Todd Haley is an Offensive Coach

While picking my lineup for week 5 in Fantasy Football, I looked at the Jacksonville Jaguars vs. the Pittsburgh  Steelers. The Jags were No. 1  in pass defense, and No. 32 in run defense. So I decided to go with Le’veon Bell, arguably the best running back in the NFL, to go crazy against the worst run defense in football.

The Pittsburgh Steelers offensive ( as in something stinks ) Coordinator is Todd Haley, who has been in this position since 2012. He previously was the head coach with the Kansas city Chiefs, where he compiled a 19-26 record, and was fired midway through the 2011 season.Pitt ben-roethlisberger-todd-haley-60f5e019157aa802

I assumed the game plan, was to attack the porous Jag run defense. Wrong!! If you can believe it, this offensive genius, called for 55 pass plays, against the best pass defense, in the NFL,  and 20 running plays. After the game, I’m sure he now knows, why the Jags are No. 1 against the pass, they picked off 5 interceptions.

The Steelers were soundly defeated 30-9 by the Jags.

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I can Make a Case for Keenum

The Minnesota Vikings defeated the Tampa Bay Bucs 34 – 17 , on Sunday. I was certainly impressed, by Minnesota backup Quarterback Case Keenum. He threw for 369 yards, 2 touchdowns, and no interceptions, and more importantly he had success  with the long ball.  He threw 11 passes over 20 yards, connecting on 7.

I have to admit, I didn’t know much about Keenum, except he had been with several teams, as a backup. I googled him, and was surprised I had forgotten, what a great college career he had.

He starred at the University of Houston, where he still holds most NCAA career passing records, including:

Most passes                                 =  1,546 of 2,294
Most Passing Yards                   =  19,217 yards
Most Passing Touchdowns      =  155
Most Rushing TD’s by a QB     =  23
He holds several other records, including a 9 touchdown performance against Rice.

Keenum was able to have such a great performance, with the help of 3 key offensive weapons.

Stephon Diggs      8  catches  for 73 yards
Adam Thielen      5  catches  for 98 yards
Dalvin  Cook         5  catches  for 72 yards                                                                                                                         27 carries  for  97 yards

We’ll see if he can bring his magic throughout the season.
 

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 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.

 

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I’m Irked, That Grand Poo-bah Zygi Is Irked!!!!

It was reported on July 17th, 2017 in the Minneapolis StarTribune that the Grand Poo-Bah Zygi  with his lapdog, Lester was irked that the new Chairman of the Metropolitan Sports Facility Authority (MSFA), Mike Vekich, had turned over control, of the 2 suites, to SMG, the stadium operator.  Those 2 suites were designated at the outset, as sales and marketing  tools, for the MSFA, to market the new stadium, for non-football use; ie concerts, soccer, Xgames, and home shows.  The Vikings feel they should get any monies, that come from the use of those suites. Some key facts on this:

Viking stadium

  • Vikings insist that they gifted those 2 suites to the MSFA. You can’t gift something you don’t own.
  • The state of Minnesota and the city of Minneapolis owns the stadium. Not the underworld Wilfs.
  • The MSFA, along with the SMG run the US Bank stadium, not Zygi.

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This is just the latest, in a long list of demands to fleece money, from the ticket holders, and residents of Minnesota, such as:

  • A seat license fee, of up to $10,000 per seat, in addition to the per game ticket price.
  • He followed that up with a tailgating fee of  $ 600 per year.
  • Zygi, the winer, and Lester the lapdog somehow negotiated a deal, that gives the Vikings, all the revenue from the new parking ramp, across the street, from the new stadium. What makes this a true WTF moment, is that the state owns it, and sold naming rights to Mills Fleet Farm.
  • Then they began selling paver bricks for up to $360 each. They adorn space under the Viking ship.

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Zygi must stay up late at night, to come up with plots to squeeze more money, out of Minnesota and the Viking fans.  What could be next?Zygi jhjhgfunny-toilet A toilet fee; $25 to drop a load  & $10 to urinate. How about a usage fee for using the roads, that lead to the stadium, on Sundays. How about an excise tax, on television viewership of the Vikings, on Sundays?

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Seattle Seahawks: Dissention or Frustration

Seth Wickersham of ESPN The Magazine, wrote a compelling piece on the Seattle Seahawks and the culture in the locker room. In the article he discusses dissention in the locker room, that isn’t an offense vs. defense issue, which can happen when teams lose important playoff games. The issues raised by Wickersham”s article were:

  • What is Sherman’s future with the team, and how does he effectively fit in the locker room? He has been divisive. He has been openly critical of the coaching staff, especially the offensive group.
  • Many teammates have been critical of Carroll’s handling of Russell, who they think is coddled by Carroll.carroll & Wilson
  • Many teammates  felt Sherman never got over their loss to the Patriots in the Super Bowl, blaming the loss on Carroll and Wilson.
  • Sherman and some members of the defense, feel that the Seahawks should have won the last 2 Super Bowls, because of their defense, which they claim, is the best of all time.
  • Many members of the Seahawks, have had their fill of Sherman, and his antics.
    Sherman was on the trading block, which Seattle was demanding 2 – 1st rounder’s (a hefty price ) along with his $11 million dollar salary. Teams could draft a top college player with a 5 year contract for  around $6 million. What would you do?Seattle Sherman81414107

Wickersham stated that the driving force behind the article, was the fact that one of the best corners in the league ( Sherman ), was on the trading block, and Sherman was in favor of it.

Sherman of course, called the article “nonsense”, as did Michael Bennett, who called it “trash”. But at least a dozen Seahawks, while separately on the radio. didn’t deny claims.
But it sounds like the rift, between offense and defense has been aired, and everybody is looking ahead positively.

I’m sure the Seahawks feel that in Sherman’s case, the best trade, is no trade. He is arguably the best corner in the league. Over the last 3 seasons, he is number 1, in the passer rating against, with a rating of 60.2 when QB’s target him. He was No.1 last year, when he had no help in the secondary, because of injuries to Thomas and Chancellor.

Hopefully Carroll’s magic powers will work again.

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Was Treadwell In The Witness Protection Program ?

Laquon Treadwell was a major disappointment, to the Minnesota Vikings, and to me, in 2016. The reason I included myself, in the lofty position, equal to the Vikings, is because I had followed Treadwell since his high school days in Chicago, and felt he was the best college receiver I had ever seen.

A little history on Treadwell:

  • Played Quarterback as a freshman in high school, before switching to receiver.
  • Played defense all through high school, as well.
  • Named Illinois offensive Player of Year as a senior.Treadwell 2
  • Named High School All American by Under Armour, USA Today, and Maxipreps.
  • Ranked the No.1 receiver in the country by Rivals, and 247Sports.
  • Committed to the University of Mississippi in November of 2012.
  • Named SEC freshman of the year, with 72 catches for 608 yards.
  • Having had a spectacular sophomore year through November,  whileplaying against Auburn, he suffered a season ending broken leg, while catching a pass on the 1 yard line, that would have given them the victory, but he fumbled.
  • He came back for Junior year; had 82 catches for 1,153 yards.
  • After junior year, he opted for the NFL draft.
  • He was selected # 23 by the Minnesota Vikings, and not heard from again.

As you can see, he has the pedigree, and I am confident & hopeful that he will have a breakout season in 2017. I truly believe he just needs a little confidence. His work with Bradford will also payoff, as they have bonded more, coming into this season. They will also have a running game, to open up the passing game.

NFL: Minnesota Vikings-Training Camp