Choosing The Right Combination

Posted by Mike Wobschall on August 31, 2010 – 2:00 pm

Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress recently described his offense as “in flux” and no position represents that billing more accurately than the offensive line, specifically the C and RG positions. An injury to C John Sullivan has sidelined him for most of training camp and as a result both starting RG Anthony Herrera and backup C Jon Cooper have seen extra time in the middle of the 1st-team offensive line.

“We’re still kind of filling out that position, exactly what would be the best lineup,” Vikings offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell explained. “Is it moving Anthony (Herrera) in (at C) and putting Chris in (at RG)? Is it using Coop (Jon Cooper) and leaving Anthony at guard? Or if Sully’s (John Sullivan) even going to be back.”

With the regular season now just over a week away, the time will soon come for the Vikings to decide on a starting C for Week 1. If that choice is Cooper, a 2nd-year player who spent the first 4 weeks last season on practice squad but then was elevated the 53-man roster for the final 12 weeks, then the flux factor remains minimal. But if the Vikings decide to move Herrera to C, the flux factor is a bit more complicated.

Moving Herrera to C would slide 5th round rookie Chris DeGeare into the starting lineup. DeGeare has had a nice training camp and it’s possible he’d be a solid performer right off the bat at RG for the Vikings. But that move would take away the Vikings depth because DeGeare is currently a swing lineman capable of playing multiple positions.

“Chris has done a nice job for us,” Bevell explained. “He’s a quick learner. He’s done some good things. I think there are still things he can improve on. That would be probably the toughest environment (to make his 1st start), that game, going into New Orleans. If that is how it shakes down, then we are confident enough to go with it.

“We’ve been able to move the combinations around a little bit. It gave us an opportunity to look at some different guys and different combinations. All we can do is look on the bright side of it and see how we’ve been able to make adjustments by moving Anthony, putting Coop in and some of those other adjustments.”

Whichever lineup the Vikings go with to start the season, the good news is the team will have had plenty of reps with that individual at C. Sullivan’s injury happened early enough in camp that both Cooper and Herrera have spent significant time working with the 1st team at C.

Ultimately, the ideal outcome is for Sullivan to make it back healthy in time for Week 1. If he can’t, someone will have to step up along the offensive line in Week 1.

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Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 12 Comments »

12 Responses to “Choosing The Right Combination”

  1. By Lito on Aug 31, 2010 | Reply

    I am glad the Vikings are addressing the offensive line weakness. Vikes have 330 lbs linemen that have to work together. Hutchinson is an All-Pro. Herrera would be a good back-up. Mckinney, Hutchinson, Cook, DeGeare, Loadholt would be pretty good if they can work in unison. Vikes need another humongous 6’6″ 330 lbs offensive center or right offensive guard. Why? . . . because the opposing team’s target is Bret or AP. If they can get a Randy Moss-type of player that would be nice too because it would take time for the opposing team’s to “fear” the Vikes’ receiving corp.

  2. By Skol_Vikings on Aug 31, 2010 | Reply

    Right guards are suppose to be quick, not gargantuan. Ever seen a 330 lb guard pull out to the outside and make it in time?>

  3. By Elgar on Aug 31, 2010 | Reply

    Moving DeGeare to starting guard does not reduce the Vikings depth. He still can swing to another position if someone else goes down. Whether you have depth or not, it is unchanged by moving your talent around, it is only changed by either losing players or gaining them, unless we are talking about putting 12 men on the field, which (as we have seen) causes all sorts of problems.

  4. By TWVIKE on Aug 31, 2010 | Reply

    Lets find the right combination in our secondary!

  5. By Nathan Gillispie on Sep 1, 2010 | Reply

    Why havent we seen Ryan Cook at center more?

  6. By Riley on Sep 1, 2010 | Reply

    Anyone ever hear of Kevin Mawai?

  7. By Nick on Sep 1, 2010 | Reply

    I agree Kevin mawea would be great

  8. By Old School on Sep 1, 2010 | Reply

    Need to something….QUICK!

  9. By Old School on Sep 1, 2010 | Reply

    What is wrong with Sully anyway? Last thing I heard was that it was a calf strain……?!

  10. By Old School on Sep 1, 2010 | Reply

    Mckinnie SUCKS!

  11. By Douglas Que on Sep 2, 2010 | Reply

    T.J. Houshmandzadeh is available . The Seahawks are looking to get rid of him. Should the Vikings invest in him?

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