Vikings Team Report 07/23/06
[size=18px]Vikings Team Report[/size]
Posted: July 23, 2006
Minneapolis Star Tribune
How will the safety position compare to 2005, when Darren Sharper was named an All-Pro and Corey Chavous performed well enough to earn a lucrative free agent contract with St. Louis? The answer has not been talked about much this offseason but should provide a good barometer for the team1s defensive success. Sharper had one of the best seasons of his career, intercepting nine passes and returning two for touchdowns, but he is 32 and at some point will begin losing his skills.
The team, however, is banking on at least one more All-Pro caliber season to help new coordinator Mike Tomlin's transition to the cover-2 defense. Replacing Chavous is free agent Tank Williams, a linebacker-style hitter who has not been the same since a 2004 knee injury. There are some who believe Williams will be back to form this season because it often takes two years to fully recover from torn knee ligaments.
If Williams or Sharper falters, the team will look to several young players -- including Willie Offord and Dustin Fox -- to replace them. Offord is recovering from a knee injury of his own but is a strong hitter, while Fox is an in-between player who could see action at both safety and cornerback.
SCOUTING REPORT: Is rookie Cedric Griffin destined to be a cornerback or safety? That is a question coaches must decide early in training camp. Coach Brad Childress prefers to simplify things for rookies, so rather than have him try multiple positions, Childress plans to quickly establish where Griffin will play. At 6-1, Griffin has the size and frame to play safety. But the team has a greater need at cornerback, where no obvious replacement is on board for departed nickel back Brian Williams. The team needs someone who can step in and start should something happen to Antoine Winfield or Fred Smoot. Griffin, who played cornerback at Texas, could fill that role based on need.
SOMETHING TO PROVE:It seems that every season, whether he is a starter or a backup, QB Brad Johnson must show that he is better than the stereotypes that have defined him throughout the career. Some observers have said that Johnson is a perfect fit for the west-coast offense, basing those judgments on what they consider to be a weak arm and lack of mobility. But Johnson has used those low expectations before in order to surprise people, and this season should be no different. He once again must show that at age 38, he can command an offense over a full 16-game schedule. Johnson has not started 16 games since 2003.
INSIDE DISH:Although there has been much speculation about WR Koren Robinson's offseason, he will report to training camp in shape and sober. Robinson has been clean since spending 30 days in a South Carolina rehabilitation clinic last summer. This offseason, he proactively re-enrolled in several classes for what could be considered a "tune-up." Robinson has insisted that he did not have a relapse but was using his downtime during the offseason to continue developing strength against what will be a lifelong issue he will address.
RUNNING BACKS ANALYSIS: Grade: B-plus. The combination of Chester Taylor and Mewelde Moore, along with FB Tony Richardson, is potent.
Vikings Team Report
Re: Vikings Team Report 07/23/06
This is encouraging news. I am still worried about the ILB thing though. We still don't know who is going to be the starter. I hope E.J. can get it together and stop missing the gap every time a RB comes through.
Re: Vikings Team Report 07/23/06
hey encouraging news..i love reading things worth talking about instead of me nearly killing a 20 year old dumb ass