Gaining The Extra Edge

Posted by Mike Wobschall on June 24, 2010 – 8:26 am

We know that stars such as DE Jared Allen, QB Brett Favre (if he returns) and RB Adrian Peterson ultimately hold the keys to the Vikings success each year. We also know that it takes every soul on a 53-man roster to achieve the ultimate goal of winning a Super Bowl.

With that said, however, there are still a handful of players on a team each year whose performances provide an extra edge that helps get the team over the top. WR Sidney Rice was such a player for the Vikings in 2009. DE Ray Edwards is another example. Both Edwards and Rice produced at career-high levels and their production helped the Vikings separate from the rest of the league.

In order for the Vikings to get back to and surpass the level of success they achieved last year they’ll need similar performances from the supporting cast (for lack of a better term). So who will those players be?

Next week we’ll take a look at 5 candidates on the Vikings roster who might be relied upon to help the team gain that extra edge to win a 3rd consecutive division title, get back to the NFC Championship Game and ultimately reach the pinnacle of the NFL by winning a Super Bowl.

In the meantime, let us know who you think holds the key to gaining the extra edge? Is it a past star looking to regain his form? Is it a young player or rookie looking to make a name for himself? Let us know what you think by sharing your thoughts in the comments section below this entry.

Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 46 Comments »

46 Responses to “Gaining The Extra Edge”

  1. By Mathias on Jun 24, 2010 | Reply

    Percy Harvin.. Nuff said.. And the pass defense..

  2. By Jim Kimpers on Jun 24, 2010 | Reply

    Saw this site that acutally is dedicated to packer/viking rivalry. Lets bury these packer crazies. A nice way to yell at them as much as we want.

    Johnny Kopke
    Brainard, MN

  3. By mikewobschall on Jun 24, 2010 | Reply

    Percy doesn’t count…he’s an obvious guy. We’re looking for guys on the fringe who could step up their game a level and make a difference. Bernard Berrian perhaps? Bryant McKinnie or Chad Greenway? Madieu Williams? Maybe Antoine Winfield as he comes off an injury? Lito Sheppard filling in for injured Cedric Griffin? These are the types of guys we’re looking for, not obvious stars such as Harvin or Shiancoe or Favre or Peterson.

  4. By Banders on Jun 24, 2010 | Reply

    I’m looking for our young CB’s to step up. I am no expert but I thought Asher Allen looked great last year. Looks to me like he has what it takes to be a star. Also, rookie Chris Cook, pass defense was definitely our ” weak spot .”

  5. By mikewobschall on Jun 24, 2010 | Reply

    Those are 2 good names. Who else holds the key to success in 2010?

  6. By Rogerthevikefan on Jun 24, 2010 | Reply

    Benny sapp a is solid nickle while asher looks like he can be what winfield is and cook what ever position he is at will be good. Hope sheruls gets a shot his a good kid

  7. By Joe on Jun 24, 2010 | Reply

    Center John Sullivan. He had big shoes to fill last year, and he did fine, but I’m looking for him to really step it up to near probowl calliber.If Favre comes back, he will be even more important.

  8. By Spanky on Jun 24, 2010 | Reply

    center John Sillivan is to small…we need a rookie center to step up and fill them big shoes….one thats over 300 lbs…

  9. By Zach on Jun 24, 2010 | Reply

    Anthony Herrera- He’s a big, powerful guard who was not playing to his full potential last year due to nagging injuries.

    Tyrell Johnson- As NFL Network speculated, he is poised to break out this season. The guy has shown flashes of billiance and moments of disgrace, but he can be a pro-bown caliber safety, especially now with a couple seasons under his belt.

    Madieu Williams- This guy better step up, that’s all I have to say. He’s getting paid WAY too much to perform like he did last season, and Jamarca Sanford is eagerly waiting on the bench for his chance to shine.

    Jasper Brinkley- He’ll fill in for Henderson just fine as long as he can nail down his pass protection skills, and he’ll do a good job.

    Brian Robison- This guy is a machine, and when he gets playing time in rotation he always shows up. With Pat Williams retiring after this season, Robison will be working extra hard to show that he can fill a spot on the 2011 D-line.

    Benny Sapp, Asher Allen, Jamarca Sanford- All three of these young fellas have shown done some great things in their limited playing time, and not made many mistakes in the process. Here’s hoping they see the field more.

    And finally, the Albino Rhino- Toby Gerhart. If he shows up huge, that will make the season that much easier. If the Vikings can get back to being an unstoppable rushing powerhouse our backs will love it, our O-line will love it, the fans will love it, and Favre will stay out of danger. We can pass once in a while, I guess…

  10. By Tate on Jun 24, 2010 | Reply

    I believe Winfield will regain his status as a very good to great CB at some point this upcoming season. Maybe the first couple games he will be somewhat shaky coming off the foot injury (I am not privy to his status), but he is still an elite tackler and a wily veteran in coverage. The recovery of the foot is the only thing holding him back from regaining true form.

  11. By Zach on Jun 24, 2010 | Reply

    Add Sullivan to the list. He’s got a season under his belt and a lot of film to look at now. He’ll work out some kinks in the offseason and hopefully get a bit bigger.

  12. By Marty on Jun 24, 2010 | Reply

    I think it will be one of our safeties, such as Tyrell Johnson, Madieu Williams, or even Jamarca Sanford.

  13. By Shea on Jun 24, 2010 | Reply

    Bryant McKinnie (Julius Peppers is now in the division). Tyrell Johnson. Madieu Williams/Jamarca Sanford. Ray Edwards.

  14. By PurplePeopleEater on Jun 24, 2010 | Reply

    I’m hoping that a couple of D-Linemen come up big this year. The WIlliamses are the base that supports our defense, and they can’t stall their case forever. Many people are speculating that they will have to serve the suspension before the 2010 season ends. If that’s the case, guys like Fred Evans and Jimmy Kennedy will be taking on a large load. Both have filled in well as backups, and we now may need to see how good both of them will be as starters for 4 games. If they “gain the extra edge” it very well could save the team from some tough opponents.

  15. By Chaz on Jun 24, 2010 | Reply

    Tyrell Johnson, if he has a big year it would make our whole secondary look better.

    Phil Loadholt, let’s see if he can perform as a top tier tackle and keep Favre on his feet.

    Gerhart will make Peterson known as the best back in the league again, without a question. He can take quite a few hits away from Peterson to keep him explosive from start of season to the end.

  16. By Tremontvike on Jun 24, 2010 | Reply

    I think defensively the key has to be whether or not EJ comes back 100%. Brinkley did a nice job filling in, but he is still young and asking him to captain that defense is a question mark for me. If EJ is back at 100% we not only gain his talents, we gain his leadership. Defense will determine how the Vikes do this year, especailly with the schedule we have.

  17. By Nik on Jun 24, 2010 | Reply

    I’d say Winfield is hungry for a good season, but I also think that even behind AP Gerhart will really help push the Vikes. The secondary should be improved a lot this season.

  18. By Nate on Jun 24, 2010 | Reply

    I would have to say the offensive line. Can bryant Mckinnie get back to his pro bowl ways like the beginning of last year. Can Sullivan take another step forward from last year. How about steve hutchinsons shoulder, can he get back to the performance the vikes brought him there for. Also, the LB positions in coverage. They need to step up!

  19. By Rogerthevikefan on Jun 24, 2010 | Reply

    If madieu can’t step up and play the way he is payed to sanford will step in he is physical and tough minded plus no horrible missed tackles like t.johnson missing ray rice

  20. By Jason on Jun 24, 2010 | Reply

    I’m not worried about McKinnie or Hutch. McKinnie was fine and Hutch was injured. Herrera’s numbers probably suffered because he was starting between 2 first year starters and more than likely had to try and make up for their mistakes. Some obvious picks would be our safeties and Antoine, E.J., and Edwards (I don’t consider him to be anywhere near good yet), but I’m gonna go with Adrian Peterson.

    I’m not an AP hater by any means, nor do I find his fumbling problem to be as bad as everyone else, but last season he was just not on the same insane level we are used to. I have full confidence he will be fine though.

  21. By J Feld on Jun 24, 2010 | Reply

    No one has mentioned Bernard Berrian? I think he could bounce back to his 08 form and post over 1K yards and 7-9 tds. He was hampered with hammy issues all last year hence the drop off in the stats. He still has elite speed and can stretch the field as well as anyone in the nfl. One down season makes him a prime candidate for a nice bounce back year. The vikes had some of the best offensive weapons in the LEAGUE last year without BB. Imagine if he is healthy and in the mix. How can a defense stop AP, Rice, Harvin, BB AND Shiancoe? Has anyone noticed what a favorable pass schedule the vikes have? Holy smokes! Our offense will be a MACHINE this year!

  22. By carl k on Jun 24, 2010 | Reply

    I think Visanthe Shiancoe will become a super star this year. He will shine and have a probowl year. Could he become the best TE in the NFL? Maybe.

  23. By Pat the Viking on Jun 24, 2010 | Reply

    I too think Shiancoe will have a better year this year. I am also hoping that RB Moats and Gerhart have a GREAT year this year.

  24. By Rogerthevikefan on Jun 24, 2010 | Reply

    This is off topic but say it with me MADDEN CURSE MADDEN CURSE MADDEN CURSE!!! Broken leg for drew brees 1st play

  25. By carl k on Jun 24, 2010 | Reply

    My top rookie vote getter is Toby Gerhart. He will give AP a much needed brake. A fresh AP is a dangerous AP!

  26. By marcus on Jun 24, 2010 | Reply

    is there a chance the vikes can cut a few RB’s and still make a push for westbrook? I could see westbrook a 3 headed monster out the back field with peterson,Gerhart in the back field and do you think moat or young, jhonson will get cut?

  27. By WTF on Jun 24, 2010 | Reply

    Brees got the cover for Madden ’11? That’s awesome!! What better choice to earn the Madden Curse than the guy whose team got to the big dance by breaking all the rules against the QB of the team they are facing in week 1? I’ll bet that our front 4 want to do everything they can to keep the belief in the Madden Curse alive!

  28. By Joe on Jun 24, 2010 | Reply

    My dark horse players of this year are Darius Reynaud, Jaymar Johnson, and Brian Robison. I would add in a few rookies but i feel like we havent seen enough of them yet.

    Reynaud could potentially be a pass-catching Reggie Bush type running back for the the vikings next year. He is built shorter and more powerful than CT and is much more explosive. If he could catch a few screens a game, our whole offense would open up more. He could be the perfect scatback to complement AD and Gerharts powerful styles.

    Jaymar Johnson has all of the physical tools. Speed, agility, good hands. He is just slightly undersized. I would like to see him worked into some 4 reciever packages and catch the defense by surprise beating them deep with his speed.

    Brian Robison has an incredible motor. I would love to see him get more snaps. He brings power and speed each play and is a serious pass rush threat. If we lose Ray after this year im not too worried.

  29. By Sarah on Jun 24, 2010 | Reply

    I love the topic “gaining the extra edge”, Great slogan for a Vikings T

  30. By Malte on Jun 25, 2010 | Reply

    I would really like to see something about Joe Webb
    He seems like a player, who can make a differens. I hope we could hear something about him. He is fast, can jump high, and can play different possitions, it will also be nice to see how the vikings are gonna use him, if he gets a spot..

  31. By JB on Jun 25, 2010 | Reply

    I think Jamarca Sanford cracks the lineup or at least rotates in on a regular basis and takes his game to a new level. He has shown some major flashes in his limited time on the field and could end up being a real gem coming that late in the draft.

    Robison is also a player that could get his name into the mainstream this year. Most Viking fans know all about his abilities but could this be the year the entire NFL knows who 96 is?

  32. By Darth on Jun 25, 2010 | Reply

    You want 5? How about our offensive line? They have been together as a unit for a season now. Phil Loadholt & John Sullivan should get better now that they are vets in the positions. Anthony Herrera can finally mass up and return to playing shape. Both Steve Hutchinson & Bryant McKinnie Have had their injuries fixed. They all have something to prove after letting Favre take such a beating. I think that this year they will shine.

  33. By miko on Jun 25, 2010 | Reply

    LB Ben Leber, Chad Greenway- It seemed like these two guys could’ve had way more tackles in 2009. I believe that if they polish their skills and trust their instincts, they can prepare for a breakout season.

    DE Everson Griffen- He had a lot of doubts coming out of USC. They say that in some plays he was virtually unseen, He needs to prove a lot of critics, but he can definitely be effective.

    K Rhys Lloyd- We seen what the Saints did with their kicker, they made Percy Harvin ineffective. If we can do the same, that’ll be really helpful.

    WR Bernard Berrian- i don’t care what anyone say. i know he mad cause he didnt get the same looks that Sidney Rice had. He has a lot to prove to himself.

  34. By MGR4FUN on Jun 25, 2010 | Reply

    well my first look is gonna be two the two areas that get the most attention or at least the most chat bantor … the o-line in my opinion the best in the business needed the offseason to get healthier not to mention another years experience together (huge for #65 & #71) … i also look for the three safeties to make a very positive statement this fall … B-Twice is now gonna be full strength and ready to run by some defenders … ball security included the run game will be a huge key to the vikings success and ability to save #4 from some of those big hits he took last year (#4 still gonna take some hits) but if the purple can really pound the rock with adrian and toby (and i am very excited to watch these two together) #4 is gonna be a much happier camper …

  35. By Dan on Jun 25, 2010 | Reply

    If I had to pick 5 players that could strp up their game to give the Vikes the extra edge the first would be Gerhart. Not sure if the whole load will be put on him but he has some big shoes to fill since CT left. On the o-line Loadhot and Sully have to step it up a notch and at whoever gets the nod to start has to become more of a ball hawk. Need more ints if we want to get to the big game. I know it should be Cedrik Griffin and Winfield but since both are coming off injuries it might not be those 2 to start the season.

  36. By carl k on Jun 26, 2010 | Reply

    Joe talked about some dark horse players like Robinson, Reynaud, and Jaymar Johnson. I like those picks too but what I really love about this 2010 Vikings team is that we loaded with alot of non-starters who could step in and play great! We could add Everson Griffen, J. Sanford, Jasper Brinkley, Toby Gerhart, Chris Cook and Joe Webb to that list also. We have good young depth now to go along with some quality starters… most of our starters are already stars in the NFL. But if some of our young starters like Loadholt, Sully, Tyrell Johnson, Herrera, Shiancoe or M. Williams can step up into that star catagory this will be a supperbowl year. I know we win and we loose as a team… so it is not 1 individual player that wins games. I like our group of stars, some of our young starters like Shiancoe and Loadholt have star potential, but our Dark Horse players will be the ones that give us that extra edge. The NFL season is long and hard, and it is a luxury to have the young talented depth that we have this year.

  37. By bleedpurple11 on Jun 26, 2010 | Reply


  38. By Bigfan1 on Jun 26, 2010 | Reply

    It’s really tough to pick players from a team that last year sent ten to the pro-bowl. From my seat last year key players were Brett Favre, Sidney Rice, Percy Harvin, Adrian Peterson, Bernard Berrian, Visanthe Shiancoe, et al, and the whole defensive line. This year I think Chris Cook and Everson Griffen will contribute and Toby Gerhart will shine as a power runner. This is going to be the best season ever.

  39. By Bigfan1 on Jun 26, 2010 | Reply

    Oh, forgot I think Rhys Lloyd is going to help on special teams.

  40. By vikings4ever on Jun 27, 2010 | Reply

    I think that our linebacking corps will make a massive difference if they step it up. Chad Greenway played well, but EJ just came off a broken leg, so we’ll see how he does. Leber also didn’t perform extremely well up until the playoffs. If he plays at last year’s playoff level and EJ plays like a man possessed, then we could have the best linebacking corps in the game.

  41. By radzinwisconsin on Jun 27, 2010 | Reply

    Tyrell Johnson LMFAO!!!!!!

  42. By purple08 on Jun 27, 2010 | Reply


  43. By marcus on Jun 29, 2010 | Reply

    do you think the vikings can go after G Shawn Andrews from the eagles? he can play the west coast offense style scheme! i think he can help open some holes for the run game?

  44. By wendell on Jul 4, 2010 | Reply

    Since it takes every soul on a 53 man roster, let’s call for a focus on team play. Let the TEAM be the star player, not an individual. Everyone from the fan, to the ticket-seller, to the ball boy, to the back-up players, to the 1st string, to the coaches, to the owners, and everyone in between.

    I think we have put together a team with a positive attitude, weeded out the negative, selfish poisons, and recruited respectful people/players, that will increase our chances of playing in the SUPER BOWL!

  45. By NoPCvirusesEverAgain! on Oct 14, 2011 | Reply

    TEAM! Together Everyone Achieves More!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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