You know it’s May if you’re unhappy with a column by Peter King because it doesn’t definitively tell you if Tarvaris Jackson is the answer at quarterback. King’s a big name, has great access, rambles about stuff he shouldn’t talk about or doesn’t understand and is a massive suck up, but no matter what you think about him, it’s unreasonable to be angry about the fact that he can’t satisfy your questions about Tarvaris at quarterback next season.
Marcus Johnson. That’s it. He’s the only one left from the Vikings’ 2005 draft now that the Purple have traded Erasmus James for a conditional seventh rounder. Ugh. Honestly, that offseason has to rank up there as one of the worst offseasons of all time. Not only did the Vikings’ manage to turn two first round picks, one in the top ten and one in the top twenty, into nothing after three seasons, they also managed to turn Randy Moss, the only wide receiver that can seriously be compared with Jerry Rice, into Jaymar Johnson in the same time period. (Ok. Now, obviously Rice is better than Moss, but, if you have to debate who the best wide receiver of all time is, who else would you match up against Rice? Is there anyone else you could throw out there to challenge Rice’s spot without getting laughed at?) Now, I have nothing against Johnson (Actually, I’m hoping he’ll be good enough to be the punt returner this year), but seriously, Jaymar Johnson for Randy Freaking Moss? To be fair, the Purple got one good season out of Napolean Harris out of the deal as well, but as of right now, after trading away the only receiver that’s in the same conversation as Jerry Rice, a player that was so much better than all of the Vikings’ receivers last year that he would have been triple covered every play if he’d been in Purple, (defenses would have employed the rarely used 8-3 defense against the Vikings—8 in the box to stop Peterson and Taylor, 3 on Moss and leave everybody else open) they have only Jaymar Johnson to show for it. The incompetence the Vikings showed that offseason is mind boggling. You almost have to try to be that bad. Or be Matt Millen.
Backing Up McKinnie
Of course, if you want to be optimistic, one of the bright spots of the 2005 draft is that it gave the Vikings’ their back up left tackle, whom they had to use their first day of OTA’s (by the way—I hate this acronym and I hate the name “Offseason Training Activites”. The NFL needs to either come up with a better name or hire someone to do it for them, because OTAs is so clunky that it’s painful to type). The first four games on the Vikings’ schedule don’t look very easy right now, though they may be a little easier for the left tackle, who won't have to face a team in the top half of the league in adjusted sack rate last year until the fourth game against Tennessee. If McKinnie is out for four games (and one would think he’ll get hit with a suspension for his latest run in), things could still get really ugly fast if his backup can’t handle the job though, as the Packers, Colts and Panthers all have really talented players at defensive end. Luckily the Vikings don’t have to rely on some unsigned free agent that nobody else wanted, because they drafted Johnson in the 2nd round in 2005. So they’ve got that going for them, which is nice.
If you don’t know who Joe Posnanski is, well, that’s a problem for you. I’ve been traveling a lot by bus lately, which means that I have a lot of time to kill. I’ve done so by reading Posnanski’s work, both The Soul of Baseball and his blog. And when I say his blog, I mean almost all of it, starting with his entries from last October. At my heart I’m a reader, not a writer (if that makes any sense, and if it doesn’t, well, that’s because I’m a reader, not a writer) and when I get something worth reading, I keep going until I’ve run out of material. I took down the 7th Harry Potter book in a night. The various Prospectuses rarely last more than a week for me (though I do tend to reread them). I just don’t stop reading until I’m done. And only one other blogger has ever reached the “I want to read everything they’ve ever wrote including stuff that's really old and not even remotely topical anymore” level for me and that was Bat-Girl. His blog is that good and his book is that good. So go read it. And stop judging me—I am at peace with how cool I am (well, technically, uncool, but you know what I meant).