Minnesota Vikings: O-Line Trouble Continues, But Costs More.

I’ve said in various earlier posts, that for the most part, if you want to know how a player will play for your team; look at his past. As a blogger, I can say, those players are who we thought they were.

The Minnesota Vikings played their first pre-season game against the Buffalo Bills. They continue to be plagued by inept O-line play. Last year was a disaster, but optimism prevailed as they made some off season moves, and drafted a great prospect from Ohio State. Their on field performance against the Bills, saw no change from their 2016 collapse.

They signed free agent Riley Reiff to a long term contract, for more than $11.7 million annually (Total contract is $58,000 million). The average salary for the NFL’s OffensRily Reiffive line is $ 1.7 Million. That makes Riley the 2nd highest paid Viking, behind Sam Bradford. He’s making more than Griffen, Rhodes, Smith, & Joseph.  Does that make sense?? He did start for Detroit,  but was criticized for his play, and no attempt was made to keep him. Therefore the Vikings rode with their white hats, into Detroit, with saddlebags full of money …

The Vikings also signed free agent Mike Remmers, from the Tampa Bay BuccaneMike_Remmers_2016ers for over $ 6 Million (Total contract is for $30 Million).  Prior to that,  he was with a couple of teams, including the Vikings, who cut him. Obviously, Tampa didn’t want him, so guess who charged into picture, with big money??

Let’s not forget Adam Boone, who signed last year as a free agent, for over $ 7 million annually (total contract is for over $28 million. If he played half as good, as he talks, he’d already be in the Hall of Fame.

The power egos of the Vikings have a philosophy, that if you pay a player more. he will be better. I strongly disagree. How did Koren Robinson, Bernard Berrian, & Michael Williams work for you??

If a team wants to make the playoffs, it all starts with the O-Line. If you can’t protect the quarterback, he can’t pass effectively. With the mid-range passes, and long range passes, not part of the offensive strategy, the defenses add players to the box, which limits your running game. It’s not that difficult!!!!MinnesotaVikingsreverse

Minnesota Viking Training Camp Highlights

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  • 2017 will be the last year that University of Minnesota – Mankato will be used as the Minnesota Viking Training Camp. The Vikings have been using Mankato for 52 years. Next year they move to their new corporate facilities, in Eagan, MN ,which are being built as we speak. Lot’s of memories there for all the old coaches, players, and fans.
  • Coach Zimmer has indicated, he may turn over defensive play calling, to  George Edwards. They will try with a couple of pre-season games. Under ZimViking DSC_0635.0mers play calling, the Vikings went from last in 2014 to fifth in 2016.
  • Teddy Bridgewater was at camp, but didn’t take any actual reps. He just threw on the sidelines, and worked out, just to be with the team. Doesn’t appear to be any thoughts of him playing this year.
  • First year in 10, that Adrian Peterson isn’t here in Mankato.
  • Off-season acquisition, LT Riley Reif, hasn’t practiced all of training camp. Appears to be ready as of 8/10/17. The Vikings are counting on him to be a big contributor in 2017, after their O-line collapse in 2016.
  • 1 st year Pat Elflein has worked out at guard, and center, and looked good at both, buy I think the Vikings have him projected, as a starter at center. He has been praised by all.
  • The biggest surprise at camp has probably been  Michael Floyd. Offensive Coordinator, Pat Shurmer called Floyd an adult sized, manly receiver, with great hands. He has made some great catches over Rhodes and Harrison Smith. Unfortunately, he will miss the first 4 games.Vikings_training_camp_to_move__0_3816831_ver1.0_640_360
  • Bradford has looked great, and definitely more comfortable all around. He has a very strong and accurate arm. He had a 61% completion rate last year when hurried. It sure looks like the offense will be opened up a lot, this season. There have been several 40 plus attempts, in camp scrimmages. He has been particularly in sync with Stephon Diggs and Floyd.
  • Some big contracts were signed during camp: Everson Griffen – $ 58 Million;  Linval Joseph – $ 50 Million; and Xavier Rhodes – $70 Million
    Viking stadium images5NMC1MJ6

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Minnesota Viking Camp: Find Someone To Stretch Field

The NFL season is upon us. All the teams are in summer camp, about to start the preseason. As I ponder the season for the Minnesota Vikings,  I have these basic thoughts:

DefenseVikings 99-55-54-BH1

The defense is going to be good. Linval Joseph plugging the middle, Our strong Defensive Ends. Hopefully, an improved season for Barr and Kendricks, and a secondary led by Harrison Smith and Xavier Rhodes

Offense

On the Offense, we have Bradford at QB, who is looking good, with a strong arm. I never realized how tall he was, 6-5. New RB Dalvin Cook,  looks great. RB Latavious  Murray has been on the PUP list until Monday 8/7. That should make for a good battle for playing time. There are 2 major areas of concern for me:

  • The offensive line. The Two new tackles that the Vikings acquired, have to exceed expectations. Neither Reemers or Reiff came from a team where they started. Reiff has been injured all training camp. The O-Line has to gel as one unit, not just a collection of journey men.  The jury is still out on all the new faces including Elfein. They need to be much better than last year, and block for Bradford to throw a pass beyond 10 yards.
  • Wide Receivers. I’m hopeful that Treadwell will ascend to a starting type receiver. viking imagesKU2705H5I hope local boy, Adam Theilen continues to impress, and that Michael Floyd contributes, as well as he has in camp. We also have holdovers Stephon Diggs and Jarious Wright.  I don’t see any of these as being a Randy Moss type to stretch the field. We Have 2 speedy rookies, Stacy Coley & Rodney Adams. The hope is one of those will catch on quick to the offense, and be that deep threat they have to cover.

 

Viking stadium images5NMC1MJ6