In watching 2014's game #2 versus the Patriots, a great deal occurred to me. In that game, Matt Cassel gave up four (4) interceptions, and there was a blocked Viking field goal that was returned for a TD. Although painful, none of this truly mattered. It's a good thing Cassel doesn't have to play the Patriot's anymore ... oops, in Buffalo he's going to have to play the Patriots twice a year. Ouch! Both game #1 versus the Rams and game #2 indicated some striking keys to our future success as both were blow outs.
There is a fundemental philosophy that brings Belichick victory after victory. He finds his best available players and he gets them onto the field. He's also an innovator that shies away from the obsolete. This sounds like standard boiler plate however he has the strength of character to buck the trend that most cannot even fathom. Yes, Belichick is a cheater ... caught twice you know, but he's found a formula that most even can't see. The only way to explain this is to apply his logic to our roster.
Two (2) players that immediately jump off the page are Cordarrel Patterson and Jerrick McKinnon.
Presently, Patterson is in somebody's dog house for not consistently running pristine patterns. This give plenty for all of our quarterbacks to rightfully complain about. The dog house methodology just isn't working and how exactly does this help the team? In other words, you don't tell a drunk that he can't have his bottle today, as some methods that work for most, do not work for players that can explode defenses by some nifty high speed directional shifting. This isn't new people ... he's a kid ... learning golf from Adam Sandler. Ouch! Even the 40 year old virgin needed help facilitating this thing to the next level. Sure, Patterson may never be the next Terrell Owens, in that he so big and physical that he's going to come down with balls ... but who wants another Terrell Owens on their squad. I want the guy that ran for 103 yards on 3 carries as Adrian Peterson cuts left into the line while Patterson runs a toss right to the outside. The only problem is that we need to be patient and not give the ball to Patterson the first time he enters the game as either as our 4th or 5th or 6th receiver ... on some artificial depth chart ... as he tumbles down some stupid list. Maybe our coaches should be quizzing formations and route precision while Cordarrel is running on the tread mill with some sort of electro-shock to the nads when he gets it wrong. They call this method of learning, "THE NOT TO FORGET METHOD". Cordarrel could even recall this specific training just before he gives his next interview always recalling that Jerry Rice said more in non-verbal humility than any showboat could ever utter. Do you head butt a defender, out of bounds, after gaining 8 yards? Yes. Zapp! Do you not go out of bounds running the 2 minute drill ... Ever? Yes. Zapp! Maybe, in Teddy being made to watch this, even he will feel deeply enough for his mate to ensure that Cordarrel just wont get it wrong ever again, as of course ... "I am my brothers keeper". We live ... and we die ... together, as after all it is a team sport. Keep in mind that Tough Love ... is always painful. Hey, Dr. Marvin Monroe's methodology worked for the Simpson's as to the best of my knowledge they've never gone back for more. It isn't cruel and unusual punishment if it's voluntary ... as MY MAN is in some serious NEED of HELP! Mentally shunning someone that may not be as mentally gifted as you doesn't build his character or his abilities on Sundays.
You don't have to be rocket scientist as a Viking fan to clearly see the up coming plan for Jerrick McKinnon. The plan is for Jerrick to be in a reserve roll rather than in an active role as some idiot might think that changing his role might bruise Mr. Peterson's ego. As planned, Jerrick would be someone that comes in on 3rd down, whether it's 3rd and 16, 3rd and 9, or 3rd and 4. Does anyone doubt this? Does anyone doubt that Jerrick McKinnon's up coming role on this team is destined for limitations? Let me be the first to tell you that Mr. Peterson isn't worried about his ego ... he's worried about that ring that is destined to be on that finger or thumb if he so chooses. Here's the thing, our best-est buddy in the whole world is going to be yanked off the field when this happens to get what is referred to as a "BLOW". Asiata is the "BLOW" man for AD. Matt's prime purpose in this role is to pound on defenders while Adrian is recovering on the sideline. If we learned anything during the "Chili Era", when maybe the best athlete to ever grace this franchise leaves the field for a formational change like 3rd and long, or when we find ourselves in a catch-up-passing only mode ... we are for all purposes ... DONE!.
Now before the Belichick philosophy is espoused, there is one certain point that must be made. Adrian Peterson doesn't care if he gets 350 to 400 touches this year, as the number of touches doesn't matter. He isn't interested in pounding his head into the line of scrimmage, continuing on a 5 yard per carry average. What he wants is 1,800 plus yards with as little effort as possible and a Super Bowl Championship ring on this finger right here. That happens by applying a "Go-Strategy" as in game #2 of 2014, baring injury, there was no way to stop either Gronkowski or Edelman.
With all due respect to the cheating Patriot's organization, Belichick has done more with less than anyone in the last decade. Imagine what he could do with the 2015 Minnesota Vikings roster. Maybe that is the first step. Maybe it comes down to considering how someone else might do it, or better said, how that person might side step obstacles to get the job done very well.
So your thinking, we love to have Edelman on this Viking squad ... but maybe we do. Maybe it's first down and there are 5 lineman, Teddy behind center with Adrian behind him, maybe even in the pistol. Rudolph, lined up on either side makes 8, with three wide receivers to consider. Maybe you're thinking Wallace, Johnson and Wright as you can read a depth chart that has no real meaning. Me ... and the gods ... you know, Belichick's advisers ... well maybe not so much. Although Wallace and Wright are deep threats ... there isn't the blocking on the field to get the time you need to get the ball down the field. Then there's that thing about considering Teddy's health, especially when your lining up a brand new mauling right guard and a rookie right tackle having to sustain those blocks. Maybe we consider something really different ... a real bunch of threats that make the 2014 Patriots look like a High School team.
With Johnson, he's fast, big, physical and he runs great routes ... so he's a no brainer. Then there is Cordarrel that also fast, big and physical that can be set on the edge or in motion opposite of Mr. Peterson's upcoming directional flow. Then there's that one missing piece to consider. In years past, it was Felton, who led the way into the wall with the very real potential of missing that block. Maybe the wall wouldn't buckle ... not good for Mr. Peterson. No, those days are over. Enter Edelman into the scheme. What if Norv Turner enters Jerrick McKinnon as either that H-back, or better said, where Jerrick is lined up in the slot. Like having the threat of McCoy in the slot. There is one thing for certain, in time, no one is going to be able to cover him ... just like Edelman. In other words, it's always going to be there for Teddy when he needs it. Imagine having Mr. Peterson, the beneficiary of this very unusual scheme, running through defenses untouched the way Emmitt Smith did so many times so many years ago. Why? Because the line won't be stacked ... the defensive front will be forced into related depth ... something that killed the Packers. An offense, at full potential, ready to release it's KINETIC ENERGY upon the world ... a true paradigm shift.
So your thinking ... there's no one that going to be blocking for Mr. Peterson and that's because you don't require blocker to open a gashing defense. That's right ... GASH! Mr. Peterson is a grown up dude by now where all he needs to do is to look at some tape of this guy Barry Sanders that shredded defenses without a lead blocker. The most important aspect of what on that tape is that Barry didn't have anything like the players that have been assembled on this 2015 Minnesota Viking's squad.
Sure, we'll line up a double tight end set. Maybe even six lineman on the first offensive play from scrimmage for a 2 or 3 yard gain. In other words, your going to hit your head up against that wall because that is exactly what we want them all to think ... that nothing has changed. Much like a hitting line up in baseball ... the game isn't won in the first inning, nor is it won on the first play from scrimmage. Key games are won in the 3rd and 4th quarter where the plan is to have Mr. Peterson rampaging through defenses because Mr. Norv Turner presented just too many viable options that could not be covered in any defensive scheme. Be sure Buddy Ryan doesn't find out about this.
"Sure, now you tell me." Now old Norv is going to have to get out his pencil and paper like drawing up plays in the dirt. Almost like starting from scratch. Well ... not so much. That doesn't happen when it's so basic and easy that's its like learning to fall down. In case you don't know ... gravity is the key. The only question is will Norv Turner and Mike Zimmer be strong enough together to allow gravity to take effect. You have to break down and break through the barriers. Belichick doesn't shelve key players into reserve rolls ... he uses them.
Just in case your actually listening ... Wallace might have the ability to be a possession slot receiver but his mind set is not in the mold of either McCoy or Edelman when you can just out run people while Big Ben gets hammered in the pocket. In the middle, it's a mind set that no matter what, "I'm coming down with this ball". This has very little to do with outrunning a defender. Wallace & Wright's roles are defined by Al Davis's outdated concept of hitting the long ball to make up for lack of execution. Bill Walsh brought us that execution that made Davis's concepts obsolete. The long ball might win you a battle from time to time but in time you'll lose the war. Hey, the league is still willing to over pay for players that can execute the long ball. From time to time it can even makeup for poor coaching. Now step back a minute and ask any hard core fan if he'd rather have the ego of the long ball or have Bill Walsh's execution-on-the-field. The long ball, if relied upon, is an act of desperation.
Do you think Jerrick McKinnon can handle being taken out of his comfort zone? Do you think he could quickly change gears from thinking he's Adrian's Peterson's understudy to being a key role player as Edelman Jr ... Slash and Dash? Do you see his god given talent under the word ... "UTILITY"? Is he capable of protecting Teddy?
The Viking Ghost Writer
Date: August 27, 2015