2018 Vikings Position Recap: Cornerbacks

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Re: 2018 Vikings Position Recap: Cornerbacks

Post by Pondering Her Percy » Wed Jan 30, 2019 9:00 am

J. Kapp 11 wrote:
Tue Jan 29, 2019 10:55 pm
Pondering Her Percy wrote:
Tue Jan 29, 2019 10:45 am


He didnt direct that comment at you specifically. But if you actually watch Marcus Peters, he is not a good CB. Yeah sure, an INT helps, but giving up 2 TDs in the process actually hurts your team. Not help it. He's given up the most yards of any CB since 2015 (and that was before this year where he was even worse). He has 22 interceptions in his career but has given up 21 TDs (as of week 9 this year...couldnt find any stats on him from weeks 10-16). So chances are, he's given up more TDs since 2015 than he's gotten INTs. I believe it's around 24 TDs given up. That is downright pathetic. And it's more TDs than any CB has given up by a HUGE margin in that time span. No less he is a cancer. I wouldnt give up a 2031 7th round pick for the guy. He's a loud mouth cancer that hurts his team way more than he ever helps it.
He's also zero help in run support, which contributes to his team being dead last in the league in YPC allowed.
Exactly. And some fans thought or even still think we should have taken Peters. Since 2015, I'm pretty sure Waynes isnt even over like 7-10 TDs given up. Peters is at like 24. It's literally not even close. No less Waynes is an elite run defender. The two arent even comparable at this point. I take Waynes 10 out of 10 times without any doubt in my mind.
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Re: 2018 Vikings Position Recap: Cornerbacks

Post by CharVike » Wed Jan 30, 2019 11:24 am

VikingLord wrote:
Tue Jan 29, 2019 4:08 pm
CharVike wrote:
Mon Jan 28, 2019 11:34 am
A team needs CBs and many of them. People want to go the D Green route and play anybody, like WR R Tate, at CB. That won't work you need 4 good ones and a couple of them need to pick off passes. We lack that big time. Huge hole on our team still. But we do have a couple average + players in Rhodes and Waynes. And Hill and Hughes look to have potential. But we need some ball hawks badly. If ones available at 18 that needs to be the pick.
Maybe I'm old school on this, but I think great teams are built from their offensive and defensive line play, and as the Vikes stand today, the offensive line is not nearly good enough. The impact of that is doubled when the starting QB isn't very mobile and/or doesn't feel and escape pressure very well. Offensive line has to be the priority this offseason I think.

One other comment on the ballhawking CB - those guys are great to have, and I generally agree with you that if a CB that simply can't be passed up is there when #19 rolls around Spielman would probably have to take him, but the defensive philosophy of the head coach and defensive coordinator can neutralize those skills. I don't see Zimmer advocating a very aggressive philosophy when it comes to his defenses. He likes a strong, disciplined pass rush that forces the ball out early and inaccurately, and he likes his cover guys to play tight and take away obvious passing options to help force those errant throws. When INTs do happen for the Vikings, they are typically coming from an errant throw rather than a DB or LB jumping a route or showing anticipation. Not to say the defensive backs and LBs aren't studying their opponents or the gameplan is poor - Zimmer would rather just play percentages and fundamentals over trying for splash plays. The difference is like the guy in baseball who swings for on base percentage versus the guy who swings to clear the bases. The on base guy is probably going to have the better average, while the home run guy is going to show up on the highlight reels more often.
It's not old school. My confusion is with the grading of an offensive line. The Colts had a great OL according to the media graders like PFF. They looked horrible in the playoffs and were beaten into the ground. Maybe a bad game? The Texans had the worst and made the playoffs. We also need DL help badly. Griff is done and too much CAP and too much other stuff, Joseph can't do it anymore and Richardson was a one year rent. We need 3 just to replace the walk/cast offs. Yes having a dominate OL would be a good thing. But I'm not even sure what that is anymore or how it's graded or how it's built.
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Re: 2018 Vikings Position Recap: Cornerbacks

Post by Pondering Her Percy » Wed Jan 30, 2019 11:16 pm

CharVike wrote:
Wed Jan 30, 2019 11:24 am
VikingLord wrote:
Tue Jan 29, 2019 4:08 pm


Maybe I'm old school on this, but I think great teams are built from their offensive and defensive line play, and as the Vikes stand today, the offensive line is not nearly good enough. The impact of that is doubled when the starting QB isn't very mobile and/or doesn't feel and escape pressure very well. Offensive line has to be the priority this offseason I think.

One other comment on the ballhawking CB - those guys are great to have, and I generally agree with you that if a CB that simply can't be passed up is there when #19 rolls around Spielman would probably have to take him, but the defensive philosophy of the head coach and defensive coordinator can neutralize those skills. I don't see Zimmer advocating a very aggressive philosophy when it comes to his defenses. He likes a strong, disciplined pass rush that forces the ball out early and inaccurately, and he likes his cover guys to play tight and take away obvious passing options to help force those errant throws. When INTs do happen for the Vikings, they are typically coming from an errant throw rather than a DB or LB jumping a route or showing anticipation. Not to say the defensive backs and LBs aren't studying their opponents or the gameplan is poor - Zimmer would rather just play percentages and fundamentals over trying for splash plays. The difference is like the guy in baseball who swings for on base percentage versus the guy who swings to clear the bases. The on base guy is probably going to have the better average, while the home run guy is going to show up on the highlight reels more often.
It's not old school. My confusion is with the grading of an offensive line. The Colts had a great OL according to the media graders like PFF. They looked horrible in the playoffs and were beaten into the ground. Maybe a bad game? The Texans had the worst and made the playoffs. We also need DL help badly. Griff is done and too much CAP and too much other stuff, Joseph can't do it anymore and Richardson was a one year rent. We need 3 just to replace the walk/cast offs. Yes having a dominate OL would be a good thing. But I'm not even sure what that is anymore or how it's graded or how it's built.
I guess I don’t understand where you’re coming from with some of your stances. You’re questioning our CBs and DL. It’s literally the two strongest spots on this team. I don’t think we need a “dominant” OL but we need an average to above average one. I don’t think Griff is done. I also don’t think Joseph can’t do it anymore. As for Richardson, I don’t necessarily think he’s a one year rent either. Idk, just some odd takes I guess
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Re: 2018 Vikings Position Recap: Cornerbacks

Post by CharVike » Fri Feb 01, 2019 9:06 am

Pondering Her Percy wrote:
Wed Jan 30, 2019 11:16 pm
CharVike wrote:
Wed Jan 30, 2019 11:24 am


It's not old school. My confusion is with the grading of an offensive line. The Colts had a great OL according to the media graders like PFF. They looked horrible in the playoffs and were beaten into the ground. Maybe a bad game? The Texans had the worst and made the playoffs. We also need DL help badly. Griff is done and too much CAP and too much other stuff, Joseph can't do it anymore and Richardson was a one year rent. We need 3 just to replace the walk/cast offs. Yes having a dominate OL would be a good thing. But I'm not even sure what that is anymore or how it's graded or how it's built.
I guess I don’t understand where you’re coming from with some of your stances. You’re questioning our CBs and DL. It’s literally the two strongest spots on this team. I don’t think we need a “dominant” OL but we need an average to above average one. I don’t think Griff is done. I also don’t think Joseph can’t do it anymore. As for Richardson, I don’t necessarily think he’s a one year rent either. Idk, just some odd takes I guess
Yes our D line and CBs are strong I agree with that. We had many sacks but racked up many in a few games. I think 10 in one game. That's good no question about that. However I don't think it's enough when we face strong offensive teams. We need to stop them a little more than what we have done if we want a super bowl. Rodgers always gives us problems. Even in the tie we couldn't hold them to 14 or 17 points. Pick him off 3 or 4 times and we win. And I also agree a team needs at least an average offensive line. Perhaps the pieces are there and injuries played a part. Our center was a joke and probably the worst in the NFL. Not sure how they thought he was a starter. The guy was pushed all over the field. To me that's the first thing to fix on the OL but I'm not sure if a rookie can come in and play average. It's possible I guess. And I don't see how a guard can help a center if the guy can't even take the initial blow on. Perhaps my stances are a little odd and I'm not getting it and don't understand it.
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Re: 2018 Vikings Position Recap: Cornerbacks

Post by Pondering Her Percy » Fri Feb 01, 2019 11:11 am

CharVike wrote:
Fri Feb 01, 2019 9:06 am
Pondering Her Percy wrote:
Wed Jan 30, 2019 11:16 pm


I guess I don’t understand where you’re coming from with some of your stances. You’re questioning our CBs and DL. It’s literally the two strongest spots on this team. I don’t think we need a “dominant” OL but we need an average to above average one. I don’t think Griff is done. I also don’t think Joseph can’t do it anymore. As for Richardson, I don’t necessarily think he’s a one year rent either. Idk, just some odd takes I guess
Yes our D line and CBs are strong I agree with that. We had many sacks but racked up many in a few games. I think 10 in one game. That's good no question about that. However I don't think it's enough when we face strong offensive teams. We need to stop them a little more than what we have done if we want a super bowl. Rodgers always gives us problems. Even in the tie we couldn't hold them to 14 or 17 points. Pick him off 3 or 4 times and we win. And I also agree a team needs at least an average offensive line. Perhaps the pieces are there and injuries played a part. Our center was a joke and probably the worst in the NFL. Not sure how they thought he was a starter. The guy was pushed all over the field. To me that's the first thing to fix on the OL but I'm not sure if a rookie can come in and play average. It's possible I guess. And I don't see how a guard can help a center if the guy can't even take the initial blow on. Perhaps my stances are a little odd and I'm not getting it and don't understand it.
Dude, when was the last time Aaron Rodgers threw 3 or 4 picks in ANY game? He's thrown double digit picks twice in 11 years as a starter. Once his first year starting he threw 13 and once his 3rd year starting he threw 11. But you somehow think we're going to pick him off 3-4 times in one game? He threw 2 whole INTs this year. Two. To be honest, who cares about Aaron Rodgers? He's been to and won 1 SB in 11 years. But he's labeled "the best QB in the game"? No less they havent won the division in what? 3-4 years? I think if anything, we give Aaron Rodgers problems.

As for Elflein, he didnt play well this year. But prior to that, he was actually a pretty good starting center and helped our OL a lot last year. The last thing we need to replace is center. Outside of him and O'Neill, everyone else needs to be replaced.
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Re: 2018 Vikings Position Recap: Cornerbacks

Post by CharVike » Fri Feb 01, 2019 12:47 pm

Pondering Her Percy wrote:
Fri Feb 01, 2019 11:11 am
CharVike wrote:
Fri Feb 01, 2019 9:06 am


Yes our D line and CBs are strong I agree with that. We had many sacks but racked up many in a few games. I think 10 in one game. That's good no question about that. However I don't think it's enough when we face strong offensive teams. We need to stop them a little more than what we have done if we want a super bowl. Rodgers always gives us problems. Even in the tie we couldn't hold them to 14 or 17 points. Pick him off 3 or 4 times and we win. And I also agree a team needs at least an average offensive line. Perhaps the pieces are there and injuries played a part. Our center was a joke and probably the worst in the NFL. Not sure how they thought he was a starter. The guy was pushed all over the field. To me that's the first thing to fix on the OL but I'm not sure if a rookie can come in and play average. It's possible I guess. And I don't see how a guard can help a center if the guy can't even take the initial blow on. Perhaps my stances are a little odd and I'm not getting it and don't understand it.
Dude, when was the last time Aaron Rodgers threw 3 or 4 picks in ANY game? He's thrown double digit picks twice in 11 years as a starter. Once his first year starting he threw 13 and once his 3rd year starting he threw 11. But you somehow think we're going to pick him off 3-4 times in one game? He threw 2 whole INTs this year. Two. To be honest, who cares about Aaron Rodgers? He's been to and won 1 SB in 11 years. But he's labeled "the best QB in the game"? No less they havent won the division in what? 3-4 years? I think if anything, we give Aaron Rodgers problems.

As for Elflein, he didnt play well this year. But prior to that, he was actually a pretty good starting center and helped our OL a lot last year. The last thing we need to replace is center. Outside of him and O'Neill, everyone else needs to be replaced.
That's what I'm getting at. Go beyond. That's how you get to the show. But remove the picks and he still puts up points. He did it week 2. We can't allow that. As I stated hold him to 14 or 17 points. Is that impossible? Especially with a good secondary. I picked a bad example because he is a one man show. Don't know when Elf was considered pretty good. Ask a fan about centers his name won't come up. And he regressed badly after that rookie year. Maybe he will rebound but who knows. O'neil was only a rookie and should have sat and learned. But he certainly wasn't a good player. He might be. But who knows. He's still a few years away IMO. But he does appear to have a bright future. That's the thing with most rookies. They will struggle. Will H for the Giants looked like a total flop early but made some improvement from a flop. But to what? Just a body now. What I'm getting at is plugging in 2 rookie guards might not be the upgrade some think. Unless you get a Randal Mac and they don't come along very often. But anyway something needs to change. I'm not an expert and I understand that. Perhaps my critism against some players or group of players is wrong.
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Re: 2018 Vikings Position Recap: Cornerbacks

Post by Pondering Her Percy » Fri Feb 01, 2019 2:36 pm

CharVike wrote:
Fri Feb 01, 2019 12:47 pm

That's what I'm getting at. Go beyond. That's how you get to the show. But remove the picks and he still puts up points. He did it week 2. We can't allow that. As I stated hold him to 14 or 17 points. Is that impossible? Especially with a good secondary. I picked a bad example because he is a one man show.
Do you really want to know how many 3+ INT games Aaron Rodgers has had since 2010? One. And it was last year when he came back for one game at the end of the year from the broken collarbone (clearly not 100%). He threw 3 INTs that game. ONE time in 8 years and 126 games! We could put the 3 best CBs and 2 best safeties in the NFL on our defense and we arent picking him off 3 or 4 times. That's not how you get to the show. You dont need to pick Aaron Rodgers off 3 or 4 times to get to the promised land. At this point, this division has came down to the Bears and us. So I could care less about Aaron Rodgers or how many times we pick him off.

And for the record, the last 5 times we've played Aaron Rodgers (actually played him, not even counting last year when we played against Hundley), we have held him to 17 points or less 3 out of 5 times. So I also have no clue where you are going with that argument.
Don't know when Elf was considered pretty good. Ask a fan about centers his name won't come up. And he regressed badly after that rookie year. Maybe he will rebound but who knows.
lol how many fans talk about centers? Not just ours but any in general? Yeah he regressed this year however he was also coming off a major injury. As a rookie, he was an excellent pass blocking center. He didnt allow a sack in 7 of his first 8 games. He wasnt great as a run blocker but for a 3rd round rookie, the way he was pass blocking, I'm sure not going to complain. And I sure wouldnt be on here saying he is the first guy we have to replace when he's going into his 3rd year and was coming off a major injury. That's not even realistic if you ask me.
O'neil was only a rookie and should have sat and learned. But he certainly wasn't a good player. He might be. But who knows. He's still a few years away IMO. But he does appear to have a bright future.
Dude what? He wasnt a good player? He didnt allow a single sack all year and played 531 pass blocking snaps. There has been 3 tackles to ever do that in their rookie season: Ryan Clady, Joe Thomas and ONeill. Brian O'Neill was excellent this year and a very promising offensive tackle. Saying he should've sat just makes zero sense to me.
That's the thing with most rookies. They will struggle. Will H for the Giants looked like a total flop early but made some improvement from a flop. But to what? Just a body now. What I'm getting at is plugging in 2 rookie guards might not be the upgrade some think. Unless you get a Randal Mac and they don't come along very often. But anyway something needs to change. I'm not an expert and I understand that. Perhaps my critism against some players or group of players is wrong.
I'm not saying draft 2 rookie guards. Go look at my mock offseason I just wrote up. I said a FA OG and a high pick OG. We dont need Randall McDaniel to make this line good. You're getting after Elflein but he also had the two worst guards you could ask for on each side of him. Last year he had Berger and Easton. Much better than what he had this year. Offensive line isnt about one or two players, it's about the whole unit and surrounding your good young players with good veterans. For example, you have a solid RT in O'Neill and a good center like Elflein so put a good veteran right there in between them. That right there takes care of center and our entire right side. To go out and replace our young center but shying away from guards or left tackle, make very little sense for this team.
Last edited by Pondering Her Percy on Sat Feb 02, 2019 11:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 2018 Vikings Position Recap: Cornerbacks

Post by StumpHunter » Fri Feb 01, 2019 4:06 pm

Pondering Her Percy wrote:
Fri Feb 01, 2019 2:36 pm
CharVike wrote:
Fri Feb 01, 2019 12:47 pm

That's what I'm getting at. Go beyond. That's how you get to the show. But remove the picks and he still puts up points. He did it week 2. We can't allow that. As I stated hold him to 14 or 17 points. Is that impossible? Especially with a good secondary. I picked a bad example because he is a one man show.
Do you really want to know how many 3+ INT games Aaron Rodgers has had since 2010? One. And it was last year when he came back for one game at the end of the year from the broken collarbone (clearly not 100%). He threw 3 INTs that game. ONE time in 8 years and 126 games! We could put the 3 best CBs and 2 best safeties in the NFL on our defense and we arent picking him off 3 or 4 times. That's not how you get to the show. You dont need to pick Aaron Rodgers off 3 or 4 times to get to the promised land. At this point, this division has came down to the Bears and us. So I could care less about Aaron Rodgers or how many times we pick him off.

And for the record, the last 5 times we've played Aaron Rodgers (actually played him, not even counting last year when we played against Hundley), we have held him to 17 points or less 3 out of 5 times. So I also have no clue where you are going with that argument.
Don't know when Elf was considered pretty good. Ask a fan about centers his name won't come up. And he regressed badly after that rookie year. Maybe he will rebound but who knows.
lol how many fans talk about centers? Not just ours but any in general? Yeah he regressed this year however he was also coming off a major injury. As a rookie, he was an excellent pass blocking center. He didnt allow a sack in 7 of his first 8 games. He wasnt great as a run blocker but for a 3rd round rookie, the way he was pass blocking, I'm sure not going to complain. And I sure wouldnt be on here saying he is the first guy we have to replace when he's going into his 3rd year and was coming off a major injury. That's not even realistic if you ask me.
O'neil was only a rookie and should have sat and learned. But he certainly wasn't a good player. He might be. But who knows. He's still a few years away IMO. But he does appear to have a bright future.
Dude what? He wasnt a good player? He didnt allow a single sack all year and played 531 pass blocking snaps. There has been 3 tackles to ever do that in their rookie season: Ryan Clady and Joe Thomas. Brian O'Neill was excellent this year and a very promising offensive tackle. Saying he should've sat just makes zero sense to me.
That's the thing with most rookies. They will struggle. Will H for the Giants looked like a total flop early but made some improvement from a flop. But to what? Just a body now. What I'm getting at is plugging in 2 rookie guards might not be the upgrade some think. Unless you get a Randal Mac and they don't come along very often. But anyway something needs to change. I'm not an expert and I understand that. Perhaps my critism against some players or group of players is wrong.
I'm not saying draft 2 rookie guards. Go look at my mock offseason I just wrote up. I said a FA OG and a high pick OG. We dont need Randall McDaniel to make this line good. You're getting after Elflein but he also had the two worst guards you could ask for on each side of him. Last year he had Berger and Easton. Much better than what he had this year. Offensive line isnt about one or two players, it's about the whole unit and surrounding your good young players with good veterans. For example, you have a solid RT in O'Neill and a good center like Elflein so put a good veteran right there in between them. That right there takes care of center and our entire right side. To go out and replace our young center but shying away from guards or left tackle, make very little sense for this team.
What if we had just kept Sully? I honestly think this team is in the playoffs this year with him at center.
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Re: 2018 Vikings Position Recap: Cornerbacks

Post by Pondering Her Percy » Sat Feb 02, 2019 11:49 am

StumpHunter wrote:
Fri Feb 01, 2019 4:06 pm
Pondering Her Percy wrote:
Fri Feb 01, 2019 2:36 pm


Do you really want to know how many 3+ INT games Aaron Rodgers has had since 2010? One. And it was last year when he came back for one game at the end of the year from the broken collarbone (clearly not 100%). He threw 3 INTs that game. ONE time in 8 years and 126 games! We could put the 3 best CBs and 2 best safeties in the NFL on our defense and we arent picking him off 3 or 4 times. That's not how you get to the show. You dont need to pick Aaron Rodgers off 3 or 4 times to get to the promised land. At this point, this division has came down to the Bears and us. So I could care less about Aaron Rodgers or how many times we pick him off.

And for the record, the last 5 times we've played Aaron Rodgers (actually played him, not even counting last year when we played against Hundley), we have held him to 17 points or less 3 out of 5 times. So I also have no clue where you are going with that argument.



lol how many fans talk about centers? Not just ours but any in general? Yeah he regressed this year however he was also coming off a major injury. As a rookie, he was an excellent pass blocking center. He didnt allow a sack in 7 of his first 8 games. He wasnt great as a run blocker but for a 3rd round rookie, the way he was pass blocking, I'm sure not going to complain. And I sure wouldnt be on here saying he is the first guy we have to replace when he's going into his 3rd year and was coming off a major injury. That's not even realistic if you ask me.



Dude what? He wasnt a good player? He didnt allow a single sack all year and played 531 pass blocking snaps. There has been 3 tackles to ever do that in their rookie season: Ryan Clady and Joe Thomas. Brian O'Neill was excellent this year and a very promising offensive tackle. Saying he should've sat just makes zero sense to me.



I'm not saying draft 2 rookie guards. Go look at my mock offseason I just wrote up. I said a FA OG and a high pick OG. We dont need Randall McDaniel to make this line good. You're getting after Elflein but he also had the two worst guards you could ask for on each side of him. Last year he had Berger and Easton. Much better than what he had this year. Offensive line isnt about one or two players, it's about the whole unit and surrounding your good young players with good veterans. For example, you have a solid RT in O'Neill and a good center like Elflein so put a good veteran right there in between them. That right there takes care of center and our entire right side. To go out and replace our young center but shying away from guards or left tackle, make very little sense for this team.
What if we had just kept Sully? I honestly think this team is in the playoffs this year with him at center.
You think we’re in the playoffs if we had a different center? I’m not sure why center is all of the sudden the big issue on this OL. But I can bet money that Sully at center makes very little difference for this team. Not saying PFF is the end all be all but he was the #29 center according to pff. Elflein was #38. There wasn’t a huge difference. And definitely not enough for a playoff spot. No less Elflein is only in his 2nd year. And had a promising rookie year.
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Re: 2018 Vikings Position Recap: Cornerbacks

Post by StumpHunter » Tue Feb 05, 2019 8:37 am

Pondering Her Percy wrote:
Sat Feb 02, 2019 11:49 am
StumpHunter wrote:
Fri Feb 01, 2019 4:06 pm


What if we had just kept Sully? I honestly think this team is in the playoffs this year with him at center.
You think we’re in the playoffs if we had a different center? I’m not sure why center is all of the sudden the big issue on this OL. But I can bet money that Sully at center makes very little difference for this team. Not saying PFF is the end all be all but he was the #29 center according to pff. Elflein was #38. There wasn’t a huge difference. And definitely not enough for a playoff spot. No less Elflein is only in his 2nd year. And had a promising rookie year.
I think Sully makes a huge difference in the run game and despite what PFF says, his ability to call protections more than makes up for whatever they graded him low on. Those two things get us at least one more win, or even break the tie in GB, making us a playoff team. Not a good playoff team, but a playoff team.
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Re: 2018 Vikings Position Recap: Cornerbacks

Post by Pondering Her Percy » Tue Feb 05, 2019 8:42 am

StumpHunter wrote:
Tue Feb 05, 2019 8:37 am
Pondering Her Percy wrote:
Sat Feb 02, 2019 11:49 am


You think we’re in the playoffs if we had a different center? I’m not sure why center is all of the sudden the big issue on this OL. But I can bet money that Sully at center makes very little difference for this team. Not saying PFF is the end all be all but he was the #29 center according to pff. Elflein was #38. There wasn’t a huge difference. And definitely not enough for a playoff spot. No less Elflein is only in his 2nd year. And had a promising rookie year.
I think Sully makes a huge difference in the run game and despite what PFF says, his ability to call protections more than makes up for whatever they graded him low on. Those two things get us at least one more win, or even break the tie in GB, making us a playoff team. Not a good playoff team, but a playoff team.
I gotta agree to disagree there. Yes Sully is good in that aspect, however, I dont see us getting another win because of it. And as for him helping in the run game, we need an OC that's willing to run the ball regardless of who we have up front and we didnt have that. Look at the SB, outside of a few good runs by Michel, the Pats were getting stuffed in the run quite often, but still committed to it all game. We hardly ever did that. So in turn, I still dont see us being that much better in the run with Sully or not.
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Re: 2018 Vikings Position Recap: Cornerbacks

Post by VikingLord » Tue Feb 05, 2019 12:02 pm

The offensive line was just off all year. When your best and most consistent player in a position group is a 2nd round rookie who most projected as a multi-year project coming out, you know you have big problems.

The real question isn't about focusing on how to stop Rodgers or any particular QB. The defense has question marks for sure and will need to find answers for those, but the more I look at the offensive line, *especially* in the context of the QB the Vikings are now hooked to for the next 2 seasons, it is just clear as day that Spielman and Zimmer have to get that position group fixed heading into next season. O'Neill is the only guy on that line I trust, and I say that knowing he over-performed expectations last year and he might come back down to earth a bit this season. He also might improve, but he's a 2nd year player and its fairly common for 2nd year starters to regress a bit as they put more on tape and have to evolve. The rest of the OL? I don't trust any of the guys on the roster. Maybe some just had a bad or inconsistent season. Elflein might have struggled a bit after his injury and could come back strong this year. But I don't trust any of the other guys. Maybe it's coaching. Maybe the death of Sparano affected them more than we realize. Maybe it's a combination of things, some of which just aren't obvious to the average fan.

What should be obvious to the average fan is the Vikings braintrust needs to address the OL and they've got a single offseason to do it. If it isn't fixed this offseason and the result is another subpar season (and by subpar I mean not just missing the playoffs entirely, but an early exit as well), both Spielman and Zimmer would have to be at serious risk of being let go. The owners have invested pretty much everything they've been asked to invest in the team. They have a beautiful new stadium, some of the best training facilities in the league now, and a still-rabid and hungry fan base that wants a Superbowl as bad as any fan base could want one at this point. They've got talent up and down the team on both sides of the ball. It's time to put up or shut up for the braintrust of this team, or in my view the Wilfs are more than justified in going in a new direction.

One area of focus when considering OL players, be they draft choices, FAs, or trade prospects, should be suitability as run blockers. That may seem counter intuitive when Cousins needs time to throw, but I think the Patriots demonstrated the value of a respectable and consistent running game this season, especially later in the season and in the playoffs. That team has about the most immobile QB in the league now in Brady, but because they could credibly and consistently run, teams had a hard time teeing off on him as the Pats found themselves in manageable 2nd and 3rd down-distance situations. So that is why for potential OL draft picks I like a guy like Cody Ford who is going to be an effective run blocker at guard out of the gate. He can pass block too, but he's going to be able to move interior defenders and that is, in my opinion, what the Vikes need more than anything right now. Cook was pretty effective without a lot of big holes to run through - imagine what he could do with better blocking in front of him. And if you have that explosive running threat on every down, as a defense you can't afford to just pin your ears back and go after the QB. You have to respect the run threat and that can help protect the QB as much or more than great pass blockers.
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