Anyone who took part in Sunday’s live chat knows that I was not impressed with the “coverage” provided by the Twitter accounts of Minnesota’s local beat writers and columnists.
Setting aside their weird objection to the fact that Tim Tebow’s fumble was confirmed as a fumble during a review, Star Tribune columnist Jim Souhan was incredibly annoying in his persistent criticism of the Vikings coaching staff during times in which none was warranted.
The criticism continued on Monday in a half-assed column, which is half-assedly titled “Bad Day Coaching,” and attempts to pin Sunday’s loss on the Vikings coaching staff.
“Offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave often left Kyle Rudolph, perhaps his best possession receiver, on the sideline on obvious passing downs,” writes Souhan.
There were two plays in which Souhan pecked some tweets about this tragedy. The first came on the second to last play of the first half. The Vikings were inside the ten with eight seconds on the clock, and Christian Ponder quickly rolled out right and threw the ball away. It was clear that Ponder was instructed to take an easy touchdown if one was immediately available, but that the play was mostly devised to run a few seconds off the clock and ensure the Broncos didn’t get the chance to return a kickoff following the field goal. In this scenario, especially after the first half pounding that Ponder took, it made sense to have the league’s best blocking tight end, Jim Kleinsasser, on the field instead of Rudolph.
The second play was on a 3rd and long screen to Percy Harvin. Since the play was obviously designed as a screen to Harvin, it made perfect sense to again have Kleinsasser leading the way rather than the weaker blocking skills of Rudolph. The play came up about one yard short.
“He sometimes even left Percy Harvin,” continues Souhan, “the best player on the field, on the sidelines, too.”
Is it just me, or is it just simply ignorant to criticize Harvin’s use after posting some of the best numbers of his career?
“And Frazier once again allowed his faith in his players to overwhelm logic,” Souhan writes about the Vikings final moments. “Saying that he didn’t allow the Broncos to score because believed his players could block a short field goal attempt, well, that defies logic.”
“Frazier is a man of faith and likes to believe in his players. But the NFL is a game of probabilities. Frazier needs to learn how to play the odds…”
I don’t know about logic, but Kevin Seifert (who is a far more logical writer than Souhan) recently dove into the actual probability statistics behind that scenario and determined that Frazier actually gave his team the best chance of winning by hoping something went wrong on the short field goal attempt. You can read more of Seifert’s article, which lacks bullheaded opinion but makes up for it with even handed analysis, by clicking right here.
Near the beginning of the article Souhan writes, “Writing opinion for a living can make you look pretty silly.”
For once, Jim, I agree with you.