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Adam’s Opinions: The Offense

A lot has transpired over the last two weeks or so and there are a ton of unanswered questions surrounding the Vikings roster.  I’ve noticed more than a few questions put forth in the comments section, and have also received a higher-than-usual amount of emails seeking my opinion on different matters.

So, today I would like to offer up my opinions on a few pressing matters surrounding the offense.  Soon to follow will be the defense.  I’ll be the first to tell you that my opinions are just that, opinions of a lone hack blogger.  But, for whatever it might be worth, here they are:

Jumpin’ Joe Webb And Where He Fits

Joe Webb’s athleticism has impressed enough fans to wonder how the Vikings will fit him into the roster.  Drafted as a wide out, the Vikings have decided to put him back at quarterback and he appears to be staying right there. 

I suspect that Webb will be the third quarterback on this roster, leaving either Tarvaris Jackson or Sage Rosenfels as the odd man out.  I highly doubt they will keep four quarterbacks, and I really don’t see the Vikings trying to squeeze Webb through waivers because he is almost certain to be snatched up by another team.  Furthermore, I don’t see them switching him back to receiver and I don’t think he’ll be active on game days until/unless an injury occurs at the quarterback position.

While Webb was seen practicing as a return man early in the offseason, don’t plan on seeing him utilized on special teams any time soon.

Jackson VS. Rosenfels

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that the second quarterback spot may not be as clear cut as many assume.  The Vikings traded for Rosenfels and paid him low-end starting money before Favre arrived.  Jackson appears to be the favorite of the coaches, but all sorts of games are played this time of the year and things are not always what they seem.

I read an article a while back in which an unnamed pro scout swore up and down that Sage Rosenfels, and not Tarvaris Jackson, are who the Vikings would like to keep on the roster behind Brett Favre.

Consider this an ongoing battle that may not be resolved completely until final cuts are made or a quarterback is injured.

The Offensive Line

I’m not sure what the Vikings were thinking when they released running back Ryan Moats instead of left tackle Chris Clark when they signed Javon Walker.

I’m pretty sure I have seen Moats protect the quarterback better than Clark so far this preseason.  Clark is going to get someone hurt (which would solve the quarterback questions) due to his inability to block anything.  He needs to be cut, NOT put on the practice squad, and a replacement needs to be found.  The Vikings are in bad shape if Bryant McKinnie suffers an injury, as it appears Ryan Cook could be the primary backup at that spot right now.  The Vikings did a good job retaining many of their free agents, but Artis Hicks should have been included in that group.

John Sullivan is missing too much valuable time with his injury.  Of any player on the roster, he is the one we needed to improve the most.  Sullivan will keep his starting job, but this setback could also be a setback in his development.

I know this is preseason, but the Vikings offensive line has not impressed me in run blocking or pass protection.  Every quarterback we have got pummeled at times on Sunday Night.

The Receiver Solution Is In The House

So, Sidney Rice won’t be available until half way through the season.

Percy Harvin continues to be hit-and-miss with his various health issues, primarily migraines.

Cause for concern?  Sure.  Impossible to overcome?  Absolutely not.

Bernard Berrian appears fully healthy right now, which is something he could never claim last year.  He should be able to help fill the void left by Rice, but he is not the receiver I think will step up in the biggest way.

Instead, there is a player who has had relatively little attention paid to him this offseason that will step up and keep the Vikings passing game alive and well.  That player is Visanthe Shiancoe.

The Vikings woes at the receiver spot likely means that we will see more two receiver sets, with Jimmy Kleinsasser helping out our leaky O-Line and Visanthe Shiancoe dominating the middle of the field just like he has been for the last two years.

In the same way that the Chargers have faith that Antonio Gates will ease the pain of seeing Vincent Jackson disappear, the Vikings will call on Shiancoe to step up.  And he has given us plenty of reasons to think he will.

Don’t be surprised when you start hearing reports in the next few weeks of the Vikings trying some packages that involve Shiancoe lining up at wide out.


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19 Responses to “Adam’s Opinions: The Offense”

  1. B. Grant says:

    I appreciate your optimism Adam. I wish I shared it…, but here’s a brightening thought:

    Favre to Walker for the winning touchdown against the Packers. Irony of ironies.

  2. CO Vike Fan says:

    Living in Denver I saw Walker dominate in 2006, and then he fell off the cliff in performance. At the end of that season he was in the car with Darrent Williams (Broncos cornerback) when he got shot – Williams died in Walker’s arms. After that he was never the same in Denver, and not long after injuries started to hit him. If he can regain any of his old form he can be a threat, but that’s a big IF.

  3. c.carterhof says:

    I will be suprised if Walker does anything. I bet he does’nt even make the team.
    The o-line is still the biggest problem, IMO.
    We’ll see in 16 days. Thats right, we are 16 Rich Gannon days away from the “Romp in the Swamp”.

  4. starrc10 says:

    Lets see, Aaron Rodgers is in his 4th season now, right? So that means just another 12-14 seasons until we have another good quarterback. Good deal.

  5. wtfvikesfan says:

    From ESPN INSIDER……..

    Sage showcase this Saturday?
    3:43
    PM ET
    Sage Rosenfels | Vikings
    TopEmail

    UPDATE: If the Vikings really do want to trade Sage Rosenfels (see below), they are going to have to showcase his abilities so other teams can see what they’re getting. But it’s a tough call this week in the team’s “dress rehearsal” game, because the starters are expected to play extensively. Therefore, the team must decide whether to give remaining snaps to Rosenfels or developing prospect Joe Webb, according to Brian Murphy of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

    Following Brett Favre’s official un-retirement last week, we wondered whether this would lead to Rosenfels being shopped in a trade by the Minnesota Vikings. Our speculation was based on the idea that the Vikes might as well see if someone will offer something for Rosenfels, since he’s unlikely to ever see the field in a meaningful game this season.

    But there’s another link to a Rosenfels trade percolating as well. Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk connected some dots on Sunday, writing that there are some who think the unnamed player who told Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports that “Brett thinks [head coach Brad] Childress has no clue about offense,” is Rosenfels. This dovetails with the report from ESPN’s Ed Werder regarding meetings that Favre had to address teammates after his return. In the second meeting — which took place after the Cole article was published — Favre told his teammates that certain matters need to be kept within the team.

    The end result? Rosenfels, by pushing the “schism” angle out there, could indirectly earn himself a ticket out of Minnesota. If the scenario plays out in this fashion, Rosenfels will have a bit of explaining to do to his new teammates, assuring them somehow that their locker room issues won’t become fodder for future reports.

    – Tim Kavanagh

  6. wtfvikesfan says:

    From ESPN INSIDER……

    Vikes and V-Jax?
    3:06
    PM ET
    Vincent Jackson | Chargers | Interested: Vikings?, Redskins?, Seahawks?
    TopEmail

    The Vincent Jackson plot thickens with the injury to Minnesota Vikings receiver Sidney Rice.

    As Bill Williamson of the ESPN AFC West blog writes, this type of preseason health issue could be just what the Chargers were hoping for. Especially for a team like the Vikings — which is essentially putting all its eggs in one basket to win this season with the money being paid to Brett Favre — a deal makes sense on one level.

    However, from a more long-range standpoint, it makes less sense, given that they’ll have to give Jackson a lucrative new deal. Their roster already has two productive — if injury-prone — WRs in Rice and Percy Harvin, and both of them will be up for new, lucrative contracts in the coming seasons. In fact, there was some thought that Rice’s actions this offseason had something to do with his lack of a deal that was up to his expectations.

    The clubhouse leader for acquiring V-Jax continues to be the Seattle Seahawks.

    – Tim Kavanagh

  7. wtfvikesfan says:

    Rice to miss half the season?
    2:45
    PM ET
    Sidney Rice | Vikings
    TopEmail

    UPDATE: Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Sidney Rice texted Chip Scoggins of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, confirming that he underwent surgery and that it “went well.”

    As recently as Aug. 17, it appeared that Rice might make it back by the regular season opener. With the information reported by Judd Zulgad of the Minneapolis Star Tribune on Tuesday, those chances seem about as likely as Sage Rosenfels being the Week 1 starting QB.

    Zulgad reports that Rice was at the Steadman Clinic in Colorado, and according to people with knowledge of the situation, surgery on his ailing hip is likely. Neither the team nor Rice nor agent Drew Rosenhaus have elaborated on what exactly is wrong with the receiver’s hip; however Zulgad writes that this surgery could sideline Rice for up to half the season.

    Maybe that Javon Walker signing wasn’t so crazy after all. ESPN.com senior writer Eric Karabell doles out advice for those looking for the fantasy football impact:

    – Tim Kavanagh

    Eric Karabell
    He won’t be worth the wait
    “To me, it comes down to games missed. Following news that he had surgery, you can forget about him until November, and that just doesn’t work for me. In a 10-team league, I wouldn’t draft him. In a deeper format, I’d use a late pick on him, at best.”

  8. wtfvikesfan says:

    PFT is thinking WEB will play receiver in the next game.

  9. bigjohnny84 says:

    I hate to keep beating this drum but o-line help- PLEASE!

  10. 4eversteve says:

    Vincent Jackson will a great pick up if Vikings are able to pull off a sign and trade deal, doubtful without reworking some contracts.

  11. Doubtful says:

    Isn’t vincent jackson himself ineligible for the first few games of the year?

  12. Lost Viking says:

    Vike offense an early season concern. Observation based on 1) health, 2) 49’er performance and 3) blocking. T-Jax running old WCO reminiscent of slow O starts in past seasons.

    Expect Favre to light a spark. But w/o Rice, Harvin & CT we’ve lost some zip. Gerhart’s showed little. But O-line blocking could be season-long trouble

  13. Lost Viking says:

    Anyone know if Koren Robinson is still sober?

    Say, whatever happened to Michael Bumpus?

  14. Fragile Freds says:

    Still?

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