Thursday, August 09, 2007

QB Theories...

Since I am a follower I will chime in with my pirated thoughts (maybe I pillaged these ideas but you get the idea) about the Vikings QB situation...

Pretty much throughout the spring I was convinced that despite all of the "hoopla" and anticipation for he TJax era to begin, Brooks Bollinger would start at QB for the Vikings much of 2007. I think TJax has plenty of potential and he may be very good, but really your best chance to actually win games this season would be on the arm of Brooks. I have cooled on this theory lately. Here are some popular QB Theories out there today...

McNabb Theory - unfortunately I think that this is the prevalent feeling (hope) amongst Vikings fans, primarily those drinking the Kool Aid. People in this camp are convinced that TJax is the next McNabb and will be that good in 2007. There is "some" rationale behind this theory. Both are athletic QBs with good arms and both were coached by Brad the Red Hot Childress Pepper. But there are some stark differences. McNabb came from a BCS school, was a certain 1st round draft pick and overall a relatively known commodity. TJax came from a tiny school, was likely only a 2nd round pick thanks to the Vikings and was considered a project. These things don't disqualify you as an NFL QB but it demonstrates how McNabb came to the NFL more polished and ready to play with this caliber of athlete. Down the road TJax may be a great NFL QB but I fully expect his learning curve to be a little bit longer due to his background. How good TJax will be in a year or two is irrelevant cause the NFL is a win now (or at least very soon) or bust league.

Rex Grossman Theory - Brooks is serviceable at best. He is not in any way going to WIN you games. Maybe, just maybe he won't lose you games but he is a poor man's Rex Grossman (and Rex Grossman is a poor man's NFL QB). Brooks will give you more consistency. Fewer big mistakes but equally as few big plays. The theory here is that if TJax can just be a game manager and not lose games he'll be just fine. The problem is I think TJax will be the antithesis. I would anticipate some big mistakes but I also see him making more plays, getting 3rd & longs with his legs or an occasional big play with his arm. If your net results between the 2 QBs is even close, TJax has to be your starter. And really I don't want TJax to play Rex style football. I want him to be allowed to make mistakes and in the near future he'll be a playmaker and will win games for us.

The Matt Schaub Theory - Why oh Why didn't we trade for Matt Schaub, or sign a quality veteran QB. But do you really think that Matt Schaub is the answer? Does an aging Jeff Garcia or Kerry Collins really give you a better shot at winning? If you think yes, then why not just bring back Brad Johnson? Truth is there just wasn't much out there for a good veteran this year. You can roll your dice on wisdom over talent or you can take a shot with talent over age/big contract. And Schaub? Well, his numbers don't tell you anything except that there is a 50/50 shot that he'll be the next Scott Mitchell (thank you Detroit for signing him).

I would have enjoyed giving David Carr a shot. Bring him in and if he wins the QB1 job then let him run with it, if not then you aren't any worse off then you were before.

The TJax Theory - here is my take on it all. Basically if week 1 comes along, both current QBs are healthy and Brooks is your starter I think that is a bigger statement about TJax's inability to run an offense than it is about Brooks' ability to get us in the W column. TJax has to be given time to learn and grow as a QB in this league. In year 2 of his career with a young offense, you have to let him struggle and learn to play at NFL speed. I used to coach basketball at the collegiate level and the biggest thing incoming freshmen had to adjust to was the speed. Everything is just a little bit faster. Once they adjusted, the game slowed down and these talented kids could get back to making plays and making shots that they were accustomed to making. TJax has to get used to NFL speed, like all QBs it will take time but eventually the game will slow down, defenses will be easier to read, he'll know where his WRs are on the field and he'll start making plays. If you wait till 2008 to let him play we'll have to watch this maturing process then instead of now.

If he is utterly incapable of running the offense in September then you can't start him. If Brooks is clearly outplaying him and has earned the QB1 job by a couple steps then you have to go with Brooks. It is still about winning games. But if the competition is even close, then TJax has to be the guy.

Sometime soon I will have to post about my excitement surrounding this young offense and the potential it has in a couple years.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

back on the wagon

I feel I should share my story with you all, hoping that none of you will suffer the same sad and lonely story of depression, desperation and depravity.

Hi, my name is Tom and I'm a Vikings fan. At an early age I felt a strange draw towards a particular purple headed football team. As a young child I thoroughly enjoyed watching the boys in purple pummeling the NFL representatives from Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan and even the weak link in Florida. Sure there was an occasional loss along the way but I was confident that next week would be different and I would end my Sunday afternoon with a high that could only be brought on by an Anthony Carter touchdown and a dominant performance by Browner, Studwell and friends.

Unfortunately there always seemed to be a low that far exceeded the high.

  • The Herschel Walker trade was the missing piece and who didn't see the Super Bowl in the immediate future after the "oops I lost my shoe but I'll score anyway" initial run. That of course was followed by 3 seasons of averaging 755 yds and just under 7 TDs, a team average of 8-8 over those 3 seasons and most importantly watching the Cowboys build a dynasty with our 1st and 2nd round picks for 3 years including drafting the NFL's all time leading rusher.
  • And who could forget the 1998 season? Randy Moss takes the NFL by storm and is the catylist in jumpstarting what would become the NFL's more prolific single season offense. 15-1 heading into the playoffs. Sat and rested during the Wild Card weekend, blew past the Cardinals in the Divisional round and then Gary Anderson missed his only FG of the season as we watched the Falcons do the Dirty Bird on the HHH Metrodome turf.
  • Lightning Round, if you are Vikings fan you'll know what I'm talking about...
    • Dropped pass
    • the Push-off
    • Les Steckel
    • Dimitrius Underwood
    • Forty-one Doughnut
    • Super Bowl IV
    • Super Bowl VIII
    • Super Bowl IX
    • Super Bowl XI
There are more instances similar to those listed above, but it makes me wonder if the peaks are worth it if I have to go through the valleys.

So at the urging of my family I have taken a couple months to submit to rehab. My recovery was going fabulous, that is until the Vikings made the trip down to Mankato and the PKA just found it's way back into my veins.

This is our year. How and why this will be our year will be discussed soon.

Keep an eye out for some upcoming posts...

QB thoughts
NFC Central Previews
Vikings positional previews

Kool Aid Drinkers