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Additional Minnesota Viking Commentary

Tarvaris Jackson: Self Help Course 101!
King Solomon said, "a man will betray himself in his own words every time".  The man in this case was Bill Walsh.  Arguably one of the greatest offensive minds in the history of the game.  Upon his death, the NFL network dug deep into their video vault of records to share with us some of his insights.  One of the most compelling video's highlighted his conversations with Joe Montana and Steve Bono.  Bill was coaching!  

At one point in that clip, he must have had Steve Bono throw the same exact pass 15 times or more.  Bill's words were astounding, "That's great Steve, right on the money, now can you throw the ball a little softer".  Bill understood that his quarterbacks must be responsible and trained to not just throw an accurate pass, they needed to throw a catch-able ball.  Simple concept ... master how to throw catch-able balls!        
  
We now think back to a time when the great Sir Francis joined our beloved Vikings for his second stint in 72.  Fran had just finished a stint playing with a bunch of no-talent bums in New York and for some time Fran had taken his lumps.  In one interview Fran stated that he needed to work on his arm strength and conditioning prior to the 73 season.   In his Super Bowl run, it is true that Fran was able to throw the bomb, but by that time he'd lost his rookie arm strength long long ago.  

It's a common reaction for coaches to gaga over arm strength.  Just look at Pep for example.  He had the arm strength to put a ball down the field on a line but unless you had Chris Carter's hands, a truly miraculous gift, that ball was rarely caught.  We as fans could only think, "Hey, my job is to get the ball in there and it's their job to catch it".  That's not how any member of a  team should think, which maybe why Pep's calling them in Oakland these days.  Don't fall into Pep's "I've got the talent" trap as there's more to this game than talent.    

In the history of this game, we've seen countless geezers win contests and they didn't have a lick of power left in that arm.  Billy Kilmer and Jim McMahon (as a Viking) immediately come to mind.  The point is, it wasn't arm strength that won contests.  It was timing and a masterful touch-pass that devastated defenses.

The old salts remember old #44 Chuck Foreman.  What Fran understood was that if Chuck was put in space, and the defense keyed on him.  If they surrounded him, then someone else would be open.  If they didn't key on old #44, then the defense was made to pay a price.  There can be no direct comparison between Chuck Forman and Adrian Peterson, as each either were or are unique works of art.

Learn from the history that is Fran Tarkenton and learn how to master the touch pass and the catch-able ball and let AD do his magic ... in space.  It's always the little things.       

The Viking Ghost Writer
MyVikingBlood.com
September 26, 2007

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