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Twitter-Sized Player Evaluations

Posted by Mike Wobschall on August 7, 2012 – 6:26 am

One of the main challenges to covering a NFL team during training camp is covering all the bases. With a 90-man roster and plenty of intriguing storylines to follow, it’s hard to cover everything. But there is a saving grace in all of this. Twitter.

Brevity is required when using Twitter because a message on the social media platform must be 140 or fewer characters. Some may look at that as a limitation. But we’re turning it into opportunity. The Twitter-sized player evaluations feature we debuted last week gives us a chance to provide some insight on several players, rather than an overwhelming amount of insight on just a few players.

On Monday before practice, we asked (on my Twitter handle – @wobby) which players you’d like to know about via Twitter evaluations. They are listed below with a 140 (or fewer)-character evaluation…

FB Matt Asiata - Skilled pass catcher out of the backfield. Needs to show ability on special teams during preseason.

WR Stephen Burton - May have some position flexibility to him (can play X and Z receiver) & has had very good camp. Good after the catch. Big preseason for him.

CB Chris Carr - Playing with first-team nickel. Smart, instinctive player. Was in punt return rotation on Monday.

LB Audie Cole - Big, physical & smart. Unsure if he’s best at middle or outside LB. Needs to contribute on special teams. Has a chance to be good NFL LB.

TE Rhett Ellison - Impressing with his hands and fluidity in passing game. Known as hard worker. Will be a good pro for a long time.

RG Brandon Fusco - Still the one to beat for starting RG spot. Smart, tough player. Going against Kevin Williams every day is good for him.

RB Toby Gerhart - Looks and plays the part of a starting-caliber NFL RB. Grinder who will wear defenses out. Good in passing game (protection and receiving).

LB Everson Griffen - Up and down – will make great plays or mistakes. Great instincts and athleticism. Transitioning well, could still play DL in situations.

DL Trevor Guyton - Great start to camp, leveling off a bit now. Hard to move on the inside. Has athleticism to play multiple positions. Stout against run.

DE Brian Robison - Great day of practice on Monday. Excellent inside pass rush moves. Can play DT in nickel package. Great enthusiasm and passion.

C John Sullivan - Excellent leader. Rarely makes mistake. Developing into Top 5 at his position in NFL.

K Blair Walsh - Has impressed with leg strength AND accuracy. Answered the bell in simulated game situations at end of practice. Touchbacks-a-plenty.

WR Bryan Walters – In the mix at WR, needs productive preseason. In punt return rotation & fields kicks gracefully. Sudden route runner with good separation.

WR Jarius Wright - Explosive short-area quickness. Solid hands. In return rotations. Good attitude, practices hard. Solid camp so far.


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Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 65 Comments »


65 Responses to “Twitter-Sized Player Evaluations”

  1. By gitarzanfan on Aug 7, 2012 | Reply

    First time at first!

  2. By gitarzanfan on Aug 7, 2012 | Reply

    Good article by the way

  3. By Deer Tracks on Aug 7, 2012 | Reply

    Sure looks like it’s all sugar and spice and everything nice.

    Now let us see what happens when the rubber meets the road.

  4. By MIke B. on Aug 7, 2012 | Reply

    Indeed Deer Tracks Let’s see how it applies to the field.

  5. By Deer Tracks on Aug 7, 2012 | Reply

    GO PACKERS!!!!!!!

  6. By DeerTracks* on Aug 7, 2012 | Reply

    Well Mike, looks like the phonyDeer Tracks came flooting up to the top (again)

    Everybody in the world knows I dislike the Green Bay Packers.

  7. By Richard1A on Aug 7, 2012 | Reply

    Deertracks, exactly, go back to the packers! I would rather see all but 5 or 6 vikings get cut before they cut Elimimien, he knows football and can hit.

  8. By Troutdaddy on Aug 7, 2012 | Reply

    From what many are saying- I think Burton and Wright are going to end up being great additions. They have the attitudes and the drive to be what we want them to be. I am hoping Simpson can come in an make an immediate inpact and that these other two can be used well to mix it up. Looking at our WR weapons, I am actually pretty stoked about our passing game. Let’s hope and pray that Ponder gets time to throw…. If he does, then the Vikes are going to be a heck of a lot better than many thnk they will be…. mark my words….

  9. By vikingbob136 on Aug 7, 2012 | Reply

    Tell me which one of our wide receivers is a number one on any other football team? Wake up Spielman.and sign a veteran before our season is over by the 4th week like last year.Our defense will improve. But our offense won’t keep up this
    year.Come on man!!!

  10. By yortzme on Aug 7, 2012 | Reply

    Was @ training camp on monday. QB#7 is not looking too good. 1st play was intercepted by Raymond. Burton does look like he’s is doing very well.

  11. By KoN on Aug 7, 2012 | Reply

    It depends upon what you mean by #1 vikingbob136. If you mean #1 as in the position that refers to a field stretching WR, then Simpson could start for a decent amount of other teams (h e l l, the Seahawks picked up Terrell “Locker Room Cancer” Owens and Braylon” Super Inconsistent” Edwards, I’m sure they’d love to have Simpson). If you mean #1 as in the WR with the most yardage for the team, then Percy could fill that role on a majority of NFL teams.

  12. By yortzme on Aug 7, 2012 | Reply

    Rhett looks like the real deal, but he is being used with the #3′s. Felton is being used as the #1 fullback

  13. By Frederick Jones on Aug 7, 2012 | Reply

    @yortzme,

    We expect mistakes from any player. What matters is how they respond to those mistakes. Did he make any good plays after the interception?

  14. By Frederick Jones on Aug 7, 2012 | Reply

    @Titus,

    Your attitude is great, as long as it is you playing QB for the Vikings, or if you are biking in the olympics, or lifting a heavy weight. When making predictions you have to rely on other people, and consider human nature.

    One of my brothers also predicts the Vikings to finish 16-0 every year. He’s been crushed the last two years.

    This is a year where choosing the middle ground is a good prediction for the Vikings.
    8-8… you’ve been hearing me say it since 2011 for sure.

    8-8 is NOT WHAT I WANT FOR THE VIKINGS. It is my prediction.

    There is a difference.

  15. By Frederick Jones on Aug 7, 2012 | Reply

    Who is the better Quarterback Rodgers or Titus?

  16. By therealdon on Aug 7, 2012 | Reply

    yortzme- congrats man! you are able to decipher the progess of #7 for this offseason after one play! way to go pal! maybe you should be the new scouting administrator for player personell! Way to go. Some of you are just so darn reactionary it is unreal. It is training camp, wait two months before making such bold statements on player progress. I don’t believe in #7 either, but I’m not jumping at every chance to can him after a bad practice. Like him or not, he is the guy right now. Webb may be ok when teams don’t gameplan for him, but he has nothing more to offer than #7. Sage, is Sage. Basically we have three backup Qb’s on the roster and no real starter. I have my fingers crossed, but believe that the Vikings will be drafting a new QB in 2013.

  17. By therealdon on Aug 7, 2012 | Reply

    I’m sure Titus believes he is more intellegent than Rodgers. Probably thinks he is in better shape as well. I’m not going to dispute that with Titus, but I will say this; any 300 pound un-educated man can claim to be a super intellectual and a “lean mean” guy when he is online.

  18. By Tark on Aug 7, 2012 | Reply

    I’ve been to a couple of practices. I though #7 was looking much improved thus far.

  19. By Frederick Jones on Aug 7, 2012 | Reply

    In order for the Vikings to finish 8-8 the following must happen:

    Webb/Ponder must throw for 3400 yards.
    Gerhart/Peterson must run for 1800 yards.
    The defense must record 40 sacks, 15 interceptions.
    Walsh must make 80% of his FGs.
    at least one Vikings WR must make the Pro Bowl.
    Randolph must make the Pro Bowl.

    That’s the best I can do, I would love to see your list!!!

  20. By Woodboat on Aug 7, 2012 | Reply

    Twitter Evaluation of …

    Phil Loadholt – Journeyman DE Brian Robison beats him like a rented mule routinely. Needs to look for new line of work.

  21. By spoileralert on Aug 7, 2012 | Reply

    you know how i know that titus is a phony? if he was for real, he wouldnt have to remind us constantly about how freakin great he is. smells like a phony to me

  22. By Frederick Jones on Aug 7, 2012 | Reply

    @therealdon,

    funny stuff man!!! lol

  23. By Woodboat on Aug 7, 2012 | Reply

    Fred….. Rudolph would be a better bet to make the Pro-Bowl than Randolph. Isn’t Randolph the guy that led the Hobbits south with the Ring?

  24. By Tark on Aug 7, 2012 | Reply

    all the vikings need to do to go 8-8 this year is play quality mistake free football. You don’t need great stats to have a winning record. I don’t care if CP only throws one hundred yards a game, if they win the game, that’s all that matters.

  25. By KoN on Aug 7, 2012 | Reply

    I thought Randloph led the Robbits routh with the Ring.

  26. By Woodboat on Aug 7, 2012 | Reply

    Viking Bob…

    Our offense is vastly improved over last year, and it wasn’t our weak link last year. The O Line should be much better than last year (other than Loadholt), and our WR corps is fine. With Rudolph, Carlson, and Ellison helping Harvin, Simpson, and the others, there shouldn’t be any shortage of guys that can make plays. With Peterson and Gerhart in the backfield, and Ponder having had a year to grow, AND Musgrave having a year to get his feet under him, I think we’ll be just fine.

    If you want to worry, worry about the defense. That was the side that let the team down last year. Spielman did a very good job of trying to patch the holes in our roster on that side of the ball… it’s just a matter of getting them all on the same page.

    I’m fairly optimistic about the team and think we should have a winning season this year.

  27. By Woodboat on Aug 7, 2012 | Reply

    Amen, Tark.

    KoN… no, that was Scooby Doo… lol

  28. By Tark on Aug 7, 2012 | Reply

    When it comes to #7, I think most people see what they want to see. Analysts and fans who have not liked him since he was drafted only find negative things to say about him. Analysts and fans that do like him only see the positives in what he brings and blind themselves to his mistakes. Let me tell you something, he is still basically a “rookie”, persay. Even this season can be chalked up to a wash with the current QB situation. Whether you like the guy or not, get used to him because he will likely be around next season as well. It is the unwritten rule that a developing player/coach gets three seasons before getting canned. Any organization that quits on people after a year and a half, does not go anywhere. If you don’t believe me, start researching.

  29. By Parody on Aug 7, 2012 | Reply

    I was at camp on saturday and was not impressed by Burton. He had a case of the drops and didn’t do anything spectacular. That was during drills where no tackling was allowed. I can only assume that it will get worse once the defense is allowed to do more than play patty-cake with him.

  30. By therealdon on Aug 7, 2012 | Reply

    i see Sidney Rice may not be ready for the Seahawks opener. I was dissapointed when he signed with another team, but not anymore. He is absolutely the most injury prone guy in the league. No wonder why the Vikes did not even give him a chance to resign. Good show Crazy Rick.

  31. By KoN on Aug 7, 2012 | Reply

    While that may be true Parody, you should know that you can’t make an accurate judgement on a player based on a single practice.

  32. By therealdon on Aug 7, 2012 | Reply

    @Kon-TRUE DAT. Minnesota, home of the arm chair QB’s.

  33. By RippingJack on Aug 7, 2012 | Reply

    Parody is an A$$hole.

  34. By Tark on Aug 7, 2012 | Reply

    Predictions are too dangerous to make. My prediction; the Vikings will play 16 games this season. They will play 8 at home and 8 on the road. They have a 50-50 chance at this point, just like all 32 teams.

  35. By Spencer on Aug 7, 2012 | Reply

    Is it Friday yet?? Cant wait to see Cook in action against Moss!

  36. By Sir Greasy Panda on Aug 7, 2012 | Reply

    We havent even played a single game!!! everyone loves predictions, and it is fun to have them but it doesnt mean a thing. Philly was supposed to be great last season and they imploded. Cincy and San Fran both surprised people last year so did detroit. so lets not rush to conclusions.

    Give the vikings a chance to play a couple games. We start off against Jax and Indy. We have a good chance of starting 2-0 if everything is based off last season. San Fran will be the test of how we can hang with the big boys

  37. By Sir Greasy Panda on Aug 7, 2012 | Reply

    in the 5 decades of vikings football weve only gone 3-13 twice. I highly doubt we will be as bad as last season. And even though our record was that bad, do not forget that we lost 8 GAMES by a touchdown or less. In the NFL that is one play, one tackle, one completion. The real bad teams get blown out ALL the time, we got blown out 3 times, Chicago, New Orleans, and Green Bay. The rest we were all competitive in. Things can turn quickly as long as the team builds great chemistry and rythm

  38. By Sir Greasy Panda on Aug 7, 2012 | Reply

    I am a Ponder optimist though so I believe the kid will improve and win some games for us. Last year was nuts with the lock out and all. He just needs time to show what he really has.

  39. By rogerthevikefan on Aug 7, 2012 | Reply

    All QBs need time to develop. Look at Steve Young, Troy Aikman(D@MN he is annoying), Kurt Warner, Eli Manning, and Peyton Manning.

  40. By rogerthevikefan on Aug 7, 2012 | Reply

    This the NFL there are no absolutes. Everything is fluid and ever changing.

  41. By SkolVikes98 on Aug 7, 2012 | Reply

    My guess for the season; 7 or 8 wins, depending on how beat up our team / our division is come divisional play at the end of the season. Better line by far, more potent receiving corps, what appears to be a better secondary. Keep those second half meltdowns away, and I think we’ll be alright. Hopefully Ponder (or maybe Webb, you never know) can get the time he needs to make the right plays.

  42. By tdurfeightyeight on Aug 7, 2012 | Reply

    It is a mistake for the Vikes to have Everson Griffen “learn” to play linebacker to try and get him on the field more.Instead they should have him start at L.E. and allow Robison to sub for Allen and Griffen later in the game,B-Rob was way more damaging to offenses when the Vikings used him in that way years ago.

  43. By SkolVikes98 on Aug 7, 2012 | Reply

    @rogerthevikingfan Troy Aikman is the worst commentator I’ve ever seen…. and that’s tough considering I still watch ESPN.

  44. By oDIm on Aug 7, 2012 | Reply

    I am happy to hear about all the unicorns and rainbows. Does anyone thinking oLine (Fred) wonder if they are better without Hutch and Herrera, even with the added protection from Kalil. It sounds like they are looking for the cheapest castoffs they can find. Does the affording stadium mean they cannot afford the best talent available, or do they have cap problems? If so does Adrian loose money if he is on the pup list? Is that why there is contention about when he comes back? Could his pay or paycut effect who they can bring in?

  45. By frenum49 on Aug 7, 2012 | Reply

    ^^^^^Conspiracy theorist in training

  46. By sandiamond on Aug 7, 2012 | Reply

    #59 big dude fits right in(size) with a starting front 7!

    http://www.vikings.com/team/roster/Solomon-Elimimian/c2fca3bb-7577-48c9-bc69-3f7a1482582a

  47. By KoN on Aug 7, 2012 | Reply

    Here’s one for you, Spencer https://twitter.com/1500ESPNJudd/status/232977767732498432

  48. By sandiamond on Aug 7, 2012 | Reply

    OL

    fred

    http://min.scout.com/2/1209412.html

  49. By Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus on Aug 7, 2012 | Reply

    realdon, you gotta problem with me? Do ya?

  50. By The Real Don on Aug 7, 2012 | Reply

    Only you, not the real Titus. I don’t mind him.

  51. By ponderthefuture on Aug 7, 2012 | Reply

    excited to see if the vikings make any moves with free agent wr’s

  52. By Woodboat on Aug 7, 2012 | Reply

    oDlm… Yeah, I do think this years line is better than last. Hutch WAS great… now he’s merely decent. Herrera never was a good player. SO… position by position…

    Kalil instead of Johnson…plus.
    Johnson instead of Hutchinson…probably a wash, maybe even a plus.
    Sullivan
    Fusco over Herrera…plus.
    Loadholt…can’t be any worse…I don’t think it’s possible.

    So, at worst, we’ve held even in 3 spots and improved 2. We get Schwartz back and maybe Phil will Offensive Holding his way off the starting squad and Fusco can show us how mean he can be in space.

  53. By Woodboat on Aug 7, 2012 | Reply

    If If they do grab another FA WR, I don’t think it’ll be a name that any of us will get excited about. At this point, I think we are going to see a LOT of 2 TE sets, and we have the WRs we need to cover the rest of the field. Its a pity Childs decided to de-knee-ify himself…. having a tall burner on the edge would’ve been handy.

  54. By Parody on Aug 7, 2012 | Reply

    Wow, I give an honest review of what I saw and that makes me an asshôle? I realize that I was only down there for one day, but that was all I could afford. If there was a way for me to get paid to be down there every day assèssing the team, I’d love it. But that’s just not going to happen.

    Wobby rarely says anything but positive things about everything Vikings related (has he even mentioned Peterson’s arrest yet?). Due to that, there has been some hype building that Burton is on the verge of a breakout year. Based on the one chance I got to see him play, I think that is very unrealistic. I would love to come in here and say that Burton is the real deal, but I would only do that if I really believed it.

    If we allow ourselves to take everything that Wobby says about the team for face value, we are all going to be very disappointed in the results on the field.

  55. By sandiamond on Aug 8, 2012 | Reply

    another listed linebacker # 59. keep an eye on both friday

    http://www.vikings.com/team/roster/Tyrone-McKenzie/cf8c92fc-2b9c-46cf-86c9-2b354629f016

  56. By sandiamond on Aug 8, 2012 | Reply

    _________________FS SMITH_______________________
    ____________________________SS R. Jones________________

    ________CB FELDER______________________CB GATEWOOD________
    ________________SC C. CARR____________________________________
    ____________________LB E> GRIFFEN______LB ELIM________________

    __________ OWUSU_____POWELL___BALLARD___GUYTON___________

    lineup in the 2nd half would like to see!

  57. By rocksalt on Aug 8, 2012 | Reply

    Fred is right 8-8 is all we can REALISTICALLY expect

  58. By Meekay on Aug 9, 2012 | Reply

    I think that the worst defensive player of each game should get to be Jared Allens tackling dummy for the week.

  59. By lashy on Aug 9, 2012 | Reply

    i would like to seee burton produce this year

  60. By lashy on Aug 9, 2012 | Reply

    ya rocksalt rightnow 8-8 would seem really good

  61. By Parody on Aug 11, 2012 | Reply

  62. By Parody on Aug 11, 2012 | Reply

    VikingsLive.html

  63. By Parody on Aug 11, 2012 | Reply

    https://sites.google.com/site/vikingslive/

  64. By Parody on Aug 11, 2012 | Reply

    Why are all of my comments awaiting moderation now?

  65. By Parody on Aug 11, 2012 | Reply

    DISDNASFLSDFanasdfg
    Is it because I’m sending them somewhere relevant?
    asdfga;kjandfg
    asdg;lakg

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