In regard to Adrian Peterson and his son, he said it best ... it's a personal matter ... and we should all leave it at that however we should consider the effect this event had upon his team mates. Many of the men that stand in the trenches with Adrian Peterson are husbands and fathers. In the back of these players heads they know that to be successful in this league you need to sacrifice maybe your most precious resource that we all have to offer in our lives ... and that is time. Time away from our families and the people we hold dearest in our lives. In the back of each and every one of those players minds ... they've been provided with a wake up call ... at any moment, the security of their loved ones might be at stake. To be direct, unless you're made of stone ... that could shake up any man. Right there gentlemen ... is the issue that reared its ugly head on Sunday and it is not something that you could put a measuring stick on. This is this teams leader ... this man among men ... was savagely attacked ... a death blow to the heart ... leaving everyone on that field vulnerable. For these guys it's like a race car driver attending another race car drivers funeral ... they just don't want to be reminded of what might be the inevitable. This carries an enormous burden upon these men and rubbing a little dirt on it and all that Rah Rah stuff just doesn't apply here. This stuff cuts deep.
Regardless of how Adrian Peterson grieves for his son, which again is a personal matter, each and every one of us also grieves ... in our own way. We grieve for his sons future ... as he too may have been an impactful individual of greatness. I'd like to think that he might have been a great runner ... like his dad ... but he might have been that one true spirit that would lead men into battle against overwhelming odds ... like his dad. So too, do we all grieve. Grieving for ones future is not something that happens ... in a moment in time. It's not like an ankle injury that takes 4 weeks to heal. After losing my son, I broke down several times ... but it took many years for it all to coalesce ... and it was always in a private moment. The ones around him are awaiting for something to happen ... where it's one and done ... but it doesn't work that way. It's a life long burden that has to be carried each and every day.
It was low brow for the Panthers to parade ... all a grinnin' like they swallowed the putty cat. They should of focused at the task at hand and just did their jobs in a business-like matter and kept it to themselves ... so, their day of reckoning is coming. There are only two ways to act at a funeral ... regardless of what you thought Sunday was. Either you're somber with the crowd ... always respectful, or your blind stinkin' drunk cause its an Irish Wake. The Panthers forgot where they were on Sunday ... so, their day of reckoning is coming as many in throughout the league didn't like the way they were acting.
As for the fans, you need to look no further than the play-card, shrunk up to the size of an index card, to know Sunday's result. The limited play list ... made up for Cassel ... screamed limited variation of attack. The fans were expecting the Brett Favre miracle ... when his father died ... and maybe they all left in shame ... for their shameful expectations. Favre did his miracle in a well seasoned systems ... with all his mates aboard. Now look at that situation again ... shameful.
Now their screaming for Leslie Frazier's head. I can't think of anything more low brow to do at this moment in time. Sure you're all stinging after our beloved Vikings got embarrassed on the field but we might want to look at the situation one more time ... and its degree of difficulty ... before we cast that first stone at coach Frazier.
FACT ONE: His team leader, has been viciously wounded. Sure the same man stands in front of you ... the same physical specimen ... but just one look into his eyes and it is clear to see that he is not the same man. We all understand the story of Samson ... when his locks of hair were sheared ... leaving him feeble. In this case, it wasn't Adrian Peterson that was made feeble. One look from his eyes ... has left us all feeble. We've got an obligation to this man where we must gain back our strength and composure to help him through this wilderness. He didn't let us down ... we let AD down. As for Coach Frazier, every tactician worth his salt knows that to defeat the enemy ... your best strategy is to strike at their leaders. No, it wasn't the Panther's that beat us on Sunday ... it was much more than the team from Carolina.
FACT TWO: The defensive line is in absolute turmoil. With all due respect to Brian Robison, the future of this organization may lie with him ... but no man stands alone. The Rick Spielman long term deal ... jarred things off center, but at the most inconvenient of time. My read on Spielman is pure unadulterated frustration. Griffen should be inking his deal but his agents ploys are in fact costing him money ... and that is pushing his head in the wrong direction. What lies beyond these walls is a single slotted role ... with average pedestrian results at best. In his heart ... he already knows this. Griffen may have already made up his mind to take this route, but before he does, understand that you are evolving into a true triple threat role within this franchise that will mean more to you in time than anything obtainable on the open market. Lawrence Taylor would never become LT without the degrees of freedom allotted by the Big Tuna. Your true value lies not is a single defined role, which will stifle you and squash your spirit. Your true value lies in flexible versatility, which in time will bring you a tidy ransom. Be direct and there is never shame in a securing a viable deal with time that benefits you.
FACT THREE: Let's not forget one other tiny little matter. This week Leslie Frazier was made to admit that he wasted 3 seasons on developing a quarterback that never realized franchise status. He made a commitment to an individual and got his teeth kicked in for good measure. There is nothing like a bunch of circling vultures diving on a carcass to dismember anything that's left. Did I agree with Leslie Frazier ... No! Do I agree with Rick Spielman ... No! Does it mean that these two are not a perfect fit for this organization ... No! Regardless of what you might think, Frazier and his staff have true genius potential. Old Rick has to hold his money for free agents a little closer to his vest and hopefully more will be available for Vikings that are already on the field. Spielman is very good ... he just needs something more to check his balance. He needs to spend that money as if he were perpetually broke ... leaving a sizable stack in reserve ... where money on the table is always a good thing. Josh Freeman was a huge gamble ... and it might pay off handsomely. This play has his guts all over it.
We hear about Bill Musgrave's offense, as if we all need to bow and bend our knee to it. In two (2) home games we've seen unpredictability rule the day. As for Bill Musgrave's offense ... it is way too predictable. The thrashing that you took is in direct response to ignoring the will of the gods. Why is Adrian Peterson coming off the field on 3rd downs and why isn't Toby Gerhart in the backfield on first down. How many times do we have to endure on our first offensive play Adrian Peterson carries for 1 or 2 or 3 yards. Next offensive series, our first play Adrian Peterson carries for 1, 2 or 3 yards. On our 3rd offensive series, Adrian Peterson opens for 1 or 2 or 3 yards. Fairly predictable ... don't you think. Take Adrian Peterson out on 3rd and three, replacing him with Toby Gerhart, and guess what the Vikings are going to do ... we are passing the ball as all they let Toby do is pass block. Gerhart in the back field on first down and they will not have a clue what the Vikings are going to do. Victory lies not in being predictable but in being unpredictable. For Adrian Peterson, the first play gaining 3 yards is irrelevant. What is relevant is the 17th play or the 23rd play.
As for Josh Freeman he has to know that it's ok to succeed right out of the gate. He's being given the keys to a Ferrari ... and it doesn't matter a lick whether he knows the play book or not. Just get your ass open ... and I'll find you. My advise for Josh is ... just don't screw up the hand off's this Sunday and get the hell out of AD's way and if you can, throw AD a block if you see him reverse direction. Don't worry about the defense ... in time they'll get their heads out of their hind ends. Maybe there is something to a three safety set and maybe their is something in a five-two defense that needs to be explored. That is unpredictable ... don't you think?
What do I gain by adding a line backer? Does that player weaken our scheme. What do we gain by adding a safety that can hammer the crap out of the little people shredding through our zones? It doesn't matter if it's Blanton or Sendejo. If you got to go with Raymond this week, keep him free and deep ... and you better pick one off soon or your cut.
Just wondering ... was Joe Webb on the field when you scored that TD last week. Hummm!
The Viking Ghost Writer
Date: October 14, 2013