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Thread: Soooo...now what?

  1. #1

    Soooo...now what?

    Well, after the season suddenly ended sooner than anyone hoped it would, we're thrust into "now what?" mode for the offseason. What do you do when you've had some success (division win and home playoff game) but see that there are some definite holes and shortcomings that have to be overcome for greater success next time? Here's what I think we'll need to address in the offseason:

    1. Priority #1 in my mind would have to be an upgrade to the offensive line. I don't claim to know all (or any) of the answers but some things are pretty obvious to all of us. Is Clemmings ready to take over for Kalil or Loadholt? I don't know but I sure hope he can do it, preferably for Kalil, because I think he's over. I also think we need at least one starting guard, and I'm not talking about picking a guy in the sixth round and hoping he develops in three years. We need one NOW. Draft one, sign a young one with promise, whatever. Also speaking of the O-line, I think we may need to get a better coach there. We don't seem to be developing many--if any--talent to start. I tell you what I think would make a huge difference: at least one guy that is NASTY.

    2. The line upgrade will help a lot in this area too, as would an infusion of younger, fresher ideas and methods from a new coach. Teddy Bridgewater HAS to improve in year three or we will have to try something else imo. His improvement from his rookie season to his second season was at best minuscule. Same 14 TDs in more games started isn't an improvement as far as I'm concerned. Let's not focus on passing yards right now, since points is how you win games. Consider the season touchdown totals of all the playoff QBs:

    -Brady=36
    -Newton=35
    -Palmer=35
    -Wilson=34
    -Rodgers=31
    -Cousins=29
    -Dalton=25
    -Roethlisberger=21
    -Alex Smith=20
    -Hoyer=19
    -Bridgewater=14
    (Payton Manning and Brock Osweiller combined for 19. Add in the other starting QBs for the Texans and you have a respectable 28 TDs.)

    The point being our QB production is lackluster bordering on pathetic. In two games against the Seahawks our offense managed ZERO TDs. I can't be mad at our kicker for missing a game winning kick when our offense gave him nothing to help out. You can occasionally win a game with FGs but that's never going to happen in the playofffs. You're going to run into good defenses in the playoffs, which will slow down even the best offenses, but you can't be so predictable, one dimensional and plodding and expect to win playoff games nowadays.

    So why can't we get any passing game going? Is it Teddy? Norv? Lack of targets? Poor offensive line play? Probably at least a little of all of the above. Maybe I'm oversimplifying things, but why can't a guy who scored 72 TDs in three years starting in college manage 20 in an NFL season? Should we perhaps look at some of the things they did at Louisville that Teddy enjoyed great success in? Can we hire one of his former coaches to be the OC? If the line is the problem, why can't I think of a single pro O-linemen from Teddy's time in Louisville?

    Look at the teams that advanced from the first round of the playoffs and you'll see that the teams with the QB wins. That's what I want from the Vikings in the near future: playoff wins.

    3. Safety. For the first time in several seasons, we can be proud of our defensive backfield. We have the best safety in the NFL (even if nobody else seems to realize that) in Harrison Smith, one of the best CBs in the NFL in Xavier Rhodes, and a promising young CB who finally came on in the end of the season in Trae Waynes. We also have some good depth, which is important. Some of that depth used to be forced to be starters, but now they are where they should have been all along, third and fourth CBs and backup safeties/special teamers. But that safety spot opposite Smith is a major weakness. There aren't a lot of good safety prospects in this draft unfortunately. I just wonder if we couldn't get a bigger CB to handle that. Thought Exum could do that but so far, no.

    4. Wide Receiver. We found a real gem in Stefon Diggs. Second in the NFL in rookie receiving yards behind highly touted Amari Cooper. Diggs may or may not be a true #1 receiver, but at worst, he's a tremendous #2. The lack of production from the passing game may have a lot to do with the lack of talent at WR. Just like I said about the DBs, some of these guys who are starting will make great backups. Charles Johnson and Mike Wallace don't seem to make much of a difference at this point for some reason. Maybe a different offense would change that. It would certainly benefit Jairus Wright to get more quick slants and let him take off with the ball, probably the same for Cordarelle Patterson (if he's not done at this point). Can you imagine what a star Wright would be in New England? This is a position I think will be upgraded in the draft. We'll draft another WR in the first four rounds if we know what's good for Teddy.

    5. Peterson. What to do, what to do? Adrian Peterson has been the definition of workhorse running back since he arrived in Minnesota in 2007. Through it all, coming back from injury and suspension, the slow march of age and wear on the body, he has performed at the highest level for the Vikings. But he's now 30 years old, costs the team a load of money best spent elsewhere, and has very little playoff success to show for a long career. You can certainly say that without Peterson we wouldn't have made the playoffs, but if he can't help you once you get there, what good is he? I personally think it's time to move on from Peterson. I believe our dependence on him has stinted the growth of a few QBs over the years. Today's NFL does require a run game but the model for that game is different. Today's RBs need to be fast, sure handed guys who make the defense wonder whether they will be running or receiving--or blocking, on the next play. We have one such RB on the roster, and when McKinnon makes an entrance, I'm probably not the only one that sees a spark in the offense. Am I?

    Other than these areas, I think depth and health are our only concerns personnel wise. Greenway will likely be gone, and if not, he needs a younger upgrade but I don't know if we'll draft another first round LB to replace him.

    So what do YOU think fellow Vikings fans? Am I way off, nuts, bitter and disgusting, all of the above? What do you think we need to do to improve our chances of winning a Super Bowl before we croak?
    Last edited by Hyperborean; 01-11-2016 at 02:37 PM.

  2. #2
    2016 Vikings Free Agents. Who would you resign?

    Chad Greenway OLB, Age 32
    Terence Newman CB, Age 36
    Josh Robinson CB, Age 24
    Jarius Wright WR, Age 25
    Rhett Ellison TE, Age 26
    Robert Blanton S, Age 25
    Mike Harris LT, Age 26
    Marcus Sherels CB, Age 27
    Andrew Sendejo S, Age 27
    Matt Asiata RB, Age 27
    Taylor Mays S, Age 27
    Blair Walsh K, Age 25
    Cullen Loeffler LS, Age 34
    Casey Matthews ILB , Age 6
    Justin Trattou S, Age 26
    DeMarcus Van Dyke CB, Age 26
    DuJuan Harris RB, Age 26
    Shaun Prater CB, Age 25
    Audie Cole ILB, Age 26
    Mike Kafka QB, Age 27
    Chase Ford TE, Age 24
    Joe Banyard RB, Age 26
    Brandon Bostick TE, Age 26
    Josh Kaddu OLB, Age 25
    Rodney Smith WR, Age 25
    Zach Line RB, Age 25
    Adam Thielen WR, Age 24
    Carter Bykowski LT, Age 24
    Caesar Rayford ILB, Age 29
    Shamiel Gary S, Age 25
    Ahmad Dixon S, Age 23

  3. #3
    I'll answer my own question first . Bold on those I would resign.

    Chad Greenway OLB, Age 32
    Terence Newman CB, Age 36
    Josh Robinson CB, Age 24
    Jarius Wright WR, Age 25

    Rhett Ellison TE, Age 26
    Robert Blanton S, Age 25
    Mike Harris LT, Age 26

    Marcus Sherels CB, Age 27
    Andrew Sendejo S, Age 27
    Matt Asiata RB, Age 27
    Taylor Mays S, Age 27
    Blair Walsh K, Age 25
    Cullen Loeffler LS, Age 34
    Casey Matthews ILB , Age 26
    Justin Trattou S, Age 26
    DeMarcus Van Dyke CB, Age 26
    DuJuan Harris RB, Age 26
    Shaun Prater CB, Age 25
    Audie Cole ILB, Age 26

    Mike Kafka QB, Age 27
    Chase Ford TE, Age 24
    Joe Banyard RB, Age 26
    Brandon Bostick TE, Age 26
    Josh Kaddu OLB, Age 25
    Rodney Smith WR, Age 25
    Zach Line RB, Age 25
    Adam Thielen WR, Age 24

    Carter Bykowski LT, Age 24
    Caesar Rayford ILB, Age 29
    Shamiel Gary S, Age 25
    Ahmad Dixon S, Age 23

  4. #4
    2016 Vikings opponents

    Home: Chicago, Detroit, Green Bay, Dallas, NY Giants, Houston, Indianapolis, Arizona
    Away: Chicago, Detroit, Green Bay, Philadelphia, Washington, Jacksonville, Tennessee, Carolina

  5. #5
    Season Tickets, First Deck
    Join Date
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    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
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    Nice job Hyper ... a lot to digest.

    Section 1. Something has to change with the offensive line if they expect to have an efficient offense. I think Kalil stays. It's the best he's played since he was a rookie. He's by no means a great LT but he played a decent LT this year. I don't see the Vikings moving on and thus creating another question mark along the OL. Left guard (Fusco) and RT (Clemmings) were the weak parts. Sullivan and Loadholt will be returning from injuries. Maybe Loadholt goes back to RT and Clemmings becomes a back up where he can learn for another year. He was thrown into the fire this year and although he did improve he remained a liability all year long. Harris did a good job at RG but he's a free agent. Hopefully the Vikings will resign him. Fusco was a major disappointment so I can see a major battle looming at left guard. The Vikings do have players on the roster that will no doubt will be in the competition during training camp: Nick Easton (acquired from 49ers for Hodges), Zac Kerin (Free Agent), Jeremiah Sirles (Acquired from San Diego for a draft pick), Austin Shepard (2015 Draft), Carter Bykowski (Injured Reserve).

    2. No doubt Teddy has to improve. He was very up and down this year. Year number 3 will be Bridgewater's and the Vikings year of reckoning.

    3. Safety is another area that needs to be addressed although I thought Anthony Harris played very well when he got his opportunity. Terrence Newman is also a possibility since Trae Waynes will more than likely be inserted into the lineup next year.

    4. I think WR needs to be addressed also. I think the Vikings will look to the draft to fill their need for a big WR that can go up and win a jump ball. Charles Johnson will be invited back but I believe Mike Wallace will be moving on.

    5. I think AP will return for another year. I don't think the Vikings will move on just yet. He still commands the respect of every defense in the NFL. Teddy and the Vikings offense just need to be able to take advantage of the 8 and 9 men in the box opportunities ... something they didn't do this year.



    5>

  6. #6
    Season Tickets, First Deck
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    630
    I've highlited the players I think will be back in Mankato this year.

    Chad Greenway OLB, Age 32 - He's got a lot left and Zimmer values his veteran leadership.
    Terence Newman CB, Age 36 - I think Zimmer would love to have him back but I'm not sure if Newman will want to come back at his age.
    Josh Robinson CB, Age 24
    Jarius Wright WR, Age 25 - Already signed
    Rhett Ellison TE, Age 26 - No brainer, he'll be back
    Robert Blanton S, Age 25
    Mike Harris LT, Age 26 - He's looking for a multi year contract I hope they can come to an agreement.
    Marcus Sherels CB, Age 27 - He'll be back again and on the bubble as always.
    Andrew Sendejo S, Age 27 - Depth at safety and good special teams player.
    Matt Asiata RB, Age 27 - reliable and steady third down back.
    Taylor Mays S, Age 27
    Blair Walsh K, Age 25 - Signed multi year contract
    Cullen Loeffler LS, Age 34
    Casey Matthews ILB , Age 6
    Justin Trattou S, Age 26 - good depth at DE
    DeMarcus Van Dyke CB, Age 26
    DuJuan Harris RB, Age 26
    Shaun Prater CB, Age 25 - maybe gets a look in camp
    Audie Cole ILB, Age 26 - good depth at LB
    Mike Kafka QB, Age 27
    Chase Ford TE, Age 24
    Joe Banyard RB, Age 26
    Brandon Bostick TE, Age 26
    Josh Kaddu OLB, Age 25
    Rodney Smith WR, Age 25
    Zach Line RB, Age 25 - Played well at fullback
    Adam Thielen WR, Age 24 - Had a very good year and shined at times.
    Carter Bykowski LT, Age 24 - Had a good camp last year until he hurt his shoulder and ended up on IR.
    Caesar Rayford ILB, Age 29
    Shamiel Gary S, Age 25
    Ahmad Dixon S, Age 23

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