Saturday, November 18, 2017

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Okay, the thing I like least about blogging is this whole playing “catch up” after an extended absence.  Nevertheless, if I don’t do it now, then I’ll feel weird about just jumping in with current news out of the blue.

So, I’d like to address some of the hot button issues that I missed while I was gone.  Here goes.

Donovan McNabb

I don’t think we ever had much doubt that McNabb was a one-and-done stopgap.  The lockout situation pressured the Vikings into believing they needed an experienced veteran throwing passes if they wanted to win in 2011.  As it turns out, they were destined to lose games either way.  Tossing aside the laziness rumors, just like Leslie Frazier tossed them aside, it was clear that it was time to let McNabb’s tenure as a Vikings starter end a little earlier than planned.  At this point, wins and losses are relatively inconsequential (other than draft order), so it makes sense to start evaluating talent that could be on the roster moving forward.

Christian Ponder

Everybody, I have to be honest, we need to temper our expectations a bit.  Ponder got his first start against the Packers and commanded an offense that was able to put up 27 points… a rarity for this year’s Vikings.  It was good to see some young blood slinging passes down the field, spreading the ball around, and occasionally producing the big play.  Still, he was only able to complete 40% of his passes and threw two crucial picks.  The kid will have ups and downs, and just as it is important that we don’t crucify him after a down week, we need to be careful not to crown him after a good one.  The Vikings quarterback situation is far from solid at this point.  Whether it is developing Ponder, searching in free agency, or looking towards the 2012 Draft (or all of the above) the quarterback position still needs work.

Chris Cook

There is draft strategy that basically says “a guy that fails off the field, is unlikely to succeed on it.”  Like any draft strategy, there are exceptions, but the Vikings have ignored that idea in recent years and it has done more damage than good.  Cook was looking like a decent starting cornerback this year, after an injury plagued rookie campaign, but allegations that he bloodied his girlfriend during a jealous rampage are indeed very serious.  He not only hurt is team by not being available on Sunday to cover Greg Jennings, he is obviously a young man that needs to get his act together off the field before he can succeed on it.  The decision to suspend Cook was a no-brainer for the Vikings, but the suspension is temporary, and the team now needs to decide if Cook is damaged beyond repair or if he is a young man that they can help become a better human and get a quality football player in return.  No matter how they handle this situation there will be criticisms following shortly behind.

Brian Robison

Was he drunk!?!  C’mon man, that’s despicable.  What can you say about this other than that it was poor sportsmanship, he deserved every penny of his $20,000 fine, and I was glad to see he was able to smooth things over with T.J. Lang.  Robison, who has been one of my favorite players this year, gave Vikings fans no room to trash talk with a Packers fan this year with one kick to no-fly zone.  Hopefully Robison puts that schoolyard B.S. behind him and we never see anything like that again on an NFL field.

Berrian Being Cut

Just like with McNabb being benched, it was time to put the underachieving stopgaps to the side and see how some of these youngsters can handle themselves in the NFL.  I am curious to see if Stephen Burton sees any playing time and how he does.  Michael Jenkins seems like a solid #2 receiver and Harvin is built for the slot, so it is clear that finding a true #1 receiver must be an offseason priority.  At this point, Berrian’s absence will be hardly noticeable as he’s been invisible for over two years.

Some Positive Stuff

Before the season started, if I had told you that Jared Allen would lead the NFL after seven games with 11.5 sacks, and Adrian Peterson would lead the league in rushing with 712 rushing yards, would you have guessed that they would have the second worst record in the NFC?  Me neither.  Still, that’s where they are.  However, there are still elite talents on this team (Allen and Peterson are not the only ones) and they are both going to be here for years to come.  There is no doubt that these are guys to rebuild a team around and should give everyone hope for the future.

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Well, another successful, relaxing, and fun Warwas family vacation is in the books!

We had nearly two weeks of sunshiny fun in Hawaii which consisted of visiting Pearl Harbor, me wearing shorts and swim trunks for the first time in nearly three weeks, letting baby Gates swim in the ocean for his first time and so many other great memories.

Another highlight was meeting longtime Vikings fan buddy “Ole” and I am happy to report that yet another one of our online friends is just as great of a guy in real life as we have all been led to believe on the internet.  Our meeting was kind of impromptu and brief, and I was feeling quite out of it as a result of getting over an illness that I seem to get every time I even look at a commercial airplane, but it was fun get to know Ole and chat about both the Vikings and the incredible state in which he resides.  It is a rare occurrence, but always fun to actually meet one of you guys!

Yesterday, Alaska greeted us with Mosse-filled, black ice covered highways on our six hour drive home letting us know that winter might not have completely settled in… but its right around the corner.

So, to get to the point, I am back in the Vikings Territory saddle and am hoping to finally end my long hiatus once-and-for-all by “going live” with this site and getting back to my routine of daily updates.  That will feel good.

Although, while I haven’t gone back and watched the two games I missed yet, all of this I hear about Brian Robison and Chris Cook has me feeling like the dad that comes back from vacation to find his house in shambles because the kids did nothing but host parties the whole time…

So, stay tuned for some opinions on recent happenings and updates on everything else moving forward.

Good to be back, folks.

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Nobody would blame the Vikings if they started making roster moves that had an eye on the future instead of the nearly lost 2011 season.

They could trade Donovan McNabb to Miami for a ninth round pick in 2037. They could trade contract-year tight end Visanthe Shiancoe to the Darrell Bevell’s Seahawks. They could think about jettisoning some aging veterans with hopes of giving some younger guys some valuable playing experience that could pay dividends in the future.

Instead, the Vikings are making low key tweaks to the roster that accurately reflect Leslie Frazier’s calming, patient personality.

On Tuesday, the Vikings waived tight end Allen Reisner and promoted fullback Ryan D’Imperio.

The Vikings may be taking a risk with the promising young tight end, as there is no guarantee he makes it through waivers and lands on the practice squad, but it is hard to deny that the team could use a fullback in the active roster.

The move, assuming D’Imperio is active on game day, should allow Jim Kleinsasser to spend more time on the line of scrimmage. This could be a valuable asset to the Vikings in short yardage situations, an area that the Vikings have struggled with at times in their first four games.

D’Imperio also has extensive college experience playing the linebacker position, so it is a reasonable expectation that he could be a contributor on special teams as well.

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