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  1. #1
    Admiral's Avatar
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    Admiral's Offseason Positional Breakdown

    Hello fellow vikes fans,

    I wanted to share my thoughts on the team for every position, including what I feel needs to be addressed in the offseason and how. I know I'm not a very active member of the forum here, so if you don't give a crap what I think then by all means, do not read it
    . If anyone does care tho, I would like to hear your thoughts. I hope this post doesn't break any rules and I hope you enjoy reading my rants (if you choose to do so). Anyway here goes:

    Defence
    Safety
    Many experts seem to believe that Sharper won't be back with the Vikes next year, and altho I really like him, I have to agree that it's probably better. Maybe he's just had a bad year but I really got the idea that he was losing his edge this year. Not that he wasn't still a good safety but the prescence he has been in years before just seemed gone. Tyrell Johnson, while not spectacular, showed that he can fill the position in my opinion. Williams proved to be solid (when healthy). Vikes may need to look for a legitimate backup tho, as the current backup safeties on the roster are more suited for special teams.
    Verdict: Should look for some depth, perhaps a late draft pick.

    Cornerback
    Altho he has been criticized a lot, and I did agree in the beginning of the season, I feel like Griffin really made up for it in the second half. He's been playing solid in both coverage and run support, and I can't imagine the Vikes replacing him. While some fantasy drafts have us picking a CB for depth I don't believe it should be needed if Gordon is healthy again, and to be honest I wouldn't be too happy if the vikes used their first pick on a nickelback.
    Verdict: Not much need here.

    Linebacker
    I haven't heard anything about his progress, but I'm going to assume (or at least hope) that EJ will be back next year, which should mean our starters are locked in. In my opinion we should be looking for more depth tho, Curciu and Herron make me nervous just by stepping on the field, and I don't think very highly of Harris either. While he's been fine in run support he really seemed to drop the ball in coverage.
    Verdict: Find a legitimate backup, either through FA or could be Erin Henderson/Farwell if they impress in training camp.

    Defensive tackle
    Starters are obviously some of the best in the league, no need for discussion there. While I wouldn't like to go through a whole season with Evans in the lineup, I think he is about as good as you can expect from a backup. It might be time to start looking for Pat's eventual replacement tho, he isn't getting any younger.
    Verdict: Draft young talent if available.

    Defensive end
    I've heard people talk about strengtening the DE position and I've even seen fantasy drafts that have us pick a DE in rnd 1, but I don't get it. Allen is obviously set, and I'd like to see Robison, Edwards and Udeze (should he return) battle it out for the opposite spot. My favorite would be Robison. I know he struggles against the run, but what I've seen he is a better pass rusher than Edwards and I really like the guy. Whichever way it goes the other one provides good depth to the position.
    Verdict: Rock solid, no need to upgrade.

    Offense
    Tackle
    McKinney should be good to fill the LT position for years to come, if he can keep himself out of trouble. If he doesn't, Hicks has impressed me when filling in, and should stay on the roster at least as the primary backup. I'm not sure if he is good enough to start a whole season tho. On the right side, I'd like penaltymagnet Ryan Cook to leave as soon as possible. He's had his chance and he has messed up repeatedly. Hicks may be suited to start at RT, otherwise we would need to bring someone in.
    Verdict: RT a likely target for first round pick.

    Guard
    Hutch is clearly one of the best in the business, and altho I initially wasn't a fan of him, Herrera has really played well. Starters should be set. Hicks should do just fine as backup to both positions, unless he manages to secure the RT spot. If he does, we should look for a backup for the interior.
    Verdict: Depending on what happens with Hicks, seek a backup through FA or nothing.

    Center
    Insiders seem to believe the Vikes won't resign Birk. Altho the coaches seem to be quite enthousiastic about Sullivan, I'm not sure it's a good idea to let go of Birk yet. I do believe Sullivan could be Birk's future replacement, but if at all possible I would hold on to Birk for another couple of years, he is still playing well.
    Verdict: Resign Birk unless cap really doesn't permit it, otherwise start Sullivan and sign a FA backup.

    Tight End
    Shiancoe seems to have proven himself to all that did not like him when he started off here, including myself, and I feel comfortable having him as number 1 TE. It has been said many times that Kleinsasser is one of the best blocking TE's in the league, and for exactly that reason I feel we should keep him. He has as much to do with the running success as the rest of the oline, and I can't imagine his salary would be a serious dent in our cap. Mills has (at least in my eyes) really disappointed. He showed promise at the end of last year but it just has not come true.
    Verdict: Draft a TE in round 2-3 to replace sauce either now or in the future.

    Fullback
    While I was rather gobsmacked when I heard that Tahi was being chosen over Tapeh, he did prove himself. He does need work on his pass catching ability, and it may not hurt to draft a FB in a later round for some competition. I'm not a big fan myself of the FB/TE crossover type guys like Dugan, but I suppose it can't hurt to have him on the roster for some depth, he did make some plays for us this year.
    Verdict: Late round draft pick to compete with Tahi.

    Halfback
    What can I say, Peterson is the best in the league and Taylor is better than a lot of other teams' starters. Hicks obviously hasn't seen much action on offence, but I would like to see him gone. We brought him in for special teams but this guy isn't a kick returner, he's just the guy who catches the kickoff and runs straight into the first defender he sees. In my opinion we should consider the idea of trading CT, but only if the reward is high enough, he is still very valuable to us if the offense will continue to lean heavily on the running game.
    Verdict: Get rid of Hicks and sign... who cares really he won't see the field anyway.

    Wide Receiver
    Again I've seen mocks that have us take a WR in round 1, which I think would be a mistake. While you can't say we are set at WR, I'm starting to feel like it's rather pointless to keep pumping draft picks into the position. Ideally if Rice finally stays healthy all season and starts to perform consistently he should start opposite Berrian, and with Rice as the slot guy and Allison as an extra deep threat that should be adequate in my opinion. If Rice doesn't come through I would look for a veteran possesion receiver, preferably with some height.
    Verdict: Possibly sign a FA, but starters just need to step up their game.

    Quarterback
    And finally we've arrived... the most important position for us and also the most unclear one at the moment. While TJ did put up good numbers at the end of the year, I don't feel like there was anything significantly improved about him. He was throwing mostly screens and dumpoffs, and the occasional "scripted" deep ball. He has a big arm but most of his deep balls are highly inaccurate. Most of all though he has shown again in the playoffs that he does not possess the leadership, confidence and composure needed to lead us to wins. Now there are a few ways the QB situation can be "solved" next year. In any case, I don't see Frerotte playing a role in it, even tho I like him. There also has been no reason to assume that Booty will play any role in the decision. Therefore we must either draft a QB or sign one. I would strongly prefer signingone for several reasons. Not only is it unlikely that a top QB prospect will be available to us in the draft, drafting someone is still a big gamble. I would really like to see us signing a free agent or even trading for a QB. The most obvious prospect is probably Matt Cassel, with whom I would be quite happy, but there seems to be questions about Brady being back next year, and he will be expensive no matter what happens. Another option I've heard mentioned is Matt Hasselbeck. Although he is getting older I do think he could be effective for us. The vikes organisation has been very interested in houston's Rosenfels for a couple years now, so I suppose he is also a possibility, although they have been unwilling to part with him so far. My personal favorite option however is one that I think many people will disagree with because they feel he is too old: Jeff Garcia. The way I see it we have a team that could be great, and the QB position is the biggest obstacle. Garcia can still get it done and is very experienced. If the vikes choose to look for a QB in the draft I feel like TJ would be the starter next year, and he could either prove himself, or fail again and be replaced by the rookie. However this is a process that could very well cost us the season, and I feel we should be able to solve this without sacrificing our year.
    Verdict: Get Jeff Garcia and prepare to draft a top QB prospect either this or next year (may need to deal CT to trade up).

    Special Teams
    I feel we are fine at kicker and punter. Kluwe took some criticism about his directional punting, and granted it isnt his forte, but he has excellent distance and consisency and should stay in my book. We need to address the coverage teams. The return of Farwell should help here, but it may not hurt to try and pick up another special teams ace. The biggest hole on the team in my opinion (even worse than QB, although less critical) is at kick and punt returner. Hicks is shit as I've discussed earlier, Berrian has the speed to break one but isn't all that shifty and you don't really want to have your nr 1 receiver out there. Wade won't screw up the catch but that's about it. The only one who really showed some promise in my opinion are Reynaud and Gordon. Assuming they both will be 100% again next year they could be the guys, but it wouldn't hurt to have someone who is actually good at this instead of just picking the least bad one that is already on the roster.
    Verdict: May want to draft a return ace in round 3-4 and/or sign a special teamer who can tackle in FA.

  2. #2
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    Re: Admiral's Offseason Positional Breakdown

    Nice post!

    I agree with almost everything you said.
    The only qualm I have is in regards to your QB analysis.
    I am a firm believer that most of TJ's shortcomings are a result of the playcalling.
    His best games were the ones where he was asked to throw the ball early on using a lot of play-action, which generally meant he was getting better protection.
    I'm not saying that TJ should not be held accountable at all for his poor performances, I'm just saying that our roster and coaching scheme leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to passing.
    Rock out with your cock out!!!

  3. #3
    marstc09's Avatar
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    Re: Admiral's Offseason Positional Breakdown

    Great post.

    Couple things I don't agree with.

    1. I am looking for an upgrade at CB. Dunta Robinson and Nnamdi Asomugha come to mind.

    2. Never would I trade Taylor.

    3. I don't want to draft an OT in the first round. FAs like Mark Tauscher sound like a better option. I want us to use a 1st round on a QB. Let that person and Booty battle it out for the 3rd spot.

  4. #4
    Admiral's Avatar
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    Re: Admiral's Offseason Positional Breakdown

    Thanks jkjuggalo.

    I do agree that the playcalling has been a part of the problem for TJ, and he has had good performances in which he made nice plays. My problem with him is more about just the way he comes across to me. To say that he looks lost on the field sometimes would be going too far, but I just don't get the feeling that he is in control and that he can lead a team and control the game. I can imagine that others feel differently about this, it's just the way it looks to me.

    To marstc09:
    1. And you would demote Griffin to playing nickel? Clearly the names you mention would be upgrades and I would definitely like to see one of those on the team but I feel like Griffin is doing well enough that we can better spend our money elsewhere.
    2. I largely agree, but I feel like if we're going to draft a QB, we should get an elite prospect, and we won't find one at our current spot (most likely). If it comes down to trading Taylor to move up, I would do it, I wouldn't like to lose him but I feel he is the only player of serious value that we could afford to trade if the return is good.
    3. In principle I agree but as I said before we probably won't find an elite prospect at our current spot, and I feel like we should kinda do it right or not at all with drafting a QB, so if we could trade up then sure, otherwise after Jackson and
    Booty I've lost my confidence in the subtop "project" qb picks. What I don't understand tho is you say you want to pick a QB in rnd 1 and then let him battle for the nr 3 spot? Surely if we picked a QB in the first round he would be the future of the franchise, even if just for the contract he will have.

  5. #5
    marstc09's Avatar
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    Re: Admiral's Offseason Positional Breakdown

    "Admiral" wrote:
    Thanks jkjuggalo.

    I do agree that the playcalling has been a part of the problem for TJ, and he has had good performances in which he made nice plays. My problem with him is more about just the way he comes across to me. To say that he looks lost on the field sometimes would be going too far, but I just don't get the feeling that he is in control and that he can lead a team and control the game. I can imagine that others feel differently about this, it's just the way it looks to me.

    To marstc09:
    1. And you would demote Griffin to playing nickel? Clearly the names you mention would be upgrades and I would definitely like to see one of those on the team but I feel like Griffin is doing well enough that we can better spend our money elsewhere.
    2. I largely agree, but I feel like if we're going to draft a QB, we should get an elite prospect, and we won't find one at our current spot (most likely). If it comes down to trading Taylor to move up, I would do it, I wouldn't like to lose him but I feel he is the only player of serious value that we could afford to trade if the return is good.
    3. In principle I agree but as I said before we probably won't find an elite prospect at our current spot, and I feel like we should kinda do it right or not at all with drafting a QB, so if we could trade up then sure, otherwise after Jackson and
    Booty I've lost my confidence in the subtop "project" qb picks. What I don't understand tho is you say you want to pick a QB in rnd 1 and then let him battle for the nr 3 spot? Surely if we picked a QB in the first round he would be the future of the franchise, even if just for the contract he will have.
    1. Nickel IMO is not a demotion. It is ever bit as important as a starter. For the record I am one of Cedrics biggest fans.

    2. Never give away a proven player for an unknown when you have a starter known for injuries.

    3. Any QB in the draft should be looked at as a project. It is very rare you find a gem. Battling out for the #3 spot means nothing except for a spot on our roster. It has nothing to do with being the face of a franchise.

  6. #6
    Admiral's Avatar
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    Re: Admiral's Offseason Positional Breakdown

    "marstc09" wrote:
    1. Nickel IMO is not a demotion. It is ever bit as important as a starter. For the record I am one of Cedrics biggest fans.

    2. Never give away a proven player for an unknown when you have a starter known for injuries.

    3. Any QB in the draft should be looked at as a project. It is very rare you find a gem. Battling out for the #3 spot means nothing except for a spot on our roster. It has nothing to do with being the face of a franchise.
    1. I agee that the nickel position is very important, but I'm pretty sure Cedric wouldn't be happy if he was told he would be the nickelback next year.
    2. I have to agree there. I would still consider offering him in a trade for a proven QB, but I guess you're right about unknowns.
    3. True enough, I wasn't implying that any QB picked in the top 10 would be an instant star, I just meant that whomever you pick in round 1 generally is guaranteed a roster spot, and most are projected as future starters.

    BTW Thanks for the replies so far. Feels good to actually have a discussion about football, over here in my country I usually don't get any further than explaining that it isn't the same as rugby :P.

  7. #7
    ragz's Avatar
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    Re: Admiral's Offseason Positional Breakdown

    although it is a good post, the things i constantly find funny about alot of people's evaluation is this.
    somehow the offensive line is alot better off than it actually plays, and having to fill probably 2 holes, if not 3 depending on how you feel about mckinneys play and consistency, doesn't seem to be that big of a deal or an impact on everyone's desperation for any qb.

    and that wr is not that big of a deal also.
    berrian is a good player, obviously a game breaker.
    wade is at best reliable.
    not a go to guy, not someone that makes small plays into big plays.
    he moves an occasional chain.
    and then what?
    i dont know if childress doesn't have faith in them, or they just aren't up to par, but rice and allison are nice filler, but if we are gonna say our wrs are at least decent then these guys have to give some kinda contribution besides what, a combined 25 catches?
    i dont know if its through the draft or free agency but it just can't be a side note.


    i know everyone thinks that any qb with a name will come and save us from mediocrity, but if you dont have guys who can get open, and an o-line that can open up holes consistently for the run game instead of peterson having to run through 6 guys, or pass block how much a difference is gonna seriously be made?
    look at the 2 best records in football this year and what do they have in common?
    dominant offensive lines and consistent run games.
    last years two super bowl teams, dominant lines.
    you can go far with a peyton manning, but even he needs blocking and a running game for him to get outta the first round of the playoffs
    "self improvement's masturbation.
    now self destruction" that's enlightenment

  8. #8
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    Re: Admiral's Offseason Positional Breakdown

    Very well thought out post and I agree with
    many of your opinions.


    Keep up the great posting!


    Trust me, I'm a doctor.

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  9. #9
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    Re: Admiral's Offseason Positional Breakdown

    "Admiral" wrote:
    "marstc09" wrote:
    1. Nickel IMO is not a demotion. It is ever bit as important as a starter. For the record I am one of Cedrics biggest fans.

    2. Never give away a proven player for an unknown when you have a starter known for injuries.

    3. Any QB in the draft should be looked at as a project. It is very rare you find a gem. Battling out for the #3 spot means nothing except for a spot on our roster. It has nothing to do with being the face of a franchise.
    1. I agee that the nickel position is very important, but I'm pretty sure Cedric wouldn't be happy if he was told he would be the nickelback next year.
    2. I have to agree there. I would still consider offering him in a trade for a proven QB, but I guess you're right about unknowns.
    3. True enough, I wasn't implying that any QB picked in the top 10 would be an instant star, I just meant that whomever you pick in round 1 generally is guaranteed a roster spot, and most are projected as future starters.

    BTW Thanks for the replies so far. Feels good to actually have a discussion about football, over here in my country I usually don't get any further than explaining that it isn't the same as rugby :P.
    3. If he can't beat out Booty then he will never be a future starter.

    I'd give my left nut to party in the Netherlands.

  10. #10
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    Re: Admiral's Offseason Positional Breakdown

    "marstc09" wrote:
    3. If he can't beat out Booty then he will never be a future starter.

    I'd give my left nut to party in the Netherlands.
    3. True, true.
    ;D

    And I know we've got a bit of a reputation but I'm pretty sure slipping the bouncer your left nut won't get you into any parties here :P.

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