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So what might be on our tiny little minds.  

In the past several years, Ryan Longwell has been splitting time with a second kicker during the pre-season.  This gave that kicker vital exposure as part of their resume for future opportunities.  What concerns me, and what churns within my stomach, is in regard to Rhys Lloyd along with what had transpired in the NFC Championship game versus the Saints.  

It was without doubt that Percy Harvin's NFC championship return game was absolutely shut down by the Saint's kicker.  Good deal for the Saints in that they have one kicker that can get it done.  Get over it.  Heck, I once remember Mitch Berger hitting an upright on a kickoff in his role as both a punter and kick-off specialist.  I miss those days ... I really do but let's not forget that what shut down and absolutely dominated the Saints that day was what was on the Minnesota Vikings roster and it was not a kicker.  In fact, what could arguably be the greatest kicker beyond 50 yards never got the opportunity of slicing through those uprights.  

Now I'm hearing rumblings about having two (2) kickers on our 53-man roster.  Are you kidding me?  So who are you going to cut?  Let me be direct ... there is a reason why you don't carry two kickers and it has to do with the content of your roster and the future of your organization.    

Garret Mills may not be the blanket of security as a blocker & may be a bit injury prone but the kid catches just about everything.  He's like a Wiggie that's not overweight and can run.  Now ask yourself a question.  How many speed guys have blazed through the doors of the NFL with hands of stone?  That scrap pile is pretty big isn't it.    

Logan Payne definitely had a bad break but my eye is definitely on this kid.  Did the gods dump a gem into our laps.  Was that pre-season game an anomaly or is there something truly special here?  There is one thing that is definite ... it's showing up on tape.    

Joe Webb's brain might be swimming but he has one thing that TJack never had ... an immediate presence on the field.  Something like the Fort Knox weight that Brett carries in his ass that tilts the field in his Favre ... sorry favor.  He's a specimen that every coach in the league is going to drool over for years to come along with the question .... how in the hell did this guy not show up on our radar.  Note to Childress ... he's not going to make it onto your practice squad.   

Darrius Reynaud AKA Ram-Rod runs with the obvious talent of the Wizinator minus the pipe & heartache.  Sure he gets the set back in training camp & he's got a couple dings here & there but could it be that the gods are just severely testing your patience?  Could he be your ultimate 3rd down back and special team ace?  Just look at the chunks of ground gained on his 2009 punt returns.  This just doesn't happen up in these cold climes.  There's a reason that you can't find a solution to this dilemma.  It's his center of gravity which is much like Harvin's & a guy named Emitt.  If you can't teach speed you certainly can't teach center of gravity.  There's a big difference between getting de-cleat-ed and bouncing.      

What's this Ryan D'Imperio story?  Brett Farve has made a career out of a guys like this.  A converted project that is destined to this years practice squad.  

Do we give up a special teams ace?  Well, in a nut shell, last year was the first year in a long time where we were not reaching for the anti-acid's on every kickoff or punt.  To be direct, this had more to do with intellectual kicking (Kluwe) and sure tackling (Farwell, Onatolu, Frampton, Henderson & Abdullah) aces than it did with putting it in the end zone for a touchback.   

Who knows what the future hold's for Jaymar Johnson and the bubble players on this unique set of defensive line mates but the fact remains ... are we willing to it forgo one of these players to add an extra kicker to not only our 53 man roster but one of the active players which suits up for every game.  Before you make that decision you'd better lay that bit of wisdom on the line with the defense because the way we play we don't give up nothing over the top and we allow them to bring it at or near field goal range with our patented bend but don't break strategy.  In other words, it would be a sin to have them start at the 20 only to give up the underneath dink & dunk yards anyway.       

As for Tyrell Johnson and Jamarca Sanford this competition that we speak of has nothing to do with who might be labeled a starter.  Each of these very capable players are filling very specific roles and our defense will be leaning hard on the skills of both of these guys.  When it's time to put historical players like "The Diesel", Czonk or a Mike Alscott into accepting and serving a limited role within an offense you'll be reaching out for thumper's like the William's, EJ, Toine' & Jamarca.  I say historical because if you don't have that thumper they ultimately become historical figures.  Don't believe me ... subtract Lott from the 9ers & you have very different results.  In a very real way Jamarca reminds me of a guy named Lott except he's been he's been having a little trouble indentifying the right color jersey to hit but apparently he's quite eager to make it up to the team.   On the other hand, when the chips are down, where you're facing a mastermind like Brees or Manning, the finesse that is Tyrell will ultimately fill a very different need.  He may have a leg up in our pass happy league but don't read too much into it.   In short, the requirements of a strong safety means an entirely different thing during different situations.  I'd rather see these two characters as inseparable brothers sharing a common inseparable goal where investing stock in the word starter then becomes meaningless.  They are both here to solidify a very dominant defense.  

The Viking Ghost Writer
Date: August 18, 2010

Post Scipt:  For all the time invested into sport commentary and coach speak, etc., how come no-one has ever taken the time to explain visually what it actually means to run "Good Routes".  In other words, in the West Coast Offense, what are the nuances and variations to running proper routes.  Just about every day we are told this guy runs good routes and this guy doesn't but exactly how many do you think know exactly what the hell you are talking about?  Even hockey takes the time from time to time to explain what an offside pass is?  Can't this be put onto film?  

Trust me when I say this ... we igits can handle a little bit of complexities!   Dah!

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