I’ll admit it. I’m viewing things through purple-colored sunglasses these days, with Mike Zimmer making me an optimistic fan yet again, and finding five things I loved about our first preseason victory was much easier than this post.
Afterall, “hate” is a mighty strong word.
So, it might be best to consider this more of a list of things that annoy me.
5. Kluwe Shadow Still Looms Large
As I stated, I’m loving this new regime and all of the excitement that comes with it. Paul Allen, a homeristic homer, navigated away from the harsh truths of the Chris Kluwe versus Mike Priefer saga during his broadcast, but the national guys will not be so kind to the Vikings organization. During those first few weeks, when Priefer is serving his suspension, the new coaching staff will have their debut games tainted by this distracting drama and the talking points that are sure to follow.
4. Kicking Outdoors
I enjoyed the sight of the Vikings playing outdoors football right up until I saw the opening kickoff where Blair Walsh just didn’t seem to have the same leg behind it as we were used to seeing. Then, later on, came the missed field goal. He made a field goal, and later booted the hell out of a couple other kickoffs, so there hopefully isn’t too much cause for concern. However, I still can’t help but worry that the NFL’s most finicky position could be a sudden problem for the Vikings if Walsh has a tough time adapting tot he conditions at TCF Bank Stadium. Here’s hoping my worries are totally unfounded.
3. Back To Paul Allen
This guy, I tell ya. I just have such a hard time taking him seriously on the radio and then, AND THEN, this preseason performance was just… well, I don’t know. The guy sounded way too artificially excited for my taste, too fake sounding, and his “voice” persona just didn’t mesh well with television. Also, learn your roman numerals, Paul… especially the ones involving Vikings Super Bowl appearances.
2. Offensive Line Woes
Throughout the scrimmage, in all four quarters, I was unimpressed with the pass protection of our offensive line. At the end of the day, the team gave up six sacks (and, yeah, the quarterbacks shared some blame) for 41 yards. The Vikings have invested a ton of money and picks into their starting unit, and will soon invest more when they presumably lock up Brandon Fusco, but the unit cannot continue to underperform before some of they become the focus of criticism from the masses.
1. Ponder Proving Doubters Right
About half way through the 2012 season I declared that Christian Ponder was not the answer for the Vikings and many thought I was being unfair and premature in my assessment. Even though I as tough enough on Ponder to generate some of my own critics, I always thought he might benefit from a change of scenery or new coaching staff, but so far this year he is looking like a totally lost cause. Ponder looks defeated as he plays uninspired football and that annoys me. Convincing performances could add a layer to the quarterback competition, increase his odds of making the roster, make him a desirable trade option for other teams, and add to his potential value on the free agent market. Instead, he is looking totally helpless.
I used to compare Christian Ponder to Joey Harrington. Lately, I’m thinking I was being too kind.