B. Grant wrote:Purple-blooded Viking fans have suffered through a very difficult and painful season, seeing their franchise head down a road perhaps never before traveled, and blowouts at the hands of the Bears and Packers simply cannot be tolerated in these parts. Blame abounds, and every armchair expert feels the need to point the finger at someone. Whether it was the hiring of Leslie Frazier, his naming of coordinators Musgrave and Pagac, the signing of McNabb or the drafting of Ponder, surely there is a primary cause for this mess
But could it be that the scene we see playing out is a blessing in disguise for this franchise? Is this what has been needed for quite some time in order to really build a better team? Could the failure of the McNabb experiment and the countless close losses actually be combining for a bright Viking future? I believe the answer to all those questions is yes, and I believe Viking fans need to let go of this year's won-loss record and look at the good things that are happening here.
Thanks to Donovan McNabb, Christian Ponder was not thrown to the wolves in game one, and thus given the added burden of a failed season. That QB distinction rests solely with McNabb, and Ponder has been allowed to relax and learn in the final 10 games of the season. Thanks to Donovan, first year Coach Frazier was allowed to make the change to Christian Ponder without fear of missing that final wild card spot. Thanks to Donovan, the Vikings can head into 2012 with a second year QB who learned that he can play in the NFL, and learned what can go wrong, without it having ruined a season. At the same time, multiple close losses allow no Viking player to feel like the team has bottomed out or become "hapless". Everyone knows that with some improvement in key positions, this team is still on the verge of competing in the upper level of the league.
Another silver lining is that there can now be no mistake whatsoever what the major needs of the team are. The offensive line has made Christian Ponder a man on the run, and the defensive backfield, even before the injuries and arrests, was establishing itself as a major hindrance to the success of the team. There can be no doubt where to look in the upcoming draft in order for this team to start back up the hill.
Yes, a rookie head coach has made some mistakes, but again, those mistakes have not ruined a possible playoff season. Frazier is a quality leader, and has established standards and expectations on this team. He will learn from some lapses in judgement, and be a better coach for it. He and his staff now have a collection of game tape, and an off season of mini camps, to work out some of the bugs that popped up this year.
Meanwhile, the Vikings will not only draft second or third when the draft starts, but early in every round thereafter. With good research, and perhaps some clever moves leading up to draft day, the Vikings have a draft in hand that can be a real catalyst for the future of the franchise. 2012 still may not be "the year", but we should be able to expect that a lot of talent will be added to the roster, players who can make the team competitive for years to come. Bring them along together with a developing QB, an outstanding running back, some veteran defensive players, and an emerging multi-purpose receiver, and something special can develop here in the years ahead.
Make no mistake, I despise losing. I feel it in the gut every week when I come to the realization we have lost another one. But even in these defeats, I can see that we are taking the needed step to position ourselves for a much brighter future. Whenever that next win over the Packers happens, whenever we are again one of the six at season's end, and whenever we again expect to win every game we play, we will know that we are then back where we want to be.
B. Grant wrote:cart, BJohnny and Fran: Just to maintain balance in your lives, keep in mind that I painted a best-case scenario. Another possibility is that the Vikes could go 2-14 again next year. Let's say that Leslie proves to be nothing more than a nice guy, the Triangle drafts like three guys in a bar on a Friday night, AP tears an MCL, Ponder develops McNabb syndrome, Kevin Williams goes back on diet pills, and Jared Allen falls off the wagon. In that case, we remain a North division doormat for at least four more years.
But don't let that bother you. If it happens, we'll be glad they moved to LA!
B. Grant wrote:We have a season total of 6 interceptions. SIX!
Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests