Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Fire Brad Childress and best available NFL Head Coches

I have not been updating due to lack of time but I wanted to get the list started of potential replacements for Brad the red hot Childress pepper. Gonzo, over at The Daily Norseman has written his open letter to BTRHCP ripping his Kick Ass Offense and pleading with him to get this coaching thing figured out (or better yet, get out).

And that's why I, alone in my thought process though I may be, refuse to throw Tarvaris Jackson under the proverbial bus at this point in time. It's clear that Jackson has talent. . .he's mobile, he's got a strong arm, and he appears to be a relatively bright guy. All of that stuff leads me to ask myself how much better he could be if he wasn't hamstrung by one of the most inept offenses I've ever had the displeasure to witness. Let the guy loose and let him make plays. We heard all off-season about his improvement and his progress. . .let him prove it on the field.

Don't get me wrong, Mr. Childress. . .I love my team. I always have. It's been a 25-year love affair with myself and the Minnesota Vikings, and even your ineptitude isn't going to be enough to change that. Therein lies the only small joy that I can derive from this. Either things will change and the team will get things turned around. . .or you'll continue to waste the immense talent that you've been surrounded with over your time in Minnesota, and you'll be standing in the unemployment line shortly after Week 17. In any event, it's a win-win situation for the Minnesota Vikings and their fans.

Mike Tice was fired by Zygi Wilf, and he accomplished far, far more with far, far less than you've been given in your time as the head coach of the Minnesota Vikings. At this point, I would be more than happy to welcome ol' Meathead and his pencil back to the Minnesota sidelines in your stead.

Gonzo is absolutely correct in his assesment. Tice accomplished more with less. Jackson has been bad but he really hasn't been given an opportunity to succeed because the playcalling has been painfuly vanilla (not to mention his bandaid for an offensive line).

I have always been very patient with the head coaches of my favorite teams. I am usually the last to jump on the fire (Tice, Mason, Monson) bandwagon. But as of today, 9/16/08, I am officially ready for a new head coach. It was a good run for Childress and I appreciate how he has brought a culture of accountability to the team. I wish him the best but hopefully he won't end up in a drug treatment program.

The Vikings are not perfect but show me an NFL who hasn't received a negative headline. At the very least we are no longer the poster child for out of control NFL players. But that isn't winning football games.

We have a dominant defense and arguably the best running back in the NFL. The more time we waste with Childress the faster this window closes. Bring in someone new, now. There is still plenty of season left and most importantly plenty of time to establish himself and let the current veterans know that they are going to win and they'll do it in Minnesota. If Brad is the head coach heading into 2009 you will see many of the defensive veterans jump ship to a contender because they know they are wasting their time here.

The problem is I wouldn't want to waste 2008 by dumping Childress, letting Leslie Frazier play interim then going through a drawn out search in the offseason. If we can't upgrade now, then stick with status quo. But here are a few guys who I think would be an instant upgrade who are also long term solutions.

1. Brian Billick
Status - available now, working for FOX
Resume - won a Superbowl with dominant defense, power run game and an average QB

I would be thrilled to see Billick walk through the doors of Winter Park. He is tough, he is smart and he has won. Billick was known as an offensive guru who struggled to put together a great offense to match his great defenses in Baltimore. But he was able to get it together enough with Trent Dilfer and Jamal Lewis to win a Super Bowl in 2000. Obviously he has the blueprint to win with the current Vikings roster. This is a no brainer in my opinion and would be a slam dunk. Billick was the mastermind behind the 1998 offense which is the second most prolific in NFL history. The 2008 Vikings will never be confused with that offense, but imagine Jackson and Peterson in an offense with some creativity where they will actually call plays to take advantages of mismatches with the defense. These guys are like loose diamonds. In the right setting they'll be fantastic!

This would send a message to the fan base and your current group of veterans that you are serious about winning and winning now. Mr. Wilf has opened his checkbook to bring in the necessary parts but his mechanic can't put them together so it works.

2. Marty Schottenheimer
Status - available now, working for ESPN
Resume - racks up wins and more wins, knows how to utilize the run game to the max

Marty would also be a great hire. I know he "can't get to the Super Bowl" but in 21 seasons as a head coach he has had just two losing seasons and a .613 win %. Schottenheimer also knows a thing or two about winning with a dominant rushing offense and a great defense. He knows how to win. You can give me the argument that he is incapable of winning in the playoffs. But I'll counter by saying I think Childress is incapable of getting us to the playoffs. Let's worry about getting to the Super Bowl after we win a division and make the playoffs. The lack of a Super Bowl after dominating several regular season is the reason I put Marty second to Billick, but why not give the guy who can't win the big one a chance with the team known for not being able to win the big one. Maybe in some crazy chaos theory we can prove that this equation would equate to a Super Bowl.

One concern with hiring Schottenheimer is that he will be 65 years old in a week. But he does have a strong set of coaching connections that could provide a smooth transition when he is done as the Vikings one and only Super Bowl winning coach.

3. Bill Cowher
Status - available now, working for CBS
Resume - Super Bowl Champ, understands power running game

Cowher is young, he is as tough as they come and he'll get this team motivated to win immediately. Does anyone reading this doubt that Cowher could win with the 2008 Vikings roster? He did step down and one could question whether or not he wants to coach again. But maybe challenge of bringing Minnesota their first championship would be a worthy goal to step back onto the sidelines. Again, he is a coach who has won with defense and a power running game. He isn't going to have to reinvent himself to win with this roster and he could have immediate success. I'm not sure what Cowher would do for the develpment of Jackson but I'm certain he could get this offense into the end zone without the help of the Kick Ass Offense.


There you have three outstanding choices for head coach who have a history of winning in the NFL. This list will grow as guys like Herm Edwards lose their job. If I told you that you could instantly upgrade at QB, we'd all be for it. I am telling you that you can instantly upgrade your head coach, I encourage Mr. Wilf to do so. I realize that this would have a negative affect on the 2008 season. There would be some major adjustments, changing the playbook, current coaches looking for jobs while still trying to coach the Vikes. But if you take a look ahead there is a very strong chance that we will be sitting at 0-5 or 1-4 through five games. The schedule then lightens up and includes a bye week over the next 12 weeks. Things are going to continue as they do now with a boring and unproductive offense that loses close games. Why not shake things up now, maybe we lose the next couple weeks because of adjustments but I guarantee you final 10/11 weeks you will see a different team on the field.

Ziggy can wait and let this play out. But deep down we all know how this season is going to play out. We will limp into the bye week with two or three wins at best. We will surge for a few weeks and get back into the playoff conversation only to lose a key game or two down the stretch and miss the playoffs.

Don't wait till the offseason when we are competing for Billick, Schottenheimer or Cowher and your vets have already packed their bags. Pull the trigger now and do what is best for this team now AND the future. Firing Childress two weeks into the season may seem rash and may tank the 2008 season. But with Childress wearing the headset we all know this team is looking at finishing somewhere between epic underachievers and just good enough to get an mid-round draft pick. The only thing worse than firing Brad Childress after 34 career games is letting him coach a 35th.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Love to hear it...

I have no problem a little trash talking. Many players and teams are too afraid to ruffle feathers or on the other side of the spectrum are so freaking sensitive (ooohhh, they said they are going to beat us, they give us no respect, booohoooo).

But the Vikings defensive line isn't shying away from giving the Packers some locker room material.

Pat Williams - “Damn, that’s their problem,” Williams said. “They’re going through all that as a team, trying to figure out if Favre or [Aaron] Rodgers was the man, while we’ve got the same team we had all offseason. I’m glad they got all that darn press, ‘cause when we go down there it’ll be the kid’s first start and his first damn loss.”

Jared Allen - "Hopefully, I can put my helmet square in the back of [Rodgers’] spine,” Allen said. “If I can do that and knock the ball loose, it’ll be a good day.”

Handing Rogers his first NFL loss and interceptions one, two and three on his way to catching Favre's record, now that would be a good day.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Hitler is tired of Brett Favre Saga

Personally, I still love this whole drama. It is a Win, Win, Win for Vikings fans.

WIN #1 - Favre ends up in purple.

I know this is considered a loss by many, but if you are able to step back at all and look at this objectively, there can be no doubt Brett Favre gives us a better chance to win more games than Jackson. I'll enjoy watching Jackson this year and am intrigued by what he brings, but if Favre actually gives us a shot at the Super Bowl I'll take that 100 out of 100 times. Not wanting Favre because we hate him is childish. You think Green Bay fans would have rejected Randy Moss because he torched the Pack on several occasions and mooned them in a playoff game? No, because when sober they understand how much he can help their football team. It is all about winning and if you hate Green Bay, watching Favre beat his hold team (TWICE) would be so much fun to watch.

WIN #2 - Favre stays in Green Bay as Roger's backup

This is going to be a total circus in Green Bay and is guaranteed to divide their fan base and more importantly their locker room. Favre in Green Bay has high potential to fracture their season.

WIN #3 - Favre is the starter in Green Bay

They'll win more games, but I would bet a fair amount that Favre starting right away will push Rogers over the edge and he'll get out of town ASAP. So 2008 may be good for Green Bay but with Rogers gone their 2009 QB situation is VERY bleak.

Anyway, the point of hte post is the video below. This Hitler clip has been used an awful lot for humor purposes and this one is relevant. Enjoy...

Friday, August 01, 2008

Let's take some weight off Jackson's shoulders.

(ed note: I know this blog is often difficult to gauge the level of sarcasm and realness. My most recent post was clearly tongue in cheek, while the post you are about to read is meant to be serious)

The national consensus is that the Vikings will only be as good as their marginally mediocre quarterback will take them. While there is clearly some truth to this theory I don't think the equation is as simple as if Jackson has a good year we are going to the Super Bowl. There are so many other questions that this team has to answer. The did a phenomenal job in the offseason trying to answer these questions but they will remain questions until they are actually answered.

I am looking forward to this season as much as anyone, but there was more to an 8-8 season than just Tarvaris Jackson.

First of all it should be noted that Jackson was 8-2 as a starter in 2007. He was not very good last year finishing right behind Cleo Lemon in QB Rating and had a higher interception % than Rex Grossman. His numbers were bad yet he was 8-2 as a starter. An .800 win% is clearly misleading but on the surface it does give the impression that he can be average and we can still win.

Jackson improving dramatically and becoming the leader in the huddle is important but I'm here to argue it is not the only question this team still has to answer before we can book our rooms in Tampa.

1. We are the reigning NFL's worst pass defense (2 years running). Are we going to be able to stop the pass?

We added arguably the league's best pass rusher to speed up the decision making of opposing quarterbacks (too bad we can't play Eli every week). We also added a safety known for coverage skills. But is this enough? Four of our first six games are against teams who pass the ball well.

  • @ Green Bay - 2nd in NFL in passing (although Favre leaving may help)
  • Indianapolis - 6th in NFL
  • @ New Orleans - 3rd in NFL
  • Detroit - 9th in NFL
If these games turn into shootouts our passing game won't be able to keep up no matter how well Jackson plays. And all signs point to Dallas being the NFC team to beat, if we can't slow down the Romo/Owens train we don't stand a chance.

2. Our offensive line has little depth, especially if McKinnie is suspended. Is our offensive line good enough?

Is anyone convinced that Ryan Cook and Anthony Herrera are good enough to hold down the right side of the line? Hutchinson is great and I believe that Birk will regain his Pro Bowl form. Herrera is getting some hype locally as a more than adequate RG, but our tackle situation concerns me. Cook has yet to show he is a capable RT and McKinnie is his own mountain of question marks. IF he is suspended then we get to see Chase Johnson move from backup LT to starting (props to anyone who can tell me anything about Johnson off the top of their head).

Even if McKinnie is allowed to play 16 games, for my money he is one of the most overrated LT in the game. I was not shocked to hear that Jared Allen was able to speed rush McKinnie and get around the corner with some ease. With no depth and no experienced RT, is anyone else concerned about the offensive line? It is good but there are some concerns and unanswered questions.

3. Even if Jackson makes better decisions and develops as we hope he will, do we have the receivers for our passing game to be a threat?

Bernard Berrian was added in the offseason and it was a good move by the organization to get the best available receiver to strengthen a weakness. But we still don't have an established #1 WR and we don't even have a proven "good" #2. We are excited about Rice's potential and Berrian has speed to get behind the defense, but nothing is a given with these guys. If they are unable to get open for Jackson or have trouble hanging on to the ball, it won't matter how accurate TJax is.

4. Injuries can derail a season faster than Peterson will get to 2,000 yards. But if Purple Jesus gets injured can this team be considered more than a wild card team?

This offense becomes very average and Chris Kluwe quickly becomes the most important player not on defense if Peterson goes down for any extended period of time. I don't want to dwell on this because I'll have nightmares tonight, but injuries have been in his history. Chester is a great backup and we'll continue on the same path but that would put a Super Bowl hopes in serious jeopardy.

I never want to be the negative nancy of the group, so let me put a positive spin on this. We can win with Jackson and we can win if Jackson is only average. The point is he is not the ONLY question mark we have. Everyone seems to assume we have everything else answered outside of our quarterback. If we don't stop the pass and if our offensive line struggles, it won't matter how good Jackson is.

This has the potential to be an historic season for the Vikings and I can't wait to go for a ride on the bandwagon. I am excited about the new additions and I have downed enough Kool-Aid to think Jackson will surpass everyone's expectations. But I cringe when the entire season is put on his shoulders. Maybe I'm wrong (it's happened before), but this team is not guaranteed of anything and has more to prove than just QB play.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Spoiler Alert - 2008 Vikings Season

Before training camp officially gets going let me go game by game and lay out for you how the season will play out for the Vikes.

Week 1 - @Green Bay - the emotional retiring of Brett Favre's jersey will be short lived. After Aaron Rogers throws three first half interceptions and completes just 2 other passes for 7 yards, they will take down #4 and he'll enter the game for the second half. Favre will make it close but the Vikings win. Also, it's a little known fact that Brad the Red Hot Childress Pepper is 4-0 when he has 2 weeks or more to prepare for a game.

Vikings 1-0

Week 2 - Indianapolis - not even I can foresee a win here. This team is very capable of beating Indy at home, but allow me to be realistic for a moment. Manning lights up the secondary, everyone believes this year will be more of the same and the bandwagon gets light. Peterson is the key to this game. Should he get some holes and run for 175, then there is no reason we can't win this. But we will be underdogs in our home opener.

Vikings 1-1

Week 3 - Carolina - The Panthers will get about 18 yards rushing and if we can slow down Steve Smith we win this one. But their run game is weak, their OLine is bad and their QB is average. Carolina's D is solid as their LBs and Secondary are top 10 in the league, plus you have Julius Peppers on the line. This will be a good test for Jackson to show he can play at this level and lead us to a win.

Vikings 2-1

Week 4 - @Tennessee - Vince Young's are the only thing that worry me here. Tennessee finished hot last year winning 4 of their last 5 before losing to San Diego in the playoffs. While they probably should, the really don't scare me. Behind a great defensive line are solid but not great second level defenders. This again will be a game for Jackson to show he is worth Childress's faith.

Vikings 3-1

Week 5 - @New Orleans - If the Saint's offense is clicking this will be a high scoring affair. New Orleans is a bottom 10 defense imo even with Jonothan Vilma being added. This will be the best chance for the Vikings offense to show some success. After this game I think we can adequately evaluate where Jackson is. So much of the spotlight is on Jackson and he'll be unfairly judged immediately. But I am a patient person, I encourage both of my readers to wait till now before we judge him. Anyway, Vikings win this road game and hurt Reggie Bush in the process.

Vikings 4-1

Week 6 - Detroit - Worst defense in the league last year and second worst running game. Kitna will be throwing to a great receiving corp, but we should be better defending the pass. This will be the first cushioned win of the season. We win and we win big.

Vikings 5-1

Week 7 - @Chicago - heading into the bye on the divisional road. The problem here will be us scoring then having to kick off. It will go something like Vikings +7, Hester scores on ensuing kick off (EVEN). Vikings score (+7), Hester returns kick off (EVEN). Vikings score (+7), Hester pulls a hammy and we go on to win by 28.

Vikings 6-1

Week 8 - BYE - time for a well deserved rest as we push for home field.

Week 9 - Houston - guaranteed win based on when you give BtRHCP two weeks he will put together an unbeatable game plan. Houston in the Dome doesn't really scare me, they were OK last year and didn't do anything to improve this offseason. Defense was bottom third, team was last in very tough division and they will likely remain there. This is a W.

Vikings 7-1

Week 10 - Green Bay - should be a challenging home game, but remember Brett Favre in his early years playing at the Dome? Expect that from Aaron Rogers. My personal prediction is that Favre is starting this game (for the Packers, NOT the Vikings) but the purple momentum is just too much to stop at this point.

Vikings 8-1

Week 11 - @Tampa Bay - Our first road game in a month and it is against a 2007 playoff team. But the Buccanneers were fortunate last year and will be one of the bigger NFC flops this year. The Tampa defense will provide a unique challenge as I think they match up very well against the Vikings. They have a solid LB corp which will challenge our run game, and they led the NFL in pass defense last year. But nothing about their offense scares me and the Vikes will win a low scoring game.

Vikings 9-1

Week 12 - @Jacksonville - This will be out most difficult game of the year. Both teams sport a top 10 defense and a very good running game. Our running game might be better but their offense is more experienced as a whole. Their offseason addition of Troy Williamson should be enough for me to pick the Vikings but I just don't see a W here.

Vikings 9-2

Week 13 - Chicago - back at home and taking on the Bears. By this game Caleb Hanie will probably be starting under center and handing off to Garrett Wolfe. This begins a nice portion of the schedule that should allow us to rattle off a few wins. The Bears are hard to figure this year but this should be a nice game to come home to and we pull this one off on national TV.

Vikings 10-2

Week 14 - @Detroit - see, I told you this was a nice little stretch in the schedule. I never have any respect for Detroit. Last year in Detroit they needed four INTs and a missed FG to beat us in OT. Even if they have delusions of a winning season, the Vikes will stomp at that dream this week.

Vikings 11-2

Week 15 - @Arizona - The Cardinal wide receives do scare me. But their OL, RB and QB do not. This game will be a Jared Allen special. Don't even worry about the run and just get to the QB on every play. Assuming some heat on whoever is QBing for Arizona the Vikings win this road game. It isn't very often we get a trip to the desert in December, so the team will be in great spirits and ready to roll.

Vikings 12-2

Week 16 - Atlanta - another team that is a mess and will be more of one in week 16. Nothing about Atlanta scares me. Peterson got his first NFL TD against the Falcons and he'll get 2 or 3 more here. I hope we win this game by 64 points. I still hate the Falcons and any retribution (no matter how meaningless) makes me feel better.

Vikings 13-2

Week 17 - New York Giants - We will even rest our starters and win this game at home. Eli Manning has always been our bitch and will continue to be so. The Giants will be fighting for a final playoff spot this week but they will be no match for the Vikings D as we do what we can to keep momentum going into the post season.

Vikings 14-2

I know that 14-2 is a little conservative and leaves room for the Cowboys to sneak into homefield, but as you know I look at every game with an unbiased eye and am compelled to give my honest evaluation.

Friday, July 11, 2008

To Favre or Not to Favre - that is the question

For those of you who check in for my daily postings you may have noticed that I have yet to comment on the Favre Saga. I have gone around on this issue and had landed squarely on it will never happen. But the news today of Favre forcing the Packers to make a decision by requesting an unconditional release.

This is a brilliant saga to watch unfold. The Packers are sitting in an absolute lose-lose situation. That, first and foremost is what I enjoy seeing the most. Best case scenario they release Favre and he has a better season than Aaron Rogers with any team. Packers' front office looks terrible. Worst case they keep Favre have a mildly successful season but miss the Super Bowl. Another year of stunting Rogers' growth and there is every reason to believe he would force the Packers to make a move with him.

While I want to see the demise of the Packers, I'm more concerned about the success of the Vikings. So what does this mean for the Purple.

When news first surface that Favre was possibly rumored to potentially think about maybe coming out of retirement I wasn't too interested. Quickly Peter King thought it would make sense for Favre to wear Purple, then I was intrigued but not interested. Not only was I not interested but my initial reaction was that we don't want him and I convinced myself we also don't need him.

The more I sit on this and the more it becomes a possibility that he could end up playing 8+ games in the Dome, the more I am coming around on this.

FIRST and foremost, the chances of Favre wearing purple in Week 1 are thin for a myriad of reasons.

1 - The Packers just cannot let that happen. It would be bad if Favre left and went to the Super Bowl with Tampa Bay. But if he takes the Vikings, a division rival, to the Super Bowl it would be incredibly embarrassing and people might lose their jobs in Green Bay.

2 - I really believe that Brad Childress would not want him.

  • 2A - Jackson is Childress' guy. He has put his reputation on him and I get the feeling he wants to prove that he was right.
  • 2B - Favre takes a lot of chances his QB style is exactly what Childress is trying to teach TJax NOT to do.
  • 2C - Chilli is big on what message is he sending. And the message he is sending to "his guy" is that you are not good enough to get it done.
3 - Who knows if Brett wants to be here. He has been around long enough to know what playing for a team like Minnesota or Chicago would do to his reputation and legacy.

So I really will be SHOCKED if Favre becomes a Viking. I think he wants the Pack to bring him back and this is his way to force that issue.

But knowing it is a much longer shot than your national pundits are making it out to be, lets discuss Brett Favre as a Viking. In the last 24 hours I have changed my position. I want to see Favre in purple.

IF you have a problem with this because we hate the Packers and we hate Brett Favre. How can we want to see the face of our most hated rival on our team? To this I have to say GET OVER IT. If (and I think this is a big IF) Favre can lead our team to the Super Bowl it would mean nothing less to me. If you honestly believe that you would enjoy it less, you are absolutely kidding yourself.

IF you are OK with Favre but you think, we could have a long term future with Jackson. Wouldn't this one year experiment stunt his growth and shatter his confidence? I like TJax and I can buy this argument, but it has two fatal flaws.
  1. Jackson has done nothing to prove that he has a long term future in this league. We are excited about his potential based on two quarters at Denver and the information being disseminated to us out of Winter Park this offseason. Maybe he is more confident and maybe he's ready to take the next step, but MAYBE HE'S NOT. The likelihood of him throwing more INTs than TDs is just as likely (probably more) than him having a monster turnaround. I am excited for Jackson's future, I really am, but Favre is a much more quantifiable entity and you are kidding yourself if don't think he gives us a better chance to win NOW.
  2. This is a win now league. And as I just stated above Favre gives us a better chance to win NOW.
IF Jackson were more of a sure thing then you don't sacrifice his future for a 1 year window with Favre, but Jackson might be the one piece that keeps us from the Super Bowl this year. I like his future but you have to roll the dice with Favre.

IF Favre is out there we can't let him go elsewhere. Don't let him go to Chicago. Don't let him go to Tampa. Letting him go elsewhere and succeed would be a massive swing and miss.

IF, IF, IF Favre gets his unconditional release the Vikings absolutely have to do what it takes to get him on their roster. John David Booty will have to give up his jersey and then we can all book our hotels in Tampa.

Finally, this needs to be done because as much as some of us may not want to see Favre in purple, what this would do to Packer fans is indescribable. They would put on a brave front and try to spin this somehow. But their team was 13-3 a year ago, went to the NFC Championship game, LET BRETT FAVRE GO and he wins it all with their rival. They can spin that however they want, but Favre finally gets to a team good enough to win the Super Bowl cause the 2008 Packers are not good enough to get it done!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Duante Culpepper's Summer To Do List...

1 - Turn down a 1 yr, $1,000,000 offer to play for the Packers

2 - Set a World Record on Madden 2002 (yes, that is the one on which Culpepper graced the cover)

3 - Call up my buddy Smoot to go boating on the lake sometime! (waiting for a call back)

4 - Try to find a job. (eh, he's still got time to work this one out, what's the hurry?)

Friday, June 20, 2008

Dr. Z Drinks the Kool-Aid

Clearly the most brilliant NFL mind amounst the nation media Dr. Z (of Sports Illustrated) is obviously drunk on the Purple Kool Aid and has picked the Vikings to win the Super Bowl.

Why would he pick the Vikings who have been a playoff team once in the last seven year?

1 - They run the ball, they stop the run.

"Their middle triangle of tackles Kevin and Pat Williams, backed up by E.J. Henderson, is classic, and now there's a serious element added to that mix."
The serious element he refers to is Jared Allen.

2 - Improved pass defense.
Pass rush begets pass defense, which begets better statistics than the Vikings had last year, one of their big failings. They finished last in yards allowed. Where's the fix there? Madieu Williams, an active free safety for the Bengals last year. Charlie Gordon, a good, quick, free-agent cornerback.
3 - Some sophomore running back named Adrian Peterson
I get the feeling that I haven't convinced anybody yet. How about the league's flashiest runner in '07, Adrian Peterson, working behind, arguably, the best run blocking left side of the line in the NFL, Bryant McKinnie and Steve Hutchinson?
4-Basically a gut feeling...
Well, could this be the year that Tarvaris Jackson takes the Vikings the whole way, under a coach who can do everything for the position except throw the ball? I kind of think so. There's a storybook angle here, older coach, young quarterback, as the troops rally round.

So en fin, do I like the Vikings to go all the way? Well, yeah, why not? A feeling of destiny, that's what I sense about Brad Childress and his baby quarterback.
I'll be honest with you here. I drink more Kool Aid than anyone I know. I have this dangling dream that this will be a special year for the Vikings. But not even I am willing to...

What the hell,

I couldn't agree more. Dominant Defense, Best Running Back ever to hit the field and a QB who will shock the world. All of that equals the first of many Super Championships for Brad Childress and his Minnesota Vikings!

This year is going to be FUN.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Did we give up too much for Allen?

If you look at the 2007 draft here is "who" we gave up for Jared Allen.

#17 - DE - Jarvis Moss (Den) - finished season with 12 tackles and 1.0 sack
#73 - WR - Jacoby Jones (Hou) - 15 receptions, 149 yds and 0 TDs
#82 - DT - DeMarcus Tyler (KC) - 11 tackles and 0.0 sacks

Grand total? 23 tackles, 1.0 sack, 15 receptions and 0 TDs. Still think we gave up too much for Jared Allen?

Lets look at the 2006 Draft just for fun...

#17 - LB - Chad Greenway (Min) - Greenway missed his rookie season with an injury but had a very productive second season as we all know. 105 tackles, 2 INTs and 1 TD
#73 - DT - Dusty Dvoracek (Chi) - two career tackles in one game played, missed basically all of 2007 with injury.
#82 - WR - Derek Hagan (Mia) - career stats of 50 receptions, 594 yds and 3 TDs.

Even if you take the 2006 draft group which includes a decent WR and a good LB, still think we gave up too much for Allen?

Draft Specuation

So we only get one pick in the first 116 selections this weekend. But as we are wont to do here, instead of focusing on our lack of selections (which were mortgaged for Jared Allen), we will choose to focus on that one pick.

Heading into the offseason here was our list of needs...

  1. Pass Rushing DE - we brought home the league's leader in sacks from 2008.
  2. Wide Receiver help - although Bernard Berrian isn't in that upper echelon of WRs around the league he is a significant upgrade and was the best available.
  3. Offensive Tackle - undone - Ryan Cook was not ideal at RT last year and there is a chance Bryant McKinnie will miss some games this year due to being an idiot. This needs to be addressed in the draft.
  4. Safety - Sharper is aging and Dwight Smith is now available to have sex wherever he wants. So we made two moves to give us depth at S. Madieu Williams should improve our pass coverage and is a nice upgrade. Michael Boulware was also added for depth.
  5. Tight End - undone - to date Shiancoe has been a bust. One would think that with a rookie QB in a west coast offense the TE would end up with more than 27 catches and 1 TD. Maybe in a Kick Ass Offense the TE isn't as productive as a true WC Off. This should be addressed in the draft.
  6. QB Depth - there is no question that Jackson will be the starter (for better or worse). Gus Ferrote was signed to back him up but that doesn't exactly help me sleep at night. I'd like to see another QB drafted.
This team isn't perfect by any stretch and there are other minor holes to fill but those are the top 6 my my count. I love that the organization actually proactively tried to answer their most glaring needs. Allen, Berrian and Williams may not be the answers but they are good faith efforts to fill their needs as best as they could.

How do we handle the rest? To start with I think we can make a good run at covering these hole with our second round pick. Of course every round gives you diminishing chance of return on your pick. But positions such as OL, TE and WR often still have valuable players left in the second round.

Here is my top 5 desired picks for Saturday...
  1. TE - Fred Davis - USC kid who is the second best TE in the draft. Davis is capable of playing right away and being a threat in the passing game.
  2. OT - Duane Brown - Virginia Tech underclassman who ESPN actually projects the Vikings will take. If McKinnie plays and Cook is capable, this would be a great pick as a future OT given a year or two to develop. He began his collegiate career as a TE and then grew to 315 lb. tackle.
  3. QB - Chad Henne, Joe Flacco or Brian Brohm - all three are projected to go in the second round but before Minnesota picks. If any of them fall I have no problem drafting any of them.
  4. WR - James Hardy, Early Doucet, Jordy Nelson or Andre Caldwell - if we take a second round WR these would be my top targets. I am not on the Mario Manningham bandwagon so I do not want him if he falls to us. All four guys above have their own issues but I'd take my chances here.
  5. TE - John Carlson - third best TE available. The kid from Litchfield who left us for Notre Dame had a good career capped with a disappointing senior season. Carlson is big and athletic. ESPN projects him to go to Green Bay with the 56th overall selection. It might be a reach at 47, but if all above players are gone I'd be comfortable with this one
There you have it folks. Our first round pick has been decided and now the only intrigue for this weekend is what we will do with pick #47.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Jared Allen heading to Tampa Bay!

But he'll be wearing Purple as he leads the Vikings into the Super Bowl on 02-01-09!

Apparently the Vikes and Chefs have come to an agreement. And apparently the Vikes and Allen have come to an agreement. No terms have been disclosed but the two scenarios are...

The Chefs accepted our original 1st and 3rd offer.
We caved and chipped in next year's 2nd round.

If it is the former then I love the move. If it is the latter then I love the move as it will be the last pick of the second round!

Drink the Kool Aid folks.

We don't have our #17 pick so draft intrigue will be at a minimum, but this offeseason we addressed what were our three biggest areas of need.

Defensive End - we add the reigning sack leader
Wide Receiver - we add the best free agent available
Safety - we bring in a safety who should improve our coverage

What we still need to address...
Right Tackle - Ryan Cook is not the answer
Quarterback - a back up is needed

depth all around but nothing pressing.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Jared Allen + Draft week = head exploding!

I (like many ESPN watching freaks my age) love the NFL Draft. Mock drafts are like crack, I can't get enough of them. But THIS year we basically have the whole Jared Allen intrigue rolled into draft week. There are just so many thoughts on this week that my head is about to explode!

First of all lets not get caught up in whole 'keeping him in town until he signs' fascination. Obviously he has left town after touring the best steak houses in town. But this isn't a straight up free agent signing. Were is as simple as signing Allen to a fat contract I have no doubt it would be finished by now. BUT we have to compensate the Chefs as well. And there was no way they were going to let him sign and make a deal with Minnesota before they use Tampa as leverage to get a better deal. In order to get a deal done this past weekend would essentially would have had to pay Allen the money he so richly deserves wants, AND give Kansas City their asking price. To have him signed as of today we would have had no leverage and would have overpaid what we are already going to overpay.

We should still be in good shape though. Ever team in the League values draft picks (Mike Ditka being the lone exception but he's at ESPN now). Every team values draft picks and we are in a much better position to give up picks than Tampa Bay is. As you can see in the technical chart below our first round pick is 3 spots higher and then our 2nd and 3rd round selections are 10 spots higher. So by this I deduct that in order for Tampa to land Allen they will have to overpay what Minnesota is willing to pay. So let's say we are offering our 1st and 2nd round picks, both in this year's draft. Then Tampa will have to offer this year's 1st and next year's 1st, or this year's 1st & 2nd and another pick. But then they are giving up three of their five picks in this year's draft.

It is complicated but the facts are these...

  1. In every round we have the higher selection.
  2. They have five total picks we have nine.
  3. We have two in the third round.
The Tampa Tribune is awfully pessimistic about their chances.

20 1st Rnd 17
57 2nd Rnd 47
83 3rd Rnd 73
- 3rd Rnd 82
120 4th Rnd 117

Another facet of this whole Jared Allen thing that is getting blown way out of proportion is his DUI issues. I agree that if he were to get caught again it would be a year lost and would make this potential deal look really, really bad for the Vikings. I understand there is a risk involved but what bothers me is the notion that because Childress is instituting his "culture of accountability" we should just steer clear of Allen. The CofA doesn't mean we only bring in choir boys. If Allen has truly quit drinking and is a better citizen then there is no reason we shouldn't be able to sign him. Chris Carter was a drunk and a menace to Philadelphia. But he turned his life around and was a model citizen in Minnesota (although completely arrogant). The CofA means that if he screws up he has to be held accountable, it does not mean we judge and assume guilt.

With all of that said it is time to play the waiting game.

The closer we get to the Vikings being on the clock at #17 the better for us. Kansas City knows that they will not see Allen play another snap for the Chefs. They want picks, they want them this year and they want them badly. I see three waiting game scenarios and they are all best for Minnesota...
  1. Pick #17 comes around and Minnesota is set to make their selection. At this point Kansas City can make a deal with us or take a lesser deal with Tampa. If they continue to play hardball, we make our pick and go into next year with a good chance of making the playoffs with current roster. Not ideal for us but we save money, we save our picks and we are still an 8-8 team looking to improve in 2008.
  2. Nothing happens during the draft, we sign him to an offer sheet following the draft, Kansas City doesn't match and we sign him forfeiting our 1st round selections in 2009 and 2010. In this scenario we lose two 1st round picks, but we pick up a dominant DE, pick up nine rookies in this year's draft and head into 2008 as a favorite to win the division and push for the NFC.
  3. Nothing happens, Allen is still a Chef for 2008 as their franchise player. Under this scenario we keep all draft picks and have a great shot at signing Allen next offseason. This doesn't do much for us in 2008 but 2009 would be a very interesting season. I assume this scenario has very tiny legs as the likelihood of Allen staying a Chef are slim to none.
Considering there are few teams involved in discussions for Allen and we seem to have a sweeter deal to offer than Tampa, things are looking good for Minnesota. My best guess is that a deal is made Saturday. In fact Minnesota will sit tight and see how long Derrick Harvey falls in the draft. If he were to fall to #17 then our position only gets stronger. Once he gets selected I see us pulling the trigger.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Jared Allen to the Vikings (?)

Rumors are heating up that Minnesota is in negotiations with Kansas City for the NFL's reigning sack leader, Jared Allen.

This seems like a perfect match. The Chiefs are in rebuilding mode, need draft picks to build the franchise and are not willing to hamper their future ability to sign players by paying Allen a monster contract now. The Vikings are in a very winable division, have a desperate need for sacks, have the pieces necessary to make this trade happen and have the cap room to pay Allen top dollar.

The Giants proved how important an effective pass rush is in the last third of the season. Minnesota has a solid group of quality players on defense but have trouble putting pressure on the QB without blitzhing. All of the names thrown out there as potential pass rushing specialists to debut in Purple next fall this is far and away a bigger marque name than Justin Smith, Antwan Odom, Jevon Kearse, Derrick Harvey or Phillip Merling.

The only move that would rival this would be moving up in the draft to take Chris Long or Vernon Gohlston. I think Allen would be more productive, but either of the rookie's would be a cheaper option with a ton of upside. While that move would rival this, it would not be as effective or give us the most bang for the 2008 season.

On his own Smith had more sacks than the entire Vikings starting defensive line last season (Williams, Williams, Udeze and Edwards).

It appears as though this trade would require a first round pick and then either a second or a third round pick (depending on what year KC gets our first round pick). If we give up next week's #17 pick then we would likely keep our 2nd, but if we give up next year's first rounder then we'd likely have to drop a second rounder as well. Something like that, the deal is far from complete but that is a general guideline.

I think if you can make this deal you do it! BUT, with all of that said, how much actual impact on the W/L columns would Allen have?

I know that addition of someone who potentially adds 10+ sacks and many more QB pressures, would allow this team to resemble a pass defense. But this defense was already a feared defense that kept the team in position to win nearly every game they played. It was last in the league against the pass but it dominated the league in rush defense and it was 6th in the NFC in points allowed (allowing 1 fewer point per game than 2006!).

What I'm getting at is, there is so much emphasis on the team adding a pass rushing defensive end for what? To reduce the passing yardage allowed? To give up fewer points? While both of those would be a good thing, the one and only position capable of taking this team from 8-8 to a 10-6 or even 11-5 team is the QB.

Let's take a look at the team's 8 losses from last year and asses how a DE would have had a greater impact on reversing the outcome than an improved passing game.

Week 2 - 17-20 loss @ Detroit
For my first example I am throwing out a game with mixed results. Jackson threw 4 interceptions, had he given a better effort or made better decisions we clearly would have won this game. BUT had the defense not given up 359 yds passing we likely would have won as well. Verdict: Well, we did knock Kitna out for much of the game and had 4 sacks so I still hold Jackson's INT's were more significant than the lack of a dominant pass rushing end.

Week 3 - 10-13 loss @ Kansas City
Anytime the defense holds a team to 13 points on the road you can't fault them for the loss. The Chiefs had 201 passing yards mostly on a quick hitting short passing game. Jared Allen can rush the QB but a quick hitting passing game negates that anyway. With that said, Allen did have 8 tackles and two sacks. His team won, coincidence?
Verdict: Put this one on a lack of offense. 4/15 third down conversion and inability to execute a game plan in the second half cost us this very winable game.

Week 4 - 16-23 loss vs. Green Bay
Favre's 344 yds and two TDs speak volumes. Getting a hand on Favre has been a serious problem for a few years against Green Bay. On the offensive side Holcomb had a solid game with 258 yds and a TD.
Verdict: Getting a pass rush potentially would have made a huge difference here. A late Vikings TD made this game look closer than it was. Jared Allen would not have made a 2 TD difference but it would have gone a long way to keeping us in the game and making Favre work for his yards.

Week 7 - 14-24 loss @ Dallas
Another tough one to call. Lets face it we were on the road facing the best of the regular season in the NFC. Jackson was terrible, Childress quit giving the ball to Purple Jesus and the defense allowed 277 passing yards.
Verdict: The defense had 3 sacks, I don't know how many they need to make a bigger difference. Jackson had 72 passing yards and the team was 2/12 on third down. Clearly an improved pass D would have helped but you won't beat a playoff team when your QB gives you 6/19 for 72 yards.

Week 8 - 16-23 loss vs. Philadelphia
On the season McNabb averaged 220 yards passing on the road but he managed to find 333 in the Metrodome. Bollinger and Holcomb combined for a very average but not crippling performance.
Verdict: Getting more than one sack from the defensive line may have helped here. This home game could have swung in our favor with some pressure on McNabb.

Week 10 - 0-34 loss @ Green Bay
Adding Reggie White and Chris Doleman to the Vikings line would not have helped here. Giving up 351 yards and 3 TDs to Favre is a problem. But not being able to put a single point on the board makes it awfully tough to win no matter what the defense does.
Verdict: Nobody gets credit for being able to swing this into the W column.

Week 16 - 21-32 loss vs. Washington
At this point they started letting Jackson play a little bit and he was OK. Todd Collins going 22/26 and racking up 254 yards is unacceptable. This was another case of a quick hitting passing gameplan so adding a Jared Allen may not have had much of an impact, accept we would not have been forced to blitz LBs leaving all three of them available to defend the short passing game.
Verdict: Jackson was good enough to win, passing D killed us. 2 sacks for the Vikes both by LBs.

Week 17 - 19-22 OT loss @ Denver
This one breaks down by halves. The first half was ugly offense, but Jackson showed why he is being given the reigns to Brad the Red Hot Childress Pepper's (BRHCP) Kick Ass Offense (KAO) in the fourth quarter.
Verdict: One sack by a LB shows that a sack or two from the DE may have done enough to force an earlier punt which leads to a FG which avoids overtime.

Here is how it breaks down with this expert analysis.

3 losses could have been avoided with better QB play
1 loss was unavoidable (shut out @ Green Bay)
4 losses could have been avoided with some DE pressure on the QB.

This is not to say that adding Joe Montana would have guarantee anything or adding Reggie White would have equated to a 12-4 season. But marked improvement at either position would have given us a better chance to win those games.

I don't know if Jared Allen alone will take us to the playoffs but adding Allen along with Madieu Williams' coverage skills from the safety position could really make a difference.

This team's ability to move up to the playoffs or even move into a team capable of winning the NFC rests more on the shoulders of Jackson and the passing game than the pass rush. But this is the ultimate team game and adding as many pieces to the puzzle as we can will always make a bid difference.

Lets get this deal done before Allen has a chance to get to Tampa Bay. Don't give up the farm, in fact do what you can to hang onto this year's #17 pick, but get this deal done and use the draft for other needs.

Star Tribune on the potential deal
Jay Glazer who broke the story for Fox Sports
Kansas City Star on Allen leaving KC
John Clayton weighs in
Daily Norseman is doing a dance already
Pioneer Press story today

Friday, February 29, 2008

Let the Games begin

Free Agency is like Christmas in March. Ziggy spends a bunch of money to improve the team and we reap all the benefits.

Day 1

** We solved our Safety needs for the next 6 years and it only cost us $33 million. I'd be lying if I told you I have an extensive knowledge of last season's Bengal secondary, so before free agency talk I had never heard of Madieu Williams. But he is clearly the missing piece in the secondary. On the right you will see a pick of William's picking off Kyle Orton, but that is nothing to brag about.

From what I've read Williams is a solid pick up. He is good in coverage which is kind of important in a secondary that has never been too concerned with covering anybody. DraftDaddy.com listed him as the 3rd best available safety (behind Bob Sanders and Ken Hamlin). And ESPN's Hashmarks Blog says, "he has excellent cover skills for a safety."

** PKA is your FB, Free Agency Expert - I know both of my loyal readers will remember that I predicted the Vikings would sign the former Gopher and now former Philadelphia Eagle, Thomas Tapeh. And on day one of free agency that is exactly what they did.

Tony Richardson and his Pro Bowl season has moved on, but I don't know if this is a huge loss. Tapeh is talented and incredibly strong IF he can stay healthy. ESPN Insider believes that Richardson is on the backside of his career. "(Richardson) is more in the mold of a guy who can catch out of the backfield or run with it, but his best days have long passed."

I don't know now vital the FB is in our system anyway, I'm sure he'll get plenty of snaps but it isn't a high position of need.

** Jacksonville Loves Troy - OK, I kind of made that up, but the Jaguars are racking up mediocre crappy WRs for their roster as they signed Jerry Porter today. But that isn't the story here.

Jaguars.com has quotes from former Viking head coach Mike Tice who talked about drafting Williamson.

“We came down to (Shawne) Merriman and Williamson and we had just lost Moss. Unfortunately, I got fired and never got to see (Williamson’s) development,” Tice said. “The guy can run. I saw a humble kid who was bigger than I thought and could blow the top off any defense. He was starting to learn.”
Are you kidding me? We could have landed Merriman? Maybe he wouldn't have fit into Brad's "culture of accountability", but he may have been slightly more productive than Williamson. And then the trickle down effect of that is we don't draft Greenway (nothing against Chad, but c'mon) and maybe draft a CB, WR or DE in the 06 draft who is contributing now. But it was solid decisions like that, which led Tice on his journey to Jacksonville.

Free Agent Wish List - Here are remaining players that I'd love to see end up in purple...
  1. DE - Jason Taylor - not a free agent, but there has been talk that Miami might trade the dominant DE. This is HIGHLY unlikely but Dr. Phil has taught me that you have to express your desires or they will never come true.
  2. DE - Justin Smith - most reports have the Vikings on his list but not at the top. The hope here is that his ties to Leslie Frazier will at least get him on a plane to Winter Park where we can throw a ton of money at him. Since James is good for about 2 games a year and Udeze is sick (truly sad and I'm not making light of it), we need someone who has actually sacked a QB in the past. Last season's 2 sacks was his weakest production as a pro, but he averaged 7 per season over the rest of his career.
  3. WR - Bernard Berrian - Berrian is in town and hopefully he will sign a contract before he leaves. BB isn't exactly Randy Moss but his 71 catches, 950 yds and 5 TDs all would have been tops for Minnesota (by a lot). Bernard is used to a crappy QB so if he can put up those numbers in purple next season that will be a monster upgrade.
  4. QB - Donovan McNabb - another player still under contract but the obvious ties to Brad the Red Hot Childress Pepper, keep this a story worth keeping an eye on. If McNabb comes in and Jackson earns the starting job then great, he rose above the competition and has taken a step forward in his career. If not, then you know what you have in McNabb and the QB position is at least stable/reliable.
  5. WR - Bryant Johnson - production could increase if not in the shadow of Fitzgerald and Boldin. This is just a personal fav of mine. Johnson would be a cheaper option who would be an upgrade in my opinion. Johnson has great size.
  6. OL Help - I don't know who to target but let's get a RT to help protect Jackson.
The Vikings have talked about making a splash. Should Berrian agree to a contract before he leaves town that would make for a major splash on Day 1 to get Williams, Berrian and Tapeh. I love the NFL offseason and today is fun.

Friday, February 22, 2008

(Purple) Combine Thoughts...

( I know it is a tractor in the pic, but it is close enough)

Let's get serious about the Vikings offseason needs...

** Rick Speilman gave us good news today when he said the Vikings may make a plunge in the free agent market this year! We did finish 8-8 last year and showed improvement over the last 10 games.

"We have a little bit of a window here with some of our veterans," Spielman said Thursday at the NFL Scouting Combine. "We may be more aggressive if we feel there is a blue-chip guy out there that we go out and take a swing at."
That is what we like to hear. Who will be the blue-chip targets? That is yet to be determined, the list of free agents out there doesn't have very many names to get all giddy about.

** Everybody wants Troy Williamson. The picture on the right is rare footage of him actually catching a pass (and it was worth 6 points). Troy's agent has release that 8-10 teams are interested in acquiring the talented reliable speedy WR. I'm sure after much deliberation and angst, the Vikings are allowing Williamson and his agent to pursue a trade.
“Troy couldn’t be more excited. We have a tremendous amount of interest as you probably would expect. It’s very rare that a young guy like Troy, who is only three years in, who is a top-10 pick comes free. Obviously, the Vikings and I - Rick Spielman, Rob Brzezinski and I - have been in discussions already with about eight to 10 teams. There already have been offers exchanged, there have been discussions with me, there have been discussions with them.”
You can't make it up. Maybe the Patriots are one of those teams and we can work out a sign and trade deal to bring back Moss. Um, that may not be enough, Moss is older and was barely a top 20 pick, Williamson clearly has more value.

If we get anything for Williamson, Speilman should be your front-runner for Exec of the Year.

** My Dream Big Splash! PKA would love nothing more than for the Vikings to take Jason Taylor off the hands of the Big Tuna. A dominant DE would help this team more than anything (including a WR). This from the Miami Herald, obviously agrees that Taylor would be a perfect fit in Minnesota...
It feels like it is time to liberate Taylor like that -- like Thomas and/or like Crowder at the crime scene, if need be. Would you blame Taylor if he went public with wanting to flee this wreck? If he became trade-me loud like Kobe Bryant or Jason Kidd or any of the others in sports who haven't suffered as many management betrayals as Taylor has over a decade of his wasted prime?
I can already imagine reading Sid's column telling us how Taylor's time on Dancing With the Stars will help him with his footwork on the field.

But in all seriousness adding Taylor would be incredible. HEY, the Dolphins need a WR! Maybe they could use a young guy, who is only three years in and a top-10 pick!

** We Have NEEDS.

1. Bryant Johnson
2. Bernard Berrian
3. Draft - Mario Manningham, Limas Sweed, Malcolm Kelly would all be fine picks (not DeSean Jackson as he will be a reincarnate of Williamson)

1. Draft - we need a S now and Sharper ain't a spring chicken
2. Free Agent - I don't know who is good out there

1. Justin Smith - um J.Smith = Big Splash
2. Trade - Tayolor
3. Draft - Vernon Gholston or Derrick Harvey would look good in purple

1. like I can evaluate offensive line talent, but this will be needed to give TJax some life after football.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Super Bowl XLIII - here we come

Book your hotels for Tampa now. Feb 1st, 2009.

Check the poll on the right for who will be next year's Super Bowl MVP.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Lets look ahead to 2008 - MN Free Agents

I'm all about staying positive here at PKA. Who needs the playoffs anyway, it's all rigged by the NFL offices and they hate the Vikings so we would have lost anyway.

All in all this can't be considered a terrible season for Brad the Red Hot Childress Pepper? Sure, we were the hottest team in the league and had a firm grip on the playoffs only to lose 2 in a row and miss out. But let's also remember we were sitting at 2-5 before we rattled off 6 wins in 7 weeks including W's over San Diego and the vaGiants who are both still playing.

For a year and a half we were looking for something (ANYTHING really) to show us that he was a capable head coach and that we had a QB with some upside. I think we saw it. For better or for worse BRHCP bought himself another year. Most of us are still skeptical but he did show a little life and a little talent as a coach. Now he has to be able to do it for 16 weeks.

The Vikings don't have a long list of free agents leaving so the basic roster is coming back. Here is the list of free agents in order of importance.

  1. FB - Tony Richardson - aging FB, but he has been very good. Pro Bowl season and a key to the NFL's leading rushing attack. He'll be back if he doesn't retire. PKA BOLD PREDICTION - the Vikings bring Eagle's FB Thomas Tapeh (former gopher) as FB.
  2. DT - Spencer Johnson - backup DT, but the position's depth ends with Johnson. He is solid and productive while giving the William's boys a break. Need to bring him back.
  3. LB - Dontarrious Thomas - another backup, but capable of playing all LB positions. Very good on special teams and a solid backup that we could use on the roster in 2008.
  4. RB - Mewelde Moore - one of the best 3rd string RBs in the League. When healthy and has an opportunity Moore has been productive. My guess is he'll leave for a chance to start cause chances are he won't beat out Purple Jesus in training camp.
  5. WR - Robert Ferguson - made some mistakes and was invisible half of the time. But we are very thin at WR so brining him back at the right price may not be a bad idea. We could probably sign somebody with at least the same skill set, but he's been in the KAO for a year so he has that going for him.
  6. S - Tank Williams - backup, often injured likely gone.
  7. S - Mike Doss - signed late in summer, I'm not sure he ever played a snap, he gone.
That is a pretty short list with only a couple starters and a couple noteworthy backups. My guess is that Richardson, Johnson, Thomas and Ferguson are all back.

But 2006 was a 6-10 season and 2007 finished 8-8 so at least there was improvement. We bring back basically the entire roster and with this kid named Purple Jesus there is some serious hope for the future. 2008 better equal the playoffs or Ziggy better find himself a new coach.

COMING SOON: a look at team needs, available free agents and draft options.

Kool Aid Drinkers