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Additional Minnesota Viking Commentary

Observations from the Viking OTA’s:

  1. Apparently Charles Johnson and Mike Wallace are slated as our top two (2) receivers with Jarius Wright coming in as our prime 3rd receiver option. These are all great achievements under Norv Turner’s offense for well-deserved performances by both Wright and Johnson however these jottings tend to ignore the importance of Cordarrelle Patterson to this team. The Vikings have a sordid history of high priced wide receivers including Barnyard Berrian to more recently Greg Jennings. At this juncture, allow me to reserve judgement on Mike Wallace until the games count as to this point, Mike Wallace is once again only just another in a long line of high priced wide receiver talent that’s more interested in cashing his check rather than winning a championship in Minnesota. What I can tell you unequivocally is that Teddy Bridgewater has a very short leash when it comes to players with the wrong motivational factors where Wallace will either be exposed … or he will excel.
  2. Unless you have a vision problem, in regard to Cordarrelle Patterson, what you see is a competitor that will fight you for it. In re-watching his film, what pops out at you is the money down (3rd down), as Cordarrelle found a way to come up with that big catch, taking the shot over the middle. In a way, it reminded me of Cris Carter … which goes a long way in explaining Norv Turner’s view in regard to Patterson. Norv see’s Cordarrelle as integral to the Vikings success. All I know is that there are very few in the league that can change direction like Cordarrelle which makes him dangerous in a broken open field. Which begs the question, was Cordarrelle nursing some sort of hip injury in 2014 … was he underutilized as a receiver (in favor of the jettisoned Jennings) … and is he over-exposed as this teams kick returner. The later sounds ridiculous however in the big games, rarely are you using only your top 3 receivers. It is without question as Patterson does have a major fault, where his interviews don’t match his actual his production however if he can channel his total energy into making Teddy both happy and secure first and foremost … his fortunes will change.
  3. In regard to Adrian Peterson, he’s obviously the same person … and then again, he’s not. No one … and I mean no one … misses a chance to dig their claws into his flesh at every opportunity. What I hope he quickly discerns is that these shots are coming from outside the Nation … not within the Nation. What I saw was a man that denied nothing … that stood his ground … and then took on an absolute tidal wave of political injustice in the name of NFL expediency. Peterson became the focal point, but not as you think, where collectively every NFL player throughout the league felt each and every screw. These players watched a process that could rip the carpet from beneath their own feet … in the snap of a moment … for just about anything. I wonder how many terrified players awoke during the night of the 2014 season, looking over the shoulder, wondering if today would be their day as the fish in that proverbial barrel. Does anyone remember Richard Sherman’s rant after tipping the ball in that end zone. To me it’s surprising that the COURT OF PUBLIC OPINION didn’t open that can of whup upon him to publically rip out his heart for his actions in that brief moment. Sure the process began however it was quickly diffused but let’s not miss the point … it could happen. So why is this happening? It’s because the league opened the COURTS OF PUBLIC OPINION upon itself opening judgements from the masses. The same masses that have no interest in anything but satisfying their own self interests. I’m talking about separating Peterson’s action … and his son … from the turmoil of an out of control political system that is governed by the almighty buck and factions. People … we don’t live in a democracy that says that there are more Cowboy’s fans, so by vote, the Cowboys should win the Super Bowl every year. No we live in a republic that is governed by laws, and NFL laws, which gives 32 franchises an opportunity to fail … or in the Patriot’s case … to cheat. Who are you to repeat Adrian Peterson’s incident with the NFL anytime you feel the need to rip at some flesh? Grow up. Hey, I’ve got an idea … you can bring it up again only if you are willing to take on an NFL caliber hit like the ones seen on the suicide squad. Until then however … mind yours.
  4. It is without doubt that the Vikings were correct in not yielding to Peterson’s demand for future guaranteed money. However they are missing out on, or maybe ignoring, an incredible opportunity. To a man, just about every player in the league would relish seeing the commissioner having to pass Adrian Peterson a Super Bowl trophy, even though the commissioner actually passes it to the owner. At that moment … if this were to occur … it becomes every player’s vindication over absolute omnipotence. If in years past, if it was assumed that the commissioner had influence over the outcome of the playoffs having either direct or indirect control over officials selected for these games, then he’d have direct control over the outcome. Yeah, I know, you don’t buy into this however you cannot deny the Raiders. This then begs the question, who’s in control … the players … or the omnipotent one. The key lies within a rumor … something that got a tremendous amount of traction this year as Adrian Peterson was in the news 24/7 for months. The rumor revolves around substantial future guaranteed money for Adrian Peterson … but only if the Vikings win Super Bowl "L". Nothing is in print to upset any Cap discussion. Nothing is confirmed by any Viking official however the rumor takes on a life of its own as an all or nothing proposition with the sole purpose of keeping the ball in Peterson’s hands. If Peterson doesn’t fumble … we don’t lose. The opportunity is to transform the entire league in one direction. The players win as their focus is toward one point (not individualism) … The commissioner gets his wake up call of protecting both the league and his players from opinions … and the NFL elite gets to force Ziggy’s gang to ante up the major big bucks for the Vikings to win their first Super Bowl Championship.

Mike Zimmer knows that he has issues at Defensive End, Safety, Guard, Corner & Slot Corner. As long as we’re not facing a power running game (AKA Adrian Peterson), linebacker will not be an issue. Unless Zim-Zim finds hard solutions, then he’s in for some serious sleep deprevation. Both Trae Waynes, as a rookie, and Terrence Newman have issues in that rookies are not used to a 16 game schedule and usually hit a wall at some point in the season and Newman will be 37 years old on opening day. Maybe Zim’s wagering that collectively they’ll make one great player. Then there’s the old adage when a coach points to his three starting quarterbacks … that actually has no starting quarterback. The same statement CAN BE applied to every critical position on that field. Zimmer has defensive ends but he doesn’t have that dominate disruptive defensive end. Zimmer has a slot corners in Munnerlyn and "Soak Tub Robinson" but both are better described as toast when facing NFL elite slot recievers. The same axioms can also be applied at safety and guard. There is good news however in that fresh bodies are constantly being rotated in with an emphasis on teaching them the game rather than relying on some free agent cast off. If they can cut it, or if that player hits a wall, they move on to promising prospects. It reminds me of the early days of Don Shula which invested heavily in getting it right with players that are buying into their futures. What I like most of all, is that Mike Zimmer has the bulk of the teams issues on his side of the ball (defense), where the high stakes gambler in him is betting upon himself understanding that individual players don’t win championships … teams do.

The Viking Ghost Writer
Date: June 30, 2015