Saturday, January 31, 2015
Tags Posts tagged with "bill musgrave"

bill musgrave

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Following the Vikings’ 31-30 loss to the Bears Sunday, head coach Leslie Frazier was quick to take blame for not stepping in to adjust the defensive schemes on the final drive, which resulted in a game-winning touchdown pass for Chicago.

During Monday’s press conference, Frazier clarified on it.

“We’re talking about a sequence that was a very important sequence during the course of the game,” Frazier said. “You can’t take away all the good things our defensive did yesterday. There are just some things from my standpoint that I have to manage better. That’s all.”

The last defensive play is apparently not an isolated incident where a bad call or communication issue was the problem. Andrew Krammer of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities recalls multiples times where it “seemed to be multiple plays where communication broke down and defenders seemed to be playing different calls.”

Frazier was also not too pleased that Cordarrelle Patterson only had six snaps, saying that issue would be “rectified” next week. This comes a week after Frazier told reporters following Week 1 that Patterson getting limited reps was a “coaches decision”—not necessarily his decision—and that Patterson is fully caught up with the whole offensive playbook.

Nothing Frazier have said suggests offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave and defensive coordinator Alan Williams are in jeopardy of losing their jobs, but his latest presser suggests he is not happy with some of the decisions made by his staff.

Keep in mind that Frazier is fighting to keep his job, as he is only under contract through the 2014 season. Head coaches very rarely play out the final year of their contract so he is looking for a contract extension by season’s end.

The other day I hit a squirrel.  I didn’t mean to and I did everything I could to safely miss the thing.  I went right and so did the squirrel.  I went left and the squirrel reversed course and stayed right in front of me.  This went on for a number of slight swerves when suddenly a definitive “THUD” made the outcome of this little episode quite clear.

On Sunday afternoon, the Detroit Lions played the part of my car, doing seemingly everything they could to keep that squirrel (the Minnesota Vikings) alive.

In the end:  THUD.

Things started out fairly promising.  A botched field goal attempt led to the Vikings first offensive snap, which Adrian Peterson took to the house from 78 yards out, but it was all downhill from there.  Here are my graded observations from the action:

GRADE A

Watching Adrian Peterson take that ball 78 yards for a touchdown really gave me hope about this game.  Hope is officially dead for a week one win, but runs like that still give me hope for the rest of the season.  In the hours following this loss I had to keep reminding myself just how ugly that loss to Indianapolis was last year and that the 2012 Vikings were able to turn things around, so the 2013 version might be able to do the same.

I’m a little late getting this week’s Links segment kicked out to you all, but there are still plenty of great articles to point you towards as you wait for tomorrow’s kickoff.  Read them, tell the author what you think, and tell them who sent you:

  • The Vikings passing offense is going to be a main sticking point in almost every game preview from here on out.
  • Allen the Entertainer went on Jim Rome’s new show and had quite the fun time blasting recent changes to the game of football.
  • When building this Vikings team the front office has to be aware that they will most likely be playing their home games outdoors for two years.
  • Anyone that still clings to the idea that the NFL is not a quarterback driven league need not look much further than the 2012 Minnesota Vikings.
  • Here is a dream that just seems incredibly too pleasant to ever come true.
  • Chris Kluwe got fined for his uniform infraction on Sunday, and his special teams coach has just about had it with his punter.
  • I found a Bill Musgrave supporter!  Take that Sasquatch hunters!
  • Todd McShay put down the self-tanner long enough to release his first mock draft and he has the Vikings using their pick on a defensive tackle with the last name “Williams.”  That has worked well for us in the past.
  • A.J. Jefferson’s concussion last Sunday shouldn’t hold him out this week, but he was plenty scared following the injury.
  • Scroll down past the game recap (unless you want to read it, of course) to the table that compares Christian Ponder to Tarvaris Jackson.  Then, drink heavily.
  • Bill Musgrave says that Christian Ponder’s footwork “needs to be more refined.”  He also contends that books have pages and that cows say “moo.”
  • Leslie Frazier has told defensive end D’Aundre Reed, who hasn’t been active for two weeks, to be patient.
  • The question of whether or not Minnesota can afford their new Vikings stadium is not yet answered, and won’t be for a long time.
  • How this offseason goes for free agents Dwight Freeney and Osi Umeniyora could tell us a lot about Jared Allen’s potential future, or lack thereof, in Minnesota.
  • Some really fun conceptual pictures of the future stadium in Mineapolis.
  • Jerome Felton has been a very solid fullback paving the way for Adrian Peterson, but rookie Rhett Ellison might be even better in that area.
  • Everson Griffen avoided a fine for his hit high on Jay Cutler last week.
  • Bryant McKinnie used to look like an All Pro against lesser talents while looking like a clown against the better pass rushers in the NFL.  Rookie Matt Kalil, however, looks like an All Pro no matter who lines up across from him.
  • A lot weird things can happen on any given Sunday, but Vikes Geek points out three things that he considers to be ludicrous from last week.
  • Rookies Harrison Smith and Josh Robinson have proved to be just what the doctor ordered for an annually disappointing Vikings secondary.
  • Don’t click this link unless you are prepared to buy yourself the greatest Christmas present ever.

Sorry for the lack of posts here lately, but every time I sit down to write during this bye week I come up empty handed, and I just can’t bring myself to write about the Draft yet since the Vikings are still in the playoff hunt.

Leave it to Tom Pelissero, however, to give me something to regurgitate and then opine about.

Pelissero recently got a chance to talk with G.M. Rick Spielman about his decision to woe tight end John Carlson away from Kansas City with big bucks and sign the unheralded veteran despite a recent lack of production and knack for being injured.

“I know what you see out in practice and how he works in practice and the types of catches that he does make in practice,” said Spielman of his veteran tight end.  “That he got hurt and missed all that part of that training camp (with a knee injury) kind of set him back, especially when you’re trying to learn a new scheme. But sometimes, some of these veterans don’t work out as well until maybe their second year.”

“John looked healthy (on Sunday),” Spielman continued. “I know he caught that one (slide) route and you saw that burst that we have seen in the past when he sprinted up afterwards.  The one thing that he’s done that he doesn’t get enough credit for is he’s done an incredible job blocking for us. I think that whole tight end group is the key to the way Adrian (Peterson)’s had so much success on the field as well, along with our offensive line. But just haven’t seemed to be able to get John going (as a receiver).”

“I think John Carlson has a lot of football (left) and is a very good football player for us and will be a good football player in the future,” Spielman reiterated.

Now, I have never been as down on Spielman’s decision to sign Carlson, as he has been a solid tight end in the past.  I’ve always liked Carlson’s abilities, personally, when observing from afar.

What doesn’t sit well with me is that the money spent on Carlson completely ignored his tendency to get injured, and he has already been injured twice as a Viking, and also ignored a clear need at wide receiver.

Sure, when the Vikings signed Carlson they thought they would have Greg Childs at their disposal, but they also didn’t know they would have Jerome Simpson (who is another questionable signing as it is).  Instead, the Vikings decided to get cheap when courting wide outs such as James Jones who has cured his drops, 42 catches, 485 yards, and eight touchdowns this season.

Spielman’s comment about not being able to get Carlson going as a receiver might indicate he thinks the problem lies more with Bill Musgrave’s offense than it does on Carlson himself.  If Musgrave ends up being on his way out of Minnesota after this season, however, then Carlson won’t be the only tight end learning a new scheme in 2013.

In 2010, Brett Favre and the Minnesota Vikings ranked 23nd in offensive yards gained and 29th in points scored.  They ranked 10th in rushing offense and 26th in passing offense.

When the Vikings transitioned from Brad Childress to Leslie Frazier in the head coaching spot, Bill Musgrave was hired to head the Vikings offense and their top draft picks were spent on quarterback Christian Ponder and tight end Kyle Rudolph.

This offseason General Manager Rick Spielman devoted a good portion of his resources towards improving the roster on the offensive side of the ball.  Four of their top six picks were spent on offensive players, including a star left tackle and two receivers.  Receiver Jerome Simpson, tight end John Carlson, and offensive lineman Geoff Schwartz were among the only notable free agency moves the team made.

So what has the improvement been?

The Vikings offense of 2012, approaching the toughest part of their schedule, is currently:

17th in points scored (improved from 2010)

22nd in yards gained (improved)

5th in rushing (improved)

30th in passing (regressed)

So, with much being made about Christian Ponder’s lack of production, people are starting to wonder if Bill Musgrave is on the verge of being dismissed.  In a season and a half, Musgrave has had three quarterbacks start in his offense (McNabb, Webb, and Ponder) and none of seen any overwhelming success to speak of.

If Ponder and company, possibly without Percy Harvin, dial up another stinker on Sunday against the Lions then the echoes of boos will be ringing well into the Vikings bye week.  This leads us to today’s question of the week.

So, here is a chance to cast one more vote today:

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