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Additional Minnesota Viking Commentary

The Franchise Quarterback
Your at Lambaeu Field on September 20, 1992 ... and the Magic Man goes down with a significant lower leg injury playing the Bengal's.  In steps Brett Favre and for the next twenty five (25) years the Green Bay Packers what turns out to be two (2) starting quarterbacks running their show.  Sure there may have been spot starts by others but it's essentially 25 years of combined experience that the Minnesota Vikings have faced year after year. 

Most people don't even realize this but A. A. Ron is in the completion process of this 9th consecutive season in Green Bay.  To put this in perspective, the Minnesota Vikings have never had a starting franchise quarterback for 9 seasons period.  The very best that we can point to is Fran Tarkenton's illustrious 12 season in purple however he was traded away to the Giants after only 6 season.  

Every year, the reason the Packers are picked to not only win our division but are considered favorites to win the Super Bowl is that they have a quarterback with playoff experience whereas each and every year we present a new candidate with the HOPE that they can actually win against a playoff caliber team.  

Since that September 20th day in 1992, our starting quarterbacks have included Gannon, Wilson, McMahon, Salisbury, Moon, Johnson, Cunningham, Culpepper, Bouman, Wynn, Frerotte, Jackson, Holcomb, Bollinger, Favre, Webb, Ponder, McNabb, Cassel, Freeman, Bridgewater, Hill and now Sam Bradford.  That's 23 quarterbacks, averaging about 1 new quarterback for each and every year that Green Bay has sported one of their two franchise quarterbacks.  Also, keep in mind that many of those names were recycled for us again & again ... all pinning that name to the word hope.  You could say this is bad luck on our part, which just might be true but if you were to accept this then obviously your part of the problem.     

You might think that it's about #1 draft picks but before you jump on that wagon you'd be smart to remember that Christian Ponder was a #1 pick.  You'd also be surprised to learn that the Dallas Cowboys used a grand total of one (1) of their #1 draft picks on a quarterback and that was Troy Aikman.  It's almost as if the Minnesota Vikings need to put an add in the paper stating, "Searching for Long Term Franchise Quarterback", then allowing whomever that might be find us because our pursuit of someone of these qualifications has been fruitless by and large.

There's also a difference that maybe you haven't been able to see clearly.  Absolutely no one is allowed to devour A. A. Ron or Tom Brady like the way we've carve up our quarterback's ... both on the gridiron & in the media.  That you very much sportswriter ... but your presence is no longer required in our facility.

You might think that the Bradford trade was something new ... something that we've had to do ... however it fins the template of the Minnesota Viking's Franchise Win Now (At All Costs) strategies.  Who could blame the members of this organization as the pressure applied by pin heads has always been too overwhelming to ignore.  It's always the tail wagging the dog and it is due primarily because we have no Lombardi's in our Celophane-Marboro-Box-Trophie-Case.  We don't seen it because ... we're were to close to it.  Now imagine all the super stars that have played for this franchise that would state ... you better get a quarterback up in here ... or I'm leaving ... that is unless you pay me so much money that it helps me forget all the mistakes I'm about to force you into making ... to make me look good for the Hall of Fame.

The latest league-wide rift that occurred involved Teddy Bridgewater due in part to our commitment to what is clearly a winner.  The rift of course wasn't about Teddy but more in part to the commitment.  Players throughout the league were looking at this organization as somewhere where they wanted to be.  Of course our organization looked at it as a place where under whelming overpaid athletes could come to divest large portions of our salary cap and join a team that could make them look good for a greater down the road payoff.  It's always easier to join a winner that it is to actually build a winner.  Of course this mind set doesn't apply to all of our athletes but it did apply to way too many of them.

As it turned out, the rift didn't last too long and it didn't take too long to wonder why.  In Teddy's time did you ever see him take a hit.  He didn't so much collapse as he did look like a bunch of skeletal bones collapsing under a 300 pound load.  Maybe we shouldn't be surprised by the knee dislocation as maybe the word long term could not be aptly applied to Teddy ... as much as we love him and his tenacious tendencies.  You might want to point to Tarkenton but there is one asset that applies to both Sir Francis & that Wilson guy up in the Pacific Northwest.  Along with their under whelming frame came not only the ability to escape but they both either have or had a well developed 6th sense.  One of the most entertaining Tarkenton trait was his ability to evade absolute destruction at what appeared to be was the last possible moment.       

In short, our reasoning abilities in developing a Long Term Franchise Quarterback have been diverted for putting a product on the field and/or accepting such significant shortcomings as to be alarming.  Take for example Daunte Culpepper, a robust strong armed passer with unusually small hands for his size paired with questionable reasoning skills.  Of course it is racist to say the later but that shortcoming certainly won't win you any championships whereas maybe a Michigan or Stanford graduate just might.  

Maybe we can take a page from the Cowboys for ourselves where we apply the following to secure & retain our first Long Term Franchise Quarterback:
1. First & foremost, we stop the press from devouring our quarterback.
2. We chuck the concept of signing players for the sole purpose of putting fans in the seats.  After 55 years we should be confident in our ability of achieving our overall goal.  Real fans rather forgo short term success in favor of a working plan to achieve an objective.  
3. We stop using & relying on the personnel entwined within the word hope because hope can only applied to a politicians statement, "We hope he doesn't do that".
4. From here on out, no quarterback starts for this franchise unless they are drafted by this franchise.  Let every other franchise search for their success weeding through the trash.  
5. Stop relying upon draft order & or salary to dictate who becomes our Franchise Quarterback.
6. Stop drafting quarterbacks with obvious substandard traits, in favor of above average athletic skills.  A Franchise Quarterback must have traits can be relied upon for the Long Term rather than eroded after short term success.  For example, Tarkenton's sixth sense or Dan Marino's reactive skills can be played out over a career whereas Michael Vick or RG III athletic abilities will erode over time.    
7. We must commit to building a team first.  Backing up maybe the worst left tackle in the league (Kalil) with the worst right tackle (Clemmings) is not a sound plan of action.

How good was Emmitt Smith if the first hand laid on him was 20+ yards down the field?  How did you feel watching Dak Prescott stand in that pocket completely untouched.  Isn't there a correlation between a quarterbacks accuracy versus the number of hits that he receives during the year. 

What were we thinking when we drafted Laquon Treadwell, the 4th wide receiver taken in the first round, knowing that we were over paying for a very shaky left tackle with a very uncertain injury history.  Per Mike Zimmer's very words, after the completion of the 2015 season, he was irate with his offensive line play, where instead he drafts players like Treadwell (WR), Boehringer (WR), Alexander (DB) & Kearse.  Tell me, would you hire a man for construction that had two recent back surgeries (Sullivan) or take on a sprinter that recently blew out his Achilles (Loadholt).  There was a reason why the same five offensive lineman started every game last year.  Consider it from the perspective of the defensive linemen,  It's because, "I can beat the guy in front of me", where getting him hurt would be the last thing that I would want to do.  

It's clear that Mike Zimmer killed himself this year but at this juncture, how many other franchises are having a good chuckle over this franchises reasoning.  Do you think we'll ever listen to that you got to draft a wide receiver crap (to get over the top) ever again?   

The Viking Ghost Writer
Date: December 26, 2016