Tuesday, May 31, 2016

jeff davidson

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Didn’t Tony Sparano hear that Dan Campbell was the new Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings offensive line coach?……

As we dive into the offseason for the Purple, Arif Hasan (@ArifHasanNFL) joins us for his last weekly spot of the season. We chat about what the hell happened with The Shank at the Bank, what the Vikings’ priorities should be in free agency and the draft, and why this young team could/should/will contend for the Lombardi in 2016.

All that and other “RETURN OF THE JIMMY GAROPPOLO DROP” nonsense on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast.

Read all of Arif’s stuff at The Daily Norseman and Vikings Journal as well as listen to his podcast Norse Code.

An Andy Carlson Joint

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The season ended abruptly for the Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings in (sadly) typical Minnesota Fightin’ Viking fashion as Blair Walsh shanked the game-winning field goal out of bounds on the 18th tee. However, a few days removed we can appreciate the 2015 season for what it was: a solid step forward for a young and hungry team under a coach we completely trust. That’s a lot more than most fanbases have to hang their hats on as our offseason begins. Di Murphy (@DiMurphyMN) of The Daily Norseman joins the show to put a bow on the Purple’s 2015 campaign.

We talk about why it wasn’t ALL on Blair Walsh, Adrian Peterson’s fumbling history rears its ugly head once again, what Teddy Bridgewater needs to do to become a bigger redzone threat, how the Vikings beat Seattle in every aspect of the game Sunday, and what our priorities are in free agency and the draft.

All that and other “Bye, Jeff Davidson” nonsense on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast.

An Andy Carlson Joint

Vikings Jeff Davidson Offensive Line
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

In his final press conference of the 2015 season, Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer thanked the University of Minnesota, revealed his players’ offseason surgeries, and announced the release of one of the team’s coaches.

According to Zimmer, the team has parted ways with offensive line coach Jeff Davidson. When asked why he chose not to retain Davidson’s contract, Zimmer told reporters, “I didn’t want to.”

Davidson spent five years with the Vikings. He was a holdover from Leslie Frazier’s coaching staff and led a unit that struggled over the past two seasons. In 2014, the line allowed 51 sacks. In 2015, the banged-up group allowed 45 more sacks. Second-year quarterback Teddy Bridgewater was the victim of 44 of those — far too many in Norv Turner’s Air Coryell offense.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

For all their success on the defensive side of the ball, the Minnesota Vikings have been a lackluster bunch on offense in 2015. With a number of weapons at wide receiver, tight end, and running back, this is a group that, on paper, should put up a healthy score each week. Teddy Bridgewater proved at the end of last season that he’s capable of carrying Norv Turner’s offense, and Adrian Peterson’s resurgence this year has helped the Vikings to eight wins.

And yet, the balance between the running game and the passing attack just isn’t there. You could point the blame at the offensive line, which ranks 28th in pass protection, per Football Outsiders. Or, you could say that the wide receivers aren’t getting open down the field and Bridgewater’s holding the ball too long in the pocket. Maybe, just maybe, the Vikings can’t pass the ball because they’ve relied too heavily on Peterson’s legs.

Either way, the problems go deeper than the players on the field; they start with Norv Turner. Long regarded as one of the game’s top offensive minds, he’s struggled to kick Minnesota’s offense into high gear, especially this season. The Vikings rank 28th in the NFL with 19.8 points per game and almost dead-last in every major passing statistic. Fans have grumbled, and now, I’m asking the VT staff one simple question:

Should the Vikings consider a switch at offensive coordinator after the season, and if so, who would you choose?

I can’t help but wonder if one of the 13 categories that GM Rick Spielman talked about in regards to  finding the next head coach for the Minnesota Vikings could be, Super Bowl Experience. Well, Ray Horton just happens to have three Super Bowl rings setting on his office desk. Horton hasn’t had the opportunity to win one as a head coach yet, but his time may be just around the corner.

Currently the defensive coordinator for the Cleveland Browns, Horton’s job status is somewhat uncertain because the Browns are also looking to fill a vacant head coaching position as well.

Horton is ready to be a head coach in the NFL, but at the very least, Horton should be a front runner to fill one of the many vacant defensive coordinator positions available right now. Spielman’s willingness to interview Horton is a strong indication that the Vikings are ready to move away from the 4-3 cover two scheme.

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