Thursday, August 17, 2006

Offseason Review

This was an offseason full of change at all levels for the Vikings.

Coaching Staff - Mike Tice and his ineptitude is out, Brad Childress (aka Major Dad) and his discipline is in. Owner Ziggy Wilf and his front office wasted very little time hiring Childress. What does it mean for Vikings fans?

  • Sippin the Kool-Aid - Childress has no head coaching experience and he didn't even call plays as offensive coordinator in Philly. He seems to be disciplined, straight forward and prepared, but can he lead a team full of massive egos and a long police blotter.
  • Gulp, Gulp, Gulp the Kool-Aid - This is the guy Ziggy wanted. He didn't need to interview anybody else cause this is our guy. He put up with TO and developed McNabb into the superstar that he is today. An offensive genius who will whip these kids into shape and have them ready to go each and every week. Culpepper wasn't on board so he shipped him out and we'll move forward as Major Dad leads us to Super Bowl ring after Super Bowl ring!
Free Agency - With more money to spend than most NFL teams the Vikings new staff was busy in the free agency period getting guys that they targeted. Here is basic rundown...
  • G - Steve Hutchinson - We used the "Poison Pill" to steal one of the best Guards in football away from the Seahawks. The O-line goes from a weakness to a superior left side with the addition of Hutchinson.
  • RB - Chester Taylor - The 5th year back has had limited carries in his first 4 seasons as the back up to Jamal Lewis in Baltimore. As the feature back expect him to have a Priest Holmes type breakout and post 1400+ yards this season.
  • LB - Ben Leber - this addition should help to stabilize the biggest question mark on defense. Leber is young, hungry and ready help turn the purple defense in to a dominant group.
  • K - Ryan Longwell - the former Packer has been very consistent and reliable in his 10 years in Green Bay. Now he comes to a domed stadium and will remind Vikings fans of a regular season version of Gary Anderson.
  • FB - Tony Richardson - a FB is necessary in the West Coast Offense and Richardson is as good as anybody out there, this may be one of the best signings of the year. Let's see, lead blocker for Priest Holmes and Larry Johnson I like where this is going!
  • S - Dwight Smith - a late release by the Saints and the Vikings outbid other suitors. This turned out to be a valuable signing as Tank Williams was lost for the season. This completes the defensive backfield and makes it one of the best in the league, Brett Favre will have 7 INTs vs. the Purple this year!
  • QB - Mike McMah0n - back up QB. He's OK. But he knows Childress' system and will speed the learning curve for the rest of the offense so we can hit the ground running in Week 1.
Draft - After trading Culpepper to the Dolphins the Vikings owned several picks in the 2006 Draft. They owned the #17 overall pick then made trades to end up with three 2nd round picks. Here is the analysis...
  • #17 LB - Chad Greenway - this is a great pick for need. The Vikings have question marks all over with their LB core. Greenway is a straight laced kid, who works hard, follows his assignments and makes plays. He will be a solid if not great for years to come.
  • 2nd Round #48 CB - Cedrick Griffin - the CB from Texas will likely be a in immediate contributor backing up Smoot and Winfield. This adds depth and athleticism to the defense.
  • 2nd Round #51 C - Ryan Cook - this one was considered a reach by many. Cook is an BIG, athletic O-lineman who will provide depth at all positions. Likely will be moved to T at some point but also is insurance if Birk should go down with injury for a 3rd straight season.
  • 2nd Round #64 QB - Tarvaris Jackson - this was considered a reach by everyone outside of the Vikings organization. Jackson played 1-AA football, but is considered to have unlimited upside. Whether or not he reaches that potential is the gamble that Chidress took. But this is the guy he wanted, so look for Jackson to develop into an outstanding QB!
Conclusion - The team added key personnel in the right areas. All that remains to be seen is whether we are wearing our purple or white jerseys in Miami for the Super Bowl.

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