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Minnesota Vikings Report Card 2007

Posted by LOTGK on February 10, 2008

viking update

The Minnesota Vikings ended up 8-8 this season under coach Brad Childress’ second year. Over all, he is 14-18 for two seasons. And now it’s report card time. I hope you all studied.

QB – Grade – (F)
Harsh indeed, but Tarvaris Jackson was not ready to run the team this year. Probably won’t be ready to run it next year. And the Vikings have no veteran quarterback to fall back on to. That is why the grade of F is given. Brooks Bollinger and Kelly Holcomb are both at best third stringers and shouldn’t even be in the league, let alone actually been allowed to start and play in games this year. The reality, Jackson is a long term project, (At least 3 years) and the Vikings need a quarterback right now.

RB – Grade – A
Adrian Peterson and Chester Taylor combined for over 2000 yards rushing with a very impressive yard per carry average. Peterson broke the NFL single game rushing record when he gained 296 yards against the Chargers. Taylor, who had 1200 yards last year and 800 yards this season, complimented Peterson perfectly. M. Moore rounded out the position filling in on third down and returning kicks and punts. The strongest position on the team.

FB – Grade – C
Tony Richardson was an all pro fullback that would bring that extra punch to the running game for the Vikings. Only problem was, Richardson was not on the field that much.

WR – Grade – D+
Troy Williamson, a 7th over all pick three years ago is a total bust. He cannot catch the ball. Bobby Wade, at best is a third down receiver, and he’s our #1. Robert Ferguson is a refugee cut from the Packers and only by default does he play for the Vikings. Sidney Rice, the rookie, show flashes of greatness, but was not consistent enough each game. He is the best receiver on the team. And he’s a rookie. Opposing defense stacked the line to stop the run this year knowing that the receivers were subpar and if by chance did get open, would only drop the ball.

TE – Grade – D
J. Kleinsasser, the original Venus De Milo, part of the no hands team. Good blocker, more suited as a fullback then a tight end. Again, just not enough reps in the season. A wasted player in a wasted position. And then we have V. Shiancoe, free agent from the Giants. He signed a huge three year deal meaning we are stuck with him for two more years. For a receiver that was supposed to come in and catch the ball for the Vikings, he sure has a lot to learn. First and fore most, catch the damn ball.

OL – Grade – B
Grade B, what the hell, people say the Vikings have one of the best offensive lines in the business. I disagree. However, I will say that center Matt Birk is all pro and worthy of an A grade, as well as guard Steve Hutchinson but that’s where the line is drawn. McKinnie, left tackle, seriously, needs to get a grip on reality and quit resting on his laurels from college. And Ryan Cook, please, he was schooled all season long and was called for plenty of penalties. And we traded Culpepper for him? And Artis Hicks, come on, he only plays because he knows the so called kick ass offense that Childress installed. He may know it, but he cannot play it.

DL – Grade – B
Pat and Kevin Williams save the line from receiving a failing grade. The Williams brothers are all pro, best at stopping the run, which is their assignment, and cause havoc in the back field. The ends however, cannot buy a sack from even from White Castle burger barn.
LB – Grade – B+
No soup for you Chad Greenway. Last year the promising rookie went down in the first play of the preseason. This year, he has redeemed himself and had a very good second year outing. Ben Leber came over from San Diego and never looked back. E.J. Henderson led the team in tackles and really grew into the MLB position.

CB – Grade – C
Why only a C grade? Of course Winfield played at an all pro level but that was it. Cedric Griffin in his second year took a few steps backwards and needs to work on his technique more. Whenever opposing teams pass, which was often, they were directed towards Griffins side of the field. Rookie Marcus McCauley had flashes of brilliant play but also of atrocious play. If the Vikings ever want to compete for the playoffs, they must upgrade the cornerback position.

SA – Grade – C
Darren Sharper, pro bowl safety, most interceptions since 2000 for any safety. Bu, he is 32 years old and he is not the answer in two years. Dwight Smith is also up in years, and he needs to stay out of stairwells. Tank Williams and Mike Doss are star quality names, but both are coming off major injury and have not yet returned to top form. This off season the Vikings need to upgrade this position.
ST – Grade – B-
Ryan Longwell did a very good job at Field Goals and extra points. Also, his kick offs were very good placing the ball at the goal line consistently. Chris Kluwe did a good job at punting usually pinning the opposing teams in bad position. Coverage teams were consistent but gave up some big plays from time to time. Kick offs were still a concern as the Vikings tried more than a half a dozen players but none seemed at home with that duty. With M. Moore more than likely going to another team this year, that leave the untested rookie A. Allison who showed he has the ability to be the returner, just needs to be more consistent.

DRAFT – Grade – A
#1 pick was Adrian Peterson, RB. All he did was take the NFL by storm rushing for over 1300 yards, double digit TD’s, and an almost 6 yard per carry average. Peterson is the real deal and will be a force for years to come.
Sidney Rice, receiver. Big, good hands, tough receiver showed flashes of greatness this year and will round out to be a very productive receiver.
Marcus McCauley, cornerback. Great size and speed and played well enough to have promise for the future.
Brian Robison, DE. A position the Vikings need and Robison played well. 5 sacks for his limited play showed promise for the future.
Audrae Allison, Receiver. Speedy receiver who contributed mostly on special teams. His speed and return skills make him a player with potential.
Rufus Alexander, LB. Placed on IR and will return for 2008.
Tyler Thigpen, QB. Cut at the end of training camp.

COACH – Grade – C-
Brad Childress went 8-8 this season. An improvement from his rookie season of 6-10. The positives are he drafts well, evaluates talent well, and has righted the ethics of the Vikings. The negatives are trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. he is too stubborn to adjust his offense or defense during the course of a game if his kick ass plan isn’t working. He did not have a back up plan if T. Jackson faltered, which he did and his fate is now directly tied to the success, or lack of his hand picked quarterback.

OWNER – Grade – C-
Zygi Wilf needs to stop the rhetoric with the Minnesota legislature and petition to the NFL for assistance. He’s not getting anywhere by himself. Perhaps with a little pressure from the NFL the legislature will listen and approve the funding for a new stadium. Otherwise, Wilf will do one of two things.
One: Move the team after the 2011 season when the lease expires leaving the state without an NFL team. A state such as California will welcome the new team and Wilf will make a boatload of money.
Two: Wilf will sell the team and make a boatload of money and the new owner will immediately move the team out of the state. Result, Viking fans lose.

OVER ALL – Grade C
The Vikings went 8-8 and had a rush defense second to none. Problem was the pass defense was second to last. The Vikings quarterback position was probably the worst in the NFL where at the start of the season, between all three quarterbacks, they didn’t have 10 starts combined. And it showed.

The pro bowl showed that the Vikings have the talent as Adrian Peterson won the MVP of the game as he gained 129 yards from 16 carries and two TD’s. Tony Richardson blocked for him, and Matt Birk and Steve Hutchinson shored up the line. On defense, Pat and Kevin Williams shored the defensive line and Darren Sharper started at safety and intercepted the ball to seal the deal for the NFC.

The team has the talent to win. With a quality QB and another quality receiver, the Vikings could be 11-5 and playoff bound for 2008.

Skol Vikings!

Until the 2008 season begins, I will be living in a van down by the river.

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