Well Any Way
The State of Emotions ... The State of Affairs. It's October 5, 1998 &
I'm Orlando, FL. My beloved franchise is about to face the Green Bay
Packers on Monday Night Football on Curly Lambeau's Field when it meant a whole
lot more than it means today. You see we were facing the World Champion Green Bay
Packers of the that 1996 season which was followed by falling to the Bronco's in
that "1997-season" Super Bowl. This might have even been the day
when Randy Moss probably uttered that immortal quote... "That's Brett Favre out there!".
What transpired on that field on that day was an event. A day like no
other as Randy Moss applied his stamp all over the NFL ... achieving his
yearning to ... "Tear it up (The Entire NFL)". After that game
my evening didn't end just yet. Being in Orlando, I was then asked to
follow to another event. Walking into this bar just down the street, I had no idea what would be
inside. It was my first & only time ... visiting with the Blues
Travelers. To this day, whenever I hear "Well Any Way", all
those emotions of October 5, 1998 well up in me again, which is maybe why I've
watched the movie "Kingpin" so many times. At movies end, there
they are again, dressed in "The Amish", singing "Well Any
So now we ask ourselves what is the state of our emotions and this franchises
state of affairs. To which we can say ... No, this franchise is not insane, as it is clear that we are refusing to repeat the same
mistakes over & over again.
Now think back to January 15, 2014 ... the day Mike Zimmer was hired (Who was
that?). In that prior 2013 season Matt Cassel &
Christian Ponder were our quarterbacks. Adam Theilen was on our practice
squad. Xavier Rhodes would be the only one of three first round picks to
survive. We traded our 2nd, 3rd, & 4th round picks to the Patriots to
be able to select Cordarrel Paterson. What might have been? Our
defense was ranked 31st in the league. Even before Head Coach Mike Zimmer's
was hired, Rick Speilman stint with this franchise dated back in January 3, 2012 ...
however he was floundering
badly. Now, at that very moment ... all was about to change. Now we look at
ourselves ... where we stand today, and to be direct, I'd give it all just
to have the ability to keep Head Coach Mike Zimmer's bad glaring eye. Now
intersperse that thought with the Big
Tuna's statement ... "Do you have any idea how hard it is to win it all in
this league????" Yes, Coach ... after 58 years ... I do!
Now, I imagine myself standing directly in front of Mark Wilf. My life has always
been filled with a NO-NONSENSE approach where I never mince words.
"Mark ... Exactly what are you thinking? Did you just want the other
31 franchises to hand it over to you ... because that just isn't going to happen? This franchise isn't rebuilding ... under the
duplex of Zimmer &
Speilman ... they are fearlessly reloading. The sheets are tight ...
fighting both the sea & the wind. Head Coach Mike Zimmer isn't just a
passing fad ... he is a legend ... that's how he'll always be seen. Don't
you think it's time to piss or get off the pot. Go ahead ... I dare you to
fire Mike Zimmer ... where a bullet to your own head might be more palatable."
It's time to re-sign both Mike Zimmer & Rick Spielman & extend their
futures ... lashed to these decks. Either you can see it ... or you don't but
... even if Coach Zimmer was to get his teeth bashed-in again ... he'd still will
always be my guy. John Madden may have been both lovable & funny but
no one he can hold a candle to Bud Grant's Steely Piercing Eyes. That's just how
I've always seen it ... never hearing a word. Caoch Bud Grant's dieing breath ... will always flourish with
his quest. Head Coach Mike Zimmer believes that he will be the first to do it ... and ...
after all ... if we all collectively believe it ... it will happen. It is
also my belief that Denny's now driving the old man upstairs nuts at every turn ... for
that very thing. "When exactly would be a good time to get this
The question before me, based upon all this pre-draft movement is, do I hate all
of this dynamic movement ... or do I love it. Now of course, this clearly
discounts any impact upon players & their families in having to transit, as
well as the way that I might actually feel ... emotionally ... about any
particular player. To be direct ... I absolutely love what I'm seeing
grades for Zimmer & Spielman would be at the highest obtainable
levels. Of course this is opposite of Zulgad "White-Trash-ism" however on which side of this
line would you rather be. Now to understand my overall assessment ...
before even one player is selected in this years draft ... you have to grasp the dynamics
In my opinion, Trae Waynes was the most under rated DB in the entire
league. My hope was that we would be able to secure him however
it was absolutely clear that this organization could not afford to outbid for his services. His new contract with the Bengal's clearly states
his value which is a direct reflection upon Mike Zimmer & his crew. If
Trae follows the Patriots model, maybe we'd get a 3rd round supplemental draft
pick for his loss. Then maybe Trae can plays poorly enough to get cut, then
end up back on our roster,
having a good portion of his pay coming from Cincinnati's payroll. Hey, I didn't
invent this ... Robert Craft's crew did.
When Stefon Diggs missed his meeting, ending up paying a stiff fine ... well ...
the writing was on the wall. Maybe Stefon, like many others, didn't see Kirk
Cousins as being a legitimate winner and after that fiasco, along with several
others, Diggs clearly wanted out of Minnesota. How Spielman got a
Kings ransom in draft picks for yielding to Stefon's walking papers is a
complete mystery but that was clearly better than a sharp stick in the
eye. That alone should be an evident development for Mark Wilf to see all
that he needs for going forward. Was Stefon correct to access Cousins as a Prima Donna ... yes ... but
although it was all there on the table for all to see ... it is not for the
reason that Stefon thinks, or for what he thinks that he might be able to blame. Quite simply
... Kirk Cousins is lost in a wilderness ... and it clearly takes an enlightened
spirit to achieve greatness. Do I blame Diggs? No, I love Diggs
primarily because he was willing to risk absolute disaster by playing a thinking
mans game. He learned something from that Blair Walsh's kick.
Unfortunately, for all of us, that is what
we all will miss most by not having him being a part of this team. So, the question
begs ... Did Buffalo make a mistake? No, not in acquiring digs, but the
kings ransom ... well that is another
Now ask yourself the question. Could you afford long term deals with
either Everson Griffen or Linval Joseph? These players may have several
years left in their tank but both represent significant risk that cannot justify
that sort of commitment. Some other organization might see it differently
but not this one. The door most likely will always be open but its just got to
make sense for this franchise. Now tell me ... isn't it time that we
actually thought about stuff before it blew up in our face.
As for Anthony Harris, the first question asked by Hit Man Harry upon learning
that he made the Pro Bowl was in regard to Harris's status .. "Did he get
that Pro-Bowl Bid"? The answer was no however it was clear that it
was earned at this leagues e highest levels. This statement alone
should indicate the concept of, "Strength-Up- the-Middle" however what
make more sense is in regard to the compensation for losing what is clearly an
elite player in this league. We are lucky that we had the ability of, at
the very least, to protect this franchises interests. Until opening day,
we'll have no idea of Anthony's real status as there maybe substantial bidders
for his services but I'm in a good place with this move. If long term is
the plan, I do expect this franchise to work it out with Anthony.
Do I think Xavier Rhodes can still be an elite cornerback regardless of his 2019
statistics & negative press? Absolutely! So what gives ... you
might be thinking? Well, my belief is that there is a great deal of change
coming where you have to ask yourself a question. Is Head Coach Mike
Zimmer willing to allow it to be done your way or is it going to be done
Zimmer's way. Although Mike may be indicating a disarming smile ... his
focus is always without question. To understand this further, you might recall
a disaster that happened not so long ago, where the DB's
decided they were going to do it this way ... not Zimmer's way. Well, that
ship has clearly now sailed.
Did you miss the addition of Gary Kubiak's recent grasp of the tiller? Well after last year, you've
clearly seen his impact upon this teams offense where it is clear Head Coach
Mike Zimmer understands that it's going to take a team ... not an individual ...
to bring home that hardware. Kubiak & Zimmer are not merely just associates ...
they are peers ... that's a mind-battle at an elite level. To me its almost like
playing chess versus my father & my Uncle ... an invaluable unrelenting
association. Those two knuckleheads alone will be worth the price of
Now enter the fact that our defense was no where near the elite level of a few
short years ago. Why the step back as many of the players were the same or
better? It just didn't make sense. Was Mike Zimmer's defense getting
to be too predictable? Well, nothing about Mike Zimmer is
predictable. Enter Dom Capers. What????
Well, I've seen the 2020 Minnesota Viking draft ... and it's not going to be
anything like you think it will be & it will all be based upon the moves
made in 2019. Your first inkling was in the initial signing of Michael
Pierce along with the 2nd round tender of Eric Wilson, both brilliant maneuvers
by the Capers-Zimmer tandem. You see Wilson is Zimmer's latest evolution
hybrid. Need another hint ... Pierce isn't replacing Joseph. Do you
remember what happened after the "Legion of Boom" ... Head Coach Mike
Zimmer is no joke people. Sac-Up people!
Was I happy about extending Kirk Cousins? Well, I'd like to have a
championship under our belt but was that realistic based upon our schedules in
2018 & 2019? Absolutely not! Now consider that A. A. Ron has been in Green
Bay since 2005 (that's 2 years before Adrian Peterson 2007) & been a starter
since 2008 (that's 12 completed consecutive seasons) & before that
Favre. When our organizations best quarterback, year after year, has been
the backup , you get an inkling of the problem. Even before the playoffs
begins, odds are based upon your teams elite quarterback. So, is Kirk
Cousins elite? No friggin' way ... but is he in the dark?
Absolutely! It's time to grow up as a franchise where we all collectively
stop acting like a bunch of petulant kids. Will we continue to get kicked
in the patch ... yup ... cause that's what outsiders do? This Ain't Christian
Ponder people! Let's just disagree to agree that you're right
already! By the way, that contract extension wasn't awarded Zulgad
... it was earned.
Let me just say ... Kirk Cousins is my guy. Why? Because the Prima
Donna is clearly growing! He's still learning how to not beat himself
while hoping that the big guy shines a little light on his ass. Go ahead
& kick him & bash him all you want because nothing that you can muster
can even approach his dilemma. Thoughts of your folly brings me to a full
belly chuckle. When you look into his corner ... I'll be standing
there. I don't think you know who your dealing with ... with either
Kirk Cousins ... or me.
The Viking Ghost Writer
Date: April 22, 2020