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New OL Coach Davidson Brings Experience, Pedigree To Vikings

Posted by Mike Wobschall on January 20, 2011 – 4:21 pm

Leslie Frazier has won a Super Bowl as both a player and a coach, and in his effort to guide the Vikings to a Super Bowl Frazier is surrounding himself with others who experienced success in the NFL. The latest example is Jeff Davidson, who has been hired by Frazier to be the Vikings OL coach.

Perhaps Vikings fans are unfamiliar with Davidson’s name, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t qualified for the job. In Davidson, Frazier has added an individual with a wide array of experience and a pedigree of being around successful football programs.

Before his coaching career began, Davidson attended and played football at Ohio State University, where he was a guard and was also named co-captain as a senior; Davidson’s father, Jim, also played at Ohio State and was both an All-American and captain. Davidson was a 5th-round pick of the Denver Broncos in 1990 and played 5 seasons in the Mile High City as both a LG and LT, where he was a part of a division-winning team that advanced to the AFC Championship Game following the 1991 season.

Davidson’s coaching career began in New Orleans (1995-96) and he’s also spent time with the Cleveland Browns (2005-06). But his 2 most notable stops have been with the New England Patriots (1997-2004) and the Carolina Panthers (2007-10).

With the Patriots, Davidson held titles of TEs coach, assistant OL coach and TEs/Assistant OL. As a member of Bill Belichick’s staff beginning in 2000, Davidson was part of Patriots teams that won 3 Super Bowls.

Most recently, though, Davidson was Carolina’s offensive coordinator. During Davidson’s 4 seasons in Carolina, the Panthers featured an explosive and dynamic rushing attack, something the Vikings will look to maintain with Adrian Peterson at RB.  In 2008 and 2009, the Panthers were led on the ground by DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart, highlighted by Williams’ franchise-record 1,515 yards and 18 rushing TDs in 2008. Davidson also had a pair of offensive linemen earn Pro Bowl honors in Ryan Kalil at center in 2009 and Jordan Gross at tackle in 2008.

“One of the things I really liked about Jeff is that they were able to find a way with DeAngelo Williams along with Jonathan Stewart, to have two 1,000-yard rushers in the same backfield,” Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier said on Thursday. “As you know, we have two outstanding backs in our minds with Adrian being the premier back in the National Football League and then Toby Gerhart, who’s a guy we have high hopes for. To be able to find a guy who understands and knows how to incorporate two very good backs in the run game was something that really kind of got my interest and I think it’s going to be a plus for us, the success they had running the football down in Carolina.”

Davidson wasn’t a Hall of Fame-caliber player and he’s not a household coaching name in Minnesota, but he is an individual who’s been on successful and Super Bowl-winning coaching staffs that have featured both talented offensive lines and powerful rushing attacks. With the Vikings, Davidson has the personnel in place to retool an offensive line that features talented and capable players. Davidson will also be a good teacher for any new offensive linemen the Vikings may bring in this offseason via free agency and the draft process.

Now it’s a matter of Davidson using that experience and pedigree to get the job done.


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Musgrave Is Right Fit For Vikings Offensive Coordinator Position

Posted by Mike Wobschall on January 20, 2011 – 11:17 am

While conducting a press conference on Thursday to announce additions to his coaching staff, Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier told reporters that he considered the offensive coordinator position one of his most important hires because of the focus he’ll maintain on the defensive side of the ball.

With that said, Frazier’s decision to tab Bill Musgrave as his offensive coordinator makes sense.

Musgrave’s name may not be household in Minnesota, but that doesn’t mean he’s not the right fit for the job. In fact, Musgrave’s career background makes him an excellent fit. He played QB in the NFL and is now an 11-year NFL coaching veteran, most recently serving as the assistant head coach/QBs coach with the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons were 13-3 in 2010 and earned the #1 seed in the NFC playoffs before dropping a game in the Divisional Round to the Green Bay Packers.

In Atlanta, Musgrave worked closely with a pair of successful QB projects. Matt Schaub began his career in Atlanta and eventually signed a big contract to be the Houston Texans starter. Musgrave’s latest pupil was Matt Ryan, the #3 overall pick of Atlanta’s in 2008. While it’d be disingenuous to say Musgrave is the only reason for the development of those 2 star QBs, it’s also more than appropriate to give Musgrave credit for his work with each player.

Aside from his work with young QBs, something the Vikings will surely do in the near future, Frazier said another appealing aspect of Musgrave is his ability to think globally in terms of offensive scheme, rather than be married to one way of doing things. Musgrave has extensive experience with the West Coast offense, but Frazier said it was clear to him in speaking with Musgrave that the new offensive coordinator will look to a variety of schematic strategies to best utilize the offensive talent on the roster.

“To be able to combine the things that he learned in that West Coast system along with the things he picked up with Joe Gibbs and some of the other coaches he’s been around, when we sat and talked, and we’ve talked for a number of years about the potential of us being able to work together, the fact that wasn’t tied to one system but he could see globally, that was important to me. We have a multitude of weapons on our offense and sometimes you can get so tied up in a system that you don’t see the forest through the trees. It was important to me that he understood the importance of utilizing the strengths of our players on our offense, and he was able to exemplify that in our conversation.

“I’ve seen them do it in Atlanta with (offensive coordinator) Mike Mularkey, so I knew that he had an idea of how it could happen. And once we sat down and talked about it, I was convinced he was the right man for the job.”


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Reaction From Musgrave, Pagac, Priefer And Singletary

Posted by Mike Wobschall on January 19, 2011 – 4:43 pm

The Vikings announced the hiring of 3 assistant coaches on Wednesday, as new head coach Leslie Frazier continues to round out his staff. We’ve rounded up reaction from a few of those assistant coaches as they begin the next stage of their careers with the Vikings.

Bill Musgrave
“The organization is first class all the way and Leslie Frazier is first class all the way. The players on the offensive side of the ball are very attractive to be associated with. I’m looking forward to utilizing their strengths to get fantastic results. The offensive weapons on this squad are impressive. We as a staff will look forward to utilizing each and every one of them to attack defenses. I first met Leslie about 10 years ago when he was in Philadelphia and we’ve stayed in touch over the years. I look forward to working with him here and moving forward.”

Fred Pagac
“I’m very excited for the opportunity and I think we can get on the right track quickly. I’m excited about our players and staff and think that keeping continuity is very important. It helps everyone involved, the players and coaches both. The players know us, what our expectations are and we have a staff that works well together.”

Mike Priefer
About joining the Vikings: “I’m honored to come to the Minnesota Vikings organization and to work with Coach Frazier. I’m excited to work with the rest of the coaching staff, players and the entire organization. It is a great opportunity for me and I know my family is excited about getting up there and I’m ready to help us win a championship.”

On Current Special Teams Players: “The punting situation is outstanding. We have a great snapper in Cullen Loeffler and have had a great kicker in Ryan Longwell over the years. I have kind of been envious of the core special teams guys here in Minnesota. We had some good players in Denver but I know there are some outstanding players there in Minnesota and I look forward to working with them.”

Scoring on special teams and his style of play: “I have put more of an emphasis on the coverage units. We did a lot of good things in Denver the past couple of years but the scoring (on special teams) has a lot to do with the guys that we have on the units and obviously on the returner. If you have a good returner you have a great opportunity to score or at least give your offense great field position every single time you go out there. That is going to be a big thing working with Percy Harvin, Lorenzo Booker and Greg Camarillo. For me I like to emphasize; toughness, discipline, enthusiasm and effort. Those are the four core words that I use when I talk about special teams play.”

Playing at Mall of America Field: “I’m very excited to play at Mall of America Field, especially late in the year. Having a domed stadium is a definite advantage I think for both teams. You have to look at it as a kicking advantage for your guys that do that every week. Also you have to understand that the people coming in are going to change what they do slightly. I’ve always had a little bit of a different game plan when playing indoors.”

Mike Singletary
“It’s a great honor and a tremendous opportunity that I would have a chance to coach with Leslie,” Singletary said. “He’s a quality coach and I know that to be a part of something that he’s doing is special. When I look at what they have put together as an organization they have a lot of the pieces in place to do some special things. I’m excited to come there and be a part of that and help take it to the next level.”


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Division Round Recap; Vikings Fan’s Guide To Watching NFC Champ. Game

Posted by Mike Wobschall on January 18, 2011 – 9:46 am

Another exciting weekend of playoff football is in the books and, in our 3-way competition for predicting winners, I came out on top of Divisional Round Weekend with a 2-2 record. As a result, I get a brief open forum on the blog to recap the weekend and basically run my mouth about a topic of my choosing.

Yesterday, less than 24 hours after it was determined the Vikings two biggest rivals would face one another in the NFC Championship Game, I couldn’t even bring myself to recap Divisional Round Weekend here on the blog. How disgusting is it that the Bears and Packers will battle in the NFC title game for the right to go to the Super Bowl? I mean, it’s great drama, I get that. But the Vikings biggest rivals are playing to go to the Super Bowl. Yuck!

Let’s talk about something else for a while, then I’ll get into Bears-Packers. Last weekend’s games provided football fans with more drama and excitement as the playoffs roll on. By now we’ve all heard enough reaction and post-game analysis, so I’ll keep my thoughts brief. Here is one observation from each game…

– Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger doesn’t have the strongest arm and he isn’t the most cerebral signal-caller, but he’s a gamer with lots of postseason experience. I wouldn’t choose him if I were starting a franchise and I wouldn’t choose him as my QB for 1 season, but given the choice of any QB for 1 big-time game, Roethlisberger is as good a choice as there is in my opinion.

– I don’t want to keep the emphasis on QBs in each of these observations, but obviously Aaron Rodgers was the story of Saturday night’s game between the Packers and Falcons. It was a 1-man show for Green Bay. The one thing that stuck out to me, though, over anything else, was how Rodgers was able to escape Falcons pass rushers. Atlanta dialed up the right playcall defensively many times, but Rodgers was just better than even the best defensive playcall.

– Soldier Field is always one of my favorite road trips of the year and I think that place is at its best in conditions such as what we saw on Sunday, with snow and wind and poor footing because of the beat-up turf. Yes, Soldier Field has some of the worst surface conditions in the league, but it’s awesome to watch the game of football played in less than perfect conditions.

– This is no news flash, but the Jets victory over New England underscores the value of having a shutdown CB such as Darrell Revis. There were times when Tom Brady had all day to stand in the pocket and survey the field, but New York maintained its coverage of New England’s receivers. I guess when one man can shut down an entire third of the field it makes it much easier for the 10 other defenders to take care of the other two-thirds of the field.

Okay, on to the Vikings fan’s guide to watching the NFC Championship Game. With arch rivals Green Bay and Chicago playing in the conference title game, the path of least resistance is to refuse to watch the game and do something else instead. But from one football fan to another, I urge you not to do that. While we’ll surely cringe to see one of those teams celebrating a Super Bowl berth, it will be good drama and the game will likely be entertaining until the end. In addition, we’ll also get to see one of our rivals deal with the heart-breaking reality that they came up 1 game shy of reaching the Super Bowl – we all remember what that feels like, right?

I’ve decided to be a Chicago Bears fan for a day. While I enjoy going to Lambeau Field more than any other place every year, Soldier Field is a close 2nd. And the actual fan base of the Bears is much easier to tolerate than the fan base of the Packers. On top of that, my cousin lives in Chicago and has become a quasi Bears fan (except when they play the Vikings or Dolphins) so for his sake I’d like to see the city of Chicago celebrate another Super Bowl appearance.

But that’s just me. What do you think, Vikings fans? What do you want to see happen in Sunday’s NFC Championship Game? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Coaching Staff Update

Posted by Mike Wobschall on January 17, 2011 – 8:49 am

Many of you had coaching staff questions for this week’s Monday Morning Mailbag, so I wanted to address the issue here on the blog with a couple points…

– We haven’t had a lot of updates and that’s because there haven’t been many developments, at least not many developments that the team wished to make public. There are times when it’s best to keep developments in-house, but when it’s appropriate to disclose developments you’ll be able to find updates right here on vikings.com.

– It was reported that former Broncos Head Coach Josh McDaniels interviewed in Minnesota for a position on the staff, but there’s been no word on how that interview went or where McDaniels is in his decision-making process. McDaniels has also interviewed with the St. Louis Rams.

– Jason La Canfora of NFL Network reports that the Vikings and Mike Singletary are in talks to bring the former 49ers Head Coach and Chicago Bears LB (he was teammates with Leslie Frazier in Chicago) on board as an assistant coach. I have not spoken with anyone to confirm this report.

– Expect many NFL teams to finalize some positions on their coaching staffs this week because the Senior Bowl begins this weekend in Alabama. Coaching staffs from across the league attend the Senior Bowl each year as part of their pre-draft preparation process.

– The only official coaching staff changes made by the Vikings so far were the parting of ways with QBs coach Kevin Rogers and OL coaches Pat Morris and Jim Hueber.


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Submit Your Monday Morning Mailbag Questions

Posted by Mike Wobschall on January 16, 2011 – 12:08 pm

The regular season is over, but the Monday Morning Mailbag lives on! Another exciting weekend of playoff football will be in the books, more coaching changes have been made and there are plenty of interesting Vikings talkers to discuss. So be sure to participate in this week’s Mailbag feature.

To submit a comment or question to the mailbag, send an email to me at wobschallm@vikings.nfl.net. You can also submit your comment or question in the comments section below this entry.

Remember to include your name and town on the email. We can’t post every comment and question, but we’ll try to answer each question.


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Divisional Round Playoff Picks – Sunday Games

Posted by Mike Wobschall on January 14, 2011 – 1:20 pm

We’ve already shared our picks for Saturday’s games. Here are the picks for Sunday’s games…

Seattle Seahawks at Chicago Bears – Sunday, 12:00 p.m. CT on FOX
Mike:
It was great to see Seattle – whom few people gave a chance – defeat the New Orleans Saints last week at home. That victory might inspire some to forecast another Seahawks upset this weekend against a team that many still don’t believe in despite a division championship. But I don’t see another big upset; I see Chicago winning and winning big. The Bears defense is superior to New Orleans’ and that will be apparent on Sunday. In Seattle’s victory at Soldier Field earlier in the regular season, Bears LB Lance Briggs didn’t play, the offensive line was in shambles and QB Jay Cutler hadn’t begun playing well yet. But all of that is different this weekend, which will yield a different result. Bears win convincingly.
Prediction: Bears 27, Seahawks 10

Ryan: Despite the fact they are the #2 seed in the NFC, the Chicago Bears – on paper – got a much better draw for the Divisional Round than the top-seeded Falcons did as Chicago prepares to play host to the Seahawks, who of course finished the season with a 7-9 record.  One of those 7 wins though was in Chicago against the Bears back in Week 6.  However, despite that loss, it would be a huge upset if the Seahawks were to win again in Chicago this weekend.  Seattle already pulled off one huge upset in knocking off the defending Super Bowl champion Saints last weekend, but that was a home game against a depleted New Orleans team.  The Bears are, for the most part, healthy and aside from their Week 14 clunker against the Patriots have been playing very good football down the stretch.
Prediction: Bears 24, Seahawks 14

C.J.: We all learned last week never to write off any team when it comes to the playoffs, as the Seahawks beat all odds in defeating the defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints. On Sunday, the Seahawks will make their 2nd appearance at Soldier Field this season and if they follow the same blueprint as their Week 6 victory over the Bears – a steady offense and pressure defense – they will come away will a similar result. The Bears boast a stout defense, but are also inconsistent. In their last 4 games they’ve given up 36, 14, 34 and 10 points (in that order) and if that trend continues, it looks as if the Seahawks will be putting up big points. Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch will need to be in “beast mode” again if Seattle is to pull off a 2nd consecutive upset.
Prediction: Seahawks 34 Bears 28

NY Jets at New England Patriots – Sunday, 3:30 p.m. CT on CBS
Mike:
A divisional rivalry will reach its boiling point to cap a great weekend of playoff football and the Patriots will do enough to come out on top of what I suspect will be a closer game than many anticipate. The Patriots have been installed as 9-point favorites in this game – largely because of their 42-point win over the Jets just a month ago – and at first glance I judged that as a big aggressive. But then I put a few things together: 1)Tom Brady is the likely MVP, 2) the Patriots are rested and the Jets are coming off a tightly-contested win last weekend, 3) Brady doesn’t lose at home and 4) karma is working against the Jets because they trash-talk too much. I believe in karma and I believe in the Patriots at home, so I’m siding with Bill Belichick, Brady and Co.
Prediction: Patriots 33, Jets 19

Ryan: As is the case with all of the games on Divisional Weekend, the matchup between the Jets and Patriots is a rematch from the regular season.  The teams split their 2 previous meetings, but the only game people are talking about this week is New England’s 45-3 beatdown of the Jets in Week 13.  That game aside, the Patriots have been by far the best team in the NFL from start to finish and are riding an 8-game winning streak into Sunday’s game.  The Jets pulled off a nice win last Saturday in Indianapolis, but finished the season going just 2-3.  QB Mark Sanchez has 3 road playoff wins to his credit in just 2 seasons in the NFL, which is certainly impressive, but it’s tough to see the Jets winning this weekend, though the game could be closer than some people think.
Prediction: Patriots 34, Jets 24

C.J.: Jets Head Coach Rex Ryan has deemed this matchup as “Rex Ryan vs. Bill Belichick,” but neither of the coaches will be making plays on the field, so in my eyes the main matchup to watch in this contest will be Patriots QB Tom Brady vs. the Jets defense. Who will get the best of who? Brady hasn’t thrown an INT in his last 335 pass attempts – dating back to the Week 6 victory over the Ravens – and if he can continue that trend, the Patriots will be unbeatable at home.  Brady – a 3-time Super Bowl champ and former MVP – poses little concern in a playoff matchup, but his counterpart, Jets QB Marc Sanchez, has far less playoff experience, creating a huge mismatch.
Prediction: Patriots 31 Jets 21


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Divisional Round Playoff Picks – Saturday Games

Posted by Mike Wobschall on January 14, 2011 – 10:41 am

It’s Friday and that means it’s time for playoff predictions – this time for the Divisional Round. Last week Ryan, CJ and I picked the Wild Card games and Ryan came out on top with a 3-1 record. His reward was an open forum on Monday morning in which he talked about the performance of young QBs in the Wild Card round and the state of the Vikings QB position.

So we’ll have the same deal this weekend. The 3 of us will pick the games and the winner will have an open forum on Monday morning to discuss a topic of their choice.

Let’s get to the games!

Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers – Saturday, 3:30 p.m. CT on CBS
Mike:
The Ravens playoff victory over the Kansas City Chiefs last week went just as I anticipated – I predicted a 24-point victory and they won by 23 points. This week, though, I’m not seeing the Ravens-Steelers game as clearly. These are division rivals playing for the 3rd time this year – they split in the regular season – and this could very well be the best game of the weekend. I’m picking the Steelers for the following reasons: 1) Ravens playing on a short week, 2) Steelers playing at home, 3) Troy Polamalu is healthy and playing and 4) Ben Roethlisberger will play better than Matt Cassel did last week.
Prediction: Steelers 21, Ravens 17

Ryan: In what is almost assuredly going to be the most physical matchup of the upcoming weekend, the Ravens travel to Pittsburgh to take on the Steelers in the 3rd meeting of the year between the two teams.  The Steelers dropped the first meeting of the season at home to the Ravens by a 17-14 score back in Week 4, but avenged that loss with a 13-10 win at Baltimore in Week 13.  Like the two prior meetings, this one figures to come down to the wire as the two teams are very similar: young but proven QBs, powerful ground games, some explosiveness at the WR position and sound defenses.  The key to the game could be the Steelers ability to protect Ben Roethlisberger.  Pittsburgh’s offensive line has been banged up all year, and you know the Ravens are going to present a strong pass-rush to try to rattle Big Ben.
Prediction: Ravens 17, Steelers 16

C.J.: Hide your kids, hide your wife, this game has all the makings of a brutal slug fest that may come down to which team’s defense can make bigger plays. The Ravens got off to a shaky start against the Kansas City Chiefs last week in the Wild Card Round, but settled down and forced 5 turnovers in the convincing 30-7 road victory. Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger hasn’t lost to the Ravens since 2006 (he didn’t play in the Steelers loss to Baltimore this year), had an extra week to heal and is playing in front of a home crowd, but I feel that Ray Lewis and the Baltimore defense will ride their momentum from last week in a hard-fought and closely-contested matchup.
Prediction: Ravens 20 Steelers 17

 

Green Bay Packers at Atlanta Falcons – Saturday, 7:00 p.m. CT on FOX
Mike:
This game actually reminds me of last year’s Divisional Round playoff game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Vikings. In that contest, the Cowboys were the trendy pick to knock off the Vikings, despite playing on the road, because they were coming off a Wild Card Round win and had momentum. The Vikings had a week off because of a 1st-round bye and many wondered if the offense would come out rusty. In this contest, the Packers are the trendy pick because they have momentum coming off their road Wild Card Round win over Philadelphia last weekend. But I think Atlanta will play the part of the Vikings; they are a sleeping Giant in the NFC and will awake on Saturday night. The Vikings blew away the Cowboys last year by a 34-4 count, but I don’t think Atlanta will have as easy a time. Look for a moderately-high scoring game that will see the Falcons get the last score.
Prediction: Falcons 24, Packers 20

Ryan: The Packers were 1 of 3 road teams to claim a victory on Wild Card Weekend, and they’ll look to do so again this weekend in Atlanta, where they are 0-1 this season thanks to a 20-17 loss in Week 12.  Falcons QB Matt Ryan is 20-2 in his career at the Georgia Dome and the #1 seeds in the NFC (which the Falcons are) have lost just twice in the Divisional Round of the playoffs since 1990.  Atlanta has just 1 loss in their last 10 games as well.  Green Bay was able to take advantage of a beat-up and slumping Eagles team last week and barely won, but their run will come to an end this week as the Falcons will move on to host the NFC Championship game a week from Sunday.
Prediction: Falcons 27, Packers 20

C.J.: It seems to me that everyone is jumping on the Packer bandwagon after their road-victory over the Philadelphia Eagles last week, but I’m not buying in. Sure, Packers QB Aaron Rodgers threw 3 TDs and no picks against the Eagles, but Green Bay has relied too heavily on the big defensive play to pull out wins – last week it was the game-ending INT by CB Tramon Williams. Also, counting on “fill-ins” RB James Starks and TE Tom Crabtree to create offensive production can only last so long in the playoffs. Falcons QB Matt Ryan has an amazing track record playing at home and the bye week will prepare him and the rest of the team for an exciting shoot-out.
Prediction: Falcons 27 Packers 24


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A Sneak Peak At Vikings 2011 Opponents

Posted by Mike Wobschall on January 12, 2011 – 8:56 am

There are 8 teams still alive in the NFL playoffs, which is great for them but not so great for the 24 other teams in the NFL. Unfortunately for the Vikings, they are one of those 24 teams not in the Super Bowl tournament.

So while those other 8 teams think about winning Super Bowl XLV, we’ll take a sneak peak at the 2011 season and the teams that stand in the way of the Vikings winning Super Bowl XLVI. With the regular season concluded, we already know the identity of the Vikings 2011 opponents. We also know where the Vikings will play each of those opponents. The only thing we don’t know is when the Vikings will play each opponent.

Ryan broke things down quite well in a headline story. Check it out by clicking here. He explains the NFL scheduling formula, lists who the Vikings play and then gives an early preview of each opponent. Enjoy.


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QB Discussion – The Well That Won’t Dry Up

Posted by Mike Wobschall on January 11, 2011 – 11:05 am

How many times can you go to the well before it dries up? Often times that’s a concern to consider, but not with the Vikings QB situation this offseason. We’ve already discussed it several times this offseason on the vikings.com Blog and today we’re going to do it again because a couple names have recently resurfaced.

Before we get to the names, though, let’s not forget about Joe Webb in any of these conversations. Relegated to 3rd-QB status for much of the season, Webb grew up quickly late in the year and flashed some ability and leadership, enough to convince some that he might have a future as the team’s starter. Webb’s obvious strength is his athleticism, but I also like his arm strength and his demeanor.

Now let’s get to the other names…they are Seattle’s Matt Hasselbeck and Philadelphia’s Kevin Kolb.

Hasselbeck, whom we identified earlier this offseason as a name that would pop up frequently as a possibility for the Vikings, is top of mind for NFL fans again because of his sensational performance in last weekend’s Wild Card win over the New Orleans Saints. The Star Tribune’s Mark Craig recently explained why he believes Hasselbeck might be a nice fit in Minnesota. Hasselbeck was 22 of 35 for 272 yards and 4 TDs with just 1 INT, good for an impressive 113.0 passer rating. He guided his team to 41 points and now leads them to Soldier Field for a Divisional Round showdown with the Chicago Bears.

A 12-year veteran, Hasselbeck has the credentials and experience to make him a nice “bridge” QB to help the Vikings transition to a younger passer, such as Joe Webb or another addition down the road. But, when healthy, I believe he also still has the ability and desire to help the Vikings win games in 2011.

Kolb entered the 2010 season as the Eagles starting QB, but was knocked out of the season-opener with a concussion and that opened the door for Mike Vick to begin playing out of his mind, which prompted head coach Andy Reid to stick with Vick as his starter for the rest of the season. But the point is that Reid, a well-respected offensive mind in the NFL, was confident enough in Kolb to make him his starter in Week 1 of the season. That tells me he’s ready to be a starter in the NFL, if not in Philadelphia then in some other city.

It sounds like Kolb believes the same.

“I love it here, as everybody knows,” Kolb said, according to Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer. “My family’s settled in here. I would love to be starting here. But I want to be starting somewhere.”

So, Vikings fans, what say you? Do Hasselbeck or Kolb entice you as options for the Vikings?


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