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Zach Line's 'billy-goat' of linebackers part of Vikings grit

Zach Line is wearing a gash at the bridge of his nose **with pride**, a sign that it's football season, a time for dirty work each week.

Mark Craig of the Star Tribune caught up with the Michigan native after Sunday's game, an appearance in Line's home state of Michigan highlighted by a career-long 49-yard catch-and-run and workmanlike blocks. Line told Craig his brothers Prescott (a running back at SMU) and Ben (an H-back at Robert Morris) have similar scars each season. Craig wrote:

*Each was born with bodies built for blocking, bloody noses and bloodying other people's noses.


Against Kansas City, the opening kickoff is what opened up Zach's wound. Sunday at Detroit, Line was sitting at his locker after a 28-19 victory with yet another fresh cut to deal with.

Craig wrote most of Line's work is "definitely not glamourous" but is part of the grit that Head Coach Mike Zimmer and GM Rick Spielman want the Vikings to embody.

"Zach is a guy like that, that is very unselfish," Zimmer said Monday. "He's not going to get the football very much, and he has to go in there and billy-goat a bunch of linebackers. That's part of his job assignment."

Line is looking more comfortable as a first-year starter in that role. On the Vikings' first possession Sunday, he squared up and delivered a well-balanced pop to the chest of veteran middle linebacker Stephen Tulloch. That enabled Adrian Peterson to run 12 yards into field goal range.

Line pointed out to Craig that multiple Vikings are playing with pride and bumps, bruises and cuts.

Peterson still explosive, but short runs become more frequent

Peterson has shown explosiveness that made him famous and the 2012 NFL MVP, but he's also encountered heat at the line of scrimmage from defenders on run blitzes. Michael Rand of the *Star Tribune *took a look at the **yardage gained** on Peterson's carries since 2014. The running back has gained 3 or more yards on 70 of his 141 carries (slightly less than half, at 49.6 percent), a lower ratio than in 2012 or 2013.

*The thing is, Peterson in previous seasons has had explosive runs without as many negative runs. In his 2012 MVP year, he gained at least 3 yards on 57.5 percent of his carries and had a whopping 27 runs (7.8 percent) go for at least 20 yards. In 2013, he had 8 runs of at least 20 yards and a 54.5 percent rate of gaining at least 3 yards. *

U.S. Bank Stadium's tech infrastructure from founding partner CenturyLink

Don Muret of Sports Business Daily reported on the **technology infrastructure** that U.S. Bank Stadium will use from CenturyLink, which has been announced as a founding partner via a 10-year agreement that will feature signage at the venue and outside it on the Medtronic Plaza.

*In its role as a technology provider, CenturyLink serves as the integrator for Cisco's StadiumVision, an IPTV network, in addition to 1,300 Wi-Fi access points and content distribution to 2,000 4K televisions. *

The content will run through Prism TV, an interactive, fiber-based system owned by CenturyLink that recently entered the Minneapolis-St. Paul market.

Muret reported that U.S. Bank Stadium will be among the first sports venues to deploy Prism TV. CenturyLink is in discussions with three other properties to install the technology, Rich Karlis, CenturyLink's director of corporate sponsorships, said.

"For us, it's about keeping our brand top of mind with our customers," said Karlis, a former kicker for the Vikings, Broncos and Lions. "It's not something you buy every day. It's a matter of educating people to what we have to offer."

Weekly film study

Andrew Krammer of with his weekly looks at the Vikings **offense** and **defense**. Krammer took note of the plays made by Teddy Bridgewater under pressure and at the duress that Lions QB Matthew Stafford faced from the Vikings.

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