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  1. #1
    singersp's Avatar
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    Vikings balanced in the air: receivers getting the job done

    From The Mercury News
    Posted on Sat, Dec. 03, 2005

    [size=18px]Vikings balanced in the air: receivers are getting the job done[/size]

    BY SEAN JENSEN
    Knight Ridder Newspapers


    ST. PAUL, Minn. - It's a magic number for fantasy football enthusiasts and the guys who actually catch passes on Sundays: 100 yards receiving.

    Through three quarters of this season, NFL players have reached or surpassed that figure on 120 occasions. Carolina Panthers Pro Bowl receiver Steve Smith has exceeded that mark seven times, including 201 yards against the Vikings.

    The Vikings are one of three teams without a 100-yard receiver this season. And their air corps is not so sure that's going to change over the final five games.

    "K-Rob. You think one of us is going to get 100 yards in one game?" Marcus Robinson yelled to Koren Robinson, who was seated two feet away.

    Koren Robinson immediately shook his head, prompting a rapid-fire exchange.

    Marcus: "It's going to be slim, ain't it?"

    Koren: "You gotta get you one bomb in there."

    Marcus: "We'd be hella surprised if somebody gets 100 yards."

    Koren: "We're hoping for that."

    After the offseason trade of standout Randy Moss, the Vikings aggressively added receivers. They drafted Troy Williamson with the seventh overall pick, and they signed Travis Taylor, a top-10 selection in 2000, during the spring. In September, they added Koren Robinson, the ninth overall pick in 2001 who caught 78 passes for 1,240 yards in 2002.

    Already on the roster were Marcus Robinson and Nate Burleson, both of whom had 1,000-yard seasons to their credit. The Vikings' four veteran receivers have a combined 23 100-yard receiving games between them.

    But through 11 games, the Vikings' passing offense ranks 20th in the NFL. A lack of offensive continuity has contributed to the slow start.

    Quarterback Daunte Culpepper struggled early in the season with indecisiveness and turnovers. He was often afforded poor protection from his offensive line, a group in constant flux. Brad Johnson took over for the injured Culpepper a month ago and is still adjusting to the offense's scheme and revolving personnel.

    Including the receivers.

    Tight end Jermaine Wiggins leads the team in catches (54) and, more surprisingly, in yardage (482), making the Vikings one of four teams not to have a receiver lead the latter category.

    During the Vikings' four-game winning streak, the offense in general, and the receivers in particular, have produced in key situations.

    "We find matchups across the board," Johnson said. "I feel very comfortable with all of our receivers and all of our different sets. It's just a matter of having the right play at the right time."

    Each receivers has strengths, and each has had moments. Marcus Robinson caught three touchdown passes against the Browns. Burleson made the season's most spectacular catch for a 15-yard score against the Lions. Williamson had three catches for 83 yards, including a 53-yard TD, against the Saints. Koren Robinson had the key reception in the winning drive against the Packers at Lambeau Field. Taylor (37 catches, 446 yards, two TDs) has been the most consistent.

    Still, the single-season high for catches among receivers is just seven (Taylor), and Williamson's effort against New Orleans produced the most yards.

    Despite their slim statistical returns, the receivers have remained mostly diplomatic.

    "We're all playmakers, and we all want to get on the field," Taylor said. "But we're not going to take it out on each other. We're a really tight group, and we all get along."

    Marcus Robinson credited receivers coach Wes Chandler for ensuring that happens. A four-time Pro Bowl receiver, Chandler empathizes with his players, and he manages their egos well.

    "We have a lot of real talks as a group," Marcus Robinson said. "That's the big thing. There are no secrets."

    "I want more time, and everyone wants more time," Koren Robinson said. "But at the same time, I'm a team player, and I feel like all the guys here are team players, so they're not going to let that interfere with their professionalism.

    "You don't find that often in receivers. If they're not happy, they're going to let you know. But here, we don't have that."

    Even as he tries to regain his starting position, Burleson, who expressed some frustration Wednesday, said he does not begrudge anyone for his situation.

    "The other guys are playing so well, you can't put a guy who hasn't been playing and throw him into the fire and sit someone else down," said Burleson, who has been inactive four games this season. "I give us the unofficial label as the Fab Five. We can be a tremendous corps.

    "We've just got to find a way to make everybody happy, something like the Colts. They get so many different people the ball. If we can just find that formula, where everybody is a threat, we'll be all right."

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

  2. #2
    mnjamie's Avatar
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    Re: Vikings balanced in the air: receivers getting the job done

    I personally like our current situation at WR. The depth is unbelieveable and eventually the "switch" will turn on and Brad will have a huge game ... it's just a matter of time and the right match up against the right team. But for now, just get that "W" baby !!!!

  3. #3
    thepacksux's Avatar
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    Re: Vikings balanced in the air: receivers getting the job done

    i wonder who we are going to keep out of all these receivers, long term anyways... I would be disappointed if we lost any of them. But we can't let koren go, he is too much of a talent. The good thing about having them is we can bring troy along without rushing him.

  4. #4
    SJHILL's Avatar
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    Re: Vikings balanced in the air: receivers getting the job done

    I like the recievers we have now. I hope Williamson can turn out. Burleson really isn't having a good indivdual year.

  5. #5
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    Re: Vikings balanced in the air: receivers getting the job done

    Burleson has been injured a lot and the injuries are nagging type so they kind of hamper you over the long haul. I like our situation I personally don't care who cathes the ball as long as we keep moving the chains and keep scoring, individual stats are nice, but wins are much better. Yet I disagree I think K Robinson isw going tio break a long one and get a 100 yardss before its all said and done this year

    Mike
    I am an avid Viking fan, but also am an avid restoration guy of vintage Mopar(Chrysler, Dodge, Plymouth)B bodies

  6. #6
    napo58's Avatar
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    Re: Vikings balanced in the air: receivers getting the job done

    like i said, we have a top 5 receiving corps in the nfl. Koren Robinson can easily be an elite nfl receiver as he has shown that one year with seattle. This guy was supposed to be the closest thing to moss coming out of nc state and even torry holt said krob is alot more athletic than him. Nate Burleson is an excellent number 2, and he is just as good as reggie wayne in every aspect i beleive except reggies hands are a little better. Travis taylor is a fast slot receiver with good hands and great hops. He is pretty strong too. Marcus Robinson is probably the top 5 jump ball men in the nfl. He is big and strong and uses his body to shield passes from defenders. He can still run pretty well after blowing out his knee with the bears. And Troy Williamson will come along soon, because he is extremely fast and will give us a legitimate deep threat soon.

  7. #7
    singersp's Avatar
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    Re: Vikings balanced in the air: receivers getting the job done

    "napo58" wrote:
    like i said, we have a top 5 receiving corps in the nfl. Koren Robinson can easily be an elite nfl receiver as he has shown that one year with seattle. This guy was supposed to be the closest thing to moss coming out of nc state and even torry holt said krob is alot more athletic than him. Nate Burleson is an excellent number 2, and he is just as good as reggie wayne in every aspect i beleive except reggies hands are a little better. Travis taylor is a fast slot receiver with good hands and great hops. He is pretty strong too. Marcus Robinson is probably the top 5 jump ball men in the nfl. He is big and strong and uses his body to shield passes from defenders. He can still run pretty well after blowing out his knee with the bears. And Troy Williamson will come along soon, because he is extremely fast and will give us a legitimate deep threat soon.
    Unless you are refering to WR only, you left out Jermaine Wiggins.

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

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