Friday, June 6, 2014

Vikings blogging - the dead zone arrives

If I ran the Internet (I don't), I would put a moratorium on all Vikings blogging during the month of June.

That's because there's not much going on and bloggers deserve a holiday after writing about this team all year.

Alas, some blogs - like this one and this one - keep pumping out content. Damn them.

Anyway, with the new coaching staff selected, free agency long gone, the draft over with, and no real interest in fantasy football, I feel in a reflective mood as NFL bloggers head into a dead period. How do I feel about where the Vikings are right now? Are they better off than they were when the 2013 season ended? Do you give a flying f**k what I think about all of this? (I'm about to tell you anyway, so maybe don't answer that question.) Here goes ...

I'm happy to have it. Last year around this time I had a strong gut feeling the Vikings weren't going to be as good as they were in 2012. I feel differently this June. Some of that is because of new head coach Mike Zimmer. We'll learn this fall what shortcomings - if any - he'll exhibit as a head coach. But his long track record of success as a defensive coordinator, and his "I don't take shit from anybody" on-field demeanor, make me believe he'll be good at his new job.

I also have hope because of Ted Bridgewater. Quarterbacks picked in the first round should make fans feel hopeful. They represent a new beginning at the sport's most important position. And when I read stuff  like this coming out of the Vikings OTAs, I start to get really hopeful. What? A Vikings quarterback actually ripping it up during practice? It seems like this time last year we were reading about how poorly Christian Ponder was looking in practise. His supporters kept saying, "Don't worry. It's just OTAs." And then training camp came and Ponder still looked bad. Then the preseason came and Ponder still looked bad. Then ... well, you know how it turned out.

Basically, the linebackers and secondary, still.

It seems very unfortunate that the linebacker who has the potential to give this unit some real juice can't take part in OTAs because of NFL rules about academics. (I'm all for higher education, but football is Anthony Barr's profession now. It might be time to re-jig these rules.) Much of the other linebackers are made up of guys who haven't proven anything at the NFL level.

As for the secondary, we're hoping Xavier Rhodes can elevate his play after a promising second half of his rookie season. We're hoping free agent signee Captain Munnerlynn is worth the money and can be a shutdown guy in the slot. We're hoping Derek Cox can get back to the way he played in Jacksonville (he seems to think he can.) And we're hoping Josh Robinson isn't complete garbage. That's a lot of hoping. But that Harrison Smith is some player, huh?

I apologize for the inactivity the past couple of weeks. Work is starting to slow down and so I should be back to posting more regularly. By the way, if you've got any post ideas you want me to take a stab at, let me know. This is a Vikings blogger's dead zone. I can use the help.


  1. As you know Darren, my theme since the draft has been "hope". I'm genuinely excited about Teddy's prospects. More reserved about Barr but still looking forward to seeing him on the field. I also still worry about the secondary, but it can't be worse, right? I saw the USA Today projection of 3-13 and thought it was hilarious. It just can't be that we'd be worse than last year, given who played QB and CB for us.

    As for what you should write about, I like reminiscing, although that doesn't always take me to a happy place. I'm not 100% sure exactly how far you go back as a Vikings fan, but there are lots of players (or games) from the last 20-30 years that warrant a look back. It's amazing to me that players I loved such as Cris Carter and Robert Smith have been gone for 13-14 years and Keith Millard and Steve Jordan gone for 20 or more. Such great players.

    1. David:

      Excellent idea about taking a trip down Vikings memory lane. It got me thinking about some posts I could do. My Vikings fandom stretches to 1976. But back in those days I didn't get to watch them play and it was only in the mid 1980s that we got American TV channels at home, which is when my memories of watching Vikings games on TV begins. Unfortunately, the glory days of those great Vikings teams of the 70s were long gone by then. But I think I can still work some stuff out. Thanks for the suggestion.

  2. Since you do film breakdown so'd be interesting to see something on your dark horse guy....who you think will excel on this team that maybe nobody expects to (Hodges? Sandejo? Wright?) Ok, maybe Wright people expect something from, but who's your pick of non-starters that you think will be awesome...we won't hold you to your pick if he flames out...but it'd be nice to see some info on the non-already covered dudes.

    1. It's okay:

      Thank you for the compliment. That's a great idea and I'll have to give it some thought, although I don't subscribe to the "All-22" film service so watching tape of some of these players won't be as easy as it was for the college draft prospects. But this is still doable and an interesting topic. I can probably divide it up into offense and defense, too.