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  1. #1
    singersp's Avatar
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    Taylor running for Vikings could make the difference

    [size=18px]Taylor running for Vikings could make the difference[/size]

    March 24, 2006
    By Clark Judge
    CBS SportsLine.com Senior Writer


    MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Vikings trade franchise quarterback Daunte Culpepper one week and sign guard Steve Hutchinson to a zillion-dollar contract the next. So whom do Vikings coach Brad Childress and I wind up talking about?

    You got it. Chester Taylor

    He's the free-agent running back Minnesota pirated from Baltimore, and maybe he's Priest Holmes waiting to happen and maybe he's not. All I know is that Childress, the Vikings' first-year coach, is happy to have him and thinks he can make a difference with this year's team.

    And I think I know why.

    Let me take you back to last season, when Childress was offensive coordinator with the Philadelphia Eagles, and the Eagles took a pass -- and I mean that literally -- on the year. They threw 45 times the first game; 29 the second; 52 the third; and 48 the fourth.

    When it was over, only Arizona threw or attempted to throw more -- though Green Bay was close -- and only Arizona was more unbalanced, with the Cards passing 66 percent of the time. Arizona ranked last in rushing; Green Bay was 30th and the Eagles 28th. More important, Arizona finished 5-11; Green Bay was 4-12 and Philadelphia was 6-10.

    The message isn't lost on Childress.

    "You have to run more than we ran at the Eagles," he said. "I know that sounds as if it's a slap at Andy (Reid, Philadelphia's head coach), but it's not. We kind of chuckled about it at Philadelphia when we were leading the league in passing after three weeks and throwing 53 times a game, but you live by the sword; you die by the sword.

    "At some level you have to let your offensive line exert its will. (Tackle) Jon Runyan is a much better pass protector after he's been able to grab people, shake them, twist them and grind them. So, yeah, I want to be able to run the ball."

    That's where Hutchinson comes in. The Vikings signed him to a seven-year, $49 million contract that makes him the most expensive guard in the business and makes the left side of Minnesota's offensive line -- with Hutchinson, tackle Bryant McKinnie and center Matt Birk -- one of the most intimidating in the game.

    But that's precisely the point. Childress could have targeted free-agent running backs Shaun Alexander or Edgerrin James to improve the NFL's 27th-ranked rushing attack. Yet he chose Taylor before dropping the hammer with Hutchinson.

    "You don't do anything without those guys in front," said Childress. "Everyone wants the receiver or the running back or the quarterback, but you have to make sure you're paying attention. You better take care of your lines."

    Childress knows what he's doing here. He looks at Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh and sees the league's fifth-ranked rushing game. He looks at NFC champion Seattle and sees the third-ranked attack. Of the league's four playoff semifinalists only one -- Carolina -- wasn't in the top five, but the Panthers were so handicapped by injuries that, by the NFC Championship Game, they were forced to use their fourth-string back.

    Which is where Chester Taylor comes in. He seldom played in Baltimore, though he was used more in the second half of last season as the Ravens grew frustrated with Jamal Lewis. He averages over four yards a carry. He hasn't run more than 160 times in any season. He can move a pile. He has the speed to turn a corner.

    In short, he might be just what the Vikings need.

    "I can remember him in college at Toledo," said Childress, "and he plays in the MAC championship game against (Marshall). They're down something like 21 at the half, and I remember talking about that game later with his coach. He told me, 'I grabbed him (Taylor) at halftime and told him, 'Chester, I'm going to give you the ball every way I know how to, and you're going to win the game for us.'

    "So he has two touchdowns in the second half, and they beat Marshall. I remember that, and I remember him when he'd come by me on the sidelines when we played preseason games against Baltimore, and I'd say, 'Who in the heck is that?' He's a young, low-mileage back who is big and physical. I don't know if he's Priest Holmes, but you hope so. It's a good chance for him, and it's good for us, as well."

    It could be great for the Vikings. Remember the last time Minnesota was a legitimate Super Bowl threat? The Vikings had Robert Smith to keep defenses honest. They haven't had anything like that in years, but maybe now they have a chance.

    All I know is the gap between Minnesota and NFC North champ Chicago just got smaller, and the Bears better be careful. The Vikings are better, much better, than the club that won seven of its final nine a year ago.

    "We're not rebuilding," Childress said. "We're remolding."

    Whatever you call it, this much is certain: What happened with the Vikings last season won't happen again. It can't, not after the moves they have made. Not only do they have the weapons to improve their running game; they have a mandate from a head coach determined to make it work.

    "I remember a great, great comment by (Denver safety) John Lynch after we played them last year," Childress said, thinking back to Philadelphia. "On defense, all you ever try to do is to make the other team one-dimensional, and he said, 'They already were one-dimensional.' You know what? It was a like a charge hit home. And we started to run the ball more."

    Expect the Vikings to follow.

    Taylor running for Vikings could make the difference

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

  2. #2
    vikeswin2005's Avatar
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    Re: Taylor running for Vikings could make the difference

    gr8 post singer

  3. #3
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    Re: Taylor running for Vikings could make the difference

    "vikeswin2005" wrote:
    gr8 post singer
    Agreed! Go chester go...i can just see it now lol

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    Re: Taylor running for Vikings could make the difference

    That's a very interesting article. Good news, although all of this speculation means nothing in the scheme of things (even though I couldn't get through the school day without it).

  5. #5
    shawn9876uss is offline Coordinator
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    Re: Taylor running for Vikings could make the difference

    I can't wait to see what he does behind our line


    Thanks PurpleMafia

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    Re: Taylor running for Vikings could make the difference

    Hope springs eternal. C'mon Chester the Arrester, Freeze those Ds so K-Rob can Breeze.

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    Re: Taylor running for Vikings could make the difference

    "HornedHat" wrote:
    Hope springs eternal. C'mon Chester the Arrester, Freeze those Ds so K-Rob can Breeze.
    Nice HornedHat. Also, call me stupid but I've never known what "hope springs eternal" means. If somebody could fill me in on that I would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

  8. #8
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    Re: Taylor running for Vikings could make the difference

    It means that when you have nothing (i.e. a RB), and you get a whiff of maybe having found something (Chester) that hope will always comfort you to the future. It also refers to Spring being a time of renewal, and growth, where one's hopes are re-energized. but that is only partially relevant here.

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    Re: Taylor running for Vikings could make the difference

    "HornedHat" wrote:
    It means that when you have nothing (i.e. a RB), and you get a whiff of maybe having found something (Chester) that hope will always comfort you to the future. It also refers to Spring being a time of renewal, and growth, where one's hopes are re-energized. but that is only partially relevant here.
    All right, thanks. Nice definition by the way, ya frickin' walking dictionary. (I mean that in a good way) :grin:

  10. #10
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    Re: Taylor running for Vikings could make the difference

    "viks_fan21" wrote:
    "HornedHat" wrote:
    It means that when you have nothing (i.e. a RB), and you get a whiff of maybe having found something (Chester) that hope will always comfort you to the future. It also refers to Spring being a time of renewal, and growth, where one's hopes are re-energized. but that is only partially relevant here.
    All right, thanks. Nice definition by the way, ya frickin' walking dictionary. (I mean that in a good way) :grin:
    Hope Springs Eternal

    This Offseason Has Been SO AWESOME!!
    and the draft is still weeks away :shock:

    Great article singersp! Gets the purple blood a pumping :thumbright:

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