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The Zone Coverage Football Machine

The Zone Coverage Football Machine is a weekly, in-depth Minnesota Vikings discussion that gives you locker room insights and on-field analysis from professional beat writers. Host Sam Ekstrom has been on the Vikings beat for Zone Coverage since 2014. Arif Hasan has covered the Vikings for Zone Coverage and The Athletic and brings an analytical slant. Luke Inman is Zone Coverage's resident draft and film guru. Together, they give you the most informed Vikings speculation you'll find anywhere.
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The Zone Coverage Football Machine
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Now displaying: Page 1
Apr 1, 2020

Sam Ekstrom, Arif Hasan and Luke Inman host the Football Machine via Zoom and get into plenty of draft speculation now that the calendar turns to April. They also reevaluate free agency as it begins to settle down. Topics include:

-The Vikings' biggest draft needs remaining

-Arif's Vikings-only mock draft at TheAthletic.com

-A first-round draft simulation through The Draft Network

-Did the Vikings take the right approach in retaining low-level in-house talent?

-If the NFL season gets shortened, which games would you want to eliminate from the Vikings' schedule?

Mar 26, 2020

Sam Ekstrom and Luke Inman give their latest Vikings free agency and draft takes on a brand new episode of the Zone Coverage Football Machine. Topics include:

-Tajae Sharpe and Anthony Zettel signings

-Everson Griffen's apparent departure

-Anthony Harris trade rumors

-What's next at guard?

-Which players will benefit most from the team's departures?

-What are some trade possibilities in the draft?

Mar 19, 2020

The global pandemic didn't slow NFL free agency as the Vikings made myriad moves to clear cap space while making a blockbuster trade of a star receiver. Luke Inman filled in for Sam Ekstrom and was joined by Arif Hasan and Tom Schreier. Topics included:

-Stefon Diggs traded to the Buffalo Bills

-Kirk Cousins' extension

-Which Vikings are staying? Which are leaving?

-Marquee QBs finding new homes

Mar 11, 2020

Sam Ekstrom, Luke Inman and Arif Hasan discuss a variety of scenarios that free agency could create next week. Among the topics:

-Which veteran cut or in-house signing would surprise you most?

-Which teams will splash most in free agency?

-Which players changing teams will shake up the league?

-Do you value bringing back big-name Vikings free agents or keeping the depth pieces?

-Luke's Draft Prospect of the Week

Mar 4, 2020

Sam, Luke and Tom are in the MBC Studios for this week's show, producing one hour of Vikings talk as the calendar turns to March. They mix in your Twitter questions and discuss the following:

-Who had the best Combine performances? And whose stock went down?

-What's going to happen to the Vikings' roster before free agency tampering starts on March 16?

-How can the Vikings clear up enough cap space to make some moves?

Feb 27, 2020

In Hour 2, Sam, Tom and Luke are in studio to take your phone calls and answer your Twitter questions! We discuss Luke's Prospect of the Week, how the salary cap affects the secondary, and whether the Vikings would trade Dalvin Cook. 

In This Episode:

  • Luke Inman's Prospect of the Week [2:00]
  • Alex calls in to talk about the secondary [9:00]
  • Wyatt calls in to talk about trading Cook [26:30]
  • Trading for Tua [33:00]

----

Sam Ekstrom (@SamEkstrom) is a Zone Coverage staff writer covering the Minnesota Vikings and Golden Gophers basketball.

Arif Hasan (@ArifHasanNFL) covers the Minnesota Vikings for The Athletic.

Luke Inman (@Luke_Spinman) Luke Inman is Zone Coverage's resident NFL Draft guru and video content creator.

Tom Schreier (@tschreier3) is the co-founder of ZoneCoverage.com and previously wrote about Minnesota sports for Bleacher Report and Yahoo! Sports.

Feb 26, 2020

Sam, Tom and Luke are in studio to talk about potential draft prospects and the combine. We discuss the top quarterbacks in this year's draft, the loaded wide receiver field, and restructuring around the cap.

In This Episode:

  • Top QB draft prospects [4:00]
  • Speedy wide receivers [12:30]
  • Guard vs Tackle [27:00]
  • Returning defensive players [33:00]
  • Restructuring Kirk [43:00]
  • Fill in the _______ [51:00]

----

Sam Ekstrom (@SamEkstrom) is a Zone Coverage staff writer covering the Minnesota Vikings and Golden Gophers basketball.

Arif Hasan (@ArifHasanNFL) covers the Minnesota Vikings for The Athletic.

Luke Inman (@Luke_SpinmanNFL) Luke Inman is Zone Coverage's resident NFL Draft guru and video content creator.

Tom Schreier (@tschreier3) is the co-founder of ZoneCoverage.com and previously wrote about Minnesota sports for Bleacher Report and Yahoo! Sports.

Feb 20, 2020

In Hour 2, Sam, Arif, and Luke are in studio to take your phone calls and answer your Twitter questions! We dive deep into Harrison Smith on and off the field. We also talk Jordan Love comparisons, and a potential new playoff system.

In This Episode:

  • Tony calls in to talk trading Harrison Smith [15:00]
  • Wyatt calls in to talk Twitter conspiracies [23:00]
  • Alex calls in to talk Irv Smith Jr. [45:00]
  • A new playoff structure [52:00]

----

Sam Ekstrom (@SamEkstrom) is a Zone Coverage staff writer covering the Minnesota Vikings and Golden Gophers basketball.

Arif Hasan (@ArifHasanNFL) covers the Minnesota Vikings for The Athletic.

Luke Inman (@Luke_Spinman) Luke Inman is Zone Coverage's resident NFL Draft guru and video content creator.

Tom Schreier (@tschreier3) is the co-founder of ZoneCoverage.com and previously wrote about Minnesota sports for Bleacher Report and Yahoo! Sports.

Feb 19, 2020

Sam, Arif and Luke are in studio to talk about the Vikings' offseason. We discuss Diggs' social media, potential cap pitfalls to avoid, and the market for Teddy Bridgewater. 

In This Episode:

  • Diggs trolling the media [9:00]
  • Worst case offseason scenarios [23:00]
  • Teddy Bridgewater's value [35:00]
  • Luke's Prospect of the Week [44:30]
  • XFL Update [54:00]

----

Sam Ekstrom (@SamEkstrom) is a Zone Coverage staff writer covering the Minnesota Vikings and Golden Gophers basketball.

Arif Hasan (@ArifHasanNFL) covers the Minnesota Vikings for The Athletic.

Luke Inman (@Luke_SpinmanNFL) Luke Inman is Zone Coverage's resident NFL Draft guru and video content creator.

Tom Schreier (@tschreier3) is the co-founder of ZoneCoverage.com and previously wrote about Minnesota sports for Bleacher Report and Yahoo! Sports.

Feb 13, 2020

In Hour 2, Sam, Arif, and Luke are in studio to take your phone calls and answer your Twitter questions! We talk about the wide receiver draft class, best players available with the 25th pick, and offensive changes with Kubiak in charge.

In This Episode:

  • Alex calls in to talk draft and XFL [6:00]
  • Drafting Wide Receiver [26:00]
  • Fred calls in to talk Jimmy G [39:00]
  • Danny calls in to talk Kubiak [48:00]

----

Sam Ekstrom (@SamEkstrom) is a Zone Coverage staff writer covering the Minnesota Vikings and Golden Gophers basketball.

Arif Hasan (@ArifHasanNFL) covers the Minnesota Vikings for The Athletic.

Luke Inman (@Luke_Spinman) Luke Inman is Zone Coverage's resident NFL Draft guru and video content creator.

Tom Schreier (@tschreier3) is the co-founder of ZoneCoverage.com and previously wrote about Minnesota sports for Bleacher Report and Yahoo! Sports.

Feb 13, 2020

In Hour 2, Sam, Arif, and Luke are in studio to take your phone calls and answer your Twitter questions! We talk about the wide receiver draft class, best players available with the 25th pick, and offensive changes with Kubiak in charge.

In This Episode:

  • Alex calls in to talk draft and XFL [6:00]
  • Drafting Wide Receiver [26:00]
  • Fred calls in to talk Jimmy G [39:00]
  • Danny calls in to talk Kubiak [48:00]

----

Sam Ekstrom (@SamEkstrom) is a Zone Coverage staff writer covering the Minnesota Vikings and Golden Gophers basketball.

Arif Hasan (@ArifHasanNFL) covers the Minnesota Vikings for The Athletic.

Luke Inman (@Luke_Spinman) Luke Inman is Zone Coverage's resident NFL Draft guru and video content creator.

Tom Schreier (@tschreier3) is the co-founder of ZoneCoverage.com and previously wrote about Minnesota sports for Bleacher Report and Yahoo! Sports.

Feb 12, 2020

Sam, Arif, and Luke are in studio to talk about Minnesota's cap troubles and how they can put together a winning team next year. We look at the addition of Dom Capers, the changing defensive structure, and who will leave in free agency.

In This Episode:

  • Potential trade scenarios [11:00]
  • Defensive coaching structure [22:00]
  • Free agents...  return or release [36:00]
  • Luke's Prospect of the Week [52:00]

----

Sam Ekstrom (@SamEkstrom) is a Zone Coverage staff writer covering the Minnesota Vikings and Golden Gophers basketball.

Arif Hasan (@ArifHasanNFL) covers the Minnesota Vikings for The Athletic.

Luke Inman (@Luke_SpinmanNFL) Luke Inman is Zone Coverage's resident NFL Draft guru and video content creator.

Tom Schreier (@tschreier3) is the co-founder of ZoneCoverage.com and previously wrote about Minnesota sports for Bleacher Report and Yahoo! Sports.

Feb 6, 2020

In Hour 2, Sam, Arif, and Tom are in studio to take your phone calls and answer your Twitter questions! We talk about over/under wins for the Vikings in 2020, free agent QBs, and an XFL preview.

In This Episode:

  • Fred calls in to talk about going young on defense [6:00]
  • Giles calls in to talk about Vikings wins in 2020 [20:00]
  • Free agent QBs [30:00]
  • XFL Preview [48:00]

----

Sam Ekstrom (@SamEkstrom) is a Zone Coverage staff writer covering the Minnesota Vikings and Golden Gophers basketball.

Arif Hasan (@ArifHasanNFL) covers the Minnesota Vikings for The Athletic.

Luke Inman (@Luke_Spinman) Luke Inman is Zone Coverage's resident NFL Draft guru and video content creator.

Tom Schreier (@tschreier3) is the co-founder of ZoneCoverage.com and previously wrote about Minnesota sports for Bleacher Report and Yahoo! Sports.

Feb 5, 2020

Sam, Arif and Tom are in studio to review Super Bowl LIV. We highlight the heroes and goats, the halftime show and commercials, trade rumors, and prop bet results.

In This Episode:

  • Super Bowl heroes and goats [6:00]
  • Shanahan's conservative play calling [19:00]
  • Halftime and commercials [27:00]
  • Diggs trade rumors [33:00]
  • Prop Bets [45:00]

----

Sam Ekstrom (@SamEkstrom) is a Zone Coverage staff writer covering the Minnesota Vikings and Golden Gophers basketball.

Arif Hasan (@ArifHasanNFL) covers the Minnesota Vikings for The Athletic.

Luke Inman (@Luke_SpinmanNFL) Luke Inman is Zone Coverage's resident NFL Draft guru and video content creator.

Tom Schreier (@tschreier3) is the co-founder of ZoneCoverage.com and previously wrote about Minnesota sports for Bleacher Report and Yahoo! Sports.

Jan 30, 2020

In Hour 2, Sam, Luke, Arif, and Tom are in studio to take your phone calls and answer your Twitter questions! We talk about the new co-defensive coordinators, paying a free agent guard or resigning Harris, and more. 

In This Episode:

  • James calls in to talk about the new hires [4:00]
  • Fred calls in to talk about the Packers losing [19:00]
  • Giles calls in to talk about jerseys [27:00]
  • Alex calls in to talk about paying guards [40:00]
  • Super Bowl Predictions [50:00]

----

Sam Ekstrom (@SamEkstrom) is a Zone Coverage staff writer covering the Minnesota Vikings and Golden Gophers basketball.

Arif Hasan (@ArifHasanNFL) covers the Minnesota Vikings for The Athletic.

Luke Inman (@Luke_Spinman) Luke Inman is Zone Coverage's resident NFL Draft guru and video content creator.

Tom Schreier (@tschreier3) is the co-founder of ZoneCoverage.com and previously wrote about Minnesota sports for Bleacher Report and Yahoo! Sports.

Jan 29, 2020

Sam, Arif, Luke, and Tom are in studio to talk about the deaths of Chris Doleman and Kobe Bryant. We also talk about the rising prospects at the Senior Bowl, the changes in the coaching staff, and a Super Bowl preview.

In This Episode:

  • Remembering Chris Doleman [4:00]
  • Down in Mobile, Alabama [18:00]
  • Senior Bowl standouts [25:00]
  • New coaching hires [36:00]
  • Super Bowl Storylines [44:00]
  • Gambling Picks [59:00]

----

Sam Ekstrom (@SamEkstrom) is a Zone Coverage staff writer covering the Minnesota Vikings and Golden Gophers basketball.

Arif Hasan (@ArifHasanNFL) covers the Minnesota Vikings for The Athletic.

Luke Inman (@Luke_SpinmanNFL) Luke Inman is Zone Coverage's resident NFL Draft guru and video content creator.

Tom Schreier (@tschreier3) is the co-founder of ZoneCoverage.com and previously wrote about Minnesota sports for Bleacher Report and Yahoo! Sports.

Jan 23, 2020

In Hour 2, Sam and Tom are in studio to take your phone calls and answer your Twitter questions! We talk about the Senior Bowl as Luke calls in from Mobile. We also talk about offensive coordinators, offensive line, and defensive cuts.

In This Episode:

----

Sam Ekstrom (@SamEkstrom) is a Zone Coverage staff writer covering the Minnesota Vikings and Golden Gophers basketball.

Arif Hasan (@ArifHasanNFL) covers the Minnesota Vikings for The Athletic.

Luke Inman (@Luke_Spinman) Luke Inman is Zone Coverage's resident NFL Draft guru and video content creator.

Tom Schreier (@tschreier3) is the co-founder of ZoneCoverage.com and previously wrote about Minnesota sports for Bleacher Report and Yahoo! Sports.

Jan 23, 2020

Sam and Tom are in studio while Arif and Luke go down to Mobile for the Senior Bowl. We talk about the rivalry between the Vikings and the Saints, the conference titles games, and contract extensions.

In This Episode:

  • Vikings-Saints playoff rival [6:00]
  • Titans vs. Chiefs [15:00]
  • Comparing the Vikings to the Niners [25:00]
  • Extending Cousins and Cook [34:00]
  • Would you rather... [44:00]
  • Prop Bet Promotion [52:00]

----

Sam Ekstrom (@SamEkstrom) is a Zone Coverage staff writer covering the Minnesota Vikings and Golden Gophers basketball.

Arif Hasan (@ArifHasanNFL) covers the Minnesota Vikings for The Athletic.

Luke Inman (@Luke_SpinmanNFL) Luke Inman is Zone Coverage's resident NFL Draft guru and video content creator.

Tom Schreier (@tschreier3) is the co-founder of ZoneCoverage.com and previously wrote about Minnesota sports for Bleacher Report and Yahoo! Sports.

Jan 16, 2020

In Hour 2, Sam, Luke, Arif and Tom are in studio to take your phone calls and answer your Twitter questions! We talk about some potential prospects, the offensive play calling and building around Cousins or drafting a QB.

In This Episode:

  • Drafting a QB [3:30]
  • Chad calls in to criticize Zimmer and Cousins [9:00]
  • Nick calls in to talk about the lack of deep throws [21:00]
  • Pat Shurmur back at OC for Denver [30:00]
  • Luke's Draft Prospect of the Week [43:00]

----

Sam Ekstrom (@SamEkstrom) is a Zone Coverage staff writer covering the Minnesota Vikings and Golden Gophers basketball.

Arif Hasan (@ArifHasanNFL) covers the Minnesota Vikings for The Athletic.

Luke Inman (@Luke_Spinman) Luke Inman is Zone Coverage's resident NFL Draft guru and video content creator.

Tom Schreier (@tschreier3) is the co-founder of ZoneCoverage.com and previously wrote about Minnesota sports for Bleacher Report and Yahoo! Sports.

Jan 15, 2020

Sam, Luke, Tom, and Arif are in studio this week to wrap up the season as the Vikings lose to the 49ers in the Divisional Round of the playoffs. There are a lot of changes coming for the Vikings as we discuss the coaching staff and roster.

In This Episode:

  • We say goodbye to some of the coaching staff [6:00]
  • Stefanski goes to Cleveland [20:00]
  • Cousins' lack of aggressive plays [28:00]
  • Who will be playing for the purple next year? [34:00]
  • Gambling Picks [50:00]

----

Sam Ekstrom (@SamEkstrom) is a Zone Coverage staff writer covering the Minnesota Vikings and Golden Gophers basketball.

Arif Hasan (@ArifHasanNFL) covers the Minnesota Vikings for The Athletic.

Luke Inman (@Luke_SpinmanNFL) Luke Inman is Zone Coverage's resident NFL Draft guru and video content creator.

Tom Schreier (@tschreier3) is the co-founder of ZoneCoverage.com and previously wrote about Minnesota sports for Bleacher Report and Yahoo! Sports.

Jan 12, 2020

Sam Ekstrom and Luke Inman break down the 27-10 loss to the San Francisco 49ers.

-The slow defensive start

-Where'd the offense go?

-Turning points in the second half

-Where should the team invest draft picks next year?

-How different is the defense going to look in 2020?

Jan 9, 2020

In Hour 2, Sam, Luke, Arif and Tom are in studio to take your phone calls and answer your Twitter questions! We talk about rattling Jimmy G, Stefanski's play calling, and how Stefon Diggs is affecting the game.

In This Episode:

  • Chad calls in to congratulate the Vikings [4:00]
  • Dan calls in to argue with Arif about the offense [15:00]
  • Diggs' energy on the sidelines [24:00]
  • Hoodie calls in to talk about playing on grass [34:00]
  • Joel calls in to talk about impact players on defense [49:00]

----

Sam Ekstrom (@SamEkstrom) is a Zone Coverage staff writer covering the Minnesota Vikings and Golden Gophers basketball.

Arif Hasan (@ArifHasanNFL) covers the Minnesota Vikings for The Athletic.

Luke Inman (@Luke_Spinman) Luke Inman is Zone Coverage's resident NFL Draft guru and video content creator.

Tom Schreier (@tschreier3) is the co-founder of ZoneCoverage.com and previously wrote about Minnesota sports for Bleacher Report and Yahoo! Sports.

Jan 9, 2020

Sam, Luke, and Arif are in studio this week to talk about a big win in The Big Easy. We look at the standouts for the Vikings, the defensive game plan, and how the Vikings matchup against the 49ers.

In This Episode:

  • The New Orleans experience [3:30]
  • Heroes of the Game [11:00]
  • Defensive game plan [18:00]
  • Thielen's ankle injury [33:00]
  • Vikings chances against the 49ers [39:00]
  • Gambling Picks [51:00]

----

Sam Ekstrom (@SamEkstrom) is a Zone Coverage staff writer covering the Minnesota Vikings and Golden Gophers basketball.

Arif Hasan (@ArifHasanNFL) covers the Minnesota Vikings for The Athletic.

Luke Inman (@Luke_SpinmanNFL) Luke Inman is Zone Coverage's resident NFL Draft guru and video content creator.

Tom Schreier (@tschreier3) is the co-founder of ZoneCoverage.com and previously wrote about Minnesota sports for Bleacher Report and Yahoo! Sports.

Jan 6, 2020

Sam Ekstrom and Luke Inman recap the Minnesota Vikings 26-20 victory over the New Orleans Saints on Sunday afternoon, and look ahead to their Divisional Round opponent, the San Francisco 49ers.

  • Recapping the Wild Card weekend victory
  • "Seeing one go through the net"
  • Dalvin, Diggs, Cousins, Thielen
  • Defense, Defense, Defense
  • Previewing the 49ers
Jan 2, 2020

In Hour 2, Sam, Luke and Arif are in studio to take your phone calls and answer your Twitter questions! We discuss how the playoffs will affect Cousins' future, Zimmer's track record of success and plenty of Vikings-Saints.

In This Episode:

  • Extending Cousins [1:30]
  • Ali calls in to talk Cousins against D-lines [7:00]
  • Fred calls in to talk about beating the Saints [19:00]
  • Was resting the best idea? [36:30]
  • Jerry calls in to build some hype for the playoffs [45:00]
  • Vikings 2010-19 All Underwhelming Team [54:00]

----

Sam Ekstrom (@SamEkstrom) is a Zone Coverage staff writer covering the Minnesota Vikings and Golden Gophers basketball.

Arif Hasan (@ArifHasanNFL) covers the Minnesota Vikings for The Athletic.

Luke Inman (@Luke_Spinman) Luke Inman is Zone Coverage's resident NFL Draft guru and video content creator.

Tom Schreier (@tschreier3) is the co-founder of ZoneCoverage.com and previously wrote about Minnesota sports for Bleacher Report and Yahoo! Sports.

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