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On Saturday, the Vikings abruptly released starting cornerback Bashaud Breeland, amid reports that he got into arguments with teammates and coaches at practice. For the players who remain on the roster, the takeaway was clear.
Per multiple sources, the move was interpreted as a clear message from the coaching staff and the front office as the playoff push intensifies. No more crap, no more excuses, no more lack of focus.
The players generally aren’t mad about it. Some, we’re told, were surprised that it didn’t happen earlier, given Breeland’s subpar performances.
Given the propensity of the Vikings to blow big leads, focus becomes critical in the final four games of the season. They need to win tonight (i.e., build a lead and hold it), they need to at least split the next two (Rams, at Packers), and they need to beat the Bears in Minnesota to finish 9-8 and have a chance to wiggle in. To improve their chances, they need to run the table.
It all hinges on winning tonight. Although a loss wouldn’t slam the door, it would almost entirely shut it. Which, in turn, would put coach Mike Zimmer at risk of finding out sooner than later that his tenure is ending after eight seasons.
Vikings players view Bashaud Breeland’s release as a clear message originally appeared on Pro Football Talk