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  1. #1
    singersp's Avatar
    singersp is offline PPO Newshound
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    Cottrell won't limit his options

    Kevin Seifert, Star Tribune
    October 11, 2005 VIKE1011


    Normally good-humored and chatty, Ted Cottrell suddenly grew testy last week. The discussion had turned to a sensitive topic: public suggestions from several Vikings players that the defensive coordinator streamline his schemes to help reduce mental errors.

    "Streamline?" Cottrell repeated. "We'll never go that way anymore. We're not even going to talk about that anymore. Because it's been streamlined. If it was any more streamlined, it would just be one line."

    Yes, the Vikings responded to early-season defensive confusion by cutting schemes, personnel groupings and alternative alignments from their defensive playbook. The project appeared to impact their 33-16 victory over New Orleans; in that game, the Vikings blitzed regularly and played an overwhelming number of downs in man-to-man defense.

    A week later, the Vikings appeared confused and often were out of position in a 30-10 loss to Atlanta. In fact, the Vikings had at least one player line up wrong on 25 percent of the Falcons' plays (16 of 64) as Atlanta rolled up 285 rushing yards.

    So while Cottrell has no intention of further limiting his options -- the Vikings plan to continue flipping between their 3-4 and 4-3 alignments -- he did spend the bye week pursuing other ways to avoid mental errors. One answer, coach Mike Tice said Monday, is to reduce the total number of players involved in those multiple schemes.

    To that end, it appeared Monday that Keith Newman had supplanted Napoleon Harris as the Vikings' starting strongside linebacker. Newman has performed well as a part-time fourth linebacker, but Harris has been nearly invisible with nine tackles in four games.

    "We have to look at how much further we should cut it back," Tice said. "Or do you not platoon as much? In other words, do you not carry as many [personnel] packages? Sometimes you can have packages that have different people out there that seem similar. That could cause some of the problem."

    Close Vikings observers this season have noted at least six different defensive alignments: two different forms of their 4-3, a 3-4 with Pat Williams at nose tackle, a 4-4-3 with Corey Chavous as the only safety, separate nickel and dime packages, and also a special personnel grouping that took advantage of safety Willie Offord's size before he was injured.

    The results: an average of 378.3 yards and 26.8 points allowed per game, good for No. 30 overall in the NFL. The Vikings have accumulated only six sacks and have forced seven turnovers in four games.

    Linebacker Sam Cowart and safety Darren Sharper, two of five new defensive starters, suggested last week that players were thinking too much about their assignments and perhaps needed less on their weekly plate.

    "As players," Sharper said, "we have to know our job. Whatever we're called upon to do, we have to be ready for that. If you come out with 100 different things to do, then you have to learn 100 different things.

    "But to make it easy, if you have guys that tend to play a lot better when they're not thinking as much, then you want to reduce the amount that you're going into the game plan with. And I think we're trying to find an even mix, some different things but also to limit the things so that guys aren't thinking as much and can play full speed."

    Sharper is expected to start Sunday at Chicago after missing two games because of a sprained left knee, but injuries could further impact the Vikings' defensive options. The team has two healthy defensive ends, Darrion Scott and rookie Erasmus James, while veteran Lance Johnstone (strained pectoral muscle) has returned to practice but is not 100 percent. End/tackle Spencer Johnson, who has two sore knees, is "very iffy" for the game, Tice said.

    No matter what defense Cottrell employs Sunday, Cowart said, the responsibility ultimately will fall on players to carry out the defense as called.

    "It doesn't matter if it's scaled back or whatever it is," he said. "You can only call one play per down. You've got to execute that play. That's what it's coming down to for us. Whether or not he has 30 calls or five calls in the defense, you can only have one call per play. So we've just got to execute better."

    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

  2. #2
    mnvikes61's Avatar
    mnvikes61 is offline Team Alumni
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    Re: Cottrell won't limit his options

    good read singer, thanks for posting that article.

    Thanks Josdin

  3. #3
    V4L's Avatar
    V4L
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    Re: Cottrell won't limit his options

    To that end, it appeared Monday that Keith Newman had supplanted Napoleon Harris as the Vikings' starting strongside linebacker. Newman has performed well as a part-time fourth linebacker, but Harris has been nearly invisible with nine tackles in four games


    LOL.. The guy we traded for Randy Moss is on the bench after week 5.. pathetic.. Atleast Newman has been playing well

  4. #4
    snowinapril's Avatar
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    Re: Cottrell won't limit his options

    "Vikez4Lyfe" wrote:
    LOL.. The guy we traded for Randy Moss is on the bench after week 5.. pathetic.. Atleast Newman has been playing well
    It is pretty pathetic, I bet the Raiders were going to cut him anyway, it was a token trade. Atleast Oak had envisioned that they were going to make him earn his spot this past training camp.

    Yes, that was a good article.

    Ted sounds pissed. He needs to find some brainiacs which we apparently haven't been drafting.

    Wunderlic, wunderlic, wunderlic, do we put any value on that test at all during the combine????

  5. #5
    6-KINGS Guest

    Re: Cottrell won't limit his options

    Great the old "it's them, not me" debate..
    That is always so productive and team building.
    Sweet Lord help us.

  6. #6
    Del Rio Guest

    Re: Cottrell won't limit his options

    "In fact, the Vikings had at least one player line up wrong on 25 percent of the Falcons' plays (16 of 64) as Atlanta rolled up 285 rushing yards"

    I said it all last year, I said it this year......Ted Cottrell is horrible.....BUT Teddy needs time.....Teddy needs better players......Teddy did good things long long ago.............

    He sucks, he needs to take a hike in the woods. Preferably in some other state for some other team.

  7. #7
    RK.'s Avatar
    RK.
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    Re: Cottrell won't limit his options

    "Del Rio" wrote:
    "In fact, the Vikings had at least one player line up wrong on 25 percent of the Falcons' plays (16 of 64) as Atlanta rolled up 285 rushing yards"

    I said it all last year, I said it this year......Ted Cottrell is horrible.....BUT Teddy needs time.....Teddy needs better players......Teddy did good things long long ago.............

    He sucks, he needs to take a hike in the woods. Preferably in some other state for some other team.
    :thumbleft: Exactly Del. If the players are confused its not because they are stupid, its because Cottrell is confusing them. All these Veterans we have didn't seem to be confused on other teams they played for.

    WWBGD

  8. #8
    PurplePackerEater is offline Ring of Fame
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    Re: Cottrell won't limit his options

    This all stinks.

    The players are showing us that the coaches suck, the coaches are saying the players suck, we're about to bench the player we traded Moss for, players are partying and screwing in "public" like they just won the SB, players are being arrested for disorderly conduct (can't follow coaching directions and now can't follow police instructions), a player is beating his wife, coach was busted for scalping tickets, a player is suspended for drug use, the most hated owner in football traded away the franchise player, injuries are mounting, and we're finding out that our franchise QB can't read an NFL calliber defense...whew, did I miss anything?

    And to top it all off, we were predicted by some to win it all this year! -just adds to the embarrassment.

  9. #9
    mnvikes61's Avatar
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    Re: Cottrell won't limit his options

    that's all of it in a nutshell PPE! :sad:

    Thanks Josdin

  10. #10
    6-KINGS Guest

    Re: Cottrell won't limit his options

    "PurplePackerEater" wrote:
    This all stinks.

    The players are showing us that the coaches suck, the coaches are saying the players suck, we're about to bench the player we traded Moss for, players are partying and screwing in "public" like they just won the SB, players are being arrested for disorderly conduct (can't follow coaching directions and now can't follow police instructions), a player is beating his wife, coach was busted for scalping tickets, a player is suspended for drug use, the most hated owner in football traded away the franchise player, injuries are mounting, and we're finding out that our franchise QB can't read an NFL calliber defense...whew, did I miss anything?

    And to top it all off, we were predicted by some to win it all this year! -just adds to the embarrassment.
    And in the words of Walter Cronkitt
    "Thats the way it is October 11, 2005"

    Goodnight

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