Vikings Look To Improve Pass Protection This Week

Posted by Mike Wobschall on November 22, 2011 – 1:04 pm

Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier said on Monday that his team’s pass protection must improve going forward. I think Vikings fans would most certainly agree. On Sunday against the Raiders, QB Christian Ponder was sacked 5 times and was forced to leave the pocket to avoid pressure many more. For the season, only 4 teams have allowed more sacks than the Vikings (30).

With pass protection being the issue that it is, many are quick to point a finger at the offensive line. And certainly members of the offensive line will be the first to tell you that they’d like to improve their play. The 5 starters on the Vikings offensive line are prideful individuals who’ve played on winning teams in the past, plus they’re playing well this year in the running game and would like to equal that effort in the passing game.

But the Vikings pass protection issues don’t land exclusively at the feet of the offensive line. Protecting the passer is a task charged with every single offensive player on the field, not just the 5 linemen.

“It wasn’t always our offensive line,” Frazier said on Monday of his team’s pass protection issues against the Raiders. “Sometimes, for the number of people that we had in protection, versus what they (Oakland) were bringing, they had more numbers than we had. Other times, there were times where we did get beat one-on-one. So, it was a combination of the two.

“When they are bringing as many people as they were bringing yesterday, we have to do some things to try and get Christian another second and be able to exploit the one-on-ones with our receivers down the field. Our receivers have to get open and we have to get the football to those receivers.”

The last point Frazier made is important. Winning one-on-one matchups down the field is just as important as winning one-on-one matchups against defensive linemen. The Raiders scored their 2nd-quarter go-ahead TD when WR Chaz Schilens beat man-coverage and came down with a lofted pass from Carson Palmer. On the play, Vikings CB Asher Allen was in good position to make a play, but it was Schilens who made the play instead. This is something that Vikings pass-catchers have the ability to do, and when they do this it will allow Ponder to get rid of the ball quicker and, consequently, reduce the amount of sacks the Vikings allow.

Proof that the Vikings have the playmakers to win one-on-ones actually came on Sunday against Oakland when WR Percy Harvin scored on a 26-yard screen pass and also scored on a 35-yard run that was called back because of penalty.

“One of the reasons that screen was so effective that Percy scored on was because they wanted to bring pressure, they get everybody coming in one direction and Percy is untouched on the simple screen away from the action,” Frazier explained. “So, there are some ways to slow them down if they want to bring pressure the way we’ve been getting it the last couple of weeks, and the same thing on the reverse that was called back. There are some things to offset some of what people are doing and we’ll work to do that, to attack that.”

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Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 56 Comments »

56 Responses to “Vikings Look To Improve Pass Protection This Week”

  1. By vikingfan on Nov 22, 2011 | Reply

    We finally notice that we need to protect the QB. A little too late for that

  2. By Twoodsnvikes on Nov 22, 2011 | Reply

    It was 99 percent the O line, when Ponder can’t even plant his feet and the Dline just blows up our Oline, it’s pretty clear where to point fingers. I find these articles humorous though

  3. By sandiamond on Nov 22, 2011 | Reply

    Wr slot needs a spark. Can we get Emmanuel Arceneaux off the practice squad? Cam not being used on punt returns

  4. By Regfan on Nov 22, 2011 | Reply

    It’s similar to “the running lanes for AP are not being made”

  5. By Disgruntle Vikes fan from the Bahamas on Nov 22, 2011 | Reply

    I’m sorry but Fraizer needs to go along with ALL secondary personnel and the entire OL! We cant be serious by stating things like “Asher Allen was in a position to make a play” That sentence alone doesnt make sense! We need to get serious and bring in players who can PLAY. And stop pinching the pennies in trying to find diamonds in the rough guys! Geesh this team is going down the same road my Sacramento Kings have traveled and continue to travel

  6. By Carl Brodin on Nov 22, 2011 | Reply

    We need to get Arceneaux fom the practice squad and use him. I think its crazy that we gave this guy 1.7 million to be on the practice squad. Put Arceneaux and Burton on the field in combonation with Rudolph and Jenkins. Lets put some new formations out there Musgrave has all the imagination of a pea. He needs to go next year and get a real Offensive Coordinator please.

  7. By VegasVike on Nov 22, 2011 | Reply

    acknowledgment is the first step towards treatment. The team has been in denial for 2-8 now. Congrats on the acknowledgment!

  8. By Saddy on Nov 22, 2011 | Reply

    You gotta be kidding me, what do you mean it has not always been OL, every Sunday I hear the commentators saying Charlie Johnson and Phil Loadholt is struggling and if they don’t protect Ponder its going to be a long day.

    Acknowledge our OL sucks and start correcting instead giving the lazy OL’s credit.

    I understand Charlie Johnson being on a winning team but he was their worst OL and they dumbed him to Vikings and guess what Vikings was generous enough to get him and see him lose to every single DL.

  9. By Parody on Nov 22, 2011 | Reply

    Let me get this straight. Because our offensive line has the luxury of blocking for AP, the most dominant running back in the league, they get a free pass in their run blocking skills? I don’t buy it.

    And what facts were you considering when you claimed that the WRs’ inability to get open was a large reason for the QB protection? You can’t place blame on the WRs when the offensive line fails to maintain anything more than a 2-second block.

  10. By The Brain on Nov 22, 2011 | Reply

    What game is Fraizer watching? We are fairly good at running because of AP not the second rate O-line. How many yards did we get rushing after he went out? Heck on a good team our O-line would be second stringers. Come on Fraizer less BS, more good coaching!

  11. By truther on Nov 22, 2011 | Reply

    It has been rare to see all of our best offensive players on the field at the same time for more than one play, What a joke. Frazier and Mussgrave are Lost. All of our play makers on offence should be our base package unit 85% of the time almost every down. That puts preassue on the othe teams deffence.

  12. By truther on Nov 22, 2011 | Reply

    Here is just one offinsive set for Mussgrave. Ponder under center, Peterson and Booker split Left right in the backfield, Rudolph wide right Jenkins wide left Harvin in the left slot. Could be AP up the middle, could be Booker around the left end , could be AP and Booker pass block Ponder throws deep to jenkins, could be a slant pass to Rudolph or Harvin, could be a screen pass to AP. You have a minimum of six options with your best players from one set.

  13. By vikes own on Nov 22, 2011 | Reply

    we need to put brandon burton at CB and make our o line better

  14. By hippster on Nov 22, 2011 | Reply

    this team needs a real football coach frazier is a joke .he is a timid man with no b-lls this team has turned into a bunch of lazy slobs except for a few players ,we all know who they are .what kind of coach puts trash like this on the field somebody please give this guy his pink slip .its time to make these players not earning their paychecks to put up or hit the door .there’s alot of people barely making a living out there right that have twice the passon some of these over paid under achivers, they lose every week it seams with a big ol smile on their faces while we the fan curse at the tv i blame the coach its his job to make sure he’s got his team prepared his job no one else’s he has’nt done his job so he needs to go ,end of story

  15. By vikingpat on Nov 22, 2011 | Reply

    i say down with frazier!!!!!!!! He has no emotion same press conference every week. 1 more blow out loss Zig eeee and send him a packing childress was better than this garbage!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Also player personel should be fired for drafting wrong we need ol ,and a stud wr lets get it right!!!!!!!

  16. By VegasVike on Nov 22, 2011 | Reply

    Brian Billick for president

  17. By Viking Joe on Nov 22, 2011 | Reply

    The current O-line’s so called strength is run blocking, not pass protection, with AP shelved, I hope they can step it up. Ponder is taking way to many hits.

  18. By Viking33 on Nov 22, 2011 | Reply

    Lets not play people that won’t be here next year and play people that will be here for the future!! And Yes I see the confusion the RB’s have on Blocking – But which guy are they supposed to get – the one that ran past Loadholt or the one that Ran over Johnson and whichever Center was playing that day? I like Greg Camirillo as much as the next guy, but is he in our future plans, or is Arceneaux and Burton? Where’s Love – what can he do? Just like Kyle Orton, lets waive these guys that should not be part of our future.

  19. By Viking33 on Nov 22, 2011 | Reply

    Run Blocking is not good enough either, I AP had run blocking like Foster has he could put Forrest Gump to shame – If we are going to Center our offense around AP, and I am all for that btw, then lets get some people around him and do just that then. It is shameful to waste his skill this way – that guy should be throwing up 150 a week without breaking a sweat!

  20. By Shawn on Nov 22, 2011 | Reply

    @Mike Wobschall …. LMAO , Really? Who knew ?

    O yea FRED JONES !!!!!!!!!!! and everyone except our front office and coaching staff.

  21. By Shawn on Nov 22, 2011 | Reply

    @Mike Wobschall … Have they noticed the DBs yet?

  22. By Shawn on Nov 22, 2011 | Reply

    Vegas Vike … great point. Acknowledging the problem is the first step so maybe we have hope for next seaseon. Or at least fans from somewhere will have hope …

  23. By Shawn on Nov 22, 2011 | Reply

    @the fire frazier crowd … IMO , every coach deserves 2 years. The first to see how good or in this case how bad the team is and the second to see improvement.

    Thats just my opinion and I understand yours. This season has been an embarrasment.

  24. By Shawn on Nov 22, 2011 | Reply

    Parody … great point about Peterson making the OL look better than they are.

  25. By Shawn on Nov 22, 2011 | Reply

    @Mike Wobs … Peterson could get 2,000 yards behind a good OL. This OL is pathetic in every way imaginable. If Hutch was our 3rd best OLmen wed be in good shape but sadly he is our best ….

  26. By purplehaze1 on Nov 22, 2011 | Reply

    some great points posted here by fans…give Les and his band of merry men another 2-8 years and they’ll figure it out…GO VIKES!!!

  27. By VegasVike on Nov 22, 2011 | Reply

    2-8 years i get it haha.

  28. By VegasVike on Nov 22, 2011 | Reply

    Billick was the man, he ran an juggernaut Offense while in MN and immediately took the Ravens to the Superbowl and won. I wish he was our coach.

  29. By CanadianVF on Nov 22, 2011 | Reply

    @ Woodboat, Daniel and whoever else I offended. I would like to take this opportunity after some soul searching and being called out by Woodboat the other night to apologize for what I said about the negativity on this website. I was wrong to write what I did because I hate seeing my favourite team being trashed all the time. My comments were inappropiate and I am trully sorry for what I said, I hope you can forgive me and I will not do it again. I have been critical of especially the coaching staff in my posts, so it is pretty hypocritical of me to criticize others.Judge not, lest you be judged. Again I am very sorry for what I said. Woodboat was right that fans should be able vent their frustration at our humiliating losses. Certainly their haven’t been a lot of positives to talk about this season.

  30. By KLAWZ on Nov 22, 2011 | Reply

    @parody…read what Canadian just posted…

  31. By Shawn on Nov 22, 2011 | Reply

    VegasVike … Billick would be great. He had a subpar offense in Baltimore. Marvin Lewis ran the defense the year a young Ray Lewis and a 2000 yard rusher won the Super Bowl

    Id take Brian Billick or Cowher over Frazier. but GO BIG OR GO HOME.

    Meaning if your going to fire Frazier bring in a BIG name not another unknown. This team might even need a screamer like John Gruden

  32. By lessleslienow on Nov 22, 2011 | Reply

    How many games does Frazier need to see until he realizes that incorporating a moving pocket into this foundering offense is at least ONE step in the right direction as far as developing Ponder into an NFL quarterback?
    His throws-as he moves to his right-show signs of raw talent that Coach is merely using in dire situations. This could be a valuable addition to an already potent offense (Peterson’s injury notwithstanding.)
    C’mon guys! This season is toast, but who wants stuffing that slides off of the fork?

  33. By Shawn on Nov 22, 2011 | Reply

    Frazier did mention that changes were needed on his team if they wont get it in his last presser …. thats why im sticking with the 2 year idea. But hes got to win some more games

  34. By YourMama on Nov 22, 2011 | Reply

    Why start now?

  35. By Parody on Nov 22, 2011 | Reply

    KLAWZ – Apology accepted. Let’s support our team together, through the good and the bad.

  36. By Joco on Nov 22, 2011 | Reply

    first off, we need better defensive backs and also better offensive linemen.!!!!!! and i agree that childress was probably better than leslie. we need better defensive backs and linemen and a new coach. and a studly wr like percy harvin wouldn’t be too bad either.

  37. By Joco on Nov 22, 2011 | Reply

    im really really sorry to say this, but i honestly dont think AP will want to stick around. this is his last year of his contract and i doubt if the viks will cough up enough money for him to stick around. but they really should. i mean look at his stats… they are beastly and without him, they would absolutly suck without him. toby’s not super good but is alright but definotly not like AP or anyone for that fact.

  38. By bleeding purple on Nov 23, 2011 | Reply

    @Joco….have u really not heard? towards the end of the preseason AP signed an extension which should have him retire as a viking

  39. By Regfan on Nov 23, 2011 | Reply

    Ir’s too late to be analyzing the team,now that AP is hurt,who is next ..Ponder?..Frazier hasn’t a clue

  40. By Parody on Nov 23, 2011 | Reply

    @Bleeding Purple – He obviously has been hiding under a rock for the past 3-months. AP’s new contract was the most positive news we’ve heard this year, by far.

    Strange side note: The Madden curse seems to be getting stronger. It appears to be reaching beyond the norm this year, going after the top prospects too! Peyton Hillis (the winner) went down early, Vick got knocked out a week ago, and now Peterson. Is Rodgers due for an injury next? That would finish off the list of the final-4 candidates….one can only wonder…

  41. By Cobrasvt on Nov 23, 2011 | Reply

    Poor little girl that cries when the Vikings loose will need professional treatment for depression the way things are going! Bless her heart! I feel for her, me to!

  42. By Joner on Nov 23, 2011 | Reply

    People need to calm down about firing Frazier. You think our record is his fault? He doesn’t have much talent to work with (ignoring Allen, Harvin and Peterson). Give him another year after he’s had a draft to reshape his team. Everyone has admitted that drafting Ponder was a surprise @ 12 but that’s looking more shrewd than first imagined. He dumped McNabb after Ponder had a chance to start learning the system and get used to the NFL. He cut Berrian after giving him a reasonable chance to be more productive. Even though TE wasn’t a big need last year, drafting Rudolph seems to be a good decision already and could be big in our future. Frazier in 1 season has made a good start at reshaping our team. Old players who are past it like Pat Williams and McKinnie are gone. He sees his players every day in practice and if he thought they would be better options than ones in the team, he would play them. No point dropping players like Griffin and putting in Burton if he doesn’t think it will be better. I’m sure as the season goes on, Frazier will give the youngsters more minutes but no point doing it before they are ready. SKOL Vikes!

  43. By brian on Nov 23, 2011 | Reply

    great now frazier is like all the other head coaches and denying that it is all the offensive line

  44. By RI VIKE on Nov 23, 2011 | Reply

    Think how many more sacks we’d have given up if DNabb was still in the game. I know Ponder is making rookie mistakes, but his mobility is also making the OLine look better than they are (along with AP). Fred Jones has been right all along, it starts up front. If we had a decent OL, can you imagine what a monster AP would be? Sadly though, more time in the pocket probably won’t improve Ponder’s play as our WR can’t get any separation. I’m a vikings fan for life, but we’ll need to have an excellent draft/free agency next year to compete in the NFCN.

  45. By JPNYC on Nov 23, 2011 | Reply

    draft Kalil of Martin!

  46. By Mike J on Nov 23, 2011 | Reply

    I understand this is only Fraziers first year as a head coach at this level but this b.s. he’s giving us shouldn’t get him a second year. He’s to scared to place the blame on the area that’s struggling so he call out everyone. Every team in the league knows our O line sucks look at the Mock drafts everyone knows we need a O line because were playing without one, how come no one is saying draft a running back or a defensive end for the left side that’s because were good at those positions.

  47. By Mike Wobschall on Nov 23, 2011 | Reply

    Hey guys

  48. By Mike J on Nov 23, 2011 | Reply

    We should draft Alshon Jeffrey he’s a big athletic receiver who reminds me of Sidney rice and has the physical skill set of a Calvin Johnson. Then we must get an offensive lineman no later then the third round and we better address our pathetic secondary I don’t see anyone back their that’s starting right now who should start next season unless Cook gets out of the trouble he’s in. As far as the defensive lone I think the Ballard kid deserves to start alongside of Williams with Griffen and Robison rotating and competing for that spot. Our team needs to start making players compete for their starting spot and stop handing it to them. I’m looking forward to next season because I can’t stanford watching games with the players that’s starting now excluding some.

  49. By Mike J on Nov 23, 2011 | Reply

    Dump Asher Allen in the offseason, dump Abdullah how do you catch a concussion if you don’t hit anyone thats just soft he’s has no tackling skills or ball skills, move Cedric Griffin to the starting FS he played it at Texas sign, draft a SF to battle Raymond for the spot, use sanford on special teams only and draft a CB to compete with our young guys for play time, trade Winfield, Gerhart, Camerilo for draft picks and trade Joe Webb so he can get a chance somewhere else if were not going to use him. Draft, signoffensive linemans to replace our current starters except Hutchinson that’s a must. And have our players practice with their equipment on more often and more love practices because this year and last year proved that tackling is not our strength.

  50. By Mike J on Nov 23, 2011 | Reply

    Dump Asher Allen in the offseason, dump Abdullah how do you catch a concussion if you don’t hit anyone thats just soft he has no tackling skills or ball skills, move Cedric Griffin to the starting FS he played it at Texas sign, draft a SF to battle Raymond for the spot, use sanford on special teams only and draft a CB to compete with our young guys for play time, trade Winfield, Gerhart, Camerilo for draft picks and trade Joe Webb so he can get a chance somewhere else if were not going to use him. Draft, signoffensive linemans to replace our current starters except Hutchinson that’s a must. And have our players practice with their equipment on more often and more live practices because this year and last year proved that tackling is not our strength.

  51. By truther on Nov 23, 2011 | Reply

    If we are lucky, we will get the # 2 Pick in the first round. We had better take OG David DeCastro from Stanford. This guy is a freak, He doesnt ever get beat in pass protection and he is also used at times at the Tackle position where he is also dominant and he is also the best pulling Gaurd in the country. That equals time for Ponder to throw deep and Big Holes for AP to run thru. If we are at 3 or 4 in the first round, DeCastro will be gone.

  52. By Bill Lambert on Nov 23, 2011 | Reply

    Time to give Frazier his pink-slip, he’s not the man for this job. The vikings need someone like John Gruden for a coach.

  53. By Rocksalt on Nov 23, 2011 | Reply

    I agree with most of the bloggers here. Our Oline has stunk since last year. Favre was on his back and hurried constantly. Come 2011, and we stiull have not corrected this, or LOL JUST NOW recognized one of many problems? AP has got most of his yardage on his own. Ponder has no time to throw. McNabb is still working on his mechanics(13 years) And we are 2-8, looking at some tough opponents who only have to pin their ears back cuz we have no DBs……THIS IS A DIRE SITUATION!

  54. By CanadianVF on Nov 23, 2011 | Reply

    I have said earlier in the week that we need to get coaches with a proven track record. I like Gruden but now that he has signed that big contract with MNF, we wont be able to get him. Cowher would be great too but I do not know if we could afford him. One suggestion the other night was Steve Fisher, which I thought was a great idea He is a proven winner and head coach

  55. By TheMontgomery on Nov 23, 2011 | Reply

    Fire Frazier.

    …As head coach, anyway. However, he’s a good defensive coordinator, so we’d do well not to throw the baby out with the bathwater on this one.

    Musgrave, on the other hand, should be shown the door sooner rather than later.

  56. By SaskatchewanVikesFan on Nov 23, 2011 | Reply


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