Saturday, May 30, 2015
Blog Page 115

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Over at Vikings Journal, I’ve posted a 53-man roster and an explanation for some of the picks, as well as a practice squad. In order to prevent this from being pure insufferable clickbait, the roster is below:

53-Man Roster Prediction

Be sure to check out the explanations and struggles at Vikings Journal.

UPDATE: of course, hours after I publish, my boldest pick to make the 53 gets cut. Mike Higgins is no more.

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The Vikings made headlines for a number of reasons on Monday (naming your starting quarterback will do that), but it was how head coach Mike Zimmer decided to end his opening statement that actually added some shock value to the day’s events (naming Matt Cassel your starting quarterback doesn’t bring much shock value).

Zimmer went out of his way to talk about his feelings towards Pro Football Focus, the internet’s most popular source of football analytics, and the message was seemingly directed at media outlets and Vikings fans.  Since I technically qualify as both, and Zimmer is kind of scary, I listened to him.

“The last thing that I want to talk about before I let you guys go is this Pro Football Focus thing,” Zimmer said, as transcribed by S.I. “I know everybody wants to get the scoop on this, but quite honestly there’s not really anybody… I look at the grades and I can’t tell you what a 0.7 is or anything like that, but I know that the people that are grading our games and our defenses and our offenses, they don’t know if the tackle gets beat inside, if we weren’t sliding out to the nickel or who our guys are supposed to cover. I guarantee they don’t know who is in our blitz package and what they are supposed to do. I would just ask everybody to take that with a grain of salt, including our fans. We as coaches get paid a whole bunch of money to do the jobs that we do, evaluate the players that we evaluate and grade them how we grade them and not based on someone else.”

“That’s off my chest,” he said before prompting the Q&A portion of his presser. “Go ahead.”

The Minnesota Vikings have announced their roster cuts, and there’s only one surprise among the group of them, though we’ll get down to it in a second. At the same time, they have activated Chase Ford from the Physically Unable to Perform list.

Who's going to prove themselves in the game's third phase?
The bottom of the roster is shaping up

Cut outright:

  • Pierce Burton
  • Erik Lora
  • Tyler Scott
  • Jake Snyder
  • Brandan Bishop
  • Andy Cruse
  • Ty Walker
  • Kamar Jorden
  • Robert Steeples
  • Kevin Murphy
  • Kheeston Randall
  • Derek Cox
  • Kory Sperry

They also waived Mistral Raymond with an injury designation, allowing them to put him on injured reserve if he clears waivers. We can break down their camp performances below.

 

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Surprising no one, the Minnesota Vikings have named Matt Cassel the starter for the season at quarterback and informed the team this morning, according to Jay Glazer.

Like Glazer points out, Cassel has done very well in the preseason and has done nothing to indicate he shouldn’t have the job, from the perspective of the current coaching staff. This announcement mostly formalizes what we already knew, as Bridgewater took precious few snaps with the, and only then when it was late in the process.

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In the third week of the preseason, you rarely see really well-designed, complex plays if only because offensive coordinators want to hide it. If not, then they want to evaluate their players in an environment that makes it easy; a simple play is easy to break down in that regard. Andy Reid didn’t do that because he enjoys fun.

The Chiefs ran a play-action, fake reverse screen to Knile Davis and moved three or four Vikings out of the play entirely, and created some awkward blocking angles to do it. At the same time, they still gave themselves options if the screen wasn’t there for them or pressure arrived too early. At a glance, the play looks like this:

Kansas City Screen 4

 

That’s a lot of lines, which doesn’t help anyone, but there you go. The loop in the “F” route designates that the fullback looked back for the pass, in case the pressure arrived too early on the screen or the left tackle couldn’t bat the defensive end inside. The “Z” on the fake end-around is an available receiver if the Vikings don’t bite on it and they crowd Davis at the point of attack. But the first option was the one that worked out for them in the end.

Incidentally, the “Y” has what looks like an insanely difficult block on Anthony Barr, but it’s actually far easier because Barr is expected to move to contain the end-around. Here’s a video poorly diagramming the play, and how the Chiefs got a few more yards than they should have, even with its excellent play design:

For a more complete recap of the game, head over to Vikings Journal, where I wrote about the Vikings offense and defense at length.

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