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  1. #1
    singersp's Avatar
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    Vikings: Playing blame game isn't that simple

    [size=13pt]Playing blame game isn't that simple[/size]

    The usual suspects were trotted out after a crucial fumble, but pinning the guilt on one player would be a mistake.

    Kevin Seifert
    Last update: September 30, 2006 – 9:15 PM


    Here's a little secret that ESPN, the Star Tribune and just about every other 24-hour media outlet doesn't want you to know: By its nature, pro football defies instant analysis.
    Why did a play work? Why did it blow up? What options did a quarterback have? How did a defensive lineman jump into the backfield unblocked?

    Answers to those questions, and many more, sometimes take days to filter out. Anyone who steps up to the ESPN chalkboard on Sunday night, or fills out a mock report card for the Monday morning newspaper, is guessing. They're making educated projections or, more than they care to admit, professing the obvious but not always accurate answer.

    The truth is that coaches themselves don't always know what happened on a particular play, or a series of plays, until carefully studying video. Variables based on defensive alignment, audibles and other factors must be considered -- and what once appeared to be a simple case of, say, an offensive lineman missing his block, becomes much more complicated.

    Consider one of key play of the Vikings' 19-16 loss last week to Chicago: A fumbled exchange between quarterback Brad Johnson and tailback Chester Taylor, giving the Bears possession on the Vikings 37-yard line late in the fourth quarter.

    Immediate discussion focused on Johnson not getting the ball into Taylor's hands, or on Taylor getting distracted when he saw Bears defensive lineman Tommie Harris lunging toward him. The analysis moved quickly to guard Steve Hutchinson, who ignored Harris on his way to block another player, and later to center Matt Birk -- who later said he missed his block on Harris and took the blame for the play's disruption.

    Was it really that simple? Did the Vikings lose possession because their center missed a backside block?

    Of course not. There should have been plenty of other facets to the discussion.

    For starters, knowledgeable NFL observers last week questioned whether a trap play -- which required Hutchinson to pull to the right side, and Birk to block the player lined up over Hutchinson -- was the safest play to call when protecting a 16-12 lead with 3 minutes, 31 seconds remaining in a game. The chances for backfield penetration were significantly higher than a simpler play in which each lineman blocked the man in front of him.

    Secondly, should the Vikings have stayed with the trap-blocking scheme when they saw that Harris was "shaded" to the outside of Hutchinson, putting him further away from Birk? Some teams have line calls that would allow for Hutchinson to stay at home, put a downblock on Harris, and send Birk to pull instead.

    The Vikings apparently are not one of those teams, and Hutchinson pulled as scheduled. Harris -- who said afterwards that he noticed Hutchinson sitting "light" in his stance, suggesting a potential trap play -- followed him into the backfield. Harris was on top of Taylor before Birk could reach him.

    Those familiar with line play would suggest an extraordinarily high degree of difficulty for what the Vikings were expecting from Birk -- snapping the ball, turning to face the backside and blocking a lineman already in the backfield. Bears defensive coordinator Ron Rivera said, "Tommie was on Hutchinson's outside shoulder, coming straight across, so it's a really tough block for the center."

    But Vikings coaches defended the call, leaving Birk to accept most of the blame.

    "I think if you ask [Birk], he definitely thinks he could have made the block," offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said. "It's just unfortunate that we didn't get the block. We didn't get the exchange [either]. There are a lot of things that can happen even if you don't make the block, just securing the football."

    Asked if the Vikings wished they had called a simpler play, Bevell was defiant. "No," he said. "I think if you watch the play and [if] it went the way it was designed, [Taylor] is probably going to hit his head on the goal post or get at least a 20 or 25-yard gain on that play."

    So where did the play go wrong? In the classroom? When the blocking scheme was called? Could Hutchinson have blocked Harris? Should Birk have made the block? Did Johnson short-arm the exchange? Did Taylor get distracted?

    Alas, in pro football, the answers are not always simple or singular. Sometimes, the play just doesn't work.


    Kevin Seifert • [email protected]


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

  2. #2
    singersp's Avatar
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    Re: Vikings: Playing blame game isn't that simple

    "CStephanRun13" wrote:
    Okay, dude.
    Try cutting down the size of the articles because they are too long to just read that may be why nobody is responding.
    Anyways, you are right that the blame is not only on the RB and QB, but it also is very much his fault that HE couldn't hold on to the football in HIS hands and Johnson couldn't hand off a stinkin' pigskin.
    Kind of a pointless arguement, if you ask me.
    : Next time I'll be sure to post only 1/2 of a writers article or would you prefer just every other word?

    Like I have control over how long a writer makes his articles.

    Here's a simple solution, don't read the article if it's too long for you to read.

    Or e-mail the authors & tell them to quit making their articles too long.
    :

    I've been posting articles for over a year & you're the 1st person to complain about them.

    You always have the option of the "ignore" button & then you'll only have privy to about 10% or less of the articles you read on PP.O now.


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

  3. #3
    happy camper's Avatar
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    Re: Vikings: Playing blame game isn't that simple

    Okay, dude.
    Try cutting down the size of the articles because they are too long to just read that may be why nobody is responding.
    That is one of the worste critisisms I think I've ever seen.

    Too long to read? Speak for yourself only.

    I really hope you are man enough to admit you were out of line here, because you were.
    "There is good and there is evil. And evil must be punished. Even in the face of Armageddon I will not compromise."

  4. #4
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    Re: Vikings: Playing blame game isn't that simple

    We are all very thankful that singer posts all these articles(no matter how long) WORD FOR WORD.

    Keep up the good work singer and dam the critics.

    I agree....wayyyy out of line.

  5. #5
    VikesfaninWis's Avatar
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    Re: Vikings: Playing blame game isn't that simple

    "CStephanRun13" wrote:
    Okay, dude.
    Try cutting down the size of the articles because they are too long to just read that may be why nobody is responding.
    Anyways, you are right that the blame is not only on the RB and QB, but it also is very much his fault that HE couldn't hold on to the football in HIS hands and Johnson couldn't hand off a stinkin' pigskin.
    Kind of a pointless arguement, if you ask me.

    Dude, who are you to question Singer? He has been one of the guys here giving us our daily dose of Vikings news.. We all appreciate him taking his time to do that, and you come here with you're 15 posts and criticize him.. If you can't read in long stints, then don't read them.. I guarantee you will be the only one making noise about how long the article is.. Next time, leave the stupid remarks for the writers who write the articles, not the guy who posts them...

  6. #6
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    Re: Vikings: Playing blame game isn't that simple

    "VikesfaninWis" wrote:
    "CStephanRun13" wrote:
    Okay, dude.
    Try cutting down the size of the articles because they are too long to just read that may be why nobody is responding.
    Anyways, you are right that the blame is not only on the RB and QB, but it also is very much his fault that HE couldn't hold on to the football in HIS hands and Johnson couldn't hand off a stinkin' pigskin.
    Kind of a pointless arguement, if you ask me.
    IF the article is too long DON'T READ IT.
    Dude, who are you to question Singer? He has been one of the guys here giving us our daily dose of Vikings news.. We all appreciate him taking his time to do that, and you come here with you're 15 posts and criticize him.. If you can't read in long stints, then don't read them.. I guarantee you will be the only one making noise about how long the article is.. Next time, leave the stupid remarks for the writers who write the articles, not the guy who posts them...

  7. #7
    NordicNed is offline Jersey Retired
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    Re: Vikings: Playing blame game isn't that simple

    It's easy to critisize over the internet, but if he came to my house and talked like that about my friend, he'd get a you know what up his A$$ ;D


    I LOVE THE SMELL OF VICTORY IN THE MORNING AIR.

  8. #8
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    Re: Vikings: Playing blame game isn't that simple

    singer i for one as well really love reading the articles you post on here, how can anyone give their opinion to a article if they only read half of it and not really know what was said, you are doing a great job and dont let someone tell you different..keep it up and look forward to reading more that you post...
    I BLEED THE COLOR PURPLE

  9. #9
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    Re: Vikings: Playing blame game isn't that simple

    "CStephanRun13" wrote:
    Okay, dude.
    Try cutting down the size of the articles because they are too long to just read that may be why nobody is responding.
    Anyways, you are right that the blame is not only on the RB and QB, but it also is very much his fault that HE couldn't hold on to the football in HIS hands and Johnson couldn't hand off a stinkin' pigskin.
    Kind of a pointless arguement, if you ask me.
    Pointless arguement?

    How can analyzing what happened in a crucial play that very likely determined the outcome of the game be pointless?

    We all would like life to be simple but it isn't always black and white.

    I was discussing this very play on another thread on this site,probably where the idea for the article came from.

    I thought the article was a very good analysis.

    It didn't place blame, except perhaps some infered blame to the coaching staff.

    It showed how football is a team sport. The team wins, the team loses.

    Singer I thank you once again for a great job. Article too long? Hardly.
    What takes a quarterback to the next level is not arm strength or mobility or any of that stuff. Its the ability to play on critical downs. Manage third downs, or red zones or four-minute or two-minute situations"
    Dilfer

  10. #10
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    Re: Vikings: Playing blame game isn't that simple

    "CStephanRun13" wrote:
    Okay, dude.
    Try cutting down the size of the articles because they are too long to just read that may be why nobody is responding.
    Anyways, you are right that the blame is not only on the RB and QB, but it also is very much his fault that HE couldn't hold on to the football in HIS hands and Johnson couldn't hand off a stinkin' pigskin.
    Kind of a pointless arguement, if you ask me.
    Are you kidding me?
    Who in the heck are you to criticize anybody?
    You were already "muted" from making new posts because you could never post topics in the proper forum.
    You made lame as hell polls.
    And then you come back as a new member.

    What was I thinking?
    I gave you a fresh start...a new life.


    The slope is getting extremely slippery for you.

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