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  1. #1
    singersp's Avatar
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    Kleinsasser, Wiggins - Out of the loop

    Posted on Sat, Sep. 30, 2006

    [size=13pt]OUT OF THE LOOP[/size]

    Tight ends Jermaine Wiggins and Jim Kleinsasser would seem to be a perfect fit in the Vikings' new offense, but it hasn't worked that way so far.

    BY MARCUS R. FULLER
    Pioneer Press


    In Vikings coach Brad Childress' seven-year tenure as the offensive coordinator in Philadelphia, former Eagles tight end Chad Lewis made the Pro Bowl three times. In his final year with the team in 2005, L.J. Smith had a breakout season.

    It seemed Childress' offense would be a perfect fit in Minnesota for veteran tight ends Jermaine Wiggins and Jim Kleinsasser. But the tight ends are getting fewer passes thrown their way than a year ago in the Vikings' first three games.

    Wiggins, who led the Vikings in receptions the past two seasons, has watched his numbers drop significantly. Last year, he had 13 catches for 110 yards in the first three games. Wiggins currently has eight catches for 62 yards, but only three receptions combined in the past two games.

    Wiggins, Kleinsasser and Richard Owens have combined for 12 catches for 96 yards this year. At the same point last season, the Vikings trio had 21 catches for 188 yards.

    There's an obvious difference so far under Childress, but Wiggins isn't ready to hit the panic button heading into Sunday's game at Buffalo.

    "It's still early," said Wiggins, who had one catch for nine yards Sunday in the Vikings' 19-16 loss to Chicago. "I know I'm going to have an opportunity to make plays. I know that I'm going to have a chance to go out there and my number is going to get called. I'm not worried about it. Coach is doing a great job of scheming. It's like anything. There's a progression. Everything has to work together on offense. That's the way I look at it."

    Last year, former Vikings coach Mike Tice ran a two tight-end set, which allowed Wiggins and Kleinsasser to play at the same time.

    Childress, who took away snaps from the tight ends by incorporating fullback Tony Richardson into his offense, said he will stick to whatever works.

    "I think the important thing to always know is where you're at, what you can do and what you can't do," he said. "Just because I want to do something that's in the West Coast offense, doesn't mean that we can. That's what training camp is for. You see what you do well and you kind of try to play to your strengths."

    The Vikings still haven't found a go-to player in their passing game. But offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said he doesn't worry about getting Wiggins or any other player more involved.

    "Wiggins was the leading receiver in the first game," Bevell said. "Troy was the leading receiver in the second game, and Travis was the leading receiver in the third game. Everybody has the same amount of opportunities to catch the ball."

    Even Owens got a little glory with a touchdown catch on a pass from kicker Ryan Longwell on a fake field goal in a 16-13 victory over the Carolina Panthers in the second week.

    Owens, who saw a play in the red zone Sunday against Chicago, has taken some time away from Wiggins and Kleinsasser.

    "But we respect each other," Owens said. "We're competitive. But you just take advantage of the plays when they come and do the best you can do."

    Kleinsasser, who has just three catches for 18 yards this season, said he and Wiggins would like to get a chance to make more plays.

    "As long as we're winning, it doesn't matter where the ball falls," he said. "We have three solid tight ends and Richard Angulo on the practice squad. We all can get it done."

    No matter what plays are called, it's up to the quarterback to distribute the ball to the tight ends when their open. Quarterback Brad Johnson said Wiggins is still one of his favorite targets.

    "I always talk about coverage dictating where the ball goes," Johnson said. "(Jermaine) is always a clutch guy. He caught a bunch of balls the first game against Washington and we've had two different scenarios in the last game against Carolina and Chicago. But he's a big part of what we're trying to do and what will take us to another level."

    Marcus R. Fuller can be reached at [email protected] LOOKING FOR THE BALL

    Vikings tight ends production after first three games:


    2006.....................Catches....Yards
    Jermaine Wiggins....8............. 62
    Jim Kleinsasser.......3..............18
    Richard Owens........1..............16
    --------------------------------------
    Total.....................12.............96

    2005.....................Catches....Yards
    Wiggins.................13............110
    Kleinsasser............6..............60
    Owens...................2..............18
    --------------------------------------
    Total.....................21...........188

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

  2. #2
    oakmage's Avatar
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    Re: Kleinsasser, Wiggins - Out of the loop

    You can not compare the numbers from last year to this year because the offenses are totally different.
    The quarterbacks are different. So IMO trying to compare the Numbers from the first three games to these years’ first three games is liked comparing apples to oranges.

  3. #3
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    Re: Kleinsasser, Wiggins - Out of the loop

    i agree that you cant really compare if you go by the offense as it is completely different this year and with a whole new coaching staff and who makes the play calls, basically it is the same quarterback as brad played most of the year when duante got hurt which was good for us as started winning again, but with this style offense, you need to get the TE's in the game more and as good as wiggins is in catching the ball, i cant beleive he isnt in it more, unless they are really covering him that good, which i dont think they are..but we need to get them more involved in the game and i hope this sunday we will
    I BLEED THE COLOR PURPLE

  4. #4
    BadlandsVikings's Avatar
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    Re: Kleinsasser, Wiggins - Out of the loop

    THe only way you can compare is if no personell ever changed.

  5. #5
    marantzo is offline Rookie
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    Re: Kleinsasser, Wiggins - Out of the loop

    I agree that we have to get the TE's more involved as receivers. I thought that they would be, considering the QB and the type of offense that we are using and am surpised that they haven't been more involved as receivers. I do think it will change in that direction. But the bottom line is, if we win, who cares.

  6. #6
    Prophet Guest

    Re: Kleinsasser, Wiggins - Out of the loop

    Childress said in an interview during the offseason that this would be a TE friendly offense.
    It will happen.

  7. #7
    happy camper's Avatar
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    Re: Kleinsasser, Wiggins - Out of the loop

    "It's still early," said Wiggins, who had one catch for nine yards Sunday in the Vikings' 19-16 loss to Chicago. "I know I'm going to have an opportunity to make plays. I know that I'm going to have a chance to go out there and my number is going to get called. I'm not worried about it. Coach is doing a great job of scheming. It's like anything. There's a progression. Everything has to work together on offense. That's the way I look at it."
    I'm glad Wiggins isn't bitching about it like Jeramy Shocky.

    Class act, that Wiggins is.
    "There is good and there is evil. And evil must be punished. Even in the face of Armageddon I will not compromise."

  8. #8
    oakmage's Avatar
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    Re: Kleinsasser, Wiggins - Out of the loop

    "Prophet" wrote:
    Childress said in an interview during the offseason that this would be a TE friendly offense.
    It will happen.
    That's good enough for me ole wise one of the Runes

  9. #9
    singersp's Avatar
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    Re: Kleinsasser, Wiggins - Out of the loop

    "Prophet" wrote:
    Childress said in an interview during the offseason that this would be a TE friendly offense.
    It will happen.
    When, week 16?

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

  10. #10
    Prophet Guest

    Re: Kleinsasser, Wiggins - Out of the loop

    "singersp" wrote:
    "Prophet" wrote:
    Childress said in an interview during the offseason that this would be a TE friendly offense.
    It will happen.
    When, week 16?
    There are still 13 games left this season, not enough time for patterns to arise nor enough time to make blanket conclusions about the use of or lack of using certain personnel.
    The offense is still a developing project.
    I really don't think we've seen a lot of what is there due to the defenses we have met up against this year, all top-tier.
    We shall see.
    My comment is based on stuff I've read in the offseason that Childress has said.
    I don't have much more to go on other than information straight from the coaches mouth.

    Vikings | Childress has big expectations for Wiggins
    Tue, 22 Aug 2006 17:12:46 -0700

    Dave Campbell, of the Associated Press, reports it has not taken Minnesota Vikings TE Jermaine Wiggins to re-establish himself with the team's new coaching staff. "I have a greater appreciation for him right now than when I took this job," head coach Brad Childress said. "He has a way of wiggling open," Childress said. "He understands defense. He understands working zones and obviously has very good hands." With WR Koren Robinson's future in doubt, the Vikings are without player they paid to be their leading receiver. Wiggins, though, is really the top target for QB Brad Johnson. Tight ends have traditionally been an integral part of West Coast-style offences, which the Vikings now use under Childress. Wiggins has never been short on confidence and never shy about lobbying for the ball. Even with the new staff, he hasn't had to change his approach.
    Vikings | Tight ends may still hit the field together - from www.KFFL.com
    Sun, 30 Jul 2006 20:13:36 -0700

    Don Seeholzer, of the Pioneer Press, reports the Minnesota Vikings have traded in their two-tight end offense for a West Coast scheme, but offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said TEs Jermaine Wiggins and Jim Kleinsasser still will be on the field together at times. "Jim's kind of been pigeonholed as our blocker, and Wiggins has been pigeonholed as our pass receiver," Bevell said. "I think we're going to make them both more well-rounded players. We'll let Jim go out and catch a pass every now and then. We'll have Wiggins standing out there and blocking on the end. And that will keep us more balanced offensively."
    Vikings | Team has room for both tight ends - from www.KFFL.com
    Thu, 11 May 2006 07:03:00 -0700

    Sean Jensen, of the Pioneer Press, reports Minnesota Vikings head coach Brad Childress said there would be plenty of room for Vikings' TEs Jim Kleinsasser and Jermaine Wiggins in his offense. "I think you have to keep throwing fastballs at the defense," Childress said. "If you're standing with that personnel package on the field, I think you can become predictable."
    Vikings | Kleinsasser could be productive in offense - from www.KFFL.com
    Thu, 2 Mar 2006 14:43:28 -0800

    Sean Jensen, of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, reports that Minnesota Vikings head coach Brad Childress feels that the offense could be productive for the tight end position, specifically TE Jim Kleinsasser. "I like his level of toughness," Childress said of Kleinsasser. "He's obviously proven that he can play on the line of scrimmage. There are all kinds of throws in this offense for tight ends. ... He surely has the ability to work zones. So I think he'll end elevating his game, and I think this would be a tight-end-friendly offense."
    He'll be switching them around a lot.
    I just see this offense getting a lot better in the not too distant future, and that includes utilizing the TEs more.

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