Thursday, December 14, 2017

Monthly Archives: December 2011

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The Vikings have hopes that Adrian Peterson will recover from surgery repairing his ACL and MCL injury in time for week one of the 2012 season.

That seemingly lofty goal may or may not be reached, and it will be the topic of conversation all offseason, but in the meantime Peterson’s season officially ended Monday when the Vikings placed him on the injured reserve.

To replace Peterson, the Vikings activated Caleb King from the practice squad, and if he makes the field next week he could be interesting to watch.  The Georgia running back is listed at 5’ 11” and 212 pounds. 

King was a highly touted prospect after declaring for the NFL’s supplemental Draft this past offseason.  At Georgia, he was expected to be the heir to Knowshon Moreno but ended up breaking his jaw, missing substantial time, and leaving for the NFL earlier than expected.  It was expected that he would be selected in the supplemental Draft, but no teams put in a bid, and the Vikings ended up signing him as an undrafted free agent prior to this season.

In the preseason finale against Houston, King rushed 19 times for the Vikings and gained 62 yards (3.3 yard average) and scored two touchdowns.  I personally have the feeling King will be a solid NFL running back, and he may be able to stick to the active roster and help the Vikings cope with Peterson’s potential absence for part of the 2012 season.

According to the NFL’s transaction report, the team also continued to shuffle the fourth tight end spot on the roster by cutting Allen Reisner and activating Mickey Shuler from the practice squad.  Both players have spent time on both the Vikings practice squad and active roster, but neither has been able to move up the depth chart.

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I just wanted to take a minute to wish all of my Vikings Territory friends a very Merry Christmas!

I hope Santa brings each of you what you have been wanting most this year, and that you all get to enjoy Christmas with your closest friends and family.

Be safe, have fun, and enjoy the holiday season!

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[NOTE: I know, I know, it isn’t Monday.  But it is the day after a game and I didn’t want to wait to post this.]

I design power lines for a living.

If a major storm was taking place and lines were on the ground and poles were falling over, it would be my job to do what I can to get as many lights back on as soon as possible.  That’s my job, no matter how bad things get.  That’s my job… unless my boss told me otherwise.

If you managed a pizza joint that was getting a reputation for having the worst pizza in town, you wouldn’t rectify the situation by using even worse ingredients and skimping on the portions.  Unless your boss tells you otherwise, it is your job to provide customers with the best pizza and the best service that you can.

I’ll be honest.  I consider a bad season a bad season, with no real difference between “kind of bad” and “really bad” and “really, really bad.”

This season has been bad, a term that you can weight as you want, and I can honestly say I was not happy to hear Adrian Peterson was going to be returning to the field after his high ankle sprain.  After all, he is the centerpiece of our offense and recently signed a $100 million contract, and the risk of a major injury clearly outweighed any potential reward for seeing him play out the lost 2011 season.

Yesterday Peterson reportedly tore is ACL and MCL and I am angry about it.  I am sad about it.  I am damned mad about it.

However, I don’t see how this is Leslie Frazier’s fault.

Frazier was hired to do one thing: coach a team that wins football games.

Unless his boss told him otherwise, Frazier’s duty as head coach of the Minnesota Vikings was and is to win as many games as possible.  That duty would normally entail putting his best team on the field every week and coaching them up to the best of his abilities.

I can’t blame anyone who was cheering for a Vikings victory on Saturday, and I can’t blame those that are mad about the fact that Peterson suffered such a serious injury in a meaningless game.

With all of that being said, I also cannot blame Frazier for doing his job to the best of his abilities and putting his star running back on the field.

For those of you that want to direct blame, I would suggest taking it up not with Frazier, but instead with his boss for not changing the job description of the head coaching position mid-season.

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At the beginning of the 2011 offseason, the Vikings new they had one year left before they would face a major crossroads with all of their veteran tight ends.

They started to address the issue by cutting long time utility man Jeff Dugan and drafting the best tight end prospect in the 2011 Draft, Kyle Rudolph.  There were even some rumors that the Vikings attempted, at one point, to agree to an extension with Visanthe Shiancoe but nothing ever came to fruition.

Now, with the 2011 season nearly over and Rudolph looking like a solid draft choice, the Vikings still have to figure out if Visanthe Shiancoe or Jim Kleinsasser figure into their plans moving forward, as both veterans are set to become unrestricted free agents.

The 31 year old Shiancoe had decent campaigns with the Vikings in 2008 and 2009, but has steadily been on the decline since then, partly due to nagging injuries.  Through thirteen weeks this season he has 36 catches for 409 yards and three touchdowns.  Shiancoe has started 11 games this season.  His career highs came in 2008 when he was good for 596 receiving yards and in 2009 when he caught 11 touchdowns.

Jimmy Kleinsasser, at age 34, may opt for retirement but that is a decision that has not been discussed with the media at all.  He very well could plan on playing for another five seasons.  Kleinsasser has pretty much been phased out of the passing game these days, with only one catch for four yards this season, but remains one of the best blocking tight ends in the NFL.  It is easily a factual statement to say that every offensive tackle the Vikings have had over the last 13 seasons have been made to look better than they were by the presence of Kleinsasser on the end of the line.

With both set to be free agents, and both getting up there in age, one could assume the Vikings will let them both leave with hopes of finding youthful talent to join Rudolph in the new generation of Vikings tight ends.

On the other hand, the Vikings already have so many needs as it is, adding tight end to the mix of free agency and draft needs could simply be too much.

So, armchair G.M.’s out there, I pose this question to you:

UPDATE:  I guess great minds think alike.  1500 ESPN literally just posted this article about Kleinsasser’s situation, and hinted that if the Vikings don’t offer him a contract he is likely to hang up his cleats for good.

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Live chats can be a lot of fun, even when the Vikings are playing terribly, but traffic tends to be very low on holidays such as tomorrow.

Thus, I have decided to forego a live chat for tomorrow’s game as most of you will doubtless be celebrating Christmas Eve with your family and friends.

So, we’ll aim to chat during the season ending game next week.

Have a very Merry Christmas everybody

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