Tuesday, April 28, 2015
Blog Page 176

As worries about quarterback Christian Ponder’s ability to take things to the next level seem to mount within the Vikings fan base, there is a growing list of other woes that seem to be dampening some of the enthusiasm surrounding this team as the regular season draws nearer.

DeMarcus Love will not be available for the first our weeks due to suspension.  Cornerback Jacob Lacey was released after injuries gave him no chance to take the practice field.  Defensive tackle Christian Ballard has reportedly returned to his hometown indefinitely to deal with personal issues.

Now, Sharrif Floyd’s rookie development will, at least in part, be put on hold as he recovers from a “minor” knee surgery.

Leslie Frazier said yesterday that Floyd will likely miss the remainder of the preseason, but the good news is that he’s expected back and healthy by the regular season opener.  Still, rookie repetitions during the preseason hold a premium value and it is disappointing that the team’s top Draft selection has had his opportunity cut short even if it is temporary.

I’m not trying to be an alarmist here, and with Kevin Williams in the fold Floyd is certainly not some we must see at full tilt in week one, but the pile of problems seems to be growing at a steady pace. 

Love, Lacey and Ballard were all players thought to have well-defined roles within the Vikings roster in 2013.  Now they are, by all appearances, going to be non-factors as the regular season gets underway.  The momentum just seems to be headed in the wrong direction at the wrong time.

That is all.

I was pretty high on Rick Spielman’s low-risk decision to add 26 year old Jacob Lacey to the cornerback conversation this offseason, but it appears his bid for a roster spot has come to a premature end.

A thumb injury kept Lacey out of mini-camp and a knee injury has kept him off the field in Mankato, which meant he had absolutely no chance to gain ground in the competition.  He was going to continue to have no chance since an August 12th surgery on his knee was expected to keep him out of commission until the regular season.

He was released on Monday, according to multiple reports.

The spot Lacey was hoping to take, the backup nickel spot, is currently being battled for by Marcus Sherels and Bobby Felder.  At the moment, Felder seems to have the upper hand.

The Vikings now have an open roster spot.

Another week of preseason “action” has come and gone and Vikings fans have, for the most part anyways, not grown any more confident in the Christian Ponder led offense.  In fact, most seem to be getting less comfortable with how this offense is shaping up after Friday’s 16-20 loss in Buffalo.  The game was overall pretty sloppy, and it was hard to peer through the slop to try and learn anything, but I’ll give it a whirl anyways.

GRADE A

  • While the first team offense looked like Friday was perhaps their first time playing the game known as football, the defensive starters really did a nice job overall.  Were there a few blemishes throughout their time on the field?  Sure, but they were able to cover for each other and really limit Kevin Kolb (11 yds, 1 INT) and C.J. Spiller (27 rushing yards on 7 attempts).  Like we saw many times last year, the first team defense kept the game close while they were on the field, allowing only three points despite the offense hanging them out to dry on a number of occasions.
  • Last week I noted the lack of turnovers by out defense.  I really think they are close to being one of the NFL’s absolute best defenses, but they have to learn how to force turnovers and capitalize on opportunities before they’ll come close to earning such respect.  Jamarca Sanford seems to often be in the right place to make such plays, but frustratingly turns into Mr. McGoo when it comes to catching the ball.  After rookie corner Xavier Rhodes disrupted a Kevin Kolb pass on Friday, however, it was Sanford that made the diving grab that gave Minnesota possession of the ball.  We will need plenty of plays exactly like that one throughout this season to reappear in the playoffs, but we’ll need them against quarterbacks far more talented than Kold, too.
  • I know that the offense needs confidence.  I know that Adrian Peterson makes a big difference when he is on the field.  Still, I think one of the best things to come out of this game is that the NFL’s current MVP came out of it unscathed because he never played.  Leslie Frazier said Peterson is int he game plan for this coming preseason contest, but I can’t say I approve of playing him at all.

by -
4

It was a major disappointment when we had to leave our previous live chat host due to a… difference in opinion? In our opinion, it should have been free. In there opinion? Not so much… It was great getting to chat with everyone during the games. Ever since we left our previous chat provider, we’ve been searching diligently for a suitable alternative.

Finally, we have found one.

Better yet? This live chat will not just be during games. We’ve decided to make the chat room 24/7/365. That’s right! Anytime you have even the smallest inkling to talk it up with fellow Vikings fans and readers here at VT you can just visit the live chat.

Obviously, we expect everyone to be on their best behavior. Over time, we will likely incorporate additional “moderators” to keep everything PG-13 and respectable. But, we know that our readers are model-citizen Vikings fans and do not expect any issues.

The LIVE CHAT can be found by clicking that link. So, check it out, enjoy and let us know your thoughts. Also, I will hosting a live viewing of tomorrow’s preseason game at the Buffalo Bills (6 PM Central) in the chat room so make sure to stop by!

by -
3

Jerome Felton underwent an emergency appendectomy on Wednesday, according to numerous sources, but the recovery time is typically quick and he is expected to return to action in time for the Vikings regular season opener.

The combination of Felton’s absence, and Adrian Peterson’s extremely limited (if any) live-action reps, brings the battles for backup halfback and fullback spots to the forefront. With two starters mostly sidelined, it opens the door for others to get more reps and give the Vikings more reasons to keep them around in September, or allows the team to build a case that supports their release.

A guy like Zach Line, who scampered for a 61 yard touchdown last week after catching a Matt Cassel pass, seems in line for extra work during these three remaining preseason games.  If he can continue to make big contributions, and shows that he can be a versatile blocker and special teams player, the Vikings may have a very tough time trying to sneak him onto the practice squad.

In short, I’m looking forward to getting an extended look at the guys who play behind two Pro Bowl starters.  Who knows, if enough of the step up and have big-time showings, then maybe we start to hear a little more chatter about the possibility of Toby Gerhart being on the trading block.

Get Social

2,726FansLike
4,799FollowersFollow