Some of us think that Rick Spielman has put together a roster that potentially has the ability to surprise NFL observers as soon as this coming season.  Heck, if you look into the darkest corners and the deepest abyss, you might even find a Vikings fan that thinks the Vikings could soon be in contention for a Super Bowl.

From what I have seen out of the Vikings coaching staff this offseason, however, I think that they are having trouble believing in themselves and instead want to pull every trick out of the hat possible in an effort to simply do well enough to not get fired.

First, as Brett passed along in the post below this one, the team is allowing Adrian Peterson to rush himself back into action.  Sure, they are parading Peterson out in front of the press allowing him to talk about his “vision” and make himself out to be some sort of Superman capable of making this comeback in short order.

If Peterson were actually Superman, his knee never would have been shredded in the first place.

Allowing him to push himself during the rehab process is one thing.  Allowing him to run with the reckless abandon we all know and love during a meaningless preseason game, or even early in the regular season, is quite another.  Make no mistake about it, this is shaping up to be the biggest gamble this team has taken since they swung a certain trade with a certain Texas franchise to obtain a certain high profile running back.

And it could backfire.

Another sign that the coaching staff is in self preservation mode is the handling of Everson Griffen.  Griffen was shaping up to be an above-average defensive end that could push Brian Robison for playing time, and also made an impact as the NFL’s biggest special teams gunner.  So, they switched him to linebacker for a spell in an effort to give him more snaps.

Now, I have no problem with experimenting and trying to play to the strengths of your roster, but this particular experiment went too far.  They have already canned the idea of Griffen playing at linebacker, but not after he shed a significant amount of weight to try and win a job there.  Making that type of change to your body in an effort to win a position you clearly weren’t meant to play is just ridiculous.

I am even more perplexed that they would move Griffen away from the end spot while at the same time make a big deal out of putting Jared Allen on a pitch count.  Griffen, by all appearances, was at least the third best pass rusher on this roster last season and should be an obvious choice to spell Allen if that truly is the plan.  Now, I am concerned that Griffen’s weight loss will at least temporarily hinder his ability to be productive at that spot, let alone as a part of the defensive tackle rotation.

The handling of these two very different situations follow a troubling pattern that cause me to flash back to my objections to the handling of Joe Webb, Donovan McNabb, and Chris Cook.

Troubling patterns are the worst kind, and the fact that I am starting to notice them is giving me an uneasy feeling.

15 COMMENTS

  1. Can’t say I agree, Adam, but you are drawing some interesting conclusions here. I suspect there are good reasons for how these things are being addressed. Desparation had not crossed my mind.

  2. well id agree…and id like to think we could have a miraculus year..but in all honesty if it gets as bad as we all know it could…id be more willing to put the blame on spielman instead of frazier..spielman was either unwilling or incapable of bringing in talent or reshaping the roster..frazier can only work with the roster given to him…so id definately put the blame on spielman

    • Of course WTF SPIELMAN would blame it on Rick. I think the signs are there this year could turn into a train wreck… again…. while it could be a very hard year this year we are also much closer to being in contention than last year.

      I would put most of the blame on Leslie over Rick tho. The play calling last year was terrible, no other word can describe it. Frazier is supposed to be a DB coach yet DB is our weakest link(some may argue RT/RG or QB or LB but I believe it is DB still) he also is the one to blame for McFlabb (yes it still makes me angry). Plus the fact that Leslie is an idiot/Mini Childress.

  3. I don’t necessarily think it’s desperation with Griffen, they gave it a shot and didn’t like what they saw. He’ll be fine.
    AP should not be put in a game anytime soon, game 3 maybe. I would hold him til week 4.

    Funny, the other day my son asked me who I thought was goin to the Super Bowl…
    my answer? The Vikings! I’m a hopeless homer…

  4. Isn’t Frazier the guy who cut Jeff Meta Universal Peace Dugan?
    yeah, I don’t think that POS makes good personnel decisions

    Dugan – Planet Earth’s last best chance to save mankind from the impending alien invasion after they discover that Mars Rover thingy we plopped down in their ‘hood.

    Dugan – The only living human male who has the ability to impregnate the female populace of Wisconsin thus breeding packer fans into extinction.

    Dugan – America’s best secret weapon against worldwide tyranny. Khaddiffi, Bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, Kim Jong Il and many others have fallen victim to his gay blade. On deck, that chinless wonder who inherited Syria

    Dugan – The man who posted those legendary pictures of brent favre’s junk on the interweb. Brilliant move setting up Jenn Sterger to take the fall for that fiasco.

    Dugan – He invented toilet paper!

    Dugan – Winner of 38 gold medals at the London Olympic games, mostly in badminton and team synchronized swimming

  5. It’s a tough call on Peterson, but I don’t think he should be playing until he has even amounts of muscle mass in each leg. If one leg is stronger than the other, then he’s going to end up popping another ligament, the guy doesn’t know how to take it easy and won’t protect himself the way other players coming off an injury would. The situation is starting to remind me a bit of Cedric Griffen and that worries me. As for the Everson Griffen thing, I don’t have a problem with trying him at linebacker, but having him lose the weight was a stupid thing to do. The guy was never going to have the movement skills in space to be effective at that position on an every down basis. ON the positive side, I think having the exposure to that position will make him a better coverage lineman when he’s forced to drop back on different blitzes, so they win in that respect, and it also gave D. Reed a lot of good practice reps on the line, so I think he’ll be a better player because of it as well.

  6. Well if everything goes bad, The Vikings can draft Barkley. I say sit AD until game 3. And if you play AD before game 3 bring him in as a chance of pace back, not the starter. The Griffen thing pisses me off. I really like Griffen, now he might be to small for DE. And I hope he doesn’t try to put weight on to fast and it slows him down.

  7. You’re starting to scare me Adam. My 10-6 prediction is starting to look pretty grim.
    I can only think that it IS a desperation move to try to hurry AD back into the lineup.
    Selling tickets and preserving jobs, at any cost perhaps?

  8. Dugan – invented “Mowing the Lawn”. Not yard care, think personal grooming

    Fran, is that 10-6 prediction the number of TD/Int ratio for Ponder?
    I’m sure you didn’t mean 10 wins 6 losses. You forgot to add in the play off wins. Good grief.

  9. I couldn’t agree more. I was also concerned with moving Griffen from Defensive end to linebacker. He could be best effective keeping Jared Allen and Brian Robison fresh. I am also very concerned about rushing Adrian back. It usually is the second year after a major injury that someone regains full strength. I hope that it all works out.

  10. either the vikes have lowered their team and fan expectations, or they’re bearish on the economy, or both

    http://blog.vikings.com/2012/08/16/vikings-adopt-nfls-new-policy-decision-puts-team-in-better-position-to-have-home-games-locally-televised/

    In an effort to ensure as many fans as possible can experience Vikings football, the team will take advantage of the league’s new policy. The Vikings will reduce the Mall of America ticket manifest to 90% capacity, a reduction of approximately 6,000 seats.

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