Moving Forward At The RB Position

Posted by cjsiewert on March 15, 2010 – 10:34 am

Now that LaDainian Tomlinson’s decision to sign with the NY Jets has come and gone, the Vikings can start looking elsewhere to fill the void left by Chester Taylor’s absence.  Although LT appeared to be the best option to complement Adrian Peterson in the running game, there are plenty more options that the Vikings could exercise.

One option that would cost nothing to the team would be to move RB Albert Young into the #2 slot.

Young provides a fresh look at the RB position and may be the Vikings best bet when considering the team’s future.  Perhaps the most appealing feature of Young’s abilities is his ball-catching capability.  During his 4 seasons at Iowa, Young caught 79 passes for 705 yards and 2 TDs.  His experience of catching passes out of the backfield may allow him to step in and take over Taylor’s role as a 3rd down back and in passing scenarios.

If the Vikings want to keep an experienced back in the #2 spot, they could acquire other free agent RBs currently on the market.  Before Tomlinson showed any interest in the Vikings, one name that gained a lot of attention was free agent RB Brian Westbrook.

Westbrook would make a nice fit in the Vikings #2 role and could make a seamless transition into Purple given his familiarity with Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress.  Westbrook has also proven that he is a more than capable pass catcher out of the backfield, but his history with concussions may raise a red flag to the organization.

Free agent RB Willie Parker has also been thrown in the mix of names that the Vikings should consider, but one of his biggest concerns over the past couple of seasons has been his inconsistency.

In 2008, Parker only scored 5 TDs and 3 of them came in the first game of the season against the Texans.  He also missed 5 games and produced a 100+ rushing performance only 4 times in the regular season.  The 6-year veteran was rarely used in 2009, with only 98 attempts for 389 yards and 0 TDs.

What may be the most conceivable route for the Vikings is to draft a RB.

Drafting a RB would allow the Vikings coaching staff to develop that player into the type of back they see most suitable for their needs.  This would also ensure a long-term solution at the RB position while providing a healthy competition with the Vikings current back-up RBs.

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Posted in All, CJ Siewert | 42 Comments »

42 Responses to “Moving Forward At The RB Position”

  1. By Dave77 on Mar 15, 2010 | Reply

    I agree that signing Tomlinson would have brought a cry baby to the organization. But I don’t understand why they never pushed to keep Chester Taylor. He fit perfectly into that system and was one of the unsung heroes of 2009. I guess if he wanted to be a starter then “He” made the decision to leave. The Vikings need an experienced guy in that 3rd down spot. A rookie will not do. You need someone with experience that can come into a 3rd down situation and identify the defense in order to make the best difference for that particular play. Chester Taylor was great at that. He turned many “Losing” plays into first downs.

  2. By Douglas Q on Mar 15, 2010 | Reply

    I would advise the Vikings to move Albert Young to the #2 RB. That way they save money on signing old RB’s and they have more space on their roster for areas that need immediate attention like the secondary, special teams and MLB.

    One more thing. I think Vikings don’t need anymore RBs because people are forgetting that Percy was a RB And Sidney Rice can actually throw the ball so it’s possible we may see some Wild Cat options next season. (Highly doubt it though that is just not the way Childress plays)

  3. By Bigfan1 on Mar 15, 2010 | Reply

    Albert Young could be a diamond in the rough, in 2006 he averaged 125 yds per game and was named the seventh best running back in college by Sporting news, but most of all during his 3,000+ yd career in college never fumbled the ball…I say give him a chance to move into 2nd.

  4. By meswant on Mar 15, 2010 | Reply

    It is hard to say which way to go. What we need is for AP to work on his fumbling. Then we could draft a RB, as there has been some great rookies in the past. Too, we could give Young a shot & concentrate on building the O-line & some defence.

  5. By packers suck on Mar 15, 2010 | Reply

    Why dont they go after brian westbrook, he can catch a ball and run good with it down the feild

  6. By rap99 on Mar 15, 2010 | Reply

    i don’t want to see the vikes draft a RB in the early rounds, too many other needs! i wish the org would get off its A$$ and do something. we need secondary help,O line, LB depth,D line depth, do something! oh, and don’t forget, long term QB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. By David on Mar 15, 2010 | Reply

    Albert Young should be given te chance to loose the #2 RB job. Vikes need a veteran CB bad and there remain a number of RFA CB’s that could jump in immediately.

    In fact the Vikes should move Winfield to Free Safety this season, sign one or two veteran CB’s, cut Madieu Williams, plug-in Sanford at SS and tell Tyrell he’s got one last chance as a back-up and special teamer.

  8. By Bruce on Mar 15, 2010 | Reply

    LOOK I’M TELLING YOU…The Vikings need to improve the O-line! Let me explain why. The Indianapolis Colts have had a GREAT O-line for years. They made sure to protect their premier quarterback Manning. In fact last year the Colt’s O-line was rated NUMBER #1 and was nominated for the BEST O-line in the league! Why do you think Manning has put up such great numbers in the past years? I have seen plays where he can stand there in the pocket for an eternity! Doesn’t Brett Favre deserve good protection? The Vikings O-line is in the middle of the pack and that is why Wilf and the Management need to improve this O-line. Whatever it takes, and it doesn’t matter who will be playing quarterback in the future, the BETTER the O-line, the BETTER the runs and the BETTER the pass completions. What does that result in??? MORE POINTS AND MORE WINS!

  9. By Shane on Mar 15, 2010 | Reply

    David, I agree with you about Young. Let’s see what the guy has to offer and draft some other RB talent in the draft 3rd round or later. I’d like to see the addition of defensive help addressed in the 1st 2 rounds. Getting both, a top notch CB & NT.

    I also like your thought process about A. Winfield. I think he’d be a great fit at FS at this point in his career! I never have been a fan of M. Williams…he’s been way overpaid! I’m not sure who’s out there now for FA CB’s, but get a veteran who has a couple of years least to start and help groom some more talent from the upcoming draft for our future.


  10. By linda on Mar 15, 2010 | Reply

    I used to follow a running back from Hampton University…this kid ran a 100 yards every game!..He was nominated his senior year for the Gayle Sayers award…Unfortunately he was drafted to Dallas and Dallas used hiim …one to get him off the national spot light… and two to be on the practice squad. There was no real position for him there and poor advice and youth placed him behind Barber….The kid ended up on the practice squad…what a waste of talent…if any of you scouts read these blogs I suggested you scout this guy…he could be someone great for the team……..a huge talent that was manipulated and wasted by the Cowboy organization…oh his name Alonzo Coleman go check his college stats they were astounding….Dallas knew iit and shut him down.

  11. By Leah on Mar 15, 2010 | Reply

    I like Westbrook he’s a great runner and his blocking and catching abilities are better than Tomlinson’s. Besides having Peterson and Young in the backfield isn’t as scary as Westbrook. Young hasn’t proved himself and if Brett Favre comes back then our best chance of getting to the Superbowl is this year. With Peterson’s ball fumbling being a major issue (I love AD he’s a terrific runningback but lets face it he has an issue) we need a veteran runningback we know and other defenses know is also a force to be reckoned with and Westbrook can do just that. We also need a better O-line, to not only protect the QB but also open up holes for the RBs. All I know is the Vikes need to start making a splash in free agency. If Favre comes back we all know this will be our last realistic shot in awhile so we need to form an even better team than last year. I agree we should get some in the draft but our main focus should be getting the talent thats out there in free agency.

  12. By Hge Vking Fn on Mar 15, 2010 | Reply

    Bruce you are 100 percent right. We need to draft an offensive linemen and then a saftey. Lets keep Albert Young. If he’s as good as people say he is at catching the ball then why don’t we use him? And I like the idea of Winfield a saftey. Coming back from injury last year he didn’t play so well.

  13. By Leah on Mar 15, 2010 | Reply

    (continuation from last post) Let’s look at all positions.
    RB: need a good solid backup for AD who can block, catch and hold onto the ball. P.S. Eric Bienemy you need to help him fix this problem.
    FB: good TE: Shaincoe definitely is a great receiver and Kleinsasser even better blocker
    O-Line: needs definite improvement with pass and run blocking
    WR: Rice and Harvin great receivers. Berrian needs to be more of a threat this next year.
    LB: pretty good, hopefully EJ comes back
    D-Line: awesome. Noticed we would get a lot of pressure some games and then none others tho. But overall A.
    Secondary: Everyone needs to tackle like Winfield. Johnson and Williams aren’t as good as we all hoped.
    Special teams: solid but have given up some big plays so open for improvement.
    Overall problems needed to be fixed: O-line, solid replacement for Taylor, secondary, and turnovers (reduce on offense and create of defense).

  14. By marcus on Mar 15, 2010 | Reply

    I here the big names rb out there! but heres a name for you thats under the radar,

    Ladell Betts from the redskins? he could be a great fit in minnieapolis,Mn he a great runner and can catch out the back field as well! and he don’t fumble much either and might not break the bank either to obtain to the team! good chain mover!!!

  15. By Joe on Mar 15, 2010 | Reply

    well please dont get Parker, he cant catch. Either get Westbrook or give Young a shot.

  16. By 317vikings on Mar 15, 2010 | Reply

    I’m telling you, we need to move Ian Johnson up to #2 RB, he was great in preseason and he ran a 4.46 so he’s got speed, he’s a very shifty running back and has great vision… we need to go after CB’s, with C. Griffen out, and Winfield getting older, we should have went after Dunta Robinson or Marlin Jackson (he comes from a Cover2 defense)…. and get rid of B. McKinnie (he’s overrated) Also we need to fill our MLB, J. Brinkley got losed in coverage too much last season, still young and learning… who knows when EJ is coming back… and why didn’t we trade our 6 rounder for Brady Quinn??? Could be better than T. Jack…. Denver only gave up a 6 round pick and Peyton Hillis…. we could have done better with picking up players…. don’t need to waste draft picks on RB, Ian Johnson is the man… behind A.P.

  17. By CJ on Mar 15, 2010 | Reply

    I dont like westbrook 1 hit and he will be out for the season w/ a concussion. Give Albert Young a chance and hey take Ian Johnson out of the practice squad put Ian and Albert battling for the 2nd RB. I think the only problem on our line is Bryant Mckinny. He’s huge but he kinda bad. Look what Julius Peppers did to him! I say trade Mckinny to a team that really needs a tackle and get a 1st round pick in the top 10 or so. Draft a young good Tackle w/ that pick and for the pick at 30 get a CB like Devin McCourty from Rugters or get Patrick Robinson from FSU he a beast. Then with our 2nd round pick get a DT b/c face it Pat Williams is getting old and this might be his last year. 3rd round pick up another offensive player and they go on in the draft!!!!!!!!!!

  18. By Paul on Mar 15, 2010 | Reply

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Westbrook is a class guy, BUT, the frequency that he is suffering head injuries is scary. I watched Albert Young in college. I hate the Hawkeyes, but he was incredibly consistent. He fits the mold of Chester Taylor. Drafting 30th in the 1st round isn’t going to get you a big splash at any position, but this may be the draft we build depth among the grunts. Offensive line, Defensive line, and the secondary. What we don’t need: Wide receiver, running back.

    Give the Vikings credit, they scout the colleges and find the good ones. Look at all of Detroit’s #1′s and what do they have to show for it?

  19. By Dj on Mar 15, 2010 | Reply


  20. By Reece S. on Mar 15, 2010 | Reply

    here’s what the vikings should do. they need to sign brian westbrook cuz he will be extremely cheap cuz of injuries. then they draft taylor mays in the first round and an offensive lineman in the second round. i believe that even though cedric griffin will not be 100% until about half way through the season, carl paymah and benny sapp will fill in fine with a healthy antoine winfield. also make harvin the starter and either trade berrian or put him in the slot. oh yeah and favre needs to come back too.

  21. By vikingsfan4life on Mar 16, 2010 | Reply

    why sign westbrook ??????he has to many injuries, he spends more time on the sideline then he does playing, get real, either find another RB that is worth signing or get one out of the draft, this is something they should have thought about when they gave up chester taylor !!!!!! but this all don’t matter if favre don’t come back, because we need a good QB as well to get back to where they were in 2009, and the QB’s they have now just isn’t going to cut it unless favre comes back and thats the bottom line !!!!

  22. By GW on Mar 16, 2010 | Reply

    Ah men Vikingsfan4life. I could not agree more. The Vikings staff has been good at coming up with key players. Lets just give them the benifit of doubt and hope they will continue to do the same. My guess is that they planned on using LT as a decoy on third down. I am not convinced that he was the player we needed anyway. What we need is a real threat like Taylor which is going to be hard to find and have an immediate impact if we are able to pick up where we left off and win the SB. It would be good to see AP evolve into a third down back and catch a few out to the back field.

  23. By gus brooks on Mar 16, 2010 | Reply

    Please get WESTBROOK NOW!!!!!

  24. By andy ferrell on Mar 16, 2010 | Reply

    To my fellow Vikings fans, I would like start by saying we need some kind of holy sports god to look over our team. We have been a team with talent for the last couple years. Of course I believe we can always improve a team but we need some othe undective power. But if the conversation is about what pos. We should go after? Well, we all know that TJ and Sage do not have what it takes to be SB champ. If we get favre back we need to pick up somebody in the draft. Just look at Aaron rodgers! So let’s hope favre comes back because we will not have any chance in this division with those so called pro qb’s

  25. By Tyler on Mar 16, 2010 | Reply

    Isn’t LT a bit of a fumbler too, God knows we don’t anymore of that. Percy took over the 3rd down conversion load anyway, & what little I saw of Young last year I really liked. I wished they would have used Chester more last year exspecially against the saints but the viks had their reasons. I think get a free agent O-line man & draft the rest, & if there is a free agent CB with some experience to play back up would be nice.

  26. By meswant on Mar 16, 2010 | Reply

    If Young is hungry enough, he will do good on 3rd down. These guys get paid more than I will ever see & it is time for them to step up & prove they deserve the money they are paid. This team has great talent that will take them far if they really want it. We really need help in the secondary & some help in the O-Line. Rookies can be great….just look at Percy!! We need more of that!! It would be great for Brett to come back again, he made everyone bring their A-game. I am sure the team has a plan or they would not have let such good talent leave. The Vikings can win it all, they just have to want it bad enough.

  27. By steve on Mar 16, 2010 | Reply

    My feelings are that the vikings should consentrate on getting some safetys or cornerbacksdont worry about RB’s right now they will be thier after the draft. And people it is time to quit consentrating on the saga of brett favre just let him go and find someone else or go with the other 2 jackson or rosenfel. I feel brett has made his mind up. JUST LET HIM GO!!!!

  28. By Paul on Mar 16, 2010 | Reply

    ESPN is reporting that Brett was active in trying to recruit LT but told LT “I have no idea what I’ll do.” Yeah right, if you work for a company, and your trying to get the best people you can to work for that company, would you then say, “I don’t know what I’ll do.” This is a bogus story by the sports media that Favre made fools of last season. This is a season to look forward too. Give management the benefit of the doubt. Of the teams that made the huge splashes in free agency last year in the division or across the league. They all had a good seat to watch the Colts, Saints, Jets, and yes Vikings. Green Bay has a very good team, but for the most part has built bits and pieces through time. They are still very young. Teams that go hard for free agent after free agent are not built for the long haul and get old fast. Even the Patriots let some of their best go, to clear space under the cap, and open a spot for a younger player to step up. Stay the course, after this year, Jackson will be ready to take over. I felt with what little we saw of him last year he had greatly improved for the experience of working first hand with Favre. To all Vikings fans “YOU BETTER GET YOUR POPCORN READY!” I know, that’s ego trash talk from T.O. but I do believe the best is going to happen in the next two seasons.

  29. By bback on Mar 16, 2010 | Reply

    We need to address the QB situation before any other. As a lifelong vikes fan I have to admit Farve was our best chance at a successful run at the super bowl, no matter the bad taste it left in my mouth to see farve in a purple jersey. Farve has done more in his career to ruin our chances of success than to help. So I hate the idea of a selfish player, coming back from “retirement” to feed his own ego, not because he loved our Vikings, leading our team. The league, all fans and the media developed and continue to feed to the Favre mystique, we can only blame ourselves for thinking he may return to address our teams need and not his own. We may be better off without him. Find a QB for the future. The Packers decided not to put up with him advancing his own agenda and seem to have not skipped a beat in their selection of Rodgers. We need to do the same. I can’t stand cheering for a former hated rival again.

  30. By Luke on Mar 16, 2010 | Reply

    I Belive we should give Young a chance cause he played great 4th quater at the giants game but we could see about a linbacker and maybe lookinto some o linemen

  31. By Leah on Mar 16, 2010 | Reply

    People say they’re lifelong Vikings fans but yet they don’t want a player on the team who gives us the best chance we’ve had in years to get to the Superbowl and win it. Who cares if he was a Packer and beat us numerous times. News flash, we’ve been beaten by other teams and players before. The guy came in and made the team and the players better. How can you knock on a guy who played his A$$ off for this team. I know people call him selfish because he keeps coming out of retirement. Pretty sure there are other athletes and celebrities doing worse. And the man can have an ego if he wants, he’s accomplished more than any of us on this blog can say. I do agree we will need to look at the QB situation because even if Favre does come back he won’t be here long. T-jack isn’t our answer. He’s only good when it doesn’t count and I’m sure he can’t read defenses. Also one could argue Rodgers is as good as he is now because he learned from the best. Favre really did wonders for this organization. For a while our only bright spot on offense was AD, and right now he can’t hang onto the ball. We have the best team we’ve had in a long time and to draft a QB and let him progress for who knows how many years could allow for some of our stand out players to be lost in FA or trade. Then everyone would be complaining we have this awesome young QB but not enough talent around him. I say if Favre wants to come back then it’s better for everyone on the team and rooting for them. And honestly I like seeing him in purple more than green.

  32. By moorevikes on Mar 16, 2010 | Reply

    left tackle who wants to play and not party, right gaurd, cornerback and safety, quarterback (incase tjack hasn’t learned from favre), def end or tackle, then running back. just my opinion.

  33. By vikings012 on Mar 16, 2010 | Reply

    to answer the first guys question we did push to sign taylor back we tryed hard but taylor didnt want to resign and he wont be a starter for the bears although hes good matt forte is still their and he will be their starter forte is a great back. Taylor will probably see more action tho as a bear but wont be a starter and if westbrooke can stay healthy he is a huge threat hes proven himself over and over again so we should sign him make him the number two back but still try to get young in some games for a couple of plays so he gets a feel and can be the number two starter down the road

  34. By marcus on Mar 17, 2010 | Reply

    well im thinking go for best on the board at draft time! i know the viking got o-line and secondary issues but if a great running back on the board go for him! the likes of ryan matthew ,charles scott,or joe mcknight for example!! so this year running back class looks really good so that why maybe the vikings or not in a panic unlike us as fan? they have made great choice in the draft the last few years…but the need at the o-line need to be corrected first thing though! have faith viking fans! :)

  35. By GW on Mar 17, 2010 | Reply

    Leah…you are preaching to the choir here. But the real question is; What QB do we get? There are questions about the top three QB’s this year which we will not have a shot at. If you go thru the QB’s in the higher first round positions there is not going to be allot of quality players left. Lets hope the Vikes can find a diamond in the rough and polish him up.

  36. By tprranc on Mar 17, 2010 | Reply

    Petersen,is a good running back,his only problem is fumbles,I feel that this would be the addressing issue. He’s physical enough,and fast enough when he breaks into a hole,but it’s just the fumbles that is his down fall.

  37. By tprranc on Mar 17, 2010 | Reply

    I agree with you Leah,Brett does look good in Purple,And I pray to God he comes back.And then we can show the Saints who is the better team!!!!!!

  38. By vikingsfan4life on Mar 17, 2010 | Reply

    bottom line here is, the vikings need to make favre deside now on what he plans to do, come back or retire, but either way deside now, so we have the time to go out and find a QB that can get the vikings where they were in 2009, because if they wait until august and favre desides not to come back there go’s the vikings season !!!!! sorry we don’t have any QB’s that can do what favre can..

  39. By Benson on Mar 17, 2010 | Reply

    This might sound crazy but I would draft a rb in the first round maybe ryan matthews if he is still available which is unlikely. It doesn’t hurt to have two explosive backs especially with peterson fumbling issues, another dynamic back won’t hurt. I think the vikes can upgrade the secondary in the later rounds its pretty deep this year that also goes with o lineman. I have a feeling the vikes will draft mays.

  40. By rap99 on Mar 17, 2010 | Reply

    We will not draft a RB early, too many other needs, if we do not find one in FA, young will be #2. Hey vikes do something, we need O line, secondary, D line depth and LB depth. lets go!

  41. By Leah on Mar 17, 2010 | Reply

    I agree we should get a young QB and let him develope. But I feel there are more issues on the team right now. Secondary and O-line are our biggest problems. We need to start building getting more depth in those areas to show Favre we’re doing what we can inorder to get an even better team than last year going. We should use our first and second picks on those issues. If we go and draft a QB early it may suggest we’re moving on without Favre. And trust me I don’t want anyone thinking that because lets face it we want him back

  42. By Mike on Mar 20, 2010 | Reply

    Albert Young will fit the #2 RB spot just fine. I agree with some of you, we need secondary help. Just look back at some of the games last season where guys like Aaron Rogers threw all over the field when he needed to. Dont tell me other teams will not take advantage of this weak spot next season. Also, AP needs to be fined 10,000 dollars for every fumble this season!! This may sound crazy, but I kind of want T.O to come play. If not only for a good distraction.

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