Thursday, April 24, 2014

Vikes 2014 Regular Season Schedule


Sept. 7, Noon, at St. Louis
Sept. 14, Noon, vs. New England
Sept. 21, Noon, at New Orleans
Sept. 28, 3:25 pm, vs. Atlanta
Oct. 2, 7:25 pm, at Green Bay
Oct. 12, Noon, vs. Detroit
Oct. 19, Noon, at Buffalo
Oct. 26, Noon, at Tampa Bay
Nov. 2, Noon, vs. Washington
BYE
Nov. 16, Noon, at Chicago
Nov. 23, Noon, vs. Green Bay
Nov. 30, Noon, vs. Carolina
Dec. 7, Noon, vs. New York Jets
Dec. 14, Noon, at Detroit
Dec. 21, Noon, at Miami
Dec. 28, Noon, vs. Chicago

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Vikes Free Agency Moves So Far



The Minnesota Vikings headed into Free Agency with many needs. Who will be the quarterback and what will the defensive line look like were two of the biggest. Minnesota re-signed Matt Cassel to come in and start for the 2014 season at quarterback and the Vikes shelled out big money to re-sign Everson Griffen at defensive end. 

The Vikes filled two other holes with the signings of defensive tackle, Linval Joseph of the Giants and Captain Munnerlyn, cornerback of the Panthers. Instant analysis of these two moves are huge “wins” for the Vikings. Joseph is a Pat Williams like defensive tackle and Munnerlyn fits the Antoine Winfield mold. Fat Pat and Toine are two of the best Free Agents the Vikings ever picked up so if Joseph and the Captain are anyone near that good then new Head Coach, Mike Zimmer, really is turning this team around. 

The Vikes made some other smaller moves, re-signing some of their own including Jerome Simpson (WR) and Fred Evans (DT). Minnesota also signed two role playing defensive players, Derek Cox (CB) and former Viking, Jasper Brinkely (LB).

Linebacker continues to be a huge need as the Vikes have Chad Greenway as a starter, but the other two spots are basically open. Some young options are currently on the Vikes roster, but it is unclear if any of them can be a solid NFL starter. Gerald Hodges, Audie Cole and Mike Mauti are all possible options.

Minnesota lost a couple of Free Agents as planned with Toby Gerhart (RB) to Jacksonville and Chris Cook (CB) to San Francisco. Jared Allen (DE) has not signed anywhere, but it appears clear he will NOT be back in Minnesota. Charlie Johnson (G) still remains a possibility for the Vikes to re-sign, but they are considering other options also. 

Although not the huge splash of Michael Johnson (DE) and Alterraun Verner (CB) that many fans were hoping for, the Vikes have had a solid first week of Free Agency. Incidentally, both Johnson and Verner signed with Tampa Bay and will be coached on defense by former Viking Head Coach, Les Frazier. 

Minnesota still has money to spend and holes to fill, so hopefully more to come!

Signed:
Linval Joseph, DT, Giants
Captain Munnerlyn, CB, Panthers
Derek Cox, CB, Chargers
Jasper Brinkley, LB, Cardinals

Re-signed:
Matt Cassel, QB
Everson Griffen, DE
Fred Evans, DT
Jerome Simpson, WR
Joe Berger, C/G
Matt Asiata, RB

Possible:
Henry Melton, DT, Bears (visited Minnesota)
Jameel McClain, LB, Ravens (visited Minnesota)
Kevin Williams, DT, Vikings
Charlie Johnson, OG, Vikings
Vlad Ducasse, OG, Jets (visiting Minnesota)
Daryn Colledge, OG, Cardinals (rumored as a possibility)
Vincent Rey, LB, Bengals (rumored as a possibility)

#skolvikes

Sunday, March 02, 2014

How to Fix the Vikes via Free Agency


Heading into NFL Free Agency, which begins on March 11, 2014, the Vikes have many needs. If I was General Manager of the Minnesota Vikings, this is what I would do.

Sign Michael Johnson, Defensive End, Cincinnati Bengals
New Vikes Head Coach, Mike Zimmer, knows Johnson and his capabilities. Johnson would instantly be the best pass rusher on the Vikings. By signing Johnson, both Jared Allen and Everson Griffen would not be brought back to Minnesota.

Sign Alterraun Verner, Cornerback, Tennesse Titans
Verner would be paired up with Xavier Rhodes to form a solid team at cornerback. With Harrison Smith back and healthily at safety, the Vikes would have a nice backfield besides the other safety position. No more Chris Cook, ever. Other possible considerations would be Brent Grimes, CB, Dolphins, Vontae Davis, CB, Colts and Sam Shields, CB, Packers.

Sign Linval Joseph, Defensive Tackle, New York Giants
Lining up Joseph next to Sharrif Floyd would held solidify the Vikes defensive line. Joseph can be that run stopper the Vikes badly need. Kevin Williams is close to retiring and other options would be Henry Melton, DT, Bears, Jason Hatcher, DT, Cowboys or Pau Soliai, DT, Dolphins.

Sign Vincent Rey, Linebacker, Cincinnati Bengals
Another player that Zimmer knows and would instantly start on the Vikes. Minnesota has some serious issues at linebacker and Rey would help fill one of those holes. Other options could be Brandon Spikes, LB, Patriots, Karlos Dansby, LB, Cardinals or Daryl Smith, LB, Ravens. 

Sign Josh McCown, Quarterback, Chicago Bears
I honestly prefer Matt Cassel, but it appears that ship has sailed. Minnesota badly needs to get a veteran quarterback as well as draft one in the first three rounds. McCown would be a solid backup and if needed could start at the beginning of the season. Other interesting options include possible trades for quarterbacks like Ryan Mallett, QB, Patriots or Kirk Cousins, QB, Redskins.

Signing these five players would help fix many of the holes the Minnesota Vikings currently have. The NFL Draft is in May and will be another opportunity for the Vikes to make a big splash. 

Skol Vikes!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Savior?


As expected, the Minnesota Vikings fired Head Coach Leslie Frazier. After an extensive search, Rick Spielman decided that Bengals Defensive Coordinator, Mike Zimmer should take over as the Head Coach of the Minnesota Vikings.

Zimmer was the Defensive Coordinator in Cincinnati for the last five years. He is the polar opposite of Frazier. Zimmer is a tough, fiery coach who loves to swear. Those traits alone make me love this hire. Zimmer becomes the 9th Head Coach in Minnesota Viking history. Look at him in the photo above, does he look like a guy who takes any shit? The answer is no.

With Frazier gone, the next part of the cleaning house project was to get rid of Offensive Coordinator, Bill Musgrave and Defensive Coordinator, Alan Williams. In my opinion, both of them seemed utterly clueless, especially Williams.

Zimmer quickly found replacements for Musgrave and Williams. Longtime NFL coach, Norv Turner will be the man calling plays in 2014 for the Vikes. Turner and Zimmer coached together under Bill Parcells with the Dallas Cowboys.

Dolphins linebacker coach, George Edwards will be taking over the Vikes defense. Edwards worked with Zimmer in Dallas. Edwards served as the DC for the Washington Redskins in 2003 and was the Buffalo Bills DC in 2010 and 2011.

I absoultely LOVE the Zimmer hire and think Turner is a great choice for OC. I'm not totally sold on Edwards per his defenses with him at the helm were less than stellar, but I assume Zimmer will have heavy influence on the defense and Coach Zimmer knows how to coach defense.

I'm already stoked for the Vikes season to start and we don't even know who our starting quarterback will be!

Minnesota Vikings Coaching Staff
Head Coach: Mike Zimmer
Offensive Coordinator: Norv Turner
Defensive Coordinator: George Edwards

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2014 Minnesota Vikings Mock Draft


Round 1: Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA
Round 2: AJ McCarron, QB, Alabama 
Round 3: Marcus Roberson, CB, Florida 
Round 3: Hakeem Smith, SS, Louisville 
Round 4: Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh 
Round 5: Chris Watt, OG, Notre Dame 
Round 6: James Wilder, RB, Florida St.
Round 7: Ricardo Allen, CB Purdue

Vikes Draft Summary: 

With the Vikes selecting eighth overall, many of the top quarterbacks will be gone before they pick so I went BPA (Best Player Available) and also a huge need area with the selection of Barr. Barr instantly will become a starting linebacker for the Vikes. 

McCarron is a winner and is the best quarterback available in the second round. I’m not overly thrilled with this selection, but after passing on a quarterback in the first round, Minnesota has to go quarterback in the second.

Thanks to trading Percy Harvin, Minnesota has two selections in the third round. Both picks are used to help sure up a shaky secondary. Roberson will be expected to start opposite Xavier Rhodes and Hakeem Smith will team up and start with Harrison Smith as our safeties. 

Rounds four and five are used selecting good players in positions of need. Donald would be a steal in the fourth round at defensive tackle and Watt could hopefully develop into a starter on the offensive line.

Wilder is selected in the sixth round to be Adrian Peterson’s backup. Toby Gerhart will depart via free agency so a backup running back will be a need. 

In round seven Minnesota goes with the BPA in a need area and selects another cornerback in Allen. You can never have too many quality corners, especially playing in the NFC North.

Friday, December 06, 2013

15 Free Agents the Vikes Should Look At


After the Vikes fire Les Frazier and his entire coaching staff and name a new Head Coach, the Vikes new leader will have some serious work to do to improve the roster. In addition to finding a new quarterback (my preference is though the NFL Draft), defense should be a HEAVY focus for the Vikings in 2014.

Here is a list of 15 Unrestricted Free Agents that the Minnesota Vikings should take a long look at. In reality, I would guess that the most you could have out of this list is two players. Which two do you want?

Jay Cutler, QB, Bears – personally I do not want Cutler, but he likely will be the top quarterback available and in reality is an option for the Vikes.

Alex Mack, C, Browns – he is the best center available. With the decline in play from John Sullivan, will the Vikes look to repairing their offensive line?

Kevin Boothe, G, Giants – we need to tweak the offensive line some. A solid guard would be a welcome fit on the Vikes line. Assuming Kalil rededicates himself and Loadholt decides to play better, a good guard could make a huge difference.

Brandon Spikes, MLB, Patriots – how bad do the Vikes need a middle linebacker? Answer – really, really bad. Spikes is a tough nosed ball player who I love. Only downside is his price tag will be high.

Wesley Woodyard, LB, Broncos – another solid option at linebacker. Doesn’t excite me tons, but a HUGE upgrade over what we put out there in 2013.
 
Sean Lee, LB, Cowboys – like Woodyard, another solid option at linebacker. Lee would instantly become our best linebacker.

Brian Orakpo, LB, Redskins – a big name that will likely garner big money. He is a playmaker, but already seems to have peeked. Still would be a welcome addition to the Vikes.

Sam Shields, CB, Packers – a young corner who appears to have figured out the NFL. Would be fun to pair him with Xavier Rhodes.

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, CB, Broncos – another solid corner who has become a solid NFL starter. Something the Minnesota Vikings desperately need.

Brent Grimes, CB, Dolphins – a grizzled veteran who can still play. Although no longer a shutdown corner, Grimes would be worth offering a contact too assuming the Vikes don’t break the bank and for a 2-3 year deal.

Alterraun Venner, CB, Titans – young and upcoming corner who is not well known. Solid player.

Walter Thurmond, CB, Seahawks – some injury concerns and suspended four games in 2013 for substance abuse. Minnesota should steer clear of him, but he is a free agent corner.

Vontae Davis, CB, Colts – a somewhat troubled past, but appears to have turned the corner (no pun intended). Side note: Vonte is the brother of Vernon Davis.

Jarius Bryd, S, Bills – one of the premier safeties in the NFL. Would love to pair him with Harrison Smith.

TJ Ward, S, Browns – another solid safety stuck on a bad team. Ward would be a huge upgrade for the Vikes at safety and would also be great to pair with Harrison Smith.

Again, assuming in a BEST case scenario the Vikes could land two of these players, if I’m the Vikes I’d focus on Brandon Spikes to be the new leader of the defense and play middle linebacker. I’d also look to one of the corners, per seems like the new area with the biggest need. I’d love to see either Shields or Rodgers-Cromartie on the Vikings.

Just think if the Vikes had a stud MLB and another good corner plus the NFL Draft. With the right moves, Minnesota could quickly be atop the NFC once again.

#skolvikes

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Minnesota Vikings Unrestricted Free Agents 2014


I’m still not totally sure what happened this season. We have no quarterback, no offensive line and no defense whatsoever. The Vikes are 1-5 and with no hope in sight, it is time to focus on next season.

A fair amount of notables on this current roster will be Free Agents after the season. Here are some of the biggest names:

Jared Allen, DE
Matt Cassel QB
Josh Freeman, QB
Desmond Bishop, LB
Chris Cook, CB
Toby Gerhart, RB
Everson Griffen, DE
Charlie Johnson, G
Marcus Sherels, S
Jerome Simpson, WR
Joe Webb, WR
Kevin Williams, DT

Now here is my thoughts on what the Vikings should do about the above players.

Offense:
Assuming Christian Ponder has been cut (which he will be after we have a new Head Coach), keep Matt Cassel around as backup quarterback and start whoever we draft in the First Round of the NFL Draft. This would also mean letting Josh Freeman go.

To be honest, I have NEVER been a fan of Toby Gerhart. He is not a third down running back, he is like a poor, poor, poor man’s version of Adrian Peterson. It is time to let Gerhart go. The Vikes need a legit third down back.
 

Both Jerome Simpson and Joe Webb will be free agent wide receivers. They are completely different players. Webb should be cut right now, but he won’t be since this coaching staff apparently loves him. It’s time to let Webb walk.

Now Simpson is a different story. He was a little banged up and was underwhelming last season, but this year he has look much different. He appears to be pretty decent if anyone could get him the ball. The downside for Simpson is that Cordarrelle Patterson appears ready to take his spot. Personally I’d start Patterson and Greg Jennings next season and let Simpson walk, but I am a little torn saying that. I love the potential Patterson shows, but I also think Simpson has some talent. Likely Simpson’s price tag will be too high and that money should be spent on the defensive side of the football.
Charlie Johnson is huge, but he is not very good. He has started on the Vikings offensive line as both a tackle and now a guard, but it is time to let him walk. The Minnesota Vikings offensive line is a disaster and he is part of the problem. Bye Charlie!

Defense:
Jared Allen has been awesome to have on the team and he is a fan favorite for sure, but unless he is willing to take a massive pay cut, let him walk. He’s just not as dominant as he once was. Although you have gotta admit that sack he had grabbing Eli’s jersey while Allen was still being blocked was awesome!

With JA gone, it seemed obvious that Everson Griffen would be resigned, but he sure has looked flat to me this year. I assume the Vikes will work something out with Griffen and he and Brian Robison will be the starters at defensive end in 2014.

Kevin Williams has been a rock for the Vikings. He is one of the greatest defensive tackles to ever play for the Minnesota Vikings. However, the end is near. The Vikes draft Sharrif Floyd to take over Kevin’s spot and he will likely do that next year. Hopefully Williams retires and then we can enshrine him into the Vikings Ring of Fame.

Desmond Bishop seemed like a great signing this offseason. He wasn’t able to be our MLB, but finally showed some toughness and made some plays to earn a starting OLB spot and then he tore his ACL again. I assume his NFL career is over. Let Bishop walk or limp away from the Vikes.

Chris Cook has shown flashes of being a shutdown corner, but he also has shown flashes of not only being a horrible human being, but also being a horrible cornerback. Cook has been burned many, MANY times for touchdowns and to date, still does NOT have a single interception. Not one. It is time to let the Chris Cook experiment end in Minnesota. Goodbye Chris, don’t choke anyone on your way out of town.

Marcus Sherels is an interesting one. He barely made the team this year, but appears to be one of the better defensive backs the Vikings have currently on the roster (not that that means much though). Sherels also has been our punt returner the past couple season and although he has scored on a couple of punts, he never seems to do much with the punts. I feel like he is always just fair catching them. Taking all that into consideration, I would keep Sherels around for a likely low price and would use primarily on defense as a dime back type player. We need a new punt returner in 2014.

Summary:
The Minnesota Vikings should re-sign: Matt Cassel (backup quarterback), Everson Griffen (starting defensive end) and Marcus Sherels (nickel/dime defensive back).

It is time for the Vikings to cut ties with: Josh Freeman (QB), Toby Gerhart (RB), Jerome Simpson (WR), Joe Webb (WR/QB), Charlie Johnson (G), Jared Allen (DE), Kevin Williams (DT), Desmond Bishop (LB) and Chris Cook (CB).