A fastball to start this one off -- As of Oct. 30, I believe the Vikings will keep Adrian Peterson on the roster for 2015. However, there are a lot of situations that could change that. Peterson not only has great respect within the organization and the community, but he also carries a lot of weight in the locker room. His cap figure and age for next season aren't ideal, but at this point, I think he'll be a Viking still.
No, in fact they're doing more and more to help him out on game days. They're trying to work through whatever is going on with him and right now, that's a combination of getting beat with finesse and power moves from defenders. Did you see Michael Johnson work him five yards into the backfield on a second-half run w/ McKinnon? That's the one play that captures his regression. It's inexcusable.
I'd have to think Zimmer, who is known around the NFL as a masterful tactician. However, Zimmer is also smart enough to know that he can overthink what he *thinks* he knows about Gruden's tenancies. I think that's a story line that can be blown up too much by media *hand raised*, but it'll surely play a role.
Nah, I'm not worried about that. Zimmer keeps his thumb on him because he's been coaching in the NFL for 20+ years and knows what you need to do to keep a rookie in check. I wouldn't worry about it at this point, generally a guy can be at his proudest after a 27-yd fumble return in OT for a win, but this team is 3-5 and if he doesn't strip that ball, we're talking about why he gave up the touchdown to Glennon at the end of the game.
Kill that narrative at the source -- the coaching staff is not only not displeased with Robison, but they're very happy with the way he continues to work in the week leading up to games when he only has 1.5 sacks. Brian is a prideful guy, can care about his numbers quite a bit (thank Jared Allen), so I'm sure he's knocked on Zimmer's door quite a bit this season wondering what's up with his stats. Zimmer had that with Michael Johnson in Cincinnati, too. It's very possible Brian gets 9 sacks in the second half of the season and Everson gets 0. That's how this system can work.
We should all start to wonder how much Adrian Peterson covered up with this offensive line and how much time it takes for QBs/WRs to catch onto Norv's system after 3 years with Musgrave's somewhat basic west-coast offense and route tree.
I think Peterson covered up a lot of deficiencies and helped the passing game more than we ever gave him credit for (if that's possible.)
Also, outside of John Sullivan, losing Brandon Fusco was the biggest blow to this group.
Andy's cousin? I think the Vikings should be prepared for Robert Griffin. They haven't faced this type of QB yet, but the Vikings are really good at one thing and that's applying pressure to the QB. If they can rattle Griffin, it's possible he's still too rusty to hurt you. Griffin hasn't looked the same since 2012, I'll be interested to see if he's tentative on Sunday.
No. Christian had Adrian Peterson and Percy Harvin. While Cordarrelle Patterson is a playmaker, he's not refined to the point where Norv wants to keep going to him. We saw in the final minutes of the Tampa Bay game -- they CAN get Patterson the ball on purpose when they want to (he had 8 of 12 targets on the final two drives). Bridgewater needs help and right now, the Vikings could benefit by leaning on that Patterson-Jennings tandem, it's just Norv won't become that one-dimensional.
I think Bridgewater is more under fire in his first starts than Ponder was (Peterson a factor).
Don't be too fooled by those blitzes you saw Monday night. Jim Haslett likes his pressure packages, but he doesn't always bring them on 50 percent of pass plays. He's likely looking at this Vikings line right now thinking "Hmm, I don't need to blitz." -- and he doesn't. 13 of 16 sacks on Bridgewater have come with three- and four-man fronts, while he's carving up the blitz for 66% completion rate. I'd mix up the pressures if I'm Washington, but I don't expect them to blitz all day.
Something tells me that position in the Vikings organization wouldn't get compensated too much. However, if I see an application link I'll post it.
They like Matt Asiata as a spell back for McKinnon, understanding they want to give the rookie a rest and not 60 snaps per game. However, the line you need to walk better is not giving Asiata his series in the 4th quarter when you need a score. Let McKinnon pace him self in the middle of the game and save your playmakers for the end.
Everyone is always talking. Ideas get floated out, entertained and rejected, though the NFL trade deadline doesn't spurn too much reaction because those talks take more time generally. Vikings would rework a Greg Jennings deal before adding a guy like Vincent Jackson. WR isn't the problem right now.
Think Cleveland would trade for Joe Thomas?
That's what it appears like. About to go out to practice in 5mn, where I'll likely see him at right guard. Should've been that way from the start, really.
Pump the brakes. While this division is up and down, I don't think the Lions fold like they did last year and Green Bay is never out if Rodgers can stay on the field. It'd be tough to climb back into it, but this team can be 5-5 after Week 11, which is remarkable considering all that's happened.
Over. I think Vikings only get 20 points and sneak out with a win, but I still see more than that benchmark for Bridgewater.
That's why I think the Vikings will back off from their safety man coverages. Talked with DBs coach Jerry Gray today to try and get a feel for that, but he wasn't giving up much. Vikings like to put Harrison Smith down in the box, either to show/execute a blitz or play man/shallow zones. I wouldn't expect much of that vs. an offense churning out 8.5 yards per pass (tops in NFL) right now. I expect more 2-shell coverage.
I agree. I've been surprised he hasn't had much of a role on screens so far, they've kept Asiata on most of their screens. Right now they're trying to develop McKinnon as a runner, specifically between the tackles. It's worked so far and they've taken their lumps against tough fronts, but at some point you should #FreeMcKinnon
I'll leave you all with an anecdote, not something that's definitive, but it paints a picture ...
Everson Griffen, Kevin Williams, Jared Allen and Brian Robison used to spend the first few minutes of every practice / walkthrough standing in a square, throwing the ball back and forth -- with the goal, really, to target each other's heads. It's a way to pass the time, while trying to be an accurate passer. Those guys were the vets of the team, they generally weren't spending every waking second in drills.
This year, there's none of that. Veterans, rookies, whatever, there's really no time wasting going on in practices (as far as the media sees, which is the first 30-40mn of a 2-hour practice).
Point is, Zimmer isn't concerned with being a 'player's coach' as much as he is concerned with getting the most out of his players. Not saying Leslie didn't have the same intentions, but the practices are different.
All right, guys. Thanks again for all the questions! Same time next week? Don't be late.