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Vikings Offseason Needs

Postby The Lung » Mon Jan 29, 2007 1:36 pm

From Fanball: http://www.fanball.com/fb/article.cfm?id=9014

By Christian Peterson, Senior Editor
Vikings Offseason Needs
We continue our team-by-team look at offseason needs with the Vikings, who suddenly have a very good defense and one of the worst offenses since the invention of the forward pass.

Areas of Need: 2006 provided little evidence that rookie head coach Brad Childress wasn't in over his head. In a striking contrast to the average Vikings teams of the last decade, a vastly improved defense was let down by a horrendous offense that finished 26th in the NFL in points and hit rock bottom late in the year.

Though it seemed impossible to look worse than the Vikings passing game, 14 teams somehow managed to throw for fewer yards per game in 2006. Veteran Brad Johnson fell on the sword after tossing 15 interceptions and just nine touchdowns in 14 games before being benched in favor of rookie Tarvaris Jackson, who wasn't supposed to see meaningful playing time for at least another year. Johnson has played his last game in purple and Childress has publicly stated that the quarterback job will be an open competition between Jackson and Brooks Bollinger in training camp next season. He also admitted that part of the problem in 2006 was his own faulty play-calling, but he has no plans to surrender that duty in the future.

Even when the right calls were made and executed, the worst set of pass-catchers in the league repeatedly let the team down. The best of the bunch, Marcus Robinson, clashed with management and was jettisoned before the end of the regular season. Mediocre veteran Travis Taylor probably isn't in the long-term plans. Troy Williamson will be on an extremely short leash in his third (and likely final) attempt to prove he's not a colossal bust as a former No. 7 overall pick. The Vikings desperately need at least one wideout who can create some separation from opposing cornerbacks and wrap their mitts around the ball once it is thrown their way.

The left side of the offensive line may not have lived up to its highly-compensated billing, but the right side is a mess by comparison to Bryant McKinnie, Steve Hutchinson, and Matt Birk. The Vikes are hoping 2006 second-rounder Ryan Cook can develop into a serviceable right tackle, but the revolving door at right guard has been spinning out of control for the last couple of years and could definitely use some WD-40, if not a complete overhaul.

Defensively, the Vikings biggest challenge is finding a coordinator to replace the departed Mike Tomlin. The new DC will have to determine if safeties Darren Sharper and Dwight Smith are worth the off-the-field headaches and find a way to get pressure on the quarterback, either by reviving former first-rounders Kenechi Udeze (no sacks in 16 games) and Erasmus James (torn ACL in September), or by bringing in some competition.

Help is on the Way? Given how green Jackson looked in his brief stint at the end of last year, and how mediocre Bollinger has looked throughout his entire career, the Vikings can't help but entertain the idea of bringing in a free agent quarterback to give Tarvaris at least one more year of development. Damon Huard is available, as is Jeff Garcia, who has proven himself a worthy conductor of West Coast schemes.

Ironically, the Vikings again hold the No. 7 pick in this year's draft, and could use it – sound familiar? – on a receiver. Ted Ginn Jr. or Dwayne Jarrett might both be considered reaches that early in the proceedings, but either would fill a huge need. If Minnesota opts for help on the defensive line at No. 7, they might be able to grab a receiver like LSU standout Dwayne Bowe early in round two. The free agent wide receiver cupboard is essentially bare, though players like Patrick Crayton or D.J. Hackett might find the opportunity to become a No. 1 or No. 2 receiver in Minnesota an attractive proposition.

Some early mock drafts have even tabbed Oklahoma running back Adrian Peterson as the pick at No. 7, which would make some sense given how Chester Taylor wore down at the end of 2006 in his first go-around as a feature back. A bold move like that, however, doesn't seem to fit Childress' style, nor does it address a position of need. Though less exciting than an elite runner or pass-catcher, an explosive defensive end or a ball-hawking safety would greatly assist the NFL's 31st-ranked pass defense.

Even if the offseason doesn't bring a big name player to the defense, the return of 2006 first-round linebacker Chad Greenway (torn ACL), as well as bounce back seasons from James and safety Tank Williams (fractured kneecap) would help patch some holes on an improving unit.
(~);}

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Postby BlueBandit24 » Fri Feb 02, 2007 3:53 pm

So many holes on offense and a few on defense, back to the rebuilding. :~(
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Postby LoveBoatCaptain » Thu Feb 08, 2007 1:23 pm

Taking a look at a few minor changes, the Vikings should actually be a strong team next season

QB: Jeff Garcia/Tarvaris Jackson (sign Garcia)
RB: Chester Taylor (no change)
FB: Tony Richardson (no change)
WR: Larry Fitzgerald (trade for Fitzgerald)
WR:Travis Taylor (no change)
WR:Troy Williamson (no change)
TE: Jermaine Wiggins (cut Kleinsasser)
LT: Bryant McKinnie (no change)
LG: Steve Hutchinson (no change)
C: Matt Birk (no change)
RG: Marcus Johnson (no change)
RT: Mike Rosenthal (no change)

DE: Kenechi Udeze (no change)
DT: Kevin Williams (no change)
DT: Pat Williams (no change)
DE: Erasmus James (no change)
LB: Ben Leber (no change)
LB: EJ Henderson (no change)
LB: Chad Greenway (no change)
CB: Antoine Winfield (no change)
CB: Cedric Griffin (trade Smoot w/ 1.07 pick for Fitzgerald)
FS: Dwight Smith/Tank Williams (no change)
SS: Darren Sharper (no change)
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Postby treat24 » Sat Feb 10, 2007 6:25 pm

LoveBoatCaptain wrote:Taking a look at a few minor changes, the Vikings should actually be a strong team next season


I say that every year... i thought we were contenders in 06... didn't wuite work out
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Postby BlueBandit24 » Sat Feb 10, 2007 7:46 pm

LoveBoatCaptain wrote:Taking a look at a few minor changes, the Vikings should actually be a strong team next season

QB: Jeff Garcia/Tarvaris Jackson (sign Garcia)
RB: Chester Taylor (no change)
FB: Tony Richardson (no change)
WR: Larry Fitzgerald (trade for Fitzgerald)
WR:Travis Taylor (no change)
WR:Troy Williamson (no change)
TE: Jermaine Wiggins (cut Kleinsasser)
LT: Bryant McKinnie (no change)
LG: Steve Hutchinson (no change)
C: Matt Birk (no change)
RG: Marcus Johnson (no change)
RT: Mike Rosenthal (no change)

DE: Kenechi Udeze (no change)
DT: Kevin Williams (no change)
DT: Pat Williams (no change)
DE: Erasmus James (no change)
LB: Ben Leber (no change)
LB: EJ Henderson (no change)
LB: Chad Greenway (no change)
CB: Antoine Winfield (no change)
CB: Cedric Griffin (trade Smoot w/ 1.07 pick for Fitzgerald)
FS: Dwight Smith/Tank Williams (no change)
SS: Darren Sharper (no change)


Minor changes? Trading for Fitzgerald and signing the best FA QB are not exactly minor changes. The Vikes have expressed no interest in Garcia, and the trade for Fitz is a long shot at best. Dwight Smith and Sharper are likely going to be gone, and Travis Taylor is a FA and I doubt he wants to return.

I've been the eternal optimist up until these past 2 seasons, I just don't see this team doing much of anything in '07, especially if Childress brings his same approach with him.
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Postby vikingsrube » Sun Feb 18, 2007 1:04 pm

BlueBandit24 wrote:
LoveBoatCaptain wrote:Taking a look at a few minor changes, the Vikings should actually be a strong team next season

QB: Jeff Garcia/Tarvaris Jackson (sign Garcia)

Minor changes? Trading for Fitzgerald and signing the best FA QB are not exactly minor changes. The Vikes have expressed no interest in Garcia, and the trade for Fitz is a long shot at best.


Any thoughts on David Carr as a bridge to the Tarvaris era? I heard the Texans are only looking for a seventh round pick as compensation. His salary is cheap, and I would love to see what Carr does with a decent o-line. Makes more sense to me than Garcia.
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Postby BlueBandit24 » Tue Feb 20, 2007 9:35 pm

vikingsrube wrote:
BlueBandit24 wrote:
LoveBoatCaptain wrote:Taking a look at a few minor changes, the Vikings should actually be a strong team next season

QB: Jeff Garcia/Tarvaris Jackson (sign Garcia)

Minor changes? Trading for Fitzgerald and signing the best FA QB are not exactly minor changes. The Vikes have expressed no interest in Garcia, and the trade for Fitz is a long shot at best.


Any thoughts on David Carr as a bridge to the Tarvaris era? I heard the Texans are only looking for a seventh round pick as compensation. His salary is cheap, and I would love to see what Carr does with a decent o-line. Makes more sense to me than Garcia.


The Texans actually want a 2nd or 3rd rounder, but I wouldn't mind seeing Carr in purple. I think he is a good QB he has just gotten caught with an awful line and an organization that is horribly run. For a few years I think he could be solid, but I think Childress and his staff are going to give Jackson every opportunity, their egos are too big to concede that Jacskon isn't the guy considering they traded up to get him.
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Postby LoveBoatCaptain » Wed Feb 21, 2007 2:52 pm

I would trade a 2nd day pick for Carr, nothing more. However, I'm content handing them a 4th round pick.
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Postby The Lung » Tue Apr 10, 2007 10:17 am

From: http://www.fanball.com/fb/article.cfm/ID.9628/Football

Vikings Draft Preview

Brad Childress needs to add an offensive playmaker via the draft.

By Jason Powell, Senior Editor

Wants and Needs: Head coach Brad Childress has indicated that he is willing to let young quarterbacks Brooks Bollinger and Tarvaris Jackson compete for the starting job this summer. Of course, that could be a smokescreen, as Childress has also noted that he would at least consider the idea of selecting a signal caller with the No. 7 overall pick in the draft. Troy Williamson and Bobby Wade are the most recognizable names amongst the Vikings receiving corps. Ouch! Clearly, the Purple will be in the market for wideout help on draft day. Childress has also indicated that he would like to lighten the load on starting running back Chester Taylor, and they might use the draft to find a complementary back. Minnesota led the league in run defense last season, but their pass defense left plenty to be desired. Childress seems to attribute most of that problem to a lack of a consistent pass rush. The Vikings have used first-round picks on defensive ends in two of the last three drafts, but neither Kenechi Udeze nor Erasmus James have proven that they can put pressure on opposing quarterbacks. In fact, Udeze has registered only six sacks in three years, while James has only four sacks in two seasons (both players missed a substantial amount of time due to injuries).

Potential Selections: Childress has done his share of gushing over wide receiver Calvin Johnson. Unfortunately, so has just about every other coach in the league. You're more likely to be turned on by a "Golden Girls" rerun than the Vikings are of getting Johnson with the No. 7 overall pick. Then again, for all we know, you're into the granny porn that was featured on "The Shield" last week, so let's just say that the only way the Vikings will get Johnson is if they trade up. A more likely scenario appears to be trading down and grabbing a wideout such as Ted Ginn Jr., Robert Meachem, Dwayne Bowe, or Dwayne Jarrett if they have their hearts set on selecting a receiver in the first round. They could also fill a hole at a different position with the first-round pick and then hope that receivers such as Steve Smith or Sidney Rice are still available in round two. It would be difficult for the Vikings to pass should JaMarcus Russell or Brady Quinn fall into their laps. For that matter, Adrian Peterson could still be there and form a nice one-two punch with Taylor in the backfield. Gaines Adams has the speed to pressure the quarterback and might be just what Minnesota is looking for at defensive end. If Adams is gone, fellow defensive end Jamaal Anderson could be a target. The Vikings appear set at safety with Darren Sharper returning, but he's not getting any younger and there were rumblings that he wasn't a good fit in the cover-two defense last year. Therefore, LSU safety LaRon Landry is a legitimate possibility with the seventh overall pick.

Minnesota's Picks:
Round One: 7th overall
Round Two: 41st overall
Round Three: 72nd overall
Round Four: 106th overall
Round Five: 146th overall
Round Six: 182nd overall
Round Seven: 217th overall
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