Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Robert Griffin III

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The 2015 Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings preseason is in the books and now we are only 10 long days away from actually FOOTBALL football when the boys in Purple head out to Santa Clara to take on the San Francisco Shells of Their Former Selves next Monday night.

Arif Hasan (@ArifHasanNFL) stops in for his weekly spot to touch on the upcoming season, who’s in/out for the final 53 man roster, and we make fun of RG3.

Other “We’re Lucky We Got Kalil Instead of RG3” Talkers Include
• Andy The Yellow
• New Rating System – The #AndySnorkel Rating
• Minnesota State Fair Food PFF Ratings
• The Washington Dumpster Fire
• What has Arif done for a scoop?
• Will RG3 get cut?
• Brady Free. What does this mean for Goodell?
• Movement on the 53 Man Roster projections? (Spoiler: Nah)
• Tyrus Thompson vs David Yankey at backup LT
• Dominique Williams vs Matt Asiata
• Fullback or Taylor Heinicke on the 53???
• Will Matt Kalil & Mike Harris’ decent preseason play translate?
• Arif: Bad signs in Clemmings play
• Robert Blanton is Denny’s… I explain why
• Heinicke love & analysis
• What to expect from Adrian Peterson
ESPN Top 100 Rankings. ONLY ONE VIKING? Who got snubbed?
• Adrian is #11. Too high?
• 2015 Season W/L Predictions Week-By-Week
• Weekly Hypothetical – NFL Players as Presidential Candidates – Who Be Who?
• Donald Trump is Cordarrelle/RG3
• Visit our new sponsor Victiv for Daily Fantasy Sports!
Support us on Amazon!

All that and other “See You In Santa Clara!” nonsense on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint.

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Adam tells me I’m dramatic. I’m sure he’s got a point… I like to think I’m just passionate. Needless to say,  I was in a foul mood today through the Vikings game. I had a feeling this was going to be a difficult team for the Vikings to beat. The primary indicator that we were in for a rough game was this stat: “The Redskins have lost 8 straight games at home.” If you’re a seasoned Vikings fan, you know what that means… Time for the Vikings to be the team allows the Redskins to break that streak. Isn’t that how it always goes? Doesn’t every team that sets some sort of record or breaks some sort of negative streak do so with the aid of Minnesota? You ever notice those old vintage videos on NFL network of some football great having their career game against…? The Vikings. Anyone else notice this? Surely I can’t be the only one…

I predicted the Vikings would win by a field goal this afternoon. But really, that was just because I’m too much of a Vikings homer to predict my team will lose.

Anyway, the Vikings fall to 4-2 today after losing pretty handily to the Washington Redskins. I’m going to dive into some of the details and annoyances of the game… But here’s a warning: don’t expect too much positivity here today. Maybe that will come later in the week… I’ll be able to be more objective – more rational. Right now, though? Now is the time for irrational, angry venting. So join me please as I further ruin your evening.

This venting session brought to you courtesy of Angry Brett.

The 4-1 Minnesota Vikings have faced quarterbacks Blaine Gabbert, Andrew Luck, Alex Smith, Matt Stafford, and Matt Hasselbeck so far this season.  Through five weeks these guys have rushed 59 times for 302 yards and two touchdowns.

Robert Griffin III alone, however, has rushed 42 times for 241 yards and four touchdowns (and a concussion).

That concussion could keep RGIII off the field this Sunday, giving the Vikings their second backup quarterback in a row, but all of the reports on Monday suggest that Leslie Frazier’s Vikings will, at the very least, need to spend this week preparing to face their first uber-athletic quarterback of the season.

RGIII has taken the league by storm, right up until he got blown up this week, and is making a strong bid to be 2012’s rookie of the year.  The Vikings have struggled against scrambling throwers in the recent past, but this defense has a very different feel to it.

Let’s take a look at how the Vikings defense might approach the new challenge that RGIII presents:

Spy Games

One of the most tried-and-true approaches to stopping a flight risk quarterback is to assign a “spy” to that player.  A defender with the discipline, intelligence, and instincts to prevent a guy like RGIII from ripping off big chunks of yardage on the ground.

Antoine Winfield, Chad Greenway, and Harrison Smith all come to mind as guys that might fit that bill and they could be key in keeping Griffin under wraps.  Ideally, the Vikings would be able to rotate “spy” duties throughout the defense to keep the Redskins guessing, and to perhaps sneak a few plays in there where no spy is actually assigned.

Mix It Up

Griffin has received plenty of praise for his ability to make good reads and stay cool under pressure.  He is still a rookie, however, and the Vikings could be well served by showing a lot of different packages and blitzes.  The team has recently made a new commitment to “keeping it simple,” but rookie quarterbacks are prone to make mistakes and confusing him could only play to our advantage.

I would be very pleased to see Winfield, Josh Robinson, or even Marcus Sherels blitz fromt eh corner from time to time, aiming for Griffin’s blind side.

Match That Athleticism

Veteran smarts and savvy cannot be undervalued on this young defense, but sometimes athleticism like Griffin’s needs to be matched with athleticism.  In this case, matching Griffin with Griffen could be very interesting.

I would, at least slightly, increase Everson Griffen’s snap count this week.  Griffen is almost certainly the most athletic player on this defense and he needs to be included in the effort to stop RGIII.  For his size, Griffen is incredibly fast and has long limbs, both of which would help him pursue Griffin on the run.

Simple Basics

Kevin Williams opened last week’s game by letting a tackle for a loss and then a sack slip right through his fingers.  Those types of missed tackles might be a side note in the aftermath of a game against Matt Hasselbeck and the Titans, but Griffin and the Redskins are more dangerous on offense and those miscues can easily turn into important game changers in the blink of an eye.

Williams and the rest of the defense have to make sure to take advantage of the opportunities they do get.  This is a tougher task than the Titans were, and missed tackles and dropped interceptions are not something we want to be the main focus after this weekend.

News broke late on Friday night, via Jay Glazer, that the St. Louis Rams have traded the second overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft to the Washington Redskins.

According to Glazer, the bounty (ha!) is quite plentiful.  The Rams will receive the sixth overall pick in this Draft, two future first round picks, and other multiple draft choices.  It is assumed, and for good reason, that Washington plans to use the second pick on Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III.

 It will be tough for some Vikings fans to think about how close this franchise could have been to netting such a profit had they not beat, coincidentally, the Redskins on Christmas Eve with Joe Webb and Toby Gerhart playing the roles of unlikely heroes, but not all is lost.

The deal cannot be finalized until the league year begins on Tuesday, but as I stated previously, the Vikings now find themselves in a pretty good situation.

They can now take the player they find to be the best non-quarterback addition to the roster whether it be Matt Kalil, Morris Claiborne, or Justin Blackmon.  They can also begin to entertain offers for teams, like perhaps the Bengals, that may be looking to move up and snag a player they covet.

The Vikings may not have the same leverage that St. Louis had, but they suddenly have a lot more of it than they did on Friday morning.

I hope Rick Spielman’s cell phone came with unlimited minutes.

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Day one of our “Community Mock” is in the books and the Indianapolis Colts predictably came away drafting Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck.  Luck received over 89% of the votes.  Remember, the progress of our mock can be viewed by clicking here, which includes analysis from you, the readers.

Today, it is the Rams that are on the clock, which presents a number of options both in terms of players and trades.  Take a look at the options, make a pick or choose your own path by selecting “other” and specifying what you think in the comments. 

Remember, if you leave a comment with your vote, you might just get picked to provide the “analysis” for the pick in our mock.

Here we go:

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