Some of us think that Rick Spielman has put together a roster that potentially has the ability to surprise NFL observers as soon as this coming season. Heck, if you look into the darkest corners and the deepest abyss, you might even find a Vikings fan that thinks the Vikings could soon be in contention for a Super Bowl.
From what I have seen out of the Vikings coaching staff this offseason, however, I think that they are having trouble believing in themselves and instead want to pull every trick out of the hat possible in an effort to simply do well enough to not get fired.
First, as Brett passed along in the post below this one, the team is allowing Adrian Peterson to rush himself back into action. Sure, they are parading Peterson out in front of the press allowing him to talk about his “vision” and make himself out to be some sort of Superman capable of making this comeback in short order.
If Peterson were actually Superman, his knee never would have been shredded in the first place.
Allowing him to push himself during the rehab process is one thing. Allowing him to run with the reckless abandon we all know and love during a meaningless preseason game, or even early in the regular season, is quite another. Make no mistake about it, this is shaping up to be the biggest gamble this team has taken since they swung a certain trade with a certain Texas franchise to obtain a certain high profile running back.
And it could backfire.
Another sign that the coaching staff is in self preservation mode is the handling of Everson Griffen. Griffen was shaping up to be an above-average defensive end that could push Brian Robison for playing time, and also made an impact as the NFL’s biggest special teams gunner. So, they switched him to linebacker for a spell in an effort to give him more snaps.
Now, I have no problem with experimenting and trying to play to the strengths of your roster, but this particular experiment went too far. They have already canned the idea of Griffen playing at linebacker, but not after he shed a significant amount of weight to try and win a job there. Making that type of change to your body in an effort to win a position you clearly weren’t meant to play is just ridiculous.
I am even more perplexed that they would move Griffen away from the end spot while at the same time make a big deal out of putting Jared Allen on a pitch count. Griffen, by all appearances, was at least the third best pass rusher on this roster last season and should be an obvious choice to spell Allen if that truly is the plan. Now, I am concerned that Griffen’s weight loss will at least temporarily hinder his ability to be productive at that spot, let alone as a part of the defensive tackle rotation.
The handling of these two very different situations follow a troubling pattern that cause me to flash back to my objections to the handling of Joe Webb, Donovan McNabb, and Chris Cook.
Troubling patterns are the worst kind, and the fact that I am starting to notice them is giving me an uneasy feeling.