Sorry for the lack of posts here lately, but every time I sit down to write during this bye week I come up empty handed, and I just can’t bring myself to write about the Draft yet since the Vikings are still in the playoff hunt.
Leave it to Tom Pelissero, however, to give me something to regurgitate and then opine about.
Pelissero recently got a chance to talk with G.M. Rick Spielman about his decision to woe tight end John Carlson away from Kansas City with big bucks and sign the unheralded veteran despite a recent lack of production and knack for being injured.
“I know what you see out in practice and how he works in practice and the types of catches that he does make in practice,” said Spielman of his veteran tight end. “That he got hurt and missed all that part of that training camp (with a knee injury) kind of set him back, especially when you’re trying to learn a new scheme. But sometimes, some of these veterans don’t work out as well until maybe their second year.”
“John looked healthy (on Sunday),” Spielman continued. “I know he caught that one (slide) route and you saw that burst that we have seen in the past when he sprinted up afterwards. The one thing that he’s done that he doesn’t get enough credit for is he’s done an incredible job blocking for us. I think that whole tight end group is the key to the way Adrian (Peterson)’s had so much success on the field as well, along with our offensive line. But just haven’t seemed to be able to get John going (as a receiver).”
“I think John Carlson has a lot of football (left) and is a very good football player for us and will be a good football player in the future,” Spielman reiterated.
Now, I have never been as down on Spielman’s decision to sign Carlson, as he has been a solid tight end in the past. I’ve always liked Carlson’s abilities, personally, when observing from afar.
What doesn’t sit well with me is that the money spent on Carlson completely ignored his tendency to get injured, and he has already been injured twice as a Viking, and also ignored a clear need at wide receiver.
Sure, when the Vikings signed Carlson they thought they would have Greg Childs at their disposal, but they also didn’t know they would have Jerome Simpson (who is another questionable signing as it is). Instead, the Vikings decided to get cheap when courting wide outs such as James Jones who has cured his drops, 42 catches, 485 yards, and eight touchdowns this season.
Spielman’s comment about not being able to get Carlson going as a receiver might indicate he thinks the problem lies more with Bill Musgrave’s offense than it does on Carlson himself. If Musgrave ends up being on his way out of Minnesota after this season, however, then Carlson won’t be the only tight end learning a new scheme in 2013.