Welcome to our weekly Vikings chat -- ask away!
I don't expect to see any changes to the starting lineup. Obviously, Mike Zimmer was heated after giving up 42 points on primetime football, but he backed away from those comments about potential personnel moves this week. We haven't seen any changes outside of Andrew Sendejo in for Harrison Smith (ankle) this week. Smith is going to give it a go today.
That's just it -- who? Sendejo has a knack for finding the football, but is a liability in coverage. I don't think Zimmer is happy with that second safety spot, which is juxtaposed next to the Vikings' best defensive player in Harrison Smith. I highly doubt you'll see Champ Bailey anywhere near Winter Park, just not the type of portfolio Rick Spielman's history suggests he likes to add. If Chris Crocker didn't make the roster, don't hold your breath for Champ.
In the Green Bay loss -- it was a combination of the two. There were times Sharrif Floyd was an arm's length away from getting a body on Eddie Lacy at the line of scrimmage, but wasn't quick enough to his gap or out of place. Then again, there were plenty of times Gerald Hodges missed his spot, including on Lacy's 29-yard run. Right now, we're seeing the Vikings' young interior defense learn as they go with Hodges, Floyd, Barr, et al.
I was puzzled by that pick, considering the addition of Corey Wootton this offseason. I think they've been underwhelmed by some of their rookies so far, Crichton, Yankey included. But, going 72nd overall, you're right, there were other options on the board, potentially at safety, that could've helped this team quicker than Crichton.
Not sure about Greenway. He hasn't practiced yet since the loss in New Orleans. Recovering from 3 broken ribs is no walk in the park for a NFL linebacker. I think it's another week at least.
I think the Vikings are set up to succeed this week vs. an ailing Detroit group that looked like the good ole Lions last week against Buffalo (Orton for 300!!). If Teddy stays upright, he could have a decent day and I think the Vikings' defensive line is set up for a breakout game -- the first since the Sept. 7 win in St. Louis.
Linval Joseph has been a decent run-stopper and actually is in the Top-5 in the NFL for QB hurries from the DT position. Their issue has been mainly at linebacker. Gerald Hodges can make those splash plays, but he's not yet groomed into being an every-down starting LB. We're seeing a lot of young guys being forced into positions due to injuries or odd circumstances, like Hodges, Matt Asiata, Vlad Ducasse, etc.
Well, Captain is already the nickel. He just starts on the outside, too.
That's not what the Vikings paid for, and I highly doubt you'll see that. They like Josh Robinson's role as it is right now, and he's been excelling at it. With Captain, he's been exposed a couple times, but I think he's just not used to being the focal point of a secondary. Now that the Vikings are through the ringer of QBs (Brady, Brees, Rodgers, etc.), I think we'll see Captain make more of the plays that the coaching staff is expecting from him.
It's just bad luck for the Vikings with Ponder. If Spielman/Zimmer were to speak frankly, I think they would admit they never envisioned Ponder playing a down this season with Cassel/Bridgewater as their 1-2. But, here we are, Ponder started Week 5. He's one of the best third-string QBs in the league, but he was not ready at all to play on a short week of practice. All the bad traits we knew about Ponder were cranked up on Thursday...It wasn't pretty. But who do you get? Rex Grossman?
While it may be smart to stack up with uncertainty at that position, I don't know if it's worth a pick in those rounds. The Vikings need a safety. They could use another running back with AP's situation in flux. They could use a middle linebacker. They could use another corner.
Cordarrelle Patterson? ....
I agree tenfold, which has been a hot topic around Winter Park. I put a big chunk of blame on play calling. One handoff in the last four games? When you had 3 QBs start 3 different games? How do you not just hand it straight off to Patterson and let him work? That puzzles me. Cordarrelle definitely needs polishing as a route runner, but that isn't the reason he has just 15 catches this season. It's partially defenses focusing on him, Ponder starting a game, and having no run game to support play-action outside of Atlanta.
Receiving corps, which will eventually be unlocked with stable quarterback play. Having Cordarrelle Patterson, Greg Jennings and Jarius Wright as your 1-2-3 is one of the better trios in the NFL right now. A top-15 QB would put up numbers, and that'll come with time if Bridgewater develops. Wright may have to send a thank you card to Jerome Simpson for making him relevant in 2014 again.
Right now the pecking order has Sendejo above Exum, but they liked Exum enough as a developmental project to keep him over Jamarca Sanford, Kurt Coleman and Chris Crocker. it's all possible, but it depends on where the season is at. Nothing to lose? Play the rookie.
Alright guys, thanks for joining! Heading out to the practice field now.