Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Killing Time: Damning Quotes, New QBs and Offseason Moves

Two things were clear to all who watched the Vikings' playoff game--Tarvaris Jackson is not the answer at quarterback next year and Brad Childress is not going to be out coaching any of the NFL's quality coaches. According to Michael Silver of Yahoo Sports, it was clear to the Vikings' players as well. Nothing I can write can be more damning about Tarvaris and Childress than the quotes from the Vikings' players, who described Tarvaris as having a “deer-in-headlights” look and complained that the Vikings' "sideline was in total disarray” and "one play behind all day". That being said, Gus Frerotte should probably look in the mirror and remember who he is before he starts whining about not playing. Somehow, I doubt a quarterback that was sacked 29 times (11th most in the NFL) and threw 15 interceptions (4th most in the NFL) despite only making 309 pass attempts (28th in the NFL) and playing in only 11 games would have been the answer against the Philly blitz.

Just because Frerotte wouldn't have saved the season (and honestly, anyone who says he would have because he was 8-3 this year should stop, think about what exactly that means about his play when compared to the above statistics and then take it back before they look too stupid) doesn't mean that something needs to be done to improve the position this off season. Grant's Tomb has a pessimistic view of the Vikings' chances of finding an upgrade, while Pro Football Talk provides some hope that the best quarterback at the Dome might be available. And in case you're wondering, I lay the blame for the Vikings' failure to find a competent quarterback at the feet of Brad Childress. Since he took over, he's had the opportunity to acquire Matt Schaub, Jeff Garcia and Chad Pennington [Edit: Not to mention AP Offensive Player of the Year Drew Brees] via free agency or Sage Rosenfels and Derek Anderson in a trade, as well as draft Brian Brohm, Brady Quinn, Chad Henne, Kellen Clemens and Brodie Croyle, as well as hold onto Tyler Thigpen. While all of those players might not have been any better than Tarvaris, there are quite a few quarterbacks in that list that would have given the Purple a much better chance at winning that playoff game and making a run to the Super Bowl.

Quarterback isn't the only position the Purple need to pursue upgrades at either. Sean Jenkins of the Pioneer Press has a good overview of what moves the Vikings might make. Personally, I'd like to see the Vikings upgrade their secondary (Cedric Griffin is an above average nickle back and a below average starter) and offensive line first, while hopefully bringing in some more talent at wide receiver. There are quite a few players available at those positions in free agency and the draft, so the Purple should be able to bring in upgrades (Nnamdi Asomugha!) to go along with the upgrade at linebacker that will occur when they replace Napolean Harris with E.J. Henderson for the second time.

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