Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Film review: Herrera easily passes first hurdle

Posted by: Mark Craig under Vikings, Leslie Frazier, Vikings offense, Adrian Peterson, Anthony Herrera, Leslie Frazier, Phil Loadholt Updated: August 28, 2011 - 2:18 PM

The Vikings are off today and return Monday afternoon for a short week of practice, so let's try to make this short and then go find a lake or a golf course to enjoy ...

Coach Leslie Frazier obviously hadn't studied the film when he was asked about right guard Anthony Herrera moments after Saturday night's 23-17 loss to the Cowboys.

Herrera started in his first game back since major left knee surgery nine months ago. He played until the 1:38 mark of the second quarter.

Asked if Herrera had made progress in his return, Frazier said, "I think so. I got to watch a little bit of tape on him, but it didn't look like he was overmatched. It didn't look like the leg inhibited him in any way and he came off confident about where he was, so it's encouraging for our team. I think we have a chance to make a push for him for that first [regular season] game, but we'll talk about that this week."

I'm no line coach, but after studying the film earlier today for my Monday story, I thought Herrera played very well. He was strong at the front of the pocket in pass protection, and he showed that feisty side that helps him give Adrian Peterson that little seam he needs to make one of those All-Pro moves and take off.

Herrera did well when he had to seal off the nose tackle, or drive the end one way while Peterson broke the other, or when he pulled and kicked out the linebacker while Peterson ran for 11 yards on third-and-one.

When Herrera went to the sidelines, the Vikings were averaging 6.4 yards per carry and hadn't allowed a sack. The only sack allowed on Donovan McNabb came three plays after Herrera left, when the Cowboys overloaded the gap of backup right guard Ryan Cook. The only knockdown the Vikings gave up with McNabb on the field came when right tackle Phil Loadholt was beaten on a speed rush.

We'll get Frazier's take on Herrera on Monday. But it looks like Herrera took a giant leap toward reclaiming his starting right guard job heading into the season. The only question mark now is whether his conditioning level can be brought up to the level of his linemates over the next two weeks. Otherwise, I think the right guard competition is over.

I also write about new left tackle Charlie Johnson and how in this particular game he earned a pat on the back rather than the kick in the rear we've all been giving him the past three weeks. Johnson controlled the Cowboys' defensive ends and All-Pro outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware.

However, I must note after watching the film that Ware looked completely disinterested. For the most part, he was going through the motions the way you see players do in a Pro Bowl.

Now go tee em up. 

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Baltimore - LP: K. Gausman 1 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: J. Arrieta 4
Houston - WP: T. Sipp 5 FINAL
Cleveland - LP: C. Allen 1
San Francisco - WP: T. Hudson 10 FINAL
Washington - LP: D. Fister 3
St. Louis - LP: A. Wainwright 4 FINAL
Philadelphia - WP: K. Kendrick 5
Chicago WSox - LP: D. Webb 3 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: D. Robertson 4
Tampa Bay - WP: D. Smyly 8 FINAL
Toronto - LP: M. Stroman 0
Atlanta 1 Bottom 11th Inning
Cincinnati 1
Seattle - WP: D. Leone 5 FINAL
Boston - LP: K. Uehara 3
Kansas City 5 Bottom 8th Inning
Texas 3
Pittsburgh 8 Bottom 8th Inning
Milwaukee 2
Detroit 5 Bottom 6th Inning
Minnesota 7
Miami 6 Top 7th Inning
Colorado 4
San Diego 0 Top 5th Inning
Arizona 4
LA Angels 1 Bottom 3rd Inning
Oakland 1
NY Mets 1 Top 4th Inning
Los Angeles 1
Carolina 7 FINAL
New England 30
NY Giants 35 4th Qtr 0:33
NY Jets 24
Jacksonville 12 FINAL
Detroit 13
Oakland 7 4th Qtr 10:44
Green Bay 31
Chicago 0 2nd Qtr 12:01
Seattle 14
Tampa Bay 8/23/14 3:30 PM
Buffalo
Tennessee 8/23/14 6:00 PM
Atlanta
Dallas 8/23/14 6:00 PM
Miami
Washington 8/23/14 6:30 PM
Baltimore
New Orleans 8/23/14 7:00 PM
Indianapolis
Minnesota 8/23/14 7:00 PM
Kansas City
St. Louis 8/23/14 7:00 PM
Cleveland
Houston 8/23/14 8:00 PM
Denver
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San Francisco
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Arizona
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Jacksonville
Detroit 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Buffalo
Indianapolis 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Kansas City 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Green Bay
NY Jets 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
St. Louis 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Miami
Carolina 8/28/14 6:30 PM
Pittsburgh
New England 8/28/14 6:30 PM
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Washington 8/28/14 6:30 PM
Tampa Bay
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New Orleans
Chicago 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Cleveland
Denver 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Dallas
Minnesota 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Tennessee
San Francisco 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Houston
Arizona 8/28/14 9:00 PM
San Diego
Seattle 8/28/14 9:00 PM
Oakland
(21) Texas A&M 8/28/14 5:00 PM
(9) So Carolina
Wake Forest 8/28/14 6:00 PM
ULM
Boise State 8/28/14 7:00 PM
(18) Ole Miss
Tulane 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Temple 8/28/14 8:15 PM
Vanderbilt
Rutgers 8/28/14 9:00 PM
Washington St
Weber State 8/28/14 9:30 PM
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BYU 8/29/14 6:00 PM
Connecticut
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Bowling Green 8/29/14 6:30 PM
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Real Salt Lake 0 2nd Half 25:00
FC Dallas 1
Montreal 13 13:00
Winnipeg 11
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Edmonton
Calgary 8/24/14 2:00 PM
Ottawa
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Montreal
Winnipeg 8/31/14 2:00 PM
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Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Calgary
Chicago 80 FINAL
Atlanta 77
Los Angeles 34 3rd Qtr
Phoenix 35
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pm
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pm
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis Noon
Sep 14 - vs. New England Noon
Sep 21 - at New Orleans Noon
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pm
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pm
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit Noon
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo Noon
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

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