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A Few Preseason Busts

Although the Vikings have looked pretty good for the most part this preseason, there are a few guys who could use some improvement. A few days ago I shared with you five guys who I think are doing a really good job so far this preseason, but here are five guys who I feel need to step it up.

1. CB Asher Allen.

I don’t really think Allen lacks speed or quickness, but his awareness on the field needs to improve. He gets beat way too often, and really struggles sometimes to wrap up his tackles. Allen was a great defensive back for Georgia, but I don’t think he’s living up to his potential. I really want to see him get better at making plays on the field.

2. RB Toby Gerhart.

Toby is a bigger running back, but I would hardly call him a power-back at this point. It seems he’s usually only good for a couple yards, and I don’t like the idea of him being our 3rd down back. I think Lorenzo Booker is out-performing him by a long shot this preseason, and right now I’m rooting for Booker to win the 3rd down running back spot. I think Gerhart could be okay if he learns to use his size to his advantage and not be afraid to plow somebody over. I think he goes down way too easily for a bigger back.

3. DE Brian Robison.

It pains me to say this, simply because I have a ton of respect for Robison on and off the field, but I haven’t been overly impressed with what I’ve seen from him in the last two games. I was on the bandwagon for robison to become the new starter for Edwards. I even was against us taking a defensive lineman in the first round this year, which so many people seemed to want us to do. I’m not saying I’m off that bandwagon, because I do feel Robison will do alright, but he can definately consider Everson Griffen to be his primary competition in the final two games. Griffen is doing a pretty good job so far, but we ahven’t really seen a whole lot from Robison. It almost looks like he gained a few pounds this offseason, and maybe even lost a little bit of speed. He should have a lot of playing time on Saturday against Dallas, so hopefully he can make a few big plays and show us what he can do as a starter.

4. WR Jaymar Johnson.

I almost hesitated to add Jaymar to this list, because I don’t think he’s really having a BAD preseason, but then again, it hasn’t been all that great either. It seems the media has nothing but good things to say about Jaymar during each offseason, but other than a couple nice punt returns, we don’t see a lot of great plays from him as a wideout during the preseason. This year it’s the same way. He has made a few nice catches, but he may not even make the roster with a few receivers stepping up and making plays, and Sherels making decent punt returns as well.

5. QB Joe Webb

There is absolutely no question that Joe Webb is a great athlete, but right now, I don’t think he’s playing like an NFL quarterback. He hasn’t made very accurate throws this preseason, and obviously he’s not going to be the starter this year with McNabb and probably Ponder ahead of him week one, but It doesn’t look like he’s really improved much from last season. He showed some glimpses of talent in 2010, but right now I think he’s going to be our 3rd string quarterback when September rolls around. I feel Ponder is having the better preseason of the two.

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25 Responses to “A Few Preseason Busts”

  1. Stonginator says:

    I REALLY think we should move Webb to WR. He could be our deep threat
    that we so deparately need.

    Any thoughts here.

    • Hookem says:

      I thought Emmanuel arceneaux would be our deep threat but it’s not looking good for him

    • sb says:

      I agree Stronginator, Webb will be 3rd string QB for the remainder of the year and will have very limited opportunities to make an impact. He has the height/speed/leaping ability to play WR, I can’t comment on his hands as I haven’t seen him play WR, but having a natural ability to catch the ball is vital to being an effective WR. Without good hands height and speed count for little…See Ted Ginn Jr and DHB.

  2. Fragile Freds says:


    How would you compare the pass blocking and blitz pick up of Booker versus Gehrardt? Might need a good blocker in the backfield with this dogass offensive.

    Freds does enjoy Booker, but not sure he is a guy who can stand up back there on
    3rd down and block

  3. c.carterhof says:

    I have to disagree Branden. I think Gerhart showed some good stuff last week. It seemed like he was running harder, hittin the hole well. Did you see that 3 yard pass from Ponder that he turned into a 7 yard 1st down?

    I think Webb and Ponder are very even. Im a bit disappointed with both, neither one seems to stand in the pocket long enough. I give the slight edge to Webb just because he is freakishly athletic.

  4. hookem says:

    Also I think its hard to judge a RB like Toby who doesn’t have speed and relies on a OL. So its hard for him to run behind our 2nd string OL when our first string OL is well bad, which means our 2nd string OL is really bad

  5. CalVkg says:

    disappointed…thought this headline meant it was about player’s rap sheets

  6. Ole says:

    #6. BigJohnny. His comments throughout the preseason have not been up to his usual level of banality. I suspect BigJohnny’s typing finger has not built up a callous due to the labor lock out.

    #7. Tomb. When he is blogging he is usually spot on. However, inconsistent commenting has some readers worried.

    #8. VSU Blazer lady. Started out the preseason strong, but has faded of late due to strong blogging by other Vikings Gabbers.

    #9. A. Warwas. Not having a normal preseason. We’re guessing he turns it on during the season. Will probably have a lull in October, then finish strong.

    #10. Bud Grant. Has had his ups and downs this preseason, most notably, a super ebullient sensation when McKinnie was cut. On the flip side of this emotion, Ryan Cook (really?!?) will most likely make the team as an all purpose back up.

    • VSU BlazerLady says:

      Ha ha, Ole!

      I sneak in here every so often, but BL is a busy lady. Classes at VSU have started; I’m an adviser for a sorority on campus; and I’m running the football pick’em contest for the Gulf South Conference on the D2 Message Board, plus football season is just a week away, so busy, busy, busy, busy!!

      Go BLAZERS!!

    • B. Grant says:

      I’ve kept this out of the media, Ole, but I developed two pulled finger muscles early in the pre-season. It was decided to keep me to minimal commenting until the regular season begins.

  7. Pinwheel26 says:

    First of all, Asher Allen, he’s hanging in there, he’s a back up. #2, Toby is awesome. It’s the pre season! Toby is going to be a game changer once the defense is softened by Peterson and they learn to turn him loose on his game. #3 same thing with Robison. He earned his contract. He’s not going to waste himself in the preseason meat grinder. Will he make plays when we need him to? I think he will. #4 Jaymar, forget about this guy. This is his swansong. He is the Albert Young of the WR’s. Never really has made a play, never will. Isn’t it obvious? #5 Joe Webb. No, they have two excellent prospects at QB. Joe is an excellent prospect. I love his upside. It takes alot to produce an effective passing game, least of which is playing time. Both back ups are in a great position.

    • Stonginator says:

      While I completely agree that it takes a lot to make a great QB, with all things considered, I am not sure that Webb is such a great prospect. He is a great athlete that played QB in college, and he ran A LOT.
      Ponder already looks to be his equal after he has had about 3 weeks in this system.What you stated about Jaymar Johnson is also somewhat true, and this would be all the more reason to more Webb to WR

  8. Lost Viking says:

    Didn’t see the Titan game. Against SeaHawg the D-line was disruptive rushing T-Jax. Robison was quite effective in first half rushing from LE position. In rush sitation he appears quicker than Ray Edwards although less powerful

    Will have to watch whether Robison is able to hold up at point of attack once season begins. No doubt teams will be testing run against Vike Left side.

  9. Vikadan11 says:

    1. CB Asher Allen ~ IMHO Allen has the makings of a fine dime back and that is were I see him playing if Cook keeps playing like he did vs the Seahawks ~ My top 3 CB’s are Griffin who is fine based on what I have read and what little I have seen ~ Winfield seems ageless and can play inside and out ~ If Cook an take over as the Left CB then the DC can use Winfield in many ways ~ Like blitzing him 19 time in the Eagles game last year ~ At worse Cook should be good enough to take over at nickle if he stays healthy ~

    2. RB Toby Gerhart will be fine IMHO once th Vikings get the OL clicking ~ Unlike AP Toby needs more of a head start to get going ~ If there is a hole in front of him he does well but he isn’t near as fast as AP to the hole and if the OL opens a hole it close very quickly ~

    3. DE Brian Robison ` Agree ~ As you guy know I have been saying that by mid season that fans will be calling for Robison head f he is made the startingLE ~ Making him a starter is not the best way to use him IMHO ~ he is best coming of the bench when he is fresh ~ The Vikins will miss Edwards if someone doesn’t step up ~Bse on what I have seen so far I believe Griffen will be the starter by mid season ~

    I have to disagree with the idea that Robson has earned his new contract ~ They didn’t have the money to sign Edwards or Rice << Rice I'm happy about because of his injury history ~ and they are hard against the cap now because they having worked out long term deals with Greenay or AP equaling 20 million against the cap this year ~ The Vikings didn't have the money to sign Edwards so they locked up Robison before the the lockout to cover their butts ~ He is a fine backup and can start if someone gets injured ~ IMHO he isn't a guy you can count to hold up for 16 games because of his size and the fact he will be playing over the RT and the TE around 80% of the time ~ JMHO here ~ Robison is a better fit for the RDE where he want be covered by the TE 80% of the time ~

    4. WR Jaymar Johnson.~ Agree

    5. QB Joe Webb ~ It's to earl to judge Webb as a QB or to believe he has the hands to make it as a WR ~ While Webb is a great talent he is only in his second season as a QB ~ do believe he will stay at QB this year ~ If Ponder wins the #2 job Leslie has said ( in the last couple of weeks and he hinted it today in his PC) that they will have packages ready for him ~ I'm sure that will included some Wildcat & WR ~ Leslie also said there may come a time when he might be needed o ST and out of the backfield ~

    If they are going to do a package for Webb (If he is the #3 QB) I hope they use him just like they do Harvin ~ In as man ways as they can think o ~

  10. 4eversteve says:

    Branden, I would have substituted Toby Gerhart for the Vikings offensive line on your list. I was hoping that Jeff Davidson the new O-line coach would come in an light a fire under their butts, that just hasn’t happen yet IMHO. If you reevaluate your list, three of the offensive player on it are there as a direct result of the O-line not being able to provide a clean pocket to throw from or open up decent holes to run into.

  11. Lost Viking says:

    Defensive end Ray Edwards, who’s recovering from a mysterious knee surgery, will not have a limitation on how many snaps he’ll play when Falcon go against the Steeler on Saturday.

    The Falcon will monitor Edwards, but would like to see him stay on the field with the rest of the starters. He has recovered from offseason knee surgery that took place during the lockout when he was not under the team’s supervision. Edwards has declined to discuss the specifics of the surgery.

    Edwards registered a career-high 3.0 sacks in the 2009 Viking semi-final against Cowboy. He harassed QB Tony Romo but left the game during the third quarter with what appeared to be a right knee injury. Edwards did return briefly — the FOX game broadcast reported he was fitted for a knee brace — but it was a short-lived return with the Viking holding a sizeable lead.

  12. Lost Viking says:

    ESPN 1500 has Undrafted Matt Asiata as a guy to watch against Dallas:

    SI Grade 2.01
    Position: RB
    Class: 5Sr
    School: Utah
    Conference: Mountain West
    HT: 5-11
    WT: 229
    40 Time: 4.77
    Biography: “Started seven games as a senior, posting 155/695/8. Junior totals included 330 yards rushing and four touchdowns, when he was limited to four games due to a knee injury

    Positives: “Strong interior runner who picks up difficult yardage. Keeps his feet driving up the field, shows the ability to break tackles, and picks up yardage off initial contact. Aggressively lays his shoulders into defenders and falls forward when tackled. Solid receiver who adjusts to the errant throw and makes the reception away from his frame. Displays good vision picking up blitzes.”

    Negatives: “Straight-line runner who loses momentum when he must quickly change direction. Slow getting through cutback lanes. Runs a bit tall, which leads to a lot of heavy hits. Must works harder to finish blocks.”

    Analysis: Asiata is an adequate inside running prospect for the next level with limited upside. He’s a potential third back for a power running offense.

  13. Branden Lemke says:

    for everyone who’s disagreeing with me about Toby, am I wrong to say Lorenzo Booker is looking a heck of a lot better than him at this point? I’m just saying I trust Booker as my third down back MUCH more than Toby.

    • c.carterhof says:

      As a third down back Booker is faster, maybe a bit quicker. But Gerhart is quick for his size. I think its a close call.
      AP will be in there on alot of 3rd downs this year. When he needs a break ,on any down, I would most likley go with Toby.

    • Fragile Fred says:

      Branden –

      How would you compare Booker and Toby as pass blockers? Blitz pick up etc…

  14. Mike T says:

    It’s time to say goodbye to Asher Allen

  15. Stonginator says:

    I kind of agree with you Mike T, Asher Allen seems to get burned about as much per game as trees in a lightning storm. Maybe he would be okay as a Nickel Back ?

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