Monday, March 26, 2007


Thursday, March 22, 2007

Get Carr Now!

The Houston Texans have acquired Matt Schaub from the Falcons for draft picks, meaning David Carr is available and that he's available for a lot less. This is the perfect opportunity for the Purple to turn a lackluster offseason into an intriguing one. It is a chance to trade for a quarterback that has the skills necessary to run Childress' offense while the Tarvaris Revolution gains the experience needed to make the jump from 1-AA to the NFL. And it's a chance to do so at a reduced cost. Trading for David Carr would be a great move by the Vikings, would signal to their fans that they are not only trying to rebuild the franchise (which is necessary) but also trying to win before their defensive stars get old. And it can most likely be done for a reasonable price in draft picks.

So basically, what I'm trying to say is that I have no confidence that the Vikings will pull off a trade for David Carr.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

It's March...

Which means I'm focused on one thing: March Madness and the Georgetown Hoyas. I might still be able to split my focus where the Vikings actually doing anything noteworthy, but resigning Drew Henson to "compete" for the backup QB spot and talking with a back up DT is not noteworthy. So I'm going to get back to freaking out about whether articles saying that the Hoyas are not going to lose their focus despite playing a 15 seed and being the trendy pick to win it all means that the Hoyas have lost their focus.


Tuesday, March 13, 2007

As a Tumbleweed Goes By... anyone actually thinking about the Vikings right now? I mean, the bracket just came out, Spring Training is in full swing, and the Purple are in something of a wait and see mode (please note the sarcasm dripping all over that last phrase). The only chance they have to sign a "big" name is if they can get Kevin Curtis to put his name on the dotted line, and who knows when he'll do that, what with four different teams courting him, new agents and the knowledge that he is the best reciever left on the market. Their other opportunity to make news isn't until the draft, which is a good month and a half away. And the fun thing is, no one is going to be that happy with the Vikings draft unless Calvin Johnson falls to them in the first round (not happening) or Dwayne Jarrett falls to them in the second (ditto). Bobby Wade might be a good addition, but only as a 2nd or 3rd reciever. Right now, he's the clear #1. [Fun quote from Football Outsider's NFL North Offseason Preview, "Hopefully, their big additions are not Bobby Wade and Justin Gage, who would form a nice threesome with McMullen on an all-replacement level team. "]

Vikings fans should not despair, however. As Cold, Hard Football Facts notes, "Pro Bowlers aren’t bought, they’re drafted. " They also compare and contrast the Vikings' 2006 offseason with the Colts'. Guess which team made a bigger splash in free agency (Here's a hint: it wasn't the team that won the Super Bowl.) And since it's clear that the Vikings aren't going to win any awards this offseason, one can only hope that Tarvaris Jackson duplicates Daunte Culpeppers 2000 season. Or, if they're like me, they can spend their time thinking about baseball and whether or not it's ok for them to pick against their alma mater in their bracket.

[On a somewhat related note, I've rejoined the MNGameday team for baseball season, and I'll be writing a weekly links column, as well as a regular column every other week or so. My first column, naturally is not about the Twins, but is instead about my love for the Georgetown Hoyas.]

Monday, March 12, 2007

Peter King: Tabloid Reporter

Tom Brady is some kind of machine:
"Craig Biggio has some Tom Brady in him."

I just wish King had explained the science behind Brady's impregnation of Biggio. If all guys were as superhuman as Brady, well, then we wouldn't need females, would we?

[I know...I know...Still, what do you want from me? It's not like the Vikings are doing anything right now.]

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Waiting for Godot

As we all wait for the Vikings to sign a free agent worth getting excited about (I like the Wade signing, but I pray he isn't the best player the Vikings' sign), a few things are happening around the web.

  • After the 'Skins signed Fred Smoot, ThatGuyBen of the Curly R (with whom I traded questions prior to the Vikings' opener) contacted me for my thoughts about Ol' Double Duty (scroll about halfway down the post). Apparently, I'm now an expert on the Vikings. Isn't this here internet grand?
  • Bobby Wade should be a good receiver for the Vikings. His return skills, however, seem to leave something to be desired. Considering that Mewelde Moore is pretty good at returning punts, there's no reason to put Wade back there. Kick returns might get a little more interesting though.
  • The commenters over at the Star Tribune's Vikings' blog weren't playing nice. I know this, not because I read the soul numbing comments, but because the Star Tribune felt it necessary to reprimand them.
  • Napoleon Harris is now a Kansas City Chief. The Vikings should never be allowed to participate in a trade involving a star player again.
  • I now have an RSS Feed! I think...

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

The Rebuilding of the Receiving Corp

The Vikings finally inked their first free agent that didn't come with a pronunciation guide last night, signing Bobby Wade, formerly of the Tennessee Titans, for five years and $15 million. Wade had something of a break out year last season, finishing second on the team with 33 receptions for 461 yards. While the totals don't seem all that impressive, they're deceptive.

First off, the Titans were starting a rookie Vince Young, at quarterback (Yes, he was Rookie of the Year, but he was still a rookie) . Jeff Fisher is an intelligent coach--he wasn't going to put the focus on his brand new franchise quarterback. The Titans ran the ball about half the time and had the fifth lowest passing attempts in the NFL. And Vince Young finished with the worst completion percentage in the NFL, at 51.5% (and I wonder how he's going to do now that his top two receivers have gone elsewhere?)

Secondly, as I mentioned yesterday, Wade added a lot of value to the Titans. He contributed 11.1 DPAR, which was 1.5 more than the Vikings leading receiver. The reason he was able to do so was because of what he did with his limited receptions. His 14.9% DVOA was the 19th best in the NFL. Both of these totals were better than Drew Bennett's, who had 6.6 DPAR and -4.5% DVOA. Wade even has a decent catch percentage, as he hauled in 57% of the passes thrown to him, which puts him somewhere in the middle of the pack for wide receivers. For example, he would have been behind Travis Taylor (65%) but ahead of Marcus Robinson (50%) on the Vikings last year. When using that stat, one must also remember that it does not attempt to decide where the fault for the incompletion lies, and Wade was playing with the most inaccurate quarterback in the NFL.

So while Wade's statistics may not be all that impressive by themselves, when taken in context, they show a receiver who will be an upgrade over any of the wide outs from last season. His addition is a good first step for the Vikings as they attempt to provide Tarvaris Jackson with someone to throw to.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Treading Water

It says something about how a team is doing in free agency when the only move that helped close the gap (even if only by a little) between them and their division leader was made by the division leader. While the Vikings were busy cutting "Double Duty" Smoot, Jermaine Wiggins, Brad Johnson and Mike Rosenthal, other teams were busy trying to sign their top free agent targets.

And then, when the Vikings were busy signing the guys they wanted the most (Sadly, I would not be too surprised if that were true about Visanthe Shiancoe and Vinny Ciurciu), the other teams were signing the players the Vikings needed the most. Ashley Lelie and Drew Bennett never made it to Minnesota, signing with the 49ers and Rams respectively. Kevin Curtis stopped by, but didn't feel wanted, what with all the coaches working on pronouncing vi-sahn-tee SHANK-oh and church-choo. And while all that was going on, the Vikings missed out on the top defensive end still available, as Patrick Kierney signed with Seattle.

The Vikings have missed out on every opportunity to really improve themselves so far. And now, they are forced to sift through the sleepers, hoping they get lucky by signing Bobby Wade. For once, they might actually do so. Wade wasn't the focal point of the Titans offense by any stretch, but he's still young (26) and provided some value for them. And by some, I mean much, much more than anything the Vikings got out of their recievers. He had the 19th best DVOA, with 14.9%, though that might be slightly inflated, as he only caught 33 passes, racking up an 11.1 DPAR. If he's able to maintain that kind of value as the focal point of the Vikings passing game, however, , he'd be an amazing addition, roughly equivalant to adding a Roy Williams. And apparently, he can return kicks too. He's probably the best available reciever left (except for perhaps Eric Moulds), which means he'll most likely sign somewhere else, and Vikings' fans will have to decide if Dante "In Rehab" Stallworth is a better signing than vi-sahn-tee SHANK-oh or Vinny church-choo. If that happens, the Vikings biggest worry will be pronouncing "Home Games Blacked Out".

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Only One Brad Remains

In a move that surprised no one and delighted many, the Vikings cut Brad Johnson last night, allowing him to chase his dream of once again being the backup quarterback that saves a team's season. After watching him this year, however, I just can't see him repeating his 2005 performance.

That being said, Brad has given the Vikings some good years during his two stints as the Vikings' starting quarterback. Until this year, when he posted a 72.0, his lowest QB rating as a starter was 84.5, mostly due to his accuracy, completing an average of 62% of his passes over his five years. Were it not for a season ending injury in 1998, he might have been a career Viking. What goes around, comes around, however, as without Daunte's injury, he would have not have gotten a second chance to run the Vikings.

His second stint ended as poorly as his first. While he avoided injury, Johnson's arm no longer had the zip necessary for an NFL quarterback, losing his job twice--once to Brooks Bollinger, and then, after regaining it due to Bollinger's injury, succumbing to the Tarvaris Revolution. He feuded with the coaching staff, agitated in the press for an extension and a raise and was not on speaking terms with his head coach. By the end of the season, all parties agreed it was time for him to move on.

With the end of his career in Purple, Johnson will most likely be remember for always being at the right place at the right time. Whether it was throwing the pass that Randy Moss tipped to himself in the 1998 opener against Tampa Bay, catching his own pass for a touchdown, or leading the offense to their only points at the end of the game against the Giants when the Vikings returned a punt, kickoff and interception for touchdowns, he usually capitalized on his opportunities. If he gets another shot at leading a team, don't be surprised to see them suceed, even if it isn't actually because of him.