Never have I seen consecutive fumbles of that magnitude, but again there is absolutely no concern. For Toby’s coaches, it comes down to interpretation of the event … as a sure test of their fortitude ... not Toby's. There is absolutely nothing wrong with Toby where I can feed him the ball again and again without the least bit of concern. On that day, Toby Gerhart's fortunes were aligned directly with the Dirt Patch … which in not a bad thing. When one players Mojo is shut down, the Mojo shifts like a pea under the cup. To be successful, our coaches must find which player has the pea … The Hot Hand … and shift the execution accordingly. In short, you don't throw the baby out with the bath water.
When AD had his fumbling problem, it was an entirely different situation. Toby Gerhart will be the first to tell you that he’s never going the reach the highest levels in running back history ... at least not in total yards from scrimmage. In AD’s case, to reach the longevity of the greatest … he needed to learn something more about himself & those learning experiences never stopped. To be the greatest, AD needed to master that aspect of his game having mental clarity ... using his physical skills. Toby doesn't fall into that class when it comes to ball security but a well placed/timed Sullivan shot to Toby's chin in the huddle might not be out of the realm of possibilities as that's the center's job. Just a subtle way of letting Toby know, "Don't you ever put that ball on the carpet again unless your maimed or something!" They call it a huddle memo! In each chapter, of AD's career, it’s an evolution that shall reveal itself. This particular chapter involves what is literally beyond "Filling the Lanes" or "Gap Responsibility" ... on AD's way of becoming the greatest most devastating 3rd down back in Viking history. As Chris Carter will attest, 3rd down is the money down … it’s the down that keeps the chains moving. AD coming off the field on 3rd down, filling in with a lesser player ... should be a thing of the past. Imagine ... adding dimensions and facets to Arian Peterson. Oh! The humanity!
Isn’t it odd that we’re talking about the greatest back in Viking history, where because of meaningless fantasy stats, total rushing yards, etc., that AD is no longer being lumped into today's greatest running backs, which of course is a very dangerous view for any defense. Leaders do not "DO", they delegate by building within others. By doing so, the elite force can then seize the moment. My argument is that AD is more than a marquee player ... he has become the Walter Peyton of this team. A quiet, determined, punishing cog with leadership skills spawn from veteran wisdom. "Sweetness" never called a play however there wasn't a player on those Bears teams who didn't know exactly who lead that team. As for AD, the more that he encourages & involves Toby Gerhart as one of this teams primary keys, regardless of down & distance outcome, the more dangerous & devastating AD becomes. My god, they are leaving him alone out there ... it's almost like a fantasy out there. If there was anything alarming, that came out of last Sunday's performance, it came on an event that most would see as mundane. Between the 20's AD coughed it up, and we recovered it, so it was forgotten or maybe seen as unimportant but that was a clear warning shot over the bow. Championship teams do not take shortcuts. They force, forge & refine each cog within the machine until it purrs near perfection. Sweetness clearly understood that no engine ever ran on one cog however when called upon, that cog was devastating.
Let's put this fantasy thing in it proper light looking at last nights final play with Green Bay losing to Seattle. In fantasy, for the defense to score points, the interception must be made. To make the Pro-Bowl, the interception must be made. To secure the hefty sizable contract, the interception must be made. As young as 7 years old, playing defensive back, we were instructed not to catch the ball as it was better to spike the ball into the dirt rather than to either try to catch it in traffic or redirect it to any other place other than a free patch of dirt. With it being the final play of the contest, except for an un-timed defensive penalty, what could those DB's possibly be thinking? Stupid plays like that usually end up on the other side of the swinging door.
How devastating is AD as a 3rd down threat, well how often have you seen a short pass on 3rd down short of the sticks that resulted in an immediate take down followed by a punt. Not in AD's hands, as he pushed it beyond the sticks to a 1st down. On Rudolph's catch, AD was wide open, jumping up and down, waiving his arms. Apparently the old axioms are still being applied to AD. AD didn't get handed the rock ... disregard and move on and flow into the passing set. You might want to rethink that for the most dynamic player in the league ... especially when AD's in evolution.
A thought occurred to me. What was the 1999 Ram's team without Tory Holt? Could it be that for 3-games, we've been without our Tory Holt? Interesting! I wonder what Detroit is thinking about now? We haven't even seen the explosive Jarius Wright yet either. Over the top is nice ... if you can get it ... but the lunch pail gets filled by working the zones boys.
#21 Josh Robinson can catch the ball. He clearly didn't get the memo. To play for the Vikings you have to have hands of stone. So you've left us little alternative ... you're cut. Was it just me or can this kid tackle too. Wow! Man, do I love a strong safety that can lay lumber. It's super nice to have Jamarca back there when facing a run first front however when Rodger's and the like are tossing it about, Raymond may prove to be invaluable.
So can Jerome Simpson catch the ball? Can he be a reliable 3rd down option? When I think of 3rd down options, my first thought is to Rudolph, Harvin, AD but what about the sure handed Gerhart running or catching the ball on short yardage. Is anyone actually covering him as he bleeds out of the backfield, cutting underneath the exploding linebackers?
Slippery Rock ... Huh! This kid goes from blocking what ... to holding down right guard in the NFL. No, he's not perfect but who is? Last years line play was stellar... bad. Did I miss something or is this young crew of misfits, rookies & nobody's actually turning some head out there. In the old days, when they were playing in mud you could tell how good an offensive line was by the amount of mud, and backside dirt patch, that a quarterback was carrying in-his-uniform. Last night Rodger's was sacked 7 times in the first half alone ... today, holding down a bit of envy. It's way too early to say but championships revolve around stupid stuff like this. Suh might have a bit of a rebuttal for us this week. Good hunting boys!
Isn't is odd how people are barking today as if they expect the Packers ... the worlds darlings ... to be handed their victory last night. As for the Packers, and the ones that are whining about the official's call today... please allow me to retort. At the very least you Cheese-Wads had it reviewed on the field. You act as if this was the first simultaneous catch in the league. That rule has been in place well before the birth of this franchise. Does anyone ever recall you complaining when that call had gone your way ... and it has happened many times just during our divisional rivalries alone? In my personal opinion, the rule clarification that killed the Packers, in this case, was in regard to maintaining possession to the ground. With both players clearly tugging on the ball in the air and all the way to the ground it was clearly a simultaneous possession. As for your 1-2 record, giving up 7 sacks in the first half might be an indication ...
The Viking Ghost Writer
Date: September 26, 2012