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  1. #1
    bsmithberkley is offline Pro-Bowler
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    Next big test for FO & Coaching Staff

    First off, congratulations to the FO and Coaching staff for accumulating so much great talent over the last few years!

    There is only one reward for a job well done, and that’s usually being given another challenging job!

    After gathering so much talent on one team the Vikings FO is on the precipice of another challenge!

    Maximizing the talent on the 45 and 53 man roster without letting young talent just slip away.

    Are the Vikings really ready for this new challenge, we will see by how many good young players we have to let go this offseason and how many draft picks we don’t retain.

    Most people will say that it’s just part of doing business when you let players go, or don’t retain all your draft picks, but, the truth really is “Its doing business badly”.

    The players the Vikings invest time and effort in and their draft picks are this teams most precious commodity, it’s their “TALENT CAPITAL”. Maximizing the talent capital is the best way to ensure long-term success.

    This brings up an interesting question. What can the Vikings FO do to maximize the talent they retain on the 45 and 53 man rosters? By signing Rhys Lloyd the Vikings will have to let go an additional player and thus lessening the talent capital they will have on hand. Now obviously this doesn’t cripple the team, but, when you add in the other players we will let go or drafted players we won’t retain it lessens our Talent Capital as a whole and lets other teams benefit from our hard work developing players.

    This problem won’t go away, if the FO keeps doing such a good job it will only get worse. Again, it’s a good problem to have, and it will be interesting to see how well they deal with it.

    In the long term I think it will result in some very interesting player trades involving multi-player/multi-pick deals where they can really leverage the benefit of all that good work.

    In the short-term the team really needs to think more about roster flexibility and management. The following moves would really help in terms of roster flexibility:

    1. DBs who can return Kicks/Punts (gives more flexibility in WR selection)

    2. Obtain a TE who could be a legitimate WR4 or WR5 when needed (ex GBs Finley or this years Dorin Dickerson).

    3. Find a legitimate FB/TE combo player and eliminate FB completely (or get a Legit FB and TE, we waste too many spots on marginal contributors at FB and TE).

    4. Get a Punter who is a KOS (kick-off specialist)

    5. Find a position player who can do LS duty

    6. A quality DB or two that can play CB and S (optimize roster depth)

    Obviously, it may be too late to do these types of things this year, but, they will need to concentrate on these types of moves if they want to really take advantage in the long term.

    It’s an abstract way to look at things, but, the Vikings will be missing out on the “dividend payments” due to them if they don’t manage the roster properly and become more aggressive trading players and picks in the future. Each years talent capital improvement is cumulative until you reach critical mass and see recently drafted players being let go and multiple current draftees not make the team. We have reached that point now and unless we start trading players with “market value” in future we will be forced to bleed-off all that hard earned player talent.

    An additional complication is the “windfall opportunity” that will present itself the remainder of this off-season. Due to the deep draft and the fear of a lack of revenue in 2011 we will see a lot of teams try to put themselves in a better cash position and as a result they will be dropping more quality Veteran players than usual. The Vikings should see a handful of Veterans that would make great depth additions to a team that is on the verge of a Championship season and who could shore up the team against older veteran losses in future (Fat Pat/Hutch/McKinnie/M Williams) and free up the team to address other needs in future drafts.

    What’s nice is that these FA Veteran signings would be stepping into back-up roles this year and not starting positions, thus causing minimal disturbance to team chemistry.

    I would hate to see the Vikings miss-out on these Veteran FA “Windfall” players who should become available. It would be nice to see them grab at least 2 or 3 Veterans in the mold of Jimmy Kennedy/Artis Hicks this offseason to help put this team over the top and possibly shore them up against the departure of older Veterans over the next couple of years.
    With the depth of talent on this team they could also easily use next years 3rd round picks and beyond to pry some RFA players away from teams that are looking to get some value to save face instead of just cutting a priority player because of money.

    The Vikings FO should realize they are entering a “Use it or lose it” mode with future draft picks and the young players on the squad, it will be interesting to see if they are up for this new challenge/opportunity or if we will just bleed players over the next few years.

    Again, congratulations to the FO for bringing in so much talent, now it’s time for their reward!
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  2. #2
    gagarr's Avatar
    gagarr is offline Team Alumni
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    Re:Next big test for FO & Coaching Staff

    Vikes will have a hard time signing a Vet FA as a backup if they have future starter talent. They will want to find a starting job now, thus another team in need will get them.

    If the Vikes backups are that talented that we want to retain them, they should be able to become starters and replace the leaving starters.

    1. DBs who can return Kicks/Punts (gives more flexibility in WR selection)
    Doesn't this just restrict DB selections?

    2. Obtain a TE who could be a legitimate WR4 or WR5 when needed (ex GBs Finley or this years Dorin Dickerson).
    Your talking about a pass catching TE that seldom blocks. Given the Vikes are a running team, their TE's are chosen for blocking.

    3. Find a legitimate FB/TE combo player and eliminate FB completely (or get a Legit FB and TE, we waste too many spots on marginal contributors at FB and TE).
    No, just a good FB would be nice and a upgrade to Dugan/Mills. Don't try to mix the positions too much.

    4. Get a Punter who is a KOS (kick-off specialist).
    How about a kicker that can do both KOs and FGs like most teams.

    5. Find a position player who can do LS duty
    Long snapping is too critical to mess with, don't dilute their practice time.

    6. A quality DB or two that can play CB and S (optimize roster depth)
    IMO, Chris Cook fits that mold and in a pinch will probably be used that way.

    I see where you are coming from but I don't think the Vikes are that talented beyond the starters to be that good as trade bait. And given the possibilities of injuries, keep as good of backup talent as you can find.

    I'm not a proponent of "The grass is always greener", doing trades like Dallas did for Roy Williams, thinking he's the answer. When they find out Miles Austin was.
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  3. #3
    i_bleed_purple's Avatar
    i_bleed_purple is offline Jersey Retired
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    Re:Next big test for FO & Coaching Staff

    To be quite honest, I don't like any of these ideas.

    1. DBs who can return Kicks/Punts (gives more flexibility in WR selection)
    like gagarr mentioned, this would really restrict our DB choices. Winfield doesn't return, Griffin doesn't return, Allen and Sapp probably could, but we need them as corners. IMO, its more important to have good corners than receivers. I like Harvin as a kick returner, he's explosive and can take any given return to the house. I don't know why we'd mess with that. The Bears made a mess when they messed with Hester, I don't want to see us do the same.
    2. Obtain a TE who could be a legitimate WR4 or WR5 when needed (ex GBs Finley or this years Dorin Dickerson).
    Who would we use for that?! Its not like athletic, reliable TE recievers are readilly available. Guys like Gonzalez, Witten, Gates, etc. don't just grow on trees. Athletic TE's tend to go early in the draft. Fact is, Sauce is getting old, Shank isn't a teriffic blocker, and Dugan is nothing special. As a running team, we need to think about a blocking TE, as Shank is more than adaquate as a receiving TE.

    3. Find a legitimate FB/TE combo player and eliminate FB completely (or get a Legit FB and TE, we waste too many spots on marginal contributors at FB and TE).
    Move Sauce to FB, problem solved

    4. Get a Punter who is a KOS (kick-off specialist)
    We drafted Lloyd, why would we need a punter? Why not a kicker?

    5. Find a position player who can do LS duty
    Don't mess with longsnappers. During a practice, the O does their thing, the D does their thing, then the Punter, Kicker and Longsnapper spend all day together getting everything perfect. There's a reason no teams have a dual Lineman/longsnapper.

    6. A quality DB or two that can play CB and S (optimize roster depth)
    Again, its not like there's an abundance of these players.

    You propose getting a CB/Returner, 2x CB/S, a FB/TE, a LS/OL and a P/KOS. You're removing 5 roster spots. There's no need.

  4. #4
    bsmithberkley is offline Pro-Bowler
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    Re:Next big test for FO & Coaching Staff

    Maybe a little clarification is in order here...there is no way the Vikings could make all the changes proposed especially for this year. They are more along the lines of what "Types" of moves could be (need to be) made to maximize potential over the next years. Try not to get too tied-up in the details. I just tossed those out as examples.

    I think you guys get the general Idea,we are approaching a point where talent bleeding will become an issue either because we lose good players or we sacrifice quality of depth.

    Just going to be interesting how they handle it.
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  5. #5
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    Re:Next big test for FO & Coaching Staff

    I am pretty sure there are at least a few coaching staffs in the league that would be happy to have those problems to worry about.

    The big test IMHO is whether they can take that talent and win a SB.

  6. #6
    gagarr's Avatar
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    Re:Next big test for FO & Coaching Staff

    Teams near the end of the draft will always bleed talent, because talent got them there and replacing through the draft becomes difficult. This is where talent judgement and player development come in.

    Any team that wins a SB (like the Vikes will) have a problem retaining their FA's because a SB experienced player becomes a hot commodity. In order to keep their players the Vikes will have to come up with $$$ or develop some serious loyalty like Belechick does in NE. I don't think players are that loyal to Chilly and the org to pass up a bigger payday.

    Creating a dynasty like NE put together is hard, it takes a very good coach and owner to make it happen. And even then the special players leave and are replaced by players that think if I'm with this team we'll win regardless of how hard I work.

    IMO, NE is on the way down.
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  7. #7
    Marrdro's Avatar
    Marrdro is offline Beware My Spreadsheet, Bitches!
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    Re:Next big test for FO & Coaching Staff

    gagarr wrote:
    5. Find a position player who can do LS duty
    Long snapping is too critical to mess with, don't dilute their practice time.
    100% agree here. Letem miss a FG just once because the LS didn't have time to practice with the holder and kicker cause he was to busy working position skills, and people who don't see the importance of this position will quickly change thier mind.
    Many many thanks to my talented friend Jos for the new Sig.http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v343/josdin00/Vikings/Marrdro_sig.jpg

  8. #8
    Marrdro's Avatar
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    Re:Next big test for FO & Coaching Staff

    bsmithberkley wrote:
    Maybe a little clarification is in order here...there is no way the Vikings could make all the changes proposed especially for this year. They are more along the lines of what "Types" of moves could be (need to be) made to maximize potential over the next years. Try not to get too tied-up in the details. I just tossed those out as examples.

    I think you guys get the general Idea,we are approaching a point where talent bleeding will become an issue either because we lose good players or we sacrifice quality of depth.

    Just going to be interesting how they handle it.
    I, for one, am damn glad we are back to the state were our FO has a roster so full of talent, its hard to figure out who to release.

    In the end, we are in a good place, and it will be very interesting to see how they (the FO pukes and coaching staff) weed through that talent and find the right mix that will not only improve the team this year, but next year and the year after.

    What will be more interesting though, at least for me, will be how the fans take it, when a player is released that they didn't think was gonna be released in favor of another player they didn't like.

    Will they trust the staff on its decision, or, will they hack on them? I already know what the local rubes from the rags they call newspapers are gonna say.
    Many many thanks to my talented friend Jos for the new Sig.http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v343/josdin00/Vikings/Marrdro_sig.jpg

  9. #9
    Marrdro's Avatar
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    Re:Next big test for FO & Coaching Staff

    Fragile Freds Asks: How many games do you think the Vikings will have to win this coming year in order for Coach Brad to win the coach of the year award?

    Interesting question. He does have a tough schedule, but his team is also overflowing with talent. If Favre returns, then I say he has to win 19 games. If Favre doesn’t return, then he has to win 14 in the regular season
    Krugjr Asks: why do we keep saying that these prospects that aren’t starting material will “probably end up” on special teams? Is there a secret roster somewhere for 10-15 of these guys to hide until they become starters?

    Krug, that is a good point. There is not much roster space for some of our late picks to pick up. And if they don’t make the roster, then it is kind of hard to contribute on special teams.

    However, the Vikings picked guys that may have an edge over the current guys holding down roster spots: versatility. For example, if D’Imperio is stud fullback AND a special teams ace… then the Vikings have more flexibility when it comes time to make cuts.
    Questions & Answers
    Bsmith, hope you didn't mind, thought this fit in here rather than starting a whole new thread.

    On a side note, I am officially bumping the author up to the to of all spreadsheets......

    c.carterhof Asks: Being that Brett Favre was (is) Mr. Packer, do you still have a hard time rooting for the guy? And now that he is wearing the Purple, do you find yourself intrigued with this guy?

    Yes, I still find it hard to root for the guy. Undoubtedly.

    And I don’t necessarily find him intriguing, but rather I am just getting a bit bored with him
    Couldn't have said it better myself.
    Many many thanks to my talented friend Jos for the new Sig.http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v343/josdin00/Vikings/Marrdro_sig.jpg

  10. #10
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    Re:Next big test for FO & Coaching Staff

    I, for one, am damn glad we are back to the state were our FO has a roster so full of talent, its hard to figure out who to release.
    Amen Brother!!

    Going to be some real tough cuts this time around!! We already lost a spot to a third kicker...I do believe its worth a try to see if it helps coverage, but it does make the other positions one spot tighter.

    Thing is, multi-position flexibility has been a thing that the Chiller has been preaching all along. With 3 units of 11 and only 45 active players, its obvious you can't backup everybody on game day.

    For example: If we keep an extra back to help replace Chester, then we'll most likely need to lose a WR, since Reynaud not only plays both but contributes on STs too. Then there's Joe Webb. I'm thinking too much athlete/production to try the PS...unless he shows real problems learning the system, he's probably goona stick, and that means we cut 2 of last year's 6 WRs. At RB we might then be looking at: AP, TG, AY, DR. Sure, Harvin can take some RB reps too, but he's so good in the slot and on returns, you kinda gotta draw a line somewhere.

    A lot of people would like one of the UDFA QBs to stick, but that would mean Jackson or Sage has to go. Personally, I think Jackson has shown enough progress to be given a chance. As third guy out, perhaps, we can recoup a 4th for Sage? OAK? BUF? Injuries anyone??

    I think Degeare is in for Hicks, but Artis was pretty reliable at several positions (only kept 8 OL last year), hard to replace that with a rookie...we might need an extra OL spot this season.

    DL looks pretty set, but they've obviously brought in some competition for Ray. Montgomery and Everson Griffen are both more proto-size for LDE...Mitchell is likely gone, perhaps we trade Ray? I'd kinda like to see another year from him in purple and gold, he did seem to step it up in the playoffs...what if he could sustain that level of play for 20 games!? And, if he works through his contract with us, and signs a big one elsewhere, it'll be a higher comp pick for us...IF the new CBA even has those!?

    LB has questions with EJ's healthy return and Leber's contract coming up soon. LBs are almost always good STers too, so last season we kept 6...kinda think that trend continues.

    I think we solved the CB/S conundrum by keeping 6 CBs but only 4 S for the same total of ten spots. Tyrell is young and should develop, maybe, Madieu just don't fit the system like we thought...he is supposedly more of a cover guy and the Tampa-2 needs reliable tackling as a no.1 asset at S.

    Got to agree with the others...leave LS alone. Kicks are way too important to raise the risk of a botched one.

    The TE/FB does seem to be one of our weird, and possibly weakest areas. I guess, the fact we keep 4 TEs, 3 of which can/have played some FB is proof positive of our dedication to the running game. (The Toby Gerhart pick says the same.) But, we still haven't covered that kicker, so here's his spot, say goodbye to Tahi, Dugan, and/or Mills, if Shuler makes the grade.

    Thats my gut-feeling roster run-down of the moment. One other comment would be looking at bigger contract guys who haven't completely lived up to the hype. A guy like Berrian or Madieu who might have somebody way more affordable stepping up behind them, could be let go.

    And then there are the injuries...could be we have Cedric and EJ on PUP to start things off...?

    Thing about the Patsies, is that they've been the best "Business" in the NFL for years. Every year they have extra picks early from trades and late from comps...they trade back for as many 2nd round picks as possible, and let guys go when they realize the talent doesn't equal the dollars. We are getting a lot closer to that type of team, a team, Built to Last!! :woohoo:
    Control the line, control the time, and give your D a chance to shine!!

    "Balance it on end and thats the third side of the coin!!" -wookiefoot

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