikings' Rick Spielman keeping Adrian Peterson and ignoring agent Ben Dogra’s unprofessional behavior
Vikings add Kendricks, Hunter to defense on Day 2 of draft

Vikings add Kendricks, Hunter to defense on Day 2 of draft

The Vikings took UCLA linebacker Eric Kendricks, then added LSU defensive end Danielle Hunter.
Craig: Character issues key story line at draft

Craig: Character issues key story line at draft

Jameis Winston goes No. 1, but others fall down the board.
Chart: First-round projections for Packers, Bears, Lions

Chart: First-round projections for Packers, Bears, Lions

Look for the other NFC North teams to address some beefy needs over flashy skill players
'Trader Rick' Spielman a master of the draft-day deal

'Trader Rick' Spielman a master of the draft-day deal

If history is a guide, GM Rick Spielman has a bit of draft-day razzle-dazzle up his sleeve.
After NFL draft, it's hectic looking for undrafted gems

After NFL draft, it's hectic looking for undrafted gems

Managing the organized chaos that takes place after the NFL draft concludes takes a team effort by the coaching and scouting staffs.
Vikings, others intrigued by college basketball player Ross

Vikings, others intrigued by college basketball player Ross

Richard Ross is an Old Dominion basketball player and aspiring NFL tight end who hasn’t played a down of football since Week 1 of the 2009 Texas high school season.
Judge OKs $1 billion settlement for NFL players' lifetime injuries

Judge OKs $1 billion settlement for NFL players' lifetime injuries

Appeals could delay payment as many are dissatisfied.
Feb. 22: For NFL players, concussions leave legacy of pain, uncertainty

Feb. 22: For NFL players, concussions leave legacy of pain, uncertainty

Settlement of the concussion lawsuit is near, but even those who are accepting it aren’t sure how much they’ll benefit.
NFL Insider: Moss trade looked good for Vikings, at first

NFL Insider: Moss trade looked good for Vikings, at first

McCombs got what he wanted in top-10 pick, starting linebacker — but deal didn’t pay off for Vikings
Draft season means venturing into the great unknown

Draft season means venturing into the great unknown

The days are dwindling before NFL GMs must choose their next crop of promising players.
Chart: Five up, five down in the NFL draft

Chart: Five up, five down in the NFL draft

Too bad there isn’t a combine drill that measures heart, passion and how a young man will react to the pressure, the riches and the…
Peterson cleared to rejoin Vikings, but will he?

Peterson cleared to rejoin Vikings, but will he?

The NFL ended Adrian Peterson's seven-month exile, but pressing questions remain for the future of the Vikings' running back.
Masters foretells Ryder Cup intrigue

Masters foretells Ryder Cup intrigue

Upcoming ’16 showdown at Hazeltine is looking good for the U.S.
Adrian Peterson's fate remains uncertain

Adrian Peterson's fate remains uncertain

NFL spokesman says eligibility decision might not come Wednesday.
Vikings pursuing defensive end Michael Johnson

Vikings pursuing defensive end Michael Johnson

The Vikings were interested in Michael Johnson last year, but he’s suddenly available now.
Craig: Vikings make safe, splashy move for Wallace

Craig: Vikings make safe, splashy move for Wallace

The Vikings have a core philosophy that doesn’t mesh with the frenzy of free agency and the modern NFL fan’s insatiable appetite for new signings…
Chart: Moving week in the NFL

Chart: Moving week in the NFL

With so many moving parts during NFL free agency, it can be difficult to keep up with all the changes. Here are some of the…
Vikings trade for talented, turbulent receiver Wallace

Vikings trade for talented, turbulent receiver Wallace

A Vikings' fifth-round pick fetched receiver Mike Wallace, who appeared to wear out his welcome in Miami.
Craig: In NFL free agency, it's buyer beware

Craig: In NFL free agency, it's buyer beware

There are plenty of general managers with cap space to spare who are ready to roll the dice.
Chart: NFL free agents to take or leave

Chart: NFL free agents to take or leave

NFL teams can talk to all free agents beginning Saturday and start signing them at 3 p.m. on Tuesday. Must-have players will fill holes ahead…
Craig: Peterson, Vikings need face-to-face talk

Craig: Peterson, Vikings need face-to-face talk

At some point, the battle between Adrian Peterson, the NFL and the Vikings will end. For now, at least the talking can begin.

Hazeltine is a special course for Lehman

Tom Lehman said he’s had a soft spot for Hazeltine National Golf Club for most of his adult life.“There was a time in my life…
Ryder Cup captain Love adds Lehman to staff

Ryder Cup captain Love adds Lehman to staff

Tom Lehman was announced Tuesday as one of four vice captains who will assist 2016 U.S. Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III when the prestigious biennial match-play event makes its Minnesota debut at Hazeltine National Golf Club.
Craig: Belichick will retire. Someday. Maybe.

Craig: Belichick will retire. Someday. Maybe.

With four Lombardi Trophies in six tries, the Patriots coach shows no signs of slowing down, even at age 62.
Brady, Butler catapult Patriots to fourth Super Bowl crown

Brady, Butler catapult Patriots to fourth Super Bowl crown

The Patriots’ legacies were pumped up by big plays down the stretch.
Kevin Williams' big play was all for naught

Kevin Williams' big play was all for naught

Former Viking’s stop could have been game-winner .
Pete Carroll, Bill Belichick tethered in time

Pete Carroll, Bill Belichick tethered in time

Once upon a time the Patriots fired Pete Carroll to hire Bill Belichick. Sunday they meet as head coaches in the Super Bowl.
Long wait is over: Tingelhoff elected to Pro Football Hall of Fame

Long wait is over: Tingelhoff elected to Pro Football Hall of Fame

In his 32nd year of eligibility, former Vikings center Mick Tingelhoff is in the NFL Hall of Fame
Mick Tingelhoff on verge of finally making NFL Hall of Fame

Mick Tingelhoff on verge of finally making NFL Hall of Fame

Former Vikings center Mick Tingelhoff is in his 31st year of being eligible for the pro football’s greatest honor. This could be the year.
Pro Football Hall of Fame finalists

Pro Football Hall of Fame finalists

The Pro Football Hall of Fame could add as many as eight members Saturday.
Bridgewater wins fan-vote rookie of the year; eager to play in Super Bowl someday

Bridgewater wins fan-vote rookie of the year; eager to play in Super Bowl someday

Teddy Bridgewater said he wants to play at his next Super Bowl.
Former Viking Farwell turns injury into internship

Former Viking Farwell turns injury into internship

Special-teams standout thought his days were numbered in Seattle, but they made him a ‘coach.’
Craig: Gronkowski is a big man on a big stage

Craig: Gronkowski is a big man on a big stage

The Pats’ 6-6, 265-pound mismatch is hard to keep up with either way.
Craig: Seahawks defense bids to be the best

Craig: Seahawks defense bids to be the best

Fans of the ’76 Steelers or ’85 Bears might disagree, but the stingy Seahawks defense is on the verge of a best-ever season.
Revis? Sherman? Who's the fairest cornerback of all?

Revis? Sherman? Who's the fairest cornerback of all?

Brandon Browner isn’t saying, but he’s played with — and been impressed by — Darrelle Revis and Richard Sherman.
Ex-Viking Williams soaks in the Super Bowl scene

Ex-Viking Williams soaks in the Super Bowl scene

Five interview booths and a much greater distance in terms of social maturity separated teammates Marshawn Lynch and Kevin Williams during Tuesday’s Super Bowl Media Day session.
Craig: Ringmasters Brady, Belichick rule Media Day circus

Craig: Ringmasters Brady, Belichick rule Media Day circus

New England's Tom Brady and Bill Belichick took Media Day’s best shots in stride Tuesday.
Craig: Despite success, Belichick still worries about little things

Craig: Despite success, Belichick still worries about little things

The Patriots coach has proved himself, but little things still concern him.
Mark Craig's Super Bowl story lines

Mark Craig's Super Bowl story lines

Five Super Bowl story lines that have nothing to do with “Deflategate.”
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