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Trend Or Mirage?

Posted by Mike Wobschall on August 14, 2011 – 10:52 am

Much of my attention so far in the aftermath of the Vikings preseason opener in Tennessee has been on the QBs. Much of the fans’ attention has been on criticizing the offensive line and secondary. So for a moment let’s focus on a few other topics from Saturday night’s game and discuss whether they are trends that we can anticipate continuing or mirages that were just a flash in the pan.

Let us know what you think by leaving your thoughts in the comments section below this entry…

Lorenzo Booker flying all over the field
From an individual standpoint, RB Lorenzo Booker flashed on the field more than any other player for the Vikings. Many Vikings fans will remember Booker as “the guy who came on late last season and returned a few kicks.” But on Saturday night he had a different role. In the end, Booker finished with 9 carries for 47 yards (5.2 yards per carry), including a run of 20 yards. He also had 3 receptions for 32 yards and a kickoff return for 26 yards.

More than just the numbers, though, Booker displayed his above-average speed and his outstanding quickness. He has a wiggle to him when the ball is in his hands and rarely does the first defender bring him to the ground. In fairness, we must note that he did lose a fumble on Saturday night and that turnover led to a Tennessee TD. That cannot continue if Booker is going to remain a factor for the Vikings.

Trend or Mirage: I say this is a trend. Booker immediately bonded with QB Donovan McNabb (they were together in Philadelphia during the 2008 season) and I think he’s going to be a safety net for McNabb in the Vikings offense. Booker is a great change-of-pace RB, he’ll be valuable on 3rd downs and, perhaps most importantly, he could be the primary kickoff returner. If Booker can prove reliable as a kick returner, it will allow the Vikings to preserve Percy Harvin from that role and increase Harvin’s touches on offense.

Christian Ballard notches a QB sack
The Vikings selected DL Christian Ballard with their fourth-round pick in last April’s draft and they took him with the thought that he could bolster the defensive line’s depth because he can play both inside at DT and outside at DE. Ballard was productive at both spots while playing for the University of Iowa and I’ve seen nothing so far in training camp that indicates he can’t be productive at either spot in the NFL.

On Saturday night during the 2nd quarter, Ballard crashed the pocked and sacked QB Jake Locker on 3rd and 2, ending the Titans drive and forcing a punt. That’s the kind of disruption the Vikings hoped to see from Ballard.

Trend or Mirage: Looks like a trend to me. Although he hasn’t had an outstanding camp, he has played well enough so far, especially with the sack on Saturday night, to inspire confidence that he can be a member of the DL rotation this season.

Vikings secondary suspect again
It was only the first preseason game, so we don’t want to draw a water-tight conclusion yet. But unfortunately we saw more of the same from the Vikings secondary on Saturday night. Granted, Tennessee only scored 14 points for the game, but there were times when it felt like both Matt Hasselbeck and Locker had no problem finding holes in coverage. Also, the Vikings didn’t generate much of a pass rush all night – except for Ballard’s sack - and that doesn’t help the secondary cover anybody.

Both Asher Allen and Chris Cook will be criticized for the next week for their play in Saturday night’s game. Also, fans will be quite vocal about the need for an improvement at safety. Given how the secondary performed last year and also how Saturday night unfolded, this is a fair complaint. But as upset as you are fans, at how the secondary has played, I hope you are just as open to seeing improvement in the weeks ahead.

Trend or Mirage: I think it’s a mirage. My expectation is the Vikings pass rush will be better in 2011 than it was in 2010 and I also think the return of Cedric Griffin to the starting lineup (he didn’t play Saturday night) will make a huge difference in the secondary. I know head coach Leslie Frazier believes in Cook and if the second-round pick from last year can gain some confidence and play well, the Vikings can quickly turn what was once a major weakness into a serviceable to strong part of the team. Yes, we saw a few things we didn’t want to see on Saturday night, but we have three preseason games and a whole lot more training camp to go before the regular season begins on September 11 in San Diego.


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107 Responses to “Trend Or Mirage?”

  1. By Shawn on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    @Mike Wobscall … Thank you for acknowledging the fans do see whats going on

    I agree pre season game 1 is not the clear picture of how the season will go, but it was very frusterating seeing the same problems we saw that gave us a 6-10 last in the division season

    I just get so tired of the EXCUSES especially when they are the same ones from last year

    I dont blame No OTAs / Mini Camps … McKinnie deserves more blame than the NFL rules do, but Frazier made the right decision again and got rid of that problem we just need to strengthen it

    I really would like to know why as an organization do we ignore the secondary every year? Our secondary has been week longer than our OL ….

  2. By Shawn on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    I like Coach Frazier and I think I see his rebuild and try to remain competitive vision , I can be patient with Frazier because hes not making excuses

  3. By tatman on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    There’s a good reason preseason games are held. Most things are just a mirage, as evident through Peytons Colts that seem to do alright in the regular season after rarely looking anything but competitive in preseason play.

  4. By vikingrob22 on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    I believe the vikes have a big need for a cornerback with more than practice squad or 1 year experience…Frank Walker was the better sub last year and they let him go…Hoping for C.Cook,A.Allen or T.Johnson may be a lost cause…Shouldn’t Spielman get a F/A in now…Maybe Tony Carter will fire them up…

  5. By tad on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    Tennessee is Hasselbecks team. Not Seattle.

  6. By CA_Viking_fan on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    As a long time loyal Viking fan out on west coast, I am sick and tired of every year the Vikings secondary being substandard and with no killer instinct. This year looks to be no exception, and I’m sorry but I see the same fundamental problems with the secondary and predict you will many blown 4th quarter leads (due to the non existent killer instinct) AND we will see the usual opponents 2-minute long drives, burning big chunks of yardage off our secondary, only to get to the 20 and boot in a game winning FG. I am sick and tired of these types of performances and I’m willing to bet money that the Vikings hold the record for games lost by the opponent doing a long drive in the last two minutes to loose by a FG. The secondary needs more than an overhaul. They need a cultural change to instill a never quick killer instinct. Come on, this is fundamental and why is this happening every year since the 70s?!?!?

  7. By CA_Viking_fan on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    I meant to say “never quit” killer instinct.

    Now that I ripped the secondary, off to the positives:

    I really like the coaching staff, and unlike many, I really like Coach Singletary being part of the staff. I’m optimistically hopeful that this coaching staff can make that “cultural change” from “blowing games” to fighting all through 4 quarters till the end. I would be happy to see the Vikings lose a hard fought game. It’s the “blown games” and especially the common secondary breakdowns that occur in final 2 minutes of close games.

    QBs looked promising to me. I feel better for the future.

    TE. You heard it here first: Kyle Rudolph will shock many and become a perennial Pro Bowler

    RB. Hooray for Lorenzo Booker. The guy always has had the potential to be a super star. Play to your potential and maximize your god given talents!

    Toby Gerhart: what the heck happened? I was expecting him to come out fired up this year.

    OL: hit the weight room guys!

    Jared Allen. Unleash him during regular season! I pray his intensity rubs off onto his teammates!

    LBs: review your tackling skills guys. Hit, wrap, and drop. Quit playing flag football. Let’s bring it!

  8. By Rocksalt on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    Mike-
    I agree with your 1st 2 pick for trands, but as per the 3rd, I disagree.
    Our secoindary has always been suspect and last night gives me noe reason to think that this is not the trend, rather than mirage.
    To be fair, our secondary would be a lot better if we had a consistent pass rush.

  9. By Rocksalt on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    right on CA viking fan

  10. By Rocksalt on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    also- right on Shawn……

  11. By V-Tech on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    Yes I no it was only the first pre-season game but once again it is the same old same old. NO SECONDARY AND NO OFF_LINE. When is this ownership going to realize we need some top notch CB. Spend some money!!!!! I was optimistic about this year and thought we could win 7 to 8 games, but it looks like a 4 to 5 win season. Yes our DB’S are terrible but if our defensive front can’t get any pressure then that makes them even worse because they can’t cover anybody. I live in Charlotte know and watched the panthers last night and it looks like they maybe headed in the right direction and probably will beat my viks when they come here.

  12. By CA_Viking_fan on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    And Vikings please stay in MN!! I’m in CA and read the news about them possibly moving out here. Don’t do it! I love the NFC north rivalries and it just wouldn’t be the same. I would love to see you guys go back to playing outdoors like the old scraggly Bloomington! You guys rocked playing in the snow! My wish list is to go see some games in MN and not have to hide that I am a Vikings fan.

    Coaches, you got a tough job with overhauling that secondary. Don’t laugh, but I think if you grabbed the secondary from the local college out here, that would fix the killer instinct problem and bad tackling. You would have a group that plays with fire and who are fearless at leveling receivers.

  13. By Rocksalt on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    well said V-tech and CA vike

  14. By CA_Viking_fan on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    ATTENTION OWNERS: OL and Secondary …. Repeat 1,000 times …. Got it?

    COACHES: Do your thing and get rid of the underachieving culture. You have my backing (for now)

  15. By lui on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    just make Joe Webb a WR and fix the cornerback position and the safeties that’s want this team need our offense its good already

  16. By Mike Wobschall on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    V-Tech, it’s amazing you can forecast an entire season based on one preseason game.

    Again, I understand the frustration with the secondary. Nothing last night was an indication that they’ve improved, but we also have to keep in mind that Griffin and Winfield weren’t involved. They are the starters, so obviously it’s fair to expect improvement when they’re in for the whole game, which they weren’t last night.

    Hold tight, fans. Last night was not ideal. But I’d also be saying “hold tight” if we had won the game 41-0 and you were all talking about the Super Bowl. It’s one preseason game and we have to let things play out.

  17. By Mike Wobschall on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    Also, I know a lot of you want the front office to pull a rabbit out of their hat and just go sign or trade for some veteran CB or S who will come in here and instantly make things better. But that will not happen. The Vikings have done that in other areas of the team – Hutchinson at LG, Winfield several years ago at CB, Jared Allen at DE – and at some point you have to rely on young guys to develop. You can’t have Pro Bowlers everywhere. At some point you have to be patient and develop younger guys. While it’s been frustrating to see Asher Allen and Chris Cook struggle for two years, they’re going to be given the chance to develop by this coaching staff and I think that’s a good thing. If you gave up on a guy at the first sign of failure or even after a year of failure every time, you wouldn’t have success stories of guys coming from no where and developing into good players.

  18. By Parody on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    To all the negative people who are saying that we must be horrible because we didn’t win the game; why are NONE of you complaining about the decision to go for it on 4th and short twice? Both times, we were in chipshot range for Longwell, but the coach decided to try and get a first down. Those decisions could very well have made the difference in the game, but nobody is whining about it. WHY?

    Because the game didn’t matter! The coach decided to test out the players on a situational down instead of doing everything to win a meaningless game. The coaches were trying to give everybody experience throughout the game so that they have enough film to evaluate while they start deciding how they are going to trim 40% of the team away.

    That’s RIght! 40% of the guys who were at the game today aren’t even going to make the final 53-man roster! We know a lot of guys who are, and rested a fair share of them for the entire game, (J.Allen, K.Willaims, A.Winfield, C.Griffin, V.Shiancoe, plus Herrera was out with an injury), while the rest of the guaranteed starters were only in for a couple of series each.

    So those of you who are panicking, GIVE IT UP! The game was lost mostly by players who are not even good enough to call themselves a backup once the season starts. The coaches are just giving them all experience so that they can decide which players will make the cut for the backup teams.

  19. By NovaScotiaVike on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    Mike W, just wondering (for the third time) what your opinion on the new kick-off rule is. If you don’t have one, just say so. These blogs are viewable in eastern Canada.

  20. By Parody on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    @Mike Wobschall – Good points. Besides, we DID try the veteran free agent at safety a couple years ago, and it didn’t work out so well. Madieu Williams looked good at times, but there was a reason that we cut him. Who’s to say that any other vet would perform better than he did when he got to MN?

    Besides, I like the potential in the safeties that we already have on board. I’m just a little concerned that there is no depth at safety to raise competition before the coahces start trimming the roster. This ultimately means that we’re basically stuck with who we have, good or bad.

  21. By Parody on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    @Nova – I’m a little confused by the Eastern Canada remark. Could you expand on that? Does it have some hidden meaning?

  22. By CA_Viking_fan on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    Sorry, but I just don’t see how anybody can defend this culture of underachieving. Giving the young guys a chance to develop? How about we start by drafting young guys to fill the need areas instead of constantly reaching? Also, our starting secondary players who weren’t in the game are the same ones that choke in big games. I refuse to accept mediocore! Enough is enough.

  23. By NovaScotiaVike on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    Just that I’ve requested Mike W’s opinion on three separate blogs. I believe it’s a legitimate question and I’m wondering if out-of-town fans don’t really matter.

  24. By tburba103 on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    Ive been watching chris cook and he is the worst. He got stiff armed every time he had a chance to make a tackle not to mention that he gave up on the play where HIS guy got open for the TD. Ive been wathing him and i’m sick of his IDGAF attitude. Give his job to Marcus Sherels. That kid has huge upside with great speed (in the 4.3 range). He has worked hard to get where he is considereing he went undrafted and walked on in tryouts and has worked his way up. Could be a superstar

  25. By Andrew O'Donnell on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    I think Mike’s right, ofcourse last night was suppose to be ugly. The Vikings have to look at 90 GUYS some who’d barely make the practice squad are out there!!! Titans starters on defense played longer out there anyway. Leslie wants to see the young guys show something, if we had Winfield, Griffin playing last night the game would probably be close to ten points on offense with both teams combined. Y’all need to chill when you say the Vikes season is over because that game was all about depth searching and who has less rust.

  26. By NovaScotiaVike on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    As for the never-ending secondary problems just being a mirage, then this must be one he11 of a big desert we’re dragging our butts through.

  27. By CA_Viking_fan on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    Does this type of game ending sound familiar?

    Very tight game and the Vikings shut down their opponent in second half forcing punts on all their possessions …. The Vikings have a two point lead and there is 1:55 left in the game and the opponent takes over on the 20 …. First play up the middle run for 12 yards through missed takles …. Next play 22 yd pass and player goes out of bounds to stop the clock …. Next play run up the middle for 8 yes, then run stopped on next … On 3rd down 20 yd pass completion but clock not stopped … Next play pass completion to the 20 but no time outs … FG kicked and Vikings fall behind by one …. Kickoff and Vikings take over on 30 …. First play run up the middle for no gain and clock runs … Next play pass attempt but good for 3 yrs … Camera pans to sideline Nd Vikings are hanging their heads … Next play pass attempt good for 2 yards … Clock ticking down to 2 seconds, next play a pass completion for 10 yes and time expires …. Hmmmm, these types of ending sound familiar?

  28. By Titus on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    Wow, the fire Childress crowd is alive, well, and rearing its ugly head. Deja Vu. The trend of negative fans continues in the northland. As I recall the Bills lost all or most of their preseason games each year they blew everyone out and went to the Superbowl. This is a practice game–Parody mentioned the tries on fourth down– if this game mattered, we would have scored two field goals and narrowed the gap–

    There are no excuses— we were playing to see who should be on the team and to train— very smart. I believe a lot was accomplished and we will have a killer season.

    By the way, McNabb looked very good– throws bullets exactly where they need to go— we are in for a great season.

    I, for one, am not going to cry, “The sky is falling.” No. No way.

    TRUE VIKINGS FANS UNITE!!!!

  29. By Shawn on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    @Mike Wobs and Parody … I agree we need to be carefull when pursuing a trade or a FA.

    Jared Allen … pretty much a no brainer, he had a couple off the field incidents that allowed us to get him in a trade that has been perfect for us

    Antoine Winfield … FA addition NO BRAINER

    Hutch … again no brainer , and the front office put together a GENIUS contract to make him a Viking

    all of these players were pro bowl players except winfield before we made our move … WE DIDNT REACH FOR THEM

    Madieu Williams was a safety from what was a bottom 10 defense the year we got him … WE REACHED AND HOPED he would be good

    This year we were up against the cap making it hard for us to get a couple of guys that wouldve of made us better … and Bryant McKinnie’s unproffesionalism hurt

    there may be a fine line between painfull truths and excuses … sometimes difficult to judge the differance

  30. By CA_Viking_fan on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    Ok, I’ll try to be positive fellow Vikings fans …. but, it’s just ever since “that game” in 2003 seeing them melt down in the 4th to give up a last second TD to the lowly Cardinals …. I, I I, it’s just too painful … Then the many other countless 4th qtr meltdowns …. (sounds of me crying) …. Ok, ok … Will try to be positive.

    Maybe I should try hypnosis to erase all these painful memories. I thought I was going to need therapy as a kid after “the catch” in 1975 by Staubach the Viking slayer ….

    If your going to lose, just please don’t lose by melting down in the 4th or by giving up once you fall behind. Fight till the end, and please Coaches build this attitude

  31. By CA_Viking_fan on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    I meant “thrown by Staubach”, not caught by him … The memory is just too painful and I have tried to erase … Speaking of Staubach, how many 4th quarter come from behind wins did he have against the Vikings in his career? There’s at least 6 …. Ok, back to this season fresh start

  32. By Shawn on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    @CA_Viking_fan … LOL

    What else is a blog for ? A place we can express we can express our excitement and frusteration … and as fans sometimes one week we wonder if we will ever win again and then the next week we see a super bowl team …

    I understand the positive thinkers and I understand the frusteration ….

  33. By NovaScotiaVike on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    CA Viking Fan, Staubach got plenty of help from the officials in slaying the Vikes on that “Hail Mary”. Years later , Drew pearson admitted in an interview that he pushed off. Like you, the thought sickens me to this day.

  34. By Titus on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    Move on people!

  35. By NovaScotiaVike on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    Just reminiscing, Titus, relax.

  36. By Shawn on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    @Nova … hey now

    I will answer your kick off question …. kind of :)

    I am torn on one hand I would rather see less injuries and on the other hand I find Harvin returning a kick off for 50+ yards or a TD to be the most exciting plays of the game ….

    Through 1 preseason week I have still seen kick off returns so they have not been eliminated but undeniably more touchbacks

    might have a better opinion of the rule after this season

  37. By Titus on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    Sorry Nova, but that was strong language– sickens you to this day.

  38. By Titus on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    I think it is time to bring back a fan favorite…

  39. By Shawn on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    @Titus … I have many Viking memories that sicken me to this day, like that week 1 preseason loss in 2011

  40. By NovaScotiaVike on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    @ Shawn, how have you been buddy? I have to tell you, the only good thing I can see about this new rule is that it will give me plenty of time after a score to make a rum and coke, knowing that the most I will miss is a touchback!

  41. By Shawn on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    @Titus … LOL noooooooooooooooooooooooo dont do it !!!!!!!!!!

    please no BSaS

  42. By Shawn on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    @Nova … rum and coke would make it better :) How’ve you been

  43. By Titus on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    Ha ha ha ha — Shawn, how did you know?

  44. By DuaneN on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    LOL at secondary being a mirage. Lock of the year is that they will get shredded many times.

    I’m hopeful for the season but the pass defense will not be good, this is known.

  45. By Shawn on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    We discussed it about a week after the change … kind of ;)

  46. By NovaScotiaVike on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    Been great, my friend. Hope the Jets and that fat slob big-mouth coach of theirs get their heads handed to them tonight.

  47. By Shawn on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    lol nova … i like rex, unless he is talking about the Vikings

  48. By John on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    we have the same problems as 2010 except we have a QB 6 years younger, our D-Line didnt get to the QB at all only 1 sack and our O-line allowed more than 1 sack, our secondary looks like 2009, 2010 and now 2011 and our offense doesnt move the ball I dont want to see another 2010 season we need to work on a lot, Defense wins championships and if we dont have a pass rush, secondary or an explosive offense then Frazier needs to stop talking about a super bowl and needs to talk about playoffs

  49. By NovaScotiaVike on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    He could eat the Vikings.

  50. By John on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    AND WE DIDNT EVEN SPEND ON FREE AGENTS COME ON! LOOK AT THE EAGLES! ALL WE GOT WERE NO NAME PLAYERS FOR CHEAP AND STILL HAVENT RE-SIGNED GREENWAY AND AP

  51. By John on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    JUST IMAGINE WHEN WE PLAY AARON ROGERS OR CALVIN JOHNSON OR NOW ROY WILLAIMS DO WE EXPECT 34 YEAR OLD WINFIELD TO STICK CALVIN JOHNSON OR CHRIS COOK TO GET ON GREG JENNINGS? THEY’LL GET BURNED AND TOSSED AROUND

  52. By Titus on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    BSAS is rising like the Phoenix…

  53. By Titus on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    Stay tuned…

  54. By Shawn on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    lol

  55. By DC on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    McNabb looked good. His stats don’t say it all. He played like a wise veteran who still has a lot of zip on the ball and desire to win. He picked up some impressive first downs against a good defense. His play makes me think that the Vikings can compete this year. So, the team should shore up the a couple of the weaknesses and make this run while the window is still open (McNabb, AP, Percy … Williams, Allen, etc. ).

    Frazier, McNabb and Booker are already here. Maybe the team should look to the Eagles again. I wonder what they would want for Asante Samuel, since they have two other top level CBs.

  56. By sandiamond on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    interesting note: just about all the giants kickoffs where taken out in the middle of the end-zone by the panthers and returned for an offensive start of the 20yard line or better. Looks like we might need percy and ap back there for shorter yardage kick off guys. Kickers that boot out of the end zone let’em sit and rest

  57. By Titus on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    McNabb impressed me.

  58. By Titus on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    Booker reminds me of Chester Taylor– I think he will play that role well. And Gerhart is a little like Leroy Hoard— I cannot wait for the real season. If our defensive issues can be corrected, we will be doing a lot of BAROOOOING!

  59. By David P on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    I am watching the game and the defensive back field is very slow and the defensive line is not very good at tackling. The problems areas that existed last seaon are here again. Also I have watched about 6 games so far and you can tell who got together during the strike a nd who did not. It is going to be a long year.

  60. By Old School on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    @ Mike Wobschall, You can’t fault the diehard fans of this team for having some anger towards what they saw last night when it is the same movie we have seen over and over again. Some of the fans on this sight, including myself, have been fans of this team for decades and have grown tired in the last couple of years of seeing the same glaring issue or problems that have plague this team like the O-Line and the lack of a Secondary! Would we not start to agree on the fact that, like the O-Line issues or lack of protecting our QB’s, is not only old………..but is one of the major components needed or is one of the major building blocks needed for championship teams in the NFL?! Our Secondary is porous at best and just one shut down corner would improve this Secondary a 100%! We are no longer in a position where our D-Line is so dominate at getting after the other teams QB it masks our deficiencies in the Secondary!
    Let’s just be real and call it like we see it!

  61. By Frederick Jones on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    The Vikings drafted LEO HAYDEN in the first round out of OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY on year.

    Ever heard of THE OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY? Robert Smith was also a 1st Round draft pick out of OSU.

    Hayden ran for many long runs for the Vikings in pre-season. Hayden was going to be my favorite player (I was in elementary school).

    The Viking cut Hayen, he caught on with the St. Louis Cardinals for a year, and gained about 20 total yards. Then he was done.

    YOU CANNOT ALWAYS TELL THAT MUCH ABOUT A PLAYER IN PRE-SEASON GAMES. NOT many PLAYERS get their starting position from pre-season.

  62. By V-Tech on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    Hey Mike Wobschall, my forecast was out of frustration,but tell me where you think this team is any better then last year. Or maybe you don’t.

  63. By Frederick Jones on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    Quit freaking out. It’s too early to quit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  64. By David P on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    I agree 40 percent of these players will not make it. But if Johnson and Sanford do not make the team who is there to replace them? They will make the roster and will not be able to keep up with anyone. Winfield and Griffin cannot cover everybody and they also do not play the offensive line. Here are my grades from last night.

    Offensive Line F
    Defensive Line D
    Receivers C-
    Special teams A
    LB A-
    McNabb: B
    Webb: F
    Tackling: D

    I know it is just one preseason game but they are going to have a long week of practice, but speed is not gained in practice. The vikings have a long way to go.

  65. By Carl K on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    @ Mike Wobschall – Great post. Very entertaining.
    Mirage means an optical illusion. Something impossible to attain. An hallucination or fantasy.

    The play of Asher Allen and Chris Cook against the Titans was more-of-the- same from last year. The poor tackling and poor coverage that you see is really REAL. Our suspect secondary is NOT just a “bad dream” or some sort of “figment” that will disappear. It is NOT make believe! IT IS THE REAL DEAL!

    I am sorry Mike, but I think you can expect more of the same type of play from Chris Cook and Asher Allen. Yes, having a healthy C Griffen and Windfield will help. And yes a strong pass rush is important and will help…but it is not like QB are standing in the pocket all day. QBs are taking a normal 5-7 step drop and throwing the b@ll to the first or second read. It is hard to sack a QB with a 4 man rush under those conditions when the first read is opened and not being jammed at the line of scrimmage.

    Dude, it is real. And young safeties will not help the development of Cook and Allen. Sorry

  66. By Don on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    @carl k..Thank You for that..lol i really liked it..Its like just keep it real..

  67. By Carl K on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    Cook is a big guy! I would put him on the line in tight coverage and try to disrupt the routes and timing.

    On the play when Locker dropped the b@ll and picked it up and threw a TD. Cook was ten yards back in deep coverage. The safety rotated forward at the snap (not sure why) but Cook had deep coverage and the WR had a clean route. Locker only needed 3 seconds to make that play!

  68. By Carl K on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    We are allowing other teams WRs to run too many clean routes. Get up on them and pop them in the mouth every once in a while.

  69. By James Swanson on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    Usually optimistic but realistically Vikes no longer dominant up front per yd ave rush given up has steadily gone up. I saw nothing in preseason opener to think things will improve. The reasons the Vikes have been contenders is there ability to force long 3 rd down and stop short yardage rushing first downs. The pressure,coverage and takeaways unless improved upon spell doom and gloom for this season

  70. By Joe C on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    @ Mike W

    Allen will be better than Cook no doubt. Cook must practice like superman because not one game have I seen any kind of effort from him he always looks lost. I don’t know what Frazier sees in him. He was called out by Ray Edwards a few times last year so I’m not the only one that thinks that.

  71. By Old School on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    James Swanson……….another truth speaker!

    I agree!

    and as far as the “It’s only the first preseason game….relax crew” I have just two question…………………….

    1.) The next 3 preseason games….how many more plays or series do you think the Cooks of the world will get before Septembers first game?

    2.) And do you think that for a “Projected starter” like Cook…..will those 20 or so plays……of all a sudden……….make him “Good” ? And that goes for the O-Line……All of the Secondary…….And our “Aging D-Line” that seems to becoming pourous by the season, in regards to the rush!?

    The lack of additions, “Seasoned” additions, and some of the Free Agent loses we took……………………………..I saw what I thought I would see last night and it’s what I expect to see for the entire season!

  72. By Joe C on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    same movie folks so here is the issues die hard fans like me have – We see teams around us each year get better and better with both the draft and free agents. Yes Ponder was a great pick but he cannot help us for 2 years we need improvement now. Look what Philly did this year. We will not be able to compete on the same level as Philly, GB, Atlanta, New Orleans or Chicago so how will we make the playoffs? We are Frustrated seeing bad teams like Detroit and Carolina pass us by (Detroit will be better than us this year). We have the talent in some areas but the extremely weak areas we didn’t address. O-line and DBs same story for 3 yes 3 years. Even the 2009 season both were the weakest part of the team. Help Leslie help

  73. By borgis on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    hey everybody, ball management, where’ the ball what do i do with the ball how do i tackle the ball. ball management leads to game management go VIKINGS

  74. By Joe C on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    Titus

    Killer season? For who? I would like to be positive but it’s hard to be after watching a game that we failed to score a touchdown with two 4 down poss. Sad it will be more like please don’t start the season yet. Rivers will score 90 points against that secondary. Only bright spot was the special teams

  75. By Thomas A. on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    I am a life long fan of the Vikings. I am a huge supporter of Coach Frazier and his staff. I am excited about our new additions as well as our returning players! We will have a great season and we will be ready to play well and together on 9/11!!!

  76. By Rocksalt on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    The TRUE FANS are expressing concern over some REA>L areas that need to be addressed..OL,Pass rush, DB’s……..
    Titus- I knew it was you (BSAS) quite some time ago……..you have a distinct voice.
    Nova, Shawn, Ols School…….how the h3ll are ya?

  77. By Rocksalt on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    right on Joe C

  78. By Joe C on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    I just read an article written on Yahoo about the game – Gil Alcarez writes

    The Vikings looked like a bunch of undisciplined group of pop warner players tackling was horrible and the offensive line were practicing their Matador routines – ??????????????????????????????? What can I say?

  79. By CP7FTW on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    Gil Alcarez is a dumb spickk. Our team is very good.

  80. By Rocksalt on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    CP7FTW
    no need for racial slurs d..ickweed

  81. By Arrow86 on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    A lot of new coaches and schemes. They have to keep it simple, while still seeing who can hustle to get to the ball, or make a play. The coaches know the skill areas the returning players have as strengths and weaknesses. I’m sure they believe their coaching can shore up some poor technique. I only saw the last quarter and a half. Some of our young secondary guys will lose their N.F.L. dream soon, because they can’t find the ball.

    The 3rd preseason game will give us a better indicator of our strengths and weaknesses. The projected starters will play more than half the game, also our offensive and defensive schemes will take shape. Keep the faith purple fans, being a Viking fan is a sign of having great character!!!

  82. By Rocksalt on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    TREND OR MIRAGE:
    RACIAL SLURS ARE ALLOWEDE ON THIS WEBSITE>

  83. By Arrow86 on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    I respect people’s freedom of speech, but this is the last response I will make toward anyone who uses stereotypes, or racial slurs. If true Viking fans avoid those archaic pitfalls, we’ll have some great and informative debate and discussion. Also, those who do use those approaches, won’t receive a response that validates their narrow view, and low self esteem.

  84. By Arrow86 on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    @Shawn:

    On an earlier post you don’t give the Viking front office any excuses for not addressing the secondary. I would like to have seen a high draft pick for the secondary, but possibly they evaluated this draft as being weak with secondary players. Also, due to the lockout, they did have an awful short timeline to re-negotiate and get in under the cap to land a free agent safety or corner. Remain hopeful, we may still find some secondary guys who not only can play, but can play well.

  85. By hicohornet on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    Even with all the starters on defense we still suck through the passing game. Suck is an understatement.

  86. By Arrow86 on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    Mike Mayock was saying during the second half that our D-coordinator wasn’t going to do anything too tricky in this first game, little or no blitz’s, just so guys can react and get to the ball. I knew he called a lot of blitzes in the Philly game last year, I didn’t realize he sent Antoine 19 times during that game. Once the defense is more familiar with the entire playbook, then we’ll see a few more wrinkles, which may hide our weaknesses in the secondary.

  87. By Yesterday's corn on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    Living in Iowa, I was happy to see the rookies out of Iowa Universities have some positive plays. Reisner TE, Ballard DT, and Alexander Robinson.

    I do believe in Frazier, Pagac, and Musgrave. They’ll coach the guys up!

  88. By Rocksalt on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    Trend or Mirage:
    Calling someone a “dumb Spickk” as CP7FTW did is OK……….NOT OK IN MY BOOKS!!!

  89. By NovaScotiaVike on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    Rocksalt….I’m great, thanks for asking.. Let’s all play “Where’s Waldo”. CP7FTW’s I.Q. is hidden somewhere in his name. Can anybody find it?

  90. By Nicholas on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    Donnovan McNabb already explained the meaning of this game in the video clip on the main page of this website. This was just about not making mistakes and practicing to make perfect. It wasn’t about being flashy at all.

    It was an on-field practice.

    I think Ponder is going to be a stud before we know it.

    Did anyone see the article about how one of the Titan’s safeties was regarding Ponder as a borderline genius?? Good Stuff : )

  91. By Nicholas on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    Here is the article.

    http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d82175d9a/article/titans-safety-calls-vikings-rookie-ponder-a-borderline-genius

  92. By xvike on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    All i can say is, i hate chris cook and asher allen. I know it’s only preseason but there are so many players that are fighting for a spot on the roster. If cook and allen don’t show improvement over the next few preseason games, i don’t see why the vikings should keep them when they have other players that are working hard even though it is only preseason. They are so bad, i say the vikings should give little marcus sherals a shot. Maybe even stephen burton or is it brandon burton? I know it’s preseason but for their own sakes, cook and allen better step it up soon.

  93. By LaViking on Aug 15, 2011 | Reply

    All of this talk about problems with the OL. The first string OL didn’t allow a sack.
    Also Cook made one mistake and it lead to a big play. Honestly can’t blame the man for years of training to go after a fumbled ball. All of the criticism about Allen stands. I have no idea what management sees in that kid.

  94. By kenny on Aug 15, 2011 | Reply

    Ponder looked good …some people say yeah he looked good against 3rd stringers but remember he was playing with 3rd stringers on offense so that makes it even. As good as he did he will not start and he will not challenge Mcnabb ..not this yr. He will sit and learn and man oh man be good nest yr. As bad as everyone says Mcnabb was last yr his stats were way better than what Farve or Webb put up and he worked with lesser talent and played in lesser games. Erin Henderson did very well at Lb He had like 3 consecetive tackles on 3 consecetive downs at 1 point.

  95. By kenny on Aug 15, 2011 | Reply

    We are in a load of trouble if we do not get any type of rush fromDL. because our secondary is not that good at all. It was very frustrating last Yr watching our secondary making average WRS look so good. We do not have even 1 shut down CB we do not have a CB who is great in man coverage We do not have a CB who will make alot of pass defenses. We do have CBs who will make alot of tackles cuz all of them allow WRS to catch ball and then we just tackle them but its always after positive gains. We havent had a good safety since Darren Sharper left although i think Hussein will be good this yr.

  96. By xvike on Aug 15, 2011 | Reply

    Actually cook made mistakes all night. He failed on at least one wide open tackle. I believe it was against the full back and he made the sissiest tackle you could ever see. I mean he barely touched the guy and he bounced off him and just fell to the ground. He also got beat on more plays than that one jake locker td. And besides, he had no business trying to recover that fumble. It’s up to those guys up front to recover it. Did he really think he could run from all the way where he was and still recover the football? Not going to happen. The play was never whistled dead either so why did he stop? Everyone else that was away from the fumble still covered their guy and so why didnt he? No excuses. its only 1 game but he looks exactly the same as he did last year. Slow, gets beat, cant covert and cant make tackles.

  97. By AmishViking on Aug 15, 2011 | Reply

    It is preseason and we just watched one game. I see some other playoff teams lost so they must suck too!!!!…Vikings are a better team this year. They do have holes. They have a better coaching staff. They could get to a10-6 record if they can patch up a few problems. Ok a bunch of problems. They have time. Start getting mad if they go 1-3 through the first four games. As for the kick off rule. It is the worst rule change ever…..I think a few teams told their players to bring it out no matter what do to needing practice.

  98. By Joe C on Aug 15, 2011 | Reply

    @arrow

    Hide the weakness how? Offenses look to exploit Cook every game – you can see the QB look in his direction then zip he is burnt to a crisp. how do you hide that. we need to hide him on the bench lol

  99. By Joe C on Aug 15, 2011 | Reply

    @parody

    You do understand going for it on 4th down was the correct plays – you need to convert 1 of those at least. that was another area we had problems with last year so it was a perfect opportunity to work on it. Winning a preseason game means nothing. It’s about evaluating players and finding the players who show some football knowledge and effort. Ponder is a stud we made a great pick with him – outstanding job getting him now we need to find guys to protect him so he stays healthy.

  100. By Rudso on Aug 15, 2011 | Reply

    We shouldn’t have traded CB Benny Sapp to the Dolphins for G. Camarrilo last year. He was a solid CB who’s making plays now for the Dolphins. We could of used him. He would of given Cook and Allen a run for their job.

  101. By hicohornet on Aug 15, 2011 | Reply

    Exactly Rudso. They’ll trade away talent at positions that are weak but keep drafting 1st and 2nd round picks to positions we don’t need. Like RB. We need to do something in three weeks before its another 5-11 season.

  102. By wezo on Aug 15, 2011 | Reply

    Stop playing this vanilla cover 2 defense
    draft a top defensive back, instead of always reaching to make a player
    Vikes were stuck in 3rd gear
    same ole defense, just relying on our pass rush too make it seem like we’re a a top notch defense
    without AP this offense blows
    simply put, no defense fears this team from a offensive stand point
    A lot of work to do in a short period of time

  103. By xvike on Aug 15, 2011 | Reply

    I think it could have gone both ways with sapp. I actually really hated benny sapp. He was just as bad as both allen and cook. Maybe he improved a little but i hated him. He couldn’t cover and was always called for pass interference because he didn’t know how to defend. But i guess maybe he would’ve been a better third option than cook or allen. I do like camarillo though. He’s got good hands and thats about it. We traded a mediocre DB for a mediocre WR. I thought it was a good trade and still do. And it could be because of the defense the vikings run that benny didn’t do as well here.

  104. By sandiamond on Aug 15, 2011 | Reply

    Sapp, M. Williams, Frank Walker all gone. cogs in the secondary that have NOT been replaced!!!!!!!!!!!

  105. By Jeffbleedspurple on Aug 15, 2011 | Reply

    @CA_Viking_fan: hahaha!! I almost agree with you, but we don’t need to go back to the 70′s to find secondary with killer instincts, you can go back to the 80′s and we had one, his name was Joey Browner! Man, that dude was a pure head hunter and a very hard hitting SS.

  106. By Parody on Aug 15, 2011 | Reply

    @Sandiamond – the only good player from you list was Sapp, and he was a good #3 or #4 CB. We have enough young guys on the team that one or two of them ought to be able to produce as well as he did.

    Madieu Williams lost his job to guys with cheaper contracts last year, and the coaches didn’t see enough from him this year to convince them he will be anything more than a $5mil backup.

    Frank Walker was beat deep just as badly as any of our other replacement CBs were. We now have our #’s 1, 2, and 3 healthy. Last year only the #1 was healthy, which forced us to bring Walker in to replace them. Now we have younger talent who all have more room to improve themselves than Frank has shown he is capable of.

  107. By sandiamond on Aug 15, 2011 | Reply

    all three are young guys that had previous exp in our secondary. I’m certainly not raving joyous about any of them but this group helped us almost gain a super-bowl berth. Yes Parody it’s still early on and we all are waiting for one or two players to at least fill in for the departed. Time will tell………

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