Some names on NFL rosters are more well-known than others, but the work done by lesser-known underrated players makes the team a whole.
Mark Craig of the Star Tribune has an opinion on the Vikings most underrated player, but asked that player, veteran offensive lineman Joe Berger, to weigh in on a list of other candidtates that included Tom Johnnson, Adam Thielen, Brandon Fusco, Matt Asiata, Justin Trattou or Shaun Hill.
After some humorous responses and good points, Berger told Craig he'd go with Marcus Sherels:
"It seems like every year, you guys in the media are talking about him getting released," Berger said.
*Guilty, your honor. But, if it helps, we have reached the point where we say we shouldn't be talking about it while we're talking about it. *
"This guy plays hard and he plays well, but it's the same thing every year," Berger said.
Craig points out that Berger accounts for all 99 of the career regular season games played by nine reserve offensive linemen on the 75-man roster that will be used for the preseason finale Thursday at Tennessee.
What's more, Craig notes, is the 38 career starts, including 18 at three different positions by Berger since joining the Vikings in 2011.
Berger has started the past two games at center in place of John Sullivan, who is dealing with back spasms, and also played right guard.
Peterson 11 in ESPN's NFL Rank project
ESPN.com's Ben Goessling reports that Vikings running back Adrian Peterson is 11th in this year's ESPN NFL Rank project, after coming in third (after his 2012 MVP season) and fourth after the 2013 season.
*The fact that Peterson finished 11th in this year's poll, at age 30 and a year off from the league, probably speaks as much to the running back's enduring on-field reputation as where he finished the two previous years. *
*Peterson was the top-rated running back in this year's project, which polled 71 voters from ESPN, as well as partner sites like Pro Football Focus and Football Outsiders. He finished with an average of 92.58, as players were rated on a 1-100 scale, and finished just ahead of Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck. Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch was next at Peterson's position, finishing 14th overall. *
NFL.com's Wesseling: Vikings one of "most exciting" teams
NFL.com's Chris Wesseling has a brief season preview of the Vikings with items on Teddy Bridgewater's emergence, the return of Adrian Peterson, adjustments to the offensive line, but one section was called "What we'll be saying in February." In that, Wesseling writes:
The Vikings lived up to expectations as the trendy young team ready to crash the postseason party. Although they managed to secure a wild card berth, the Vikings are another year away from doing real damage in January. With the new stadium ready to open in 2016, Minnesota is one of the most exciting teams in the league.