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.


Vikings 4 Downs: Yankey, Bridgewater, McKinnon, wings

Posted by: Master Tesfatsion Updated: June 2, 2014 - 9:47 AM

Every Monday morning during the offseason we’ll take four questions from Twitter for our weekly mailbag using the #VikingsST hashtag.

He hasn’t participated in OTAs, but rookie guard David Yankey is someone that can compete at left guard with Charlie Johnson. We’ve only had one chance to see him during rookie minicamp, but Yankey comes in to the league at 6-5 and 315 pounds. He's a physical lineman and played on an agressive offensive line at Stanford. Plus, there's some sort of familiarity with offensive line coach Jeff Davidson. His son, Nick, is an offensive lineman at Stanford. We’ll get a better understanding of how quickly he can adjust to the NFL over the next two months, but it’ll be something to watch during training camp.

Defensive tackle Shamar Stephen also has a chance at backup nose tackle behind nose tackle Linval Joseph, as explained here

Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is another possibility with an open quarterback competition (more on that later).

Bridgewater wasn’t at the open practice on Thursday due to an NFLPA event in Los Angeles. We’ll get another chance to see him during Thursday’s OTA session.

Looking back at my notes though from the open rookie minicamp practice, Bridgewater had good timing and anticipation. I wasn’t expecting that from a rookie quarterback that's in a new system and throwing to receivers he barely knows. And yes, that 50-yard pass at rookie minicamp was in stride.

Bridgewater looked good, and Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer has been impressed so far and said Bridgewater will get some first team reps in OTAs. We shouldn’t read into how many he gets until training camp but rather watch to see how he does. Why isn't the quantity important at the moment. Because it’s OTAs.

I wouldn’t compare him to Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles, but there’s some similarities with Eagles running back LeSean McCoy. It’s too early to tell to be honest whether he can be an every down back down the road. Fortunately for both McKinnon and the Vikings, it’s not an issue in the short-term with Adrian Peterson.

For the most part, Matt Asiata was receiving second team reps at running back. He’s someone that can come in for Peterson for a few snaps. As for McKinnon, general manager Rick Spielman made it clear the team envisions him as a change-of-pace third down back.

He had just 10 career catches at Georgia Southern, but McKinnon made a nice over the shoulder grab last week on a nice pass from Ponder. He's athletic and versatile enough that it seems McKinnon will get more comfortable (if he’s not already) as a pass catcher with more reps.

No, but it won’t stop me from dreaming.

Background: rapper Rick Ross sent out a tweet to Bridgewater (both friends) on Draft Day.

Well, Ross owns a handful of Wingstop franchises (as he mentions in pretty much every song). There isn’t one in Minnesota sadly, so of course food is the first thing to come to mind. I jokingly told Bridgewater after his introductory press conference that he should get Ross to open one up in the Twin Cities.

A passive aggressive joke, might I add. But if we ever get one, and the odds haven’t increased over the last month, you’ll know where to find me.

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Houston 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
San Diego 10/23/14 7:25 PM
Denver
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Atlanta
Buffalo 10/26/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
St. Louis 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Houston 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Cleveland
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Pittsburgh
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Chicago 6:00 PM
Cleveland
New Orleans 6:00 PM
Washington
Milwaukee 6:30 PM
New York
Philadelphia 6:30 PM
Brooklyn
Charlotte 6:30 PM
Atlanta
Sacramento 7:30 PM
San Antonio
Memphis 7:30 PM
Dallas
Tampa Bay 8:30 PM
Edmonton
Arkansas State 10/21/14 7:00 PM
Louisiana
Connecticut 10/23/14 6:00 PM
(18) East Carolina
Miami-Florida 10/23/14 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
So Florida 10/24/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Troy 10/24/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
BYU 10/24/14 8:00 PM
Boise State
(6) Oregon 10/24/14 9:00 PM
California
North Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Rice
UAB 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Arkansas
Rutgers 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Wisconsin
Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Memphis 10/25/14 11:00 AM
SMU
North Carolina 10/25/14 11:30 AM
Virginia
San Jose St 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Navy
Northern Ill 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Akron 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Toledo
Ohio U 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Western Mich
Ga Southern 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Kent State 10/25/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Oregon State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Stanford
Fla Atlantic 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Georgia Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Pittsburgh
(22) West Virginia 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Vanderbilt 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Old Dominion 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 10/25/14 4:00 PM
UCF
(15) Arizona 10/25/14 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 10/25/14 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 10/25/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(3) Ole Miss 10/25/14 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 10/25/14 6:30 PM
Tennessee
So Carolina 10/25/14 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 10/25/14 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 10/25/14 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 10/25/14 9:45 PM
Washington
Nevada 10/25/14 10:59 PM
Hawaii
Ottawa 6 FINAL
Hamilton 16
Montreal 20 FINAL
Toronto 12
Calgary 33 FINAL
Winnipeg 23
Edmonton 24 FINAL
Saskatchewan 19
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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 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
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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