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Offensive Coordinator Norv Turner Experienced in Making O-Line Adjustments

When the Vikings announced Wednesday that left tackle Matt Kalil would be placed on injured reserve, T.J. Clemmings, a second-year tackle who started all 16 games on the right side in 2015, became the "next man up."

While it's certainly not an ideal situation to see a starter go down, Mark Craig of the Star Tribune reminded that Vikings Offensive Coordinator Norv Turner* ***has seen more challenging offensive line situations** over his career.

Turner said it's beneficial that Clemmings knows the system and had been practicing at left tackle throughout training camp and the preseason.

"I remember we played the Steelers [in 2012]," Turner told Craig, referring to his time as the Chargers Head Coach. "I think it was my last year [in San Diego]. We signed two tackles on Tuesday night, and both started on Sunday because we were banged up there. They were veteran guys, and we actually won the game [34-24]. That story had a happy ending."

Turner said the depth of Minnesota's roster is significant.

"That's the beauty now of having a larger practice squad now," Turner told Craig. "You hope some of them will be able to fill in. And then every team has an emergency list. You'd like not to have to go to that, but certainly in the years I was in San Diego, there were times we had to sign guys and get them ready to play because of injuries."

Sam Bradford grew up splitting time between field and rink

Growing up, Sam Bradford was a multi-sport athlete, and the football field wasn't the only place he excelled.

Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press delved into the Bradford family archives to learn more about **Bradford’s time in hockey**, which he played until age 12.

"It's one of those sports that I really loved when I was younger,'' Bradford told Tomasson. "The junior hockey in Oklahoma, though, isn't that great, and so if I continued, it was one of those things I was probably going to have to move away […] and I wasn't ready to give up football, basketball, golf and all those things I was playing besides hockey."

According to Tomasson, former NFL defenseman Mike McEwen, coached Bradford with the Junior Blazers when he was 11 and 12.

"If Sam stuck with hockey, I thought he had a real shot at playing in the NHL," McEwen told Tomasson. "He was a great playmaker. He could make passes and create plays you don't see from many 11-year-olds.''

Fortunately for Vikings fans, Bradford stayed on the football path. Tomasson wrote:

*Nothing will endear a quarterback to Minnesota fans faster than beating the Packers, which Bradford helped the Vikings do in his debut last Sunday. *



Despite injuries, Vikings could still have winning formula

Jon Krawczynski of the Associated Press said the 2-0 Vikings **still have pieces in place to move forward** after suffering key injuries, including at running back after Adrian Peterson underwent surgery for a torn meniscus. Krawczynski wrote:

[Jerick McKinnon, Matt Asiata and Ronnie Hillman] all bring different things to the table that can help them be effective as a group.

McKinnon is an accomplished receiver out of the backfield, an area that Peterson never mastered.

Asiata hits the holes quick and never dances in the backfield like Peterson would do on occasion, taking some of the burden off the beleaguered offensive linemen to sustain their blocks.

Krawczynski said it will be important for Bradford to continue performing well and finding receivers to keep the passing game moving. In addition, Minnesota's high-caliber defense remains largely intact and poses a challenge to opposing offenses.

With Everson Griffen, Harrison Smith, Danielle Hunter and Eric Kendricks, the Vikings have a versatile, aggressive, playmaking unit that will take the pressure off the offense.



Alexander to reconnect with Habitat for Humanity for good cause

When Mackensie Alexander was growing up, Habitat for Humanity – a nonprofit housing organization – played a major role of support for his family. Now, **he’s giving back to the program that helped him**. A write-up on the Give Effect fundraising campaign for the Lake Agassiz Habitat for Humanity said the following:

*Alexander spent his first 7 years living in a trailer home, living in a community surrounded by fighting and crime. Life was hard, and Mackensie's family needed a break. That's when they heard about Habitat for Humanity. 

Although his parents spent long days working the fields trying to carve out a life for their kids, they still put in hundreds of hours working on their new home, a requirement of Habitat homeowners. But it was the break they needed.* 

Alexander will be speaking at the 2016 Hard Hat Breakfast in Fargo, North Dakota, in October to share how the program helped him ultimately reach the NFL.

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