Grand Finale

new helmet

Week 17 has finally arrived, and with it, many uncertainties as the Vikings look to move forward from a season that started with hope and is about to finish as perhaps the most disappointing season in Vikings history.

The following are my thoughts and opinions in what potentially might happen once the Dome closes it’s doors for the final time:

First, lets tackle Viking Free Agents:

Charlie Johnson: Two words-See Ya!

Jared Allen: Jared had some great years with the Vikings, but, it’s time to let him move on…my guess is he goes to Miami or back to KC.

Chris Cook: Goodbye, and good riddance! He has done nothing to warrant his services for the Vikings moving forward.

Kevin Williams: I think he will retire after this year, unless he is willing to play a reduced role for one more year, with Floyd being the starter. But with the stadium transition to the cold for a couple years, it probably won’t happen. If he retires, I will miss him the most-he has been a consummate professional.

Everson Griffen: Lock him up, it’s his time to shine. He has all the tools to wreak havoc as a starting DE for the Vikes. Now he will get his chance.

Toby Gerhart: This is where the waters get a little muddy. I liked the drafting of Gerhart, and I stand by that today, but as far as the way he has been utilized as a Viking, has been nothing short of
worthless.
For the most part, gone are the days of the single tailback in today’s NFL. There are very few exceptions, mainly Adrian Peterson, who carries the entire workload of an NFL season.

Imagine if Gerhart were to get just 1/3 of the snaps during a game. Several things would happen;
Peterson would be fresher, longer for each game, and for his career. Secondly, the one-two punch of Peterson and Gerhart would be a formidable duo. Their running styles would keep opposing defenses struggling to make tackles, especially late in the game. I like the two tailback idea.

But, we have AP, the greatest running back in the NFL, and all-time. Gerhart will most likely sign with another team, and I wish him well if he does so. I wll discuss this more a little later…

As far as Available Free Agent signings are concerned: I think Speilman will go after the best corner available, on the market. We would then have two excellent corners with Rhodes on the other side quickly establishing himself as an elite defender.

Now, the “Elephant in the room” Leslie Frazier: I will be shocked-to a point where I would waiver (if only for a millisecond) as a Viking fan if Leslie Frazier manages to keep his job as the Head Coach of the Vikings. We’re all in agreement that he is a great person, but not a great Head Coach.

The Vikings must have a new approach with the team if they want to turn the tides, and it starts with a new coaching staff. And that starts with the Head Coach, and trickles down to the team. If we don’t have a great HC, nothing else really matters. We will have all that talent, and nothing to show for it (see Schwartz vs Frazier this Sunday.)

We have also heard that some players are lobbying to keep Frazier as the HC-with our best player AP leading the way.

Is it possible that the main reason Peterson wants Frazier to remain HC is because the current “system” would remain the same. Let me add a few more words here…if Frazier stays, Peterson gets all the carries, if Frazier goes, the new Head Coach may want to have a two running back offense. Think about that for a while…AP has lofty goals, having two RB’s sharing the workload could put a damper on those goals. Now don’t get me wrong, AP is one of my favorite Vikings ever, he is also the face of the franchise, and I hope he remains a Viking for life, but, is this the underlying reason #28 wants to keep Frazier around for? Just food for thought.

Finally, a quick peek at the Draft: After seeing what Luke Kuechly has done to drastically improve the Carolina Panthers’ defense, I would hope that we address our linebacker situation with a top tier rookie with our first pick. Anthony Barr could fit that bill.

The Vikes should draft a QB with their second pick, this is regarded as a deep draft for QB’s, and I think the Vikings can find the right QB with this pick to be the franchise player we desperatly seek. Make no mistake about it-leadership is a key part with any great quarterback-all the great ones have that quality.

The remainder of the draft should focus primarily on defense, we could definitely make good use of the draft picks to bolster up the defense.

Whatever happens in the offseason starts-with the finish of the season on Sunday.

Lets enjoy the Swan Song of the Metrodome on Sunday, knowing that, when the clock winds down to .00, change will lead the way for the future of the Vikings, in hopes of hoisting the Lombardi Trophy.

Vikings new stadium

SKOL VIKINGS!

By vikingology

108 comments on “Grand Finale

  1. Titus-if Frazier remains head coach, do you want Musgrave and Williams to stay too? If not, who (with good credentials) would be willing to step into those positions. This is the problem that Frazier had when he was looking for an OC and DC last time-he got other teams’ castoffs.

  2. VO – I must complement you, your articles are fantastic! I truly enjoy reading them, you put a lot of thought into them.
    I’ve read both sides of the thoughts on Fraiser and although I’ve always respected Billick’s opinion I have to think the best thing for the team is a clean wipe of the slate. He’s established who he is within the organization (yes man?) and you cannot change the spots on Spotty. If he is retained we can expect the same next year, which is complacency.
    Peterson is one of the greatest running backs ever, he is not one of the greatest General Managers. He needs to stick to being a player, not a Team Manager. He’s gonna campaign himself right out of a Super Bowl Ring.
    Please replace the three top coaching positions with guys that are aggressive and have passion that shows. Right now I get the impression the inmates are being allowed to run the prison, proper structure has to be restored and respected.

    • Well said Vegas. I love Peterson – not just his inhuman abilities, but his personality too. The personality just seems to be hurting him right now. He’s too close to the problem and can’t see that the leadership needs to change in order for the team to capitalize on the talent they have. That’s not Adrian’s fault though. As you said, these decisions should not be influenced (bullied?) by the players.

  3. great points in the intro V-O. i would also get rid of Jamarca Sanford so Sendejo could replace him and our safeties should be alright with he and Smith back there. we definitely need a new identity on defense,whether it’s a new DC,scrapping that cover 2,or finding the players who can play that scheme the right way…

  4. even though the offense is primarily ran through AD,we need to get Patterson more involved next season,even if that means less carries for AD. don’t get me wrong,when he’s in that zone,you want AD toting the rock all game,but somewhere during next season more balance is sorely needed if we’re going to scare defenses THE WAY WE SHOULD BE. no way on earth should 9 in the box stop us from moving the ball downfield and NO WAY should a normal based front should stop us from moving the ball either…

  5. Great article V.O.!!!! Well thought out and well written.

    A thought had been splashing around my skull plate over this holiday season……Would anyone object to naming Ken Whisenhunt our next head coach? Looking back on some of his tape, it looked like he had his stuff together. What got him fired was his lack of talent at the Q.B. position……kind of rings a bell here too! His defense was solid though. Thoughts? anyone?

    THIS WEEKS PREDICTION: Vikings go out on a high note with 38 points. The lions-16. We will NOT ALLOW ourselves to be the most miserable defense in Vikings history.

  6. The other elephant in the room is what to do with the QB mess that has gone on way too long. I don’t think any of the three on the roster are a quality starter. Maybe Cassel but he seems to be hot and cold. I’d almost like to see them go back to the well for a QB. Where can we pick up an established, quality QB in the off season? It seems like we have more success with retreads than with draft picks. There is a lot of talk about Kirk Cousins but is he really established? Or is he like Flynn (and Cassel) who has had a couple of good games then gets a big contract and pulls a Harvin? Who else? Cutler – Rothlesberger – RIvers – Schaub? Nothing stands out, maybe we could make a move for Matt Ryan? Thoughts?

  7. Ya Vegas-The QB situation is a mess for sure…I still think Cassel is our best option to keep for a couple reasons-

    One, because he comes at a decent price, the others would command too much $$$ and only have a few more good years. Of couse one could think of Peton Manning, but no one on the list is Manning.

    Two, Cassel is level headed, he is a professional. If we bring in a rookie QB to groom, I think Cassel would help as much as possible, as long as he knows he will start going into a new season.

  8. There are many good rookie QB’s in this year’s draft-we should be able to draft the right one. I’m not saying Manziel is the right choice, but one reason I like him is because he does alot with little to work with…look at some of the QB’s that came out of the draft who had great offensive lines and many weapons at their disposal-many of those QB’s failed when they got to the NFL.

    As I said earlier, you must recognize leadership in the huddle, it’s as important as all the other intangables. A QB that commands the huddle, and can make plays happen with less to work with and a pass rush in his face has more of a chance to suceed in the NFL.

  9. instead of keeping his job we should do a jersey point tie breaker as to what time Monday he gets fired! I understand Zig treats firing like removing a bandaid. It may even happen right after the game tomorrow!

    • Tice was also a “player’s coach.” He was too buddy buddy. AND I remember him always acting like a schizophrenic parent– he would lay down the law and be in a player’s face over a mistake and then a second later pat them on the head, as if to say: it’s okay. But I do remember Tice coaching the only playoff game vs the Packers (at that time) and we beat them– that was beautiful.

  10. I read a couple insightful pieces about Billick– he seems resentful he has not been sought after like other seasoned coaches and also hinted that if all were aligned right at an organization, he might come back to coaching. AND we all know how fond he is of the Vikings. I bet he would come back to the Vikings– that would be awesome. We would win right away.

  11. ^Thats sad that Petey is out-I still don’t understand why Frazier let him play last week with nothing to play for and still healing from the injury he sustained two weeks earlier, not to mention his groin.

    Now he is unable to play the final ever game at the dome-pat yourself on the back Frazier for another job well done.

    • If we switch to a 3-4, the one thing we need more than anything else in the draft is a NT. The closest thing we have to that right now is Guion. After that, a blitzing OLB would be in order – although we might be able to convert Everson Griffen to that role if we get him a new contract. Robison should be able to hold his own at one of the DE positions while Floyd converts over to the other.

      Then, you have Greenway, Mauti, Bishop, Henderson, Hodges and Cole battle it out for the other 3 LB spots. Among the 6-of them, we should be able to find 3 who can hold their own – if we find coaches who are able to look for more than just the guy who has the most tenure when making the decision.

      So, IF that was the plan I’d make sure to spend the first round draft pick on a new NT, get Griffen a new contract, spend the second round pick on a QB while bringing Cassel back as the Veteran QB to help ease his replacement into the job, then spend a 3rd round pick on a blitzing OLB that needs a little work and can compete with Griffen for the starting spot after he gets his head on straight. Then all we need to do is get some OGs and depth at DB and this team is on the path to recovery.

      • Well Trent Murphy is that kind of blitzing DE/OLB. He gets compared to JJ.Watt a lot but he will likely go late 1st, early 2nd. Skov is a 3rd round guy but together they’re a force and would ease our transition. I still think we should go Carr/Bortles in the 1st as I don’t think there’s any qbs worth it in the 2nd. Rather wait until 3/4th and grab Jimmy Garapolo.

  12. Loved the write up VO but I gotta disagree on the Gerhart pick. Hated it at the time and still think it was stupid. At the time we were trying to load up for a superbowl and the only thing they wanted from a running back was to block on 3rd down. They could have thrown money at Westbrook who exceled at blocking or a number of guys in free agency. Writing this makes me really miss Chester Taylor can we do a blog dedicated to him please?

    • Gerhart is way underrated. Problem with him is the problem with the whole organization and coaching staff– they don’t utilize the players as a strategic whole to win. Anyone notice two of our very best years in recent memory– 1998 and 2009– had a one two punch at running back. I don’t think that is coincidence.

      • I don’t remember that for ’98. I thought it was all about Carter-Moss-Reid supported by Robert Smith running the ball. Moe Williams wasn’t really anybody at that point, and Leroy Hoard was a fullback – granted he was a ball carrying fullback, it was a completely different position from what a 3rd down back would play.

            • But my point is simply that great OC use all their players in a cohesive manner. Gerhart is good and even at times runs better than AP– a few times he did, probably because the defenses were not ready for his style. Change it up– keep AD fresh– use everyone.

          • The thing is, I recall them usually being on the field at the same time. They forced defenses to wonder whether they’d need to be ready to keep pace with Smith’s speed and shiftiness, or Hoard’s sheer bull rushing power – all while covering the best trio of WRs that the NFL had ever seen.

            In contrast, Peterson & Taylor were a question only of which one was going to be on the field. Still a great duo – and one that should have been used in a similar fashion with Gerhart – but one that is in a completely different category nonetheless.

  13. Robert Smith is my favorite Viking of all time. Humble, smart and knew his role. Drafted a Viking, retired with class as a Viking. What happened to the league? Is there anyone like Robert left?

  14. i like Gerhart alot as a 2nd RB. problem is that will he be willing to continue to spell AD only when he needs a breather for a play or two,when he has a lot of tread on the tires to get more playing time with another team??

  15. According to my calculations, I have a slim 1 point lead over several of my fellow bloggers in the jersey contest.
    If anyone ties me this week, when the jersey is cut in half, I would like the half that says ‘Adrian P”. You can have the ‘eterson’.

    • I really don’t think anyone believes that Bluebird. It seems to be a general consensus that you are the one who was giving everyone you disliked a thumbs down, regardless of what they said.

      I recall a period when Nova always had at least one thumbs down, and those southward thumbs always seemed to appear in chunks, as if someone was looking for his name and clicking the negative icon on every post all at once. I don’t think even you can expect us to believe that was somebody other than yourself.

  16. Could have been you, all the time Parody. You do like to set people up……

    Thought I would like to start fresh…Kind of hard, with some clown blaming me for the worlds problems. Want to talk football? Or try to stab people in the back?

  17. Yes, indeed Parody. But will you answer one final ? As you said before, many thumbs down on any particular person. Then how do you account for the multiple number of thumbs up or down on a person??? You and everybody is allowed only ONE VOTE.

    But enough of this, All I want is to watch today’s game and see if there is ANYBODY
    that can still play football.

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