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Vikings offensive line remains a concerning work in progress

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, allow me to sound the alarm again: The single biggest concern about the Vikings going into 2018 is their offensive line and that unit’s ability to protect $84 million QB Kirk Cousins.

On this front, there actually was a welcome development (if indeed it stays that way) in OTAs. Our Andrew Krammer reported Wednesday that Mike Remmers was working as the first team right tackle, with Riley Reiff at left tackle.

That stands in contrary to the Vikings alignment in the playoffs, when Remmers slid to guard and Rashod Hill started at tackle. That did not go well. Krammer reports that Mike Zimmer said Hill was “banged up,” explaining Remmers working as the first team tackle, but hopefully that’s a permanent change. Hill should be the swing tackle while rookie second-round pick Brian O’Neill develops.

However: If the Vikings had an inkling they were going to go in this direction — if indeed Remmers stays at tackle, and it’s only May so that’s subject to change — it really makes their decision not to be more aggressive in upgrading at guard in the offseason even more curious.

We talked about that very thing, by the way, on this week’s Access Vikings podcast. Give it a listen and subscribe here.

Veteran Tom Compton was brought in, and he was working with the first team at right guard Wednesday while Nick Easton shifted to center while Pat Elflein was out. Danny Isidora was the left guard.

Pro Football Focus graded guard Joe Berger as the Vikings’ top offensive lineman last year. Remmers was their highest-graded tackle, and at least (for now) that’s where he’s situated.

But Berger is retired, and his replacement isn’t clear yet. Again, that’s what the spring and summer is about. The Vikings’ line last year was surprisingly adequate, particularly until injuries hit late in the year.

Maybe there’s enough there to have similar production in 2018. The Vikings better hope so, since the disaster of 2016 is still very fresh.

The bungling NFL, the accidental marathon and LeBron's challenge

Welcome to the new morning post concept, which I’ve decided to call “The Cooler.” It works on three levels (in my head), but I’m not going to explain them because there’s nothing worse than explaining why you think you’re clever. Let’s just say these are five things you might want to discuss around the water cooler (1) to make you feel cooler (2) even as I act as the cooler-downer of hot takes (3). Here we go:

*A good compromise seldom makes all parties happy, but it at least leaves people satisfied that a reasonable solution to a complex problem was achieved.

The NFL’s convoluted attempt to simplify its national anthem policy does no such thing. It might seem simple — stand if you are on the field or stay in the locker room — but further investigation of the policy only invites more questions and creates divides.

The interesting thing — one mentioned by a few of you when I tweeted Wednesday, “Remember this day when the NBA is more popular than the NFL in 10 years” — is that the NBA actually has a more strict anthem policy. So why is the NFL hammered while the NBA is lauded?

Easy. The NBA has cultivated and earned a reputation for being supportive of players and big-picture social justice issues. ESPN’s Dan Graziano nailed it with a Thursday morning post on this very issue. He wrote: “Why is the NBA hailed as a bastion of social responsibility while the NFL comes under criticism for trying to push its players around? The answer has to do with sincerity, trust and authenticity of motivation.”

Maybe each sport is playing to their respective bases. I just have a feeling it’s not going to be a good long-term look for the NFL, which already skews much older than the NBA.

*Did thoughtful NFL player Chris Long have some things to say about all this? You bet he did.

*Speaking of the NFL and the anthem, here’s a story from Yahoo saying the league polled fans during free agency last year about Colin Kaepernick. That might be useful to the QB in his collusion case against the league.

*I’ve run five marathons (humble brag), but I can assure you I’ve never accidentally run a marathon. That distinguishes me from Mike Kohler of West Fargo, N.D., who signed up for the Fargo Half Marathon, started at the wrong time, took a wrong turn, and ended up doing the full 26.2 miles instead of just 13.1. He’d never even run a half marathon before!

*After one good game, the NBA conference finals resumed the trend of being lopsided duds when the Celtics went up 3-2 on the Cavaliers with a stifling 96-83 win. That said, Cleveland gets Game 6 back at home, and if you want to bet against LeBron James in a Game 7 be my guest.

TV Listings

Local Schedule

< >
  • Lynx at New York

    6:30 pm on 106.1-FM

  • Canterbury Park live racing

    6:30 pm

  • Gary at Saints

    7:05 pm on 93.3-FM

  • Twins at Seattle

    9:10 pm on FSN, 830-AM

  • Canterbury Park live racing

    12:45 pm

  • Montreal at Loons

    7 pm on FSN PLUS, 1500-AM

  • Gary at Saints

    7:05 pm on 93.3-FM

  • Twins at Seattle

    9:10 pm on FSN, 830-AM

  • Canterbury Park live racing

    12:45 pm

  • Lynx at Washington

    2 pm on 106.1-FM

  • Twins at Seattle

    3:10 pm on FSN, 830-AM

  • Gary at Saints

    5:05 pm on 93.3-FM

  • Canterbury Park live racing

    12:45 pm

  • Twins at Kansas City

    6:15 pm on FSN, 830-AM

  • Saints at Texas

    7:05 pm on 93.3-FM

  • Lynx at Atlanta

    6 pm on FSN PLUS, 106.1-FM

  • Saints at Texas

    7:05 pm on 93.3-FM

  • Twins at Kansas City

    7:15 pm on FSN, 830-AM

  • Saints at Texas

    7:05 pm on 93.3-FM

  • Twins at Kansas City

    7:15 pm on FSN, 830-AM

  • Saints at Texas

    11:05 am on 93.3-FM

  • Cleveland at Twins

    7:10 pm on FSN, 830-AM

Today's Scoreboard

  • Pittsburgh

    Cincinnati

     

    - F

    4

    5

  • LA Angels

    Toronto

     

    - F

    8

    1

  • Baltimore

    Chicago White Sox

     

    - F

    9

    3

  • Seattle

    Oakland

     

    - F

    3

    4

  • Houston

    Cleveland

     

    - F

    8

    2

  • Boston

    Tampa Bay

     

    - F

    3

    6

  • Kansas City

    Texas

     

    - F

    8

    2

  • NY Mets

    Milwaukee

     

    - F

    5

    0

No NFL games today

  • Golden State

    Houston

     

    - F

    94

    98

No NHL games today

No MLS games today