So why do you think you lost last Sunday versus the Broncos? You were playing against a bunch of older guys like Manning, Ware and others and you still lost. Maybe you're thinking that it was because you had too many holes in your team where the level of talent in certain areas wasn't up to par. You probably could come up with numerous reasons however the only reason that holds salt is that you're a bunch of kids. That's right ... a bunch of kids. Now look around that locker room because you'll never see this level of talent on any team that you'll ever play for in your life like the team that's right in front of you. The only question is ... what are you going to do about it? Said another way, your best opportunity of your life could actually be now ... not later. So again ... what are you going to do about it?
So you think that your situation is something different or something special but the fact is that history repeats itself over and over again.
Not so long ago, our defensive line started Chris Doleman (DE), Hank Thomas (DT), Keith Millard (DT) and Al Noga (DE). Now you're thinking that that wasn't such a great line however Millard, at the time was a great as any tackle that we've ever had barring maybe some kid from Notre Dame that became part of the Supreme Court in Minnesota. Now consider that at that very moment in time there was another kid sitting on our bench by the name of John Randle. Doleman is in the hall of fame. Millard, if not for having his career cut short may have also had a hall of fame career, and well John Randle ... well we all know what he found a way to accomplish. Now ask Bill Parcell's what he thought about Hank Thomas and you start to get an idea what had coalesced in Minnesota not so long ago. They just couldn't get past Montana. So what is the point of all this? At the time, they were all just a bunch of kids too and their coaches missed players potential just like our present coaches. Does Stephen Diggs come to mind? Time will tell.
Look ... if you listen to words ... everyone works hard. Everyone wants to work or play well. The problem is that these words are meaningless. Don't buy into words. Said another way, you may be the most athletic defensive end in the league but what does that matter if you jump off sides three times in a game. What you have to understand is that you are still beloved and coveted by everyone around you but you just can't make these mistakes because mistakes will eventually be used to destroy every aspect of your team. Diggs played outstanding however, by comparison, in past years, if you fumbled twice on Dennis Green's field, you butt would hit the bench for the rest of the season. You know what you have to do and your mind must be in control at all times.
We've lost Sullivan for at least half of the year. You just don't replace the presence of a center like Sullivan but we've got to make it all work. Berger has the ability to collect that "in-sink" tempo but it takes something so simple, and overlooked, that somehow we are just not willing to give it to him. Is it realistic to slap Fusco and Kalil together and after four games expect them to play like they have been starting together for the last five years? No, it's not realistic but that doesn't mean that they cannot immerse themselves within the vortex achieving "The Foundation". What they seem to forget is that everyone is afraid of a massive tornado however instinctively they must find finding that firm foundation ... like a root cellar ... a place that cannot be influenced by any vortex of any power or speed. It is this foundation that they can rely on while they ride out the storm together as a collective unit. That same is true for TJ Clemmings & Mike Harris as they were also thrown together with only four games to show for it however it appears that Harris has found the foundation where Clemmings appears to be more worried about what it all might looks like "on-film" rather than tying into that firm foundation. Here's the funny thing, what TJ was worried about was what actually transpired and from here it looked like a fire drill so his worries found a way to turn up on film. So TJ what do you want, fire drill or foundation? It's silly what kids think some times but it all goes away when you stand up like Diggs with that far away look that says without doubt ... I'm a man.
So you're a bunch of kids and you've been embarrassed. One could say it was like shooting fish in a barrel. In fact, it was that exactly. Now laugh about it because you were fooled a bit. Now that it's all over you can take one thing with you. You're not rookies anymore. Your not young players anymore. Each and every week your becoming old salty dawgs ... turning from kids into men. Will you be fooled again? It's like asking if the sun will come up tomorrow as each dawg has its own set of tricks however it's how you will respond to it which will be the only thing that really matters. You're only young once so remember to enjoy the ride. Listen well to your coaches as they will fill your head with knowledge but keep in mind that wisdom is knowledge applied. So are Zimmer and Turner wicked smart? Yeah, that question like the other is like asking if the sun will come up tomorrow.
At every step you've got your chance to gain wisdom. So what does it mean? If you were about to play Peyton Mannings crew again in two weeks, in a neutral site, where the flags were not so bountiful in his favor ... is there any doubt in the outcome of that game. Now focus on that before you step on the field before you engage Kansas City, Detroit or Chicago. You're getting stronger by the moment ... and soon, it will be too difficult to contain this group as you will evolve beyond the reach of both Zimmer and Turner understanding that players win games.
The Viking Ghost Writer
Date: October 6, 2015