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Safety First: Competition Continues In Vikings Secondary

Posted by Mike Wobschall on August 14, 2012 – 12:40 pm

Harrison Smith: Progression Continues
Mistral Raymond: He’s Got The Look

Improving the pass defense was a top priority for the Vikings this past offseason, and the effort to do so has continued during 2012 Verizon Vikings Training Camp and the preseason. Two starting positions at safety are open for competition, and the race to win those spots will continue this week as the Vikings prepare for preseason game #2 against the Buffalo Bills at Mall of America Field on Friday.

In the days leading up to Friday’s game, we’ll take a daily look at three players vying for starting safety positions – Mistral Raymond (today), Harrison Smith (Wednesday) and Jamarca Sanford (Thursday).

Keep in mind that there are others fighting for spots, too. Andrew Sendejo, for example, led the Vikings in tackles last week at San Francisco and is pushing for playing time on defense. Others in the mix include Robert Blanton, Eric Frampton and Reggie Jones.

We’ll begin this series with a look at Mistral Raymond…

He’s got the look
Entering his second season, Raymond has the look of star in the making. He has the frame (6-1, 202 pounds) and skill set to be a ball-hawking NFL safety. The Vikings acquired Raymond with a sixth-round pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, but the hope is he’ll make a top-pick kind of impact on the Vikings defense.

Vikings Defensive Coordinator Alan Williams says physical ability and a willingness to mix it up on defense are not concerns. The thing keeping Raymond from emerging as a reliable contributor on defense is experience, something he’ll gain during his second NFL season this year.

“Yes, without a doubt,” Williams quickly responded when asked if Raymond was willing and able enough to play safety. “Willing, not a problem whatsoever, strong enough, not a problem. Experience is just going to be the thing that he needs to come along with.

“With him it’s just every situation is going to be new for him, that he hadn’t seen it, there will be some wrinkles from week-to-week and we just need to make sure that we get him enough reps in practice, and in ball games to get him up to speed so that every situation is just not new to him, that he has some experience with them.”

In college, Raymond was used both as a cornerback and safety. The Vikings are confident that Raymond’s experience playing cornerback in college will give him sound coverage skills as a safety in the NFL.

“He’s an athletic safety that still has cover skills that have not diminished since we put him at safety from the time that he was playing corner,” Williams said. “He is still learning on the go, though. He is a young safety.”

Raymond started five games last year as a rookie and flashed plenty of potential while also learning from mistakes. Entering his second season, Raymond knows his performance in training camp and practice are important, but he also knows the game experience from last year is invaluable.

“You go out in practice and give it everything you’ve got, but some of those game situations you just can’t simulate,” Raymond explained. “It’s big to get those live game reps. I think the more reps I got, the more comfortable I became and the more I started to see things. Hopefully that will translate to this season.”

The Vikings seem anxious to see what Raymond can add to the Vikings secondary.

“We’re looking to put him in as many situations as we can so that when it comes to play on Sundays, it’s not the first time that he has done it or seen it or been it,” Williams said. “He still has a ways to go, but we like his potential.”


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Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 159 Comments »


159 Responses to “Safety First: Competition Continues In Vikings Secondary”

  1. By F. Smoot on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply

    first

  2. By jrich on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply

    so i guess harrison smith wed not raymond??

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

    I like Al Williams philosophy of not just handing out starting positions. Football coaches should consider everyone on the roster.

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

    Maybe someone already noticed this: The Packers did not sign Ryan Grant, and they do not currently have enough healthy RBs. Perhaps this was a costly over sight by Mike McCarthy.

    They have a GREAT offensive line, but you still have to have someone of decent caliber to carry the ball. The NFL is not an all-pass league yet.

  5. By Immure on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply

    Fred- Didn’t they just sign Cedric Benson though?

  6. By Richard1A on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply

    Not First! its hard to tell what they got, we havent seen the 1st string in there much. Hard to judge. Preparing for Fri’s battle, grinding battle axe’s, swords, the purple punch is ready to go.

  7. By kevinwi on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply

    so about this Harrison smith being today and Raymond being Wednesday comment…lol

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

    @Immure,

    Yes, they do have Benson. But he is not the all-around back that Ryan Grant has been. They have been holding Benson back because of injuries.

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

    Everson Griffen is always being touted as a great player. He’s had more Vikings.com blogs dedicated to him than any other player not named Harvin, Peterson, Greenway, or Allen.

    Everson Griffen should be starting, or SHUT UP!!!

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

    YOU can be a great NFL coach but get fired over lack of acquired talent. Management has to work for you to help find the talent, although guys like Dennis Green were able to find their own talent. Green was underated, he was one of the best coaches in NFL history…or my middle initial isn’t L.

    Actually it was Brian Billick who suggested this on THE FAN.

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

    By Dueyz on Aug 8, 2012 | Reply

    @ Frederick Jones

    What do you think about sliding Loadholt inside? Whether 1 spot or 2? I’ve considered it would be a better fit for him. He’d have less space to work with, which would make his lack of agility less of a weak point. Ideally the line should be tighter towards the center, and I think keeping a pair of shoulders on both sides of him would allow him to use his power and size, and detract less from his speed.

    JONES THINKS THAT IF YOU ARE A GOOD TACKLE, YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO PLAY GUARD, AND VICE VERSA!!! THE VIKINGS NEED TO FIND SOMEONE BETTER THAN LOADHOLT (AND JOHNSON) TO COMPETE IN THE NFL.

  12. By Spoiler Alert on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply

    The fact that the Packers went out and made a splashy signing, says something about the state of their franchise. Although Woodson is the exception, T-T. does not usually go the route of big FA. It almost appears that they are making a stretch to be as good as they were the past few seasons. Maybe the window is cosing. I sure hope so!!!

  13. By Spoiler Alert on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply

    Oh, I agree with Loadholt and Johnson, neither are top teir line-men, but every team has a few holes in the O-line. Finding quality line-men is like trying to find the Limburg baby. Guess we will have to count our blessings with Kalil and Sully. Let’s hope Fusco can fill a void on the right side, and Loadholt can finally be the guy he was drafted to be.

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

    @61Vikings,

    You were corrent, the game I was refering to was the 1975 NFC Divisional Playoff game. However, the 10-4 COWS went on to win the NFC title over the heavily favored 12-2 Rams 37-6, and nearly beat the Steelers in one of the best Super Bowl games of all time.

    The point I was trying to make is that we move on even when there is a bad call.

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

    @Spoiler Alert,

    Indeed, if GB has NO running game, we can sit back in a Tampa 2, rush 5 guys and whip them.

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

    @Spoiler Alert,

    We can no more afford to be have a hole in the O Line than in the wide receiver corps.
    But you are right, we are building, and most of the people we are talking about are young yet.

  17. By jrich on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply

    @kevinwi

    was wrong on initial blog post

  18. By Spencer on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply

    Aye, NFL Network is replaying the Vikes/San Fran game right now.

    Just letting you guys know.

  19. By robb on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply

    Man I’d sure like to see some REAL unbiased reporting from Vikings web sites.This Morning on NFL Network’s “AM” show the three teams they deemed “underwater” this season…Browns,Fins and…Vikings.Darn.All the unbiased reports were negative about the upcomoing season.One bright note:NFL network analysts a couple weeks ago picked Ponder to be most improved this season from last between him and Gabbert,Dalton,Skelton.So far so good and correct on the whole.

  20. By Matthias on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply

    Tom Pelissero

    “Everyone’s here except Griffen and Guion, who have knee injuries.”

    Is Griffen hurt?

  21. By HawaiianBoy_VikingsFan on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply

    Hey everyone, been a long time since I was on here last. Glad to see our team is making some strides. On a completely different note: My cousin is an Eagles fan and his team website has constant videos from training camp and more. I have to say that I am jealous, we have many videos interviewing the players but so few of actual action. I wish we could get more film of camp and what not on here. Thoughts?

  22. By packhater on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply

    In this “pass happy” league we play in, all we need is another DE that can bring the kinda pressure that Jared Allen does. You would be amazed how much better our secondary would look.

  23. By animal26 on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply

    Griffin is hurt, but it’s nothing serious. He basically has a bruised knee and they’re just being cautious, by giving him an extra day or 2 to rest.

  24. By Mike B. on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply

    @ Fred I disagree with you about Coach Green he was a good (not great) coach. He was unable to get to the big game with probably most talented team every.

  25. By Purple puddles on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply

    Newsflash Idiot Viqueen fans, your reject team plays 12 other teams and 14 other games than the two against the Packers. This blog shows how low Minnesota sports sets the bar. Meanwhile the Packers are worried about competitive teams like the Giants, 49ers, or Saints. You guys are like the Browns of the NFC North, those tool bags only worry about beating the Steelers twice a year. Pathetic sheep Viqueen fans.

  26. By packhater on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply

    Someone in Gay Bay must not of ate enuff dic cheese 2day.

  27. By Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply

    THIS IS WHY WE HAVE NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT WITH THE CHEESEHEADS:

    By Purple puddles on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply
    Newsflash Idiot Viqueen fans, your reject team plays 12 other teams and 14 other games than the two against the Packers.

    ___________________________________________________________
    BRILLIANT MIND. Twelve other teams? There are two other teams in the division Einstein.

  28. By animal26 on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply

    I guess The Packer trolls, like Purple puddles are back. I think your wrong though Packhater. I think that Purple puddles is suffering from constipation, from eating too much of the cheese. a side from being classless, it’s the only reason I can think of, as to why he’s in such a crabby mood and trying to take out his frustration on us. Or maybe it’s the fact, that the packers are being bit hard already by the injury bug and he’s getting worried. Whatever it is, I hope Purple puddle can calm down, take a deep breath, and go back to his fellow packer fan trolls.

  29. By Richard1A on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply

    This just in, wear your purple boots, aparently the vikings handing out the purple punch has cheesehead fans and alike leaving purple puddles everywhere!

  30. By Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply

    I have said it before and keep saying it– Packers will not do well this year. Their psyche is damaged from being 15-1 and losing their first playoff game AT HOME against the low seed. The league has a blueprint to beat them and their collective psyche is damaged– I expect infighting and a break down in team chemistry. If they start poorly, it will be a very long season for the cheeseheads.

  31. By Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply

    I really like how that new QB McCleod looked the other night. I hope we do the smart move and put him at number two and put Webb at corner or receiver.

  32. By Spencer on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply

    Webb has one bad game, and we’re all just kicking him to the rocks? okay…

  33. By sandiamond on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply

    @hawiianboy, yes the eagles have the best nfl site out there. Fans love it!

  34. By animal26 on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply

    I have to agree with spencer. I was finally able to watch the first preseason game and I can see why Webb was having a bad game. The guy was running for his life and he had not time to set his feet in the pocket. I expected Webb to be better in this next preseason game.

  35. By animal26 on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply

    no time*

  36. By jdogg on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply

    It matters not what the Packers do, cause they have shown that they are not ready to repeat from what they did last year. They have no running game, suspect secondary, and weak linebackers. Hawk is avg and I don’t consider Matthews a linebacker, he is a DE that is upright. My concern is our LB core. Greenway seems to have lost some of his edge and the other two may not be ready to be everyday linebackers.

  37. By frenum49 on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply

    Webb needs to be able to throw without his foot planted. No future wiuth the Vikes in my opinion.

  38. By Queens R Terrible on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply

    The team to worry about is the Vikings, they beat themselves every game! Oh and if that idiot Titus could count (and read) he’d see that the Viqueens play 12 opponents other than GB. Here’s the break down for his “Simple Jack” mind; 2 divisional (not including GB as stated above) 6 NFC non divisional, and 4 AFC opponents. FYI Titus, READ before you respond you pea-brain.

  39. By Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply

    HEY EINSTEIN — You did it again:

    By Queens R Terrible on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply
    The team to worry about is the Vikings, they beat themselves every game! Oh and if that idiot Titus could count (and read) he’d see that the Viqueens play 12 opponents other than GB.
    _—————————————————————————————–
    TWELVE OPPONENTS OTHER THAN GREEN BAY? Not sure how you read in Green Bay, but that statement means there are twelve different teams besides the Packers. Same meaning, but a different syntax than before. What a brain!

  40. By sandiamond on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply

    http://vikingsterritory.com/2012/analysis/opinion-signs-of-desperation-already-visible

  41. By Immure on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply

    Titus- (Not sure if this is the real one or not) and I hate to agree with a cheese head but we do play 12 teams other than Green Bay.

  42. By Howie Feltersn@tch on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply

    The starters for the O-line looked good, The backups/2nd team not so much. If one of them has to come in and backup a starter they’ll probably be okay. But as a unit they’re horrible. (If Kalil goes down were phucced!!)

    We have all seen Webb play before. He’s made great throws and ones that are way off. He’s always been an inconsistent passer. But fridays game was not what we typically see from him. He’s usually in there competing.

  43. By Immure on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply

    *12 teams other than green bay

  44. By Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply

    No Immure, we do not play twelve teams other than Green Bay. We play ten teams other than Green Bay. Chicago and Detroit we play twice. And yes, this is the real Titus.

  45. By Jared on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply

    how can the vikings not start harrison smith, let try something new, samford has had his chance. lets move on to a new, younger secondary!

  46. By Immure on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply

    1)Jax, 2)Colts,3) 49er,4) Lions,5) Titians,6) Redskin,7) Cards,8) Bucs,9) Seahawks, 10) Bears,11) Rams, and 12) Texans.

  47. By Immure on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply

    Sorry my friend but I think you might be slipping a little with your age.

  48. By Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply

    No, slipping with too many things to do.

  49. By Queens R Terrible on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply

    Thank you Immure for correcting Titus. I know that you hate the Packers but I can truly say that I respect you as a football fan for being honest. Sometimes people have go to great lengths and point things out very specifically when dealing with a blow-hard like Titus.

  50. By Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply

    Not a big deal– I made a mistake, I admit it. I am running three businesses, teach at university, starting another post grad degree in three weeks, workout 10 times a week, etc.– I am a bit thin, sue me!

  51. By Queens R Terrible on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply

    I’m proud of you Titus, admitting your flaws is good step. I know the grass is greener on the other side and you guys want to talk about the better Packer team, but the Vikings are your team. So don’t worry about what the Packers are doing, they’ll be just fine with Rodgers and company. Peace brothers!

  52. By sandiamond on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply

    finally a viking player taking a pay cut. thx you

    http://www.1500espn.com/sportswire/Source_Michael_Jenkins_takes_pay_cut_in_hopes_of_staying_with_Vikings081412

  53. By Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply

    I make a mistake here and there– lately my sleep is almost non-existent and it obviously is catching up to me. I am outta here for the evening– any more Titus’ posts are by the impostor. Enjoy.

  54. By Immure on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply

    Didn’t BB take a pay cut last year in order stay on the team as well? Either way I would rather have Jenkins on the team than Aromashadu.

  55. By jdogg on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply

    Who cares who they play. If they play fundamental sound football they could go 16-0. They have talent, speed and are hungry. Hopefully. Coach Frazier hung some of the comments made by these football experts in the locker room to inspire the team to prove them wrong. The only thing I want to see is a team the is competing and not giving up, like the Detroit Lions and Bears when they are down. I want to see some games that come down to the wire and I would like to see our team pull out some last minute victories. That would make for an exciting season.

  56. By Spencer on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply

    Aromashadu is human waste as far as im concerned. Absolute garbage.

  57. By sandiamond on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply

    BB had an attitude problem and it cost him his last- nfl check! haha

  58. By Immure on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply

    Just out of curiosity and also to get conversation flowing who do you guys think will or want to make the roster for WR.

  59. By Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply

    WHoa, I saw Spencer’s ignorant comment and had to come back. He is one of our best receivers.

  60. By Immure on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply

    With Childs gone for the season that possibly opens up another spot for someone else. Maybe they keep one more TE and one less WR.

  61. By Spencer on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply

    My comment saying Aromoshadu is human waste was an ignorant comment, Titus? Honestly sometimes you just need to shut the he|| up, hes a terrible WR. Period. Hes 6’3 yet cant even out jump 5’9 corners, and he has 4.4 speed but cant get separation from Cornerbacks.

    Do you honestly believe half of the stuff you say?

  62. By Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply

    Spencer, no need to be rude.

  63. By sandiamond on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply

    Immure, not too much to get excited about beyond harvin,simpson,wright and burton

  64. By tdurfeightyeight on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply

    The regular season begins and the starting safeties will be…Smith and Sendejo.

    I had blogged before the game against the niners that i had a problem with Griffen “learning” to play linebacker when he is truly a talent at left end…I also mentioned that Robison was a demon at either end position when he rotated in to give Allen and Edwards a chance to catch some oxygen on the sidelines.Ever since B-Rob has started he has never been the same,he is more effective as a rotating end than a starter.

    That is why Griffen is once again playing his natural position and i predict will battle Allen for the most sacks next year

  65. By tdurfeightyeight on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply

    Excusa please… i meant this year

  66. By sandiamond on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply

    Why can’t jared allen come out more than a couple plays a game ? Is his personal sack count more important than teammate Griffen getting a few reps

  67. By Immure on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply

    Sandiamond- Yea your right. I’m hoping Burton has a break out year same with Manny. I do think Wright needs to step it up a little but then again thats just going off of the first preseason game and he is rookie so he’s gonna make mistakes but I hope he does will.

  68. By sandiamond on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply

    Wright bobbled a pass in his lap on game friday. I’m sure he will catch that 9out of10 times just the rookie jitter bug got him. Yea, 2 CFL’ers right in the mix… step it up!

  69. By Spencer on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply

    Sorry Titus, but it needed to be said.

    Seriously, what do you see in Aromoshadu? haha.

  70. By Spencer on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply

    Burton reminds me of a faster Anquan Boldin. Hopefully he can match his production. And in regards to Manny, i’ve given up…dudes a scrub.

  71. By sandiamond on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply

    coaches might be thinking they need to see somethimg out of Manny in pre-season or else…

  72. By Immure on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply

    Manny = Victor Cruz 2.0

  73. By Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply

    Just wait and see. Maybe a pro bowler this year.

  74. By tdurfeightyeight on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply

    Jenkins is a dropped pass from being cut…

  75. By sandiamond on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply

    Harvin, Wright,Burton three slots(Simpson later). how many wr positions left after those three?

  76. By tdurfeightyeight on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply

    Hey the Vikings should try and rehabilitate sad Chad Johnson…bring him in for a look see at least…maybe Minnesota is place he oughta be…

  77. By Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply

    Chad Johnson will never come here after head-butting (allegedly) his wife. Dolphins let him go and so did his wife.

  78. By Spencer on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply

    “Jenkins is a dropped pass from being cut…”

    Haha, so true.

  79. By Spencer on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply

    Lol. Benard Berrian just blocked me on Twitter. Apparently someone cant handle the truth…

  80. By Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply

    Berrian was way underrated.

  81. By Spencer on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply

    Berrian….Underrated? How the he|| was he underrated?????

  82. By Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply

    Berrian was a great receiver through 2009– yes, after that, I believe he went downhill, but the fans got into his psyche.

  83. By Spencer on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply

    So we were the reason why Berrian routinely made plays like this…?

    http://thevikingage.com/files/2011/10/berriandrop.gif

  84. By sandiamond on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply

    timeout?

  85. By sandiamond on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply

    BB is long gone! wouldn’t dive(hustle) for b a l l s at camp last year

  86. By Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply

    Good that we have Aromadishu.

  87. By F. Smoot on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply

    Need another WR and a CB trade for Antoine Cromartie there you go two birds with one stone.

  88. By Spencer on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply

    In order to trade for Cromartie, we have to give someone up…

  89. By F. Smoot on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply

    Just like the Falcons had to give someone up for Asante Samuel?

  90. By F. Smoot on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply

    I’m fooling around anyways Sir Spencer.

  91. By Spencer on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply

    The Jets arent trading Cromartie so its a moot point anyways.

  92. By sandiamond on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply

    all we are getting is rookie 7th rd or udfa cuts from somewhere else in the nfl

  93. By F. Smoot on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply

    I believe you mean a smoot point.

  94. By Spencer on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply

    “The rules are simple,” said safety Jamarca Sanford, via the Star Tribune. “Do not touch 28. If you touch him, you’re cut.”

    I hope Sanford tackles AP….

  95. By sandiamond on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply

    sorry bro, no matter what Sanford is uncuttable………..

  96. By Spencer on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply

    Why are you a Sanford guy? Hes horrible.

  97. By sandiamond on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply

    one of the offseason gurus on the team. at least we know hes not going to go backwards in his play level

  98. By Spencer on Aug 15, 2012 | Reply

    He was the reason why a quarterback went 78yds to the house.

    I say his play level did go backwards.

  99. By sandiamond on Aug 15, 2012 | Reply

    play broke open on DE Reed. Sanford needs help back there and will improve his play once the front nine get going

  100. By sandiamond on Aug 15, 2012 | Reply

  101. By Rick on Aug 15, 2012 | Reply

    Sanford has never been the same player he looked like he could be after he broke E.J. Hendersons leg its like he’s afraid to hit anybody. As for Raymond he shouldn’t be allowed on the field after he wussed out on hitting anybody in the 49ers game that was pathetic. Harrison is going to be starting by week 1 and i really hope one of the guys further down the depth chart steps up and shows they can drop people in their tracks. And Wobshal I can appreciate your optimism but c’mon do you have to sugar coat everything how about an honest evaluation of this team its not going to hurt you to point out the weak spots we all watch this team play and your not going to change what happened by turning it into sunshine and butterflies

  102. By Rick on Aug 15, 2012 | Reply

    Oh and Webb is still nowhere near an nfl caliber QB and never will be if he can’t throw the ball anywhere close to the receivers. That behind the back catch that Childs made was a horribly underthrown ball by you guessed it Webb. My guess is when he hurt himself he was trying to make another spectacular catch on another terrible p a s s by mr Webb and that was in practice where he can’t even be hit by the d line. Time to either move him to WR or move on

  103. By Matthias on Aug 15, 2012 | Reply

    Offtopic:

    I am going to go to New York City to participate in Social Year of Civil Service. Finally… :D

    Skol

  104. By OTKalil2012 on Aug 15, 2012 | Reply

    We have to remember..Last season Webb was only asked to memorize and run a “very small” portion of the Musgraves new play book…And Webb did okay with limited action last year…

    Ponder is doing very well with his “learning curve” so far…Learning a “very complex verbiage” play book…Learning how to read defenses before the snap…etc…

    From what I have seen from Webb…I see the complete opposite…He looks confused…Falls back from the center like he doesn’t know if that play requires a 3 or 5 step drop…So he just keeps drifting back…making poor reads…etc..

    It just seems the QB position is just to much to grasp for Webb…He looks totally frustrated and overwhelmed so far…

    Don’t get the idea I do not like Joe…It is just the point that not every player can learn the (very complex) position at QB…

  105. By Matthias on Aug 15, 2012 | Reply

    *a

  106. By Mike B. on Aug 15, 2012 | Reply

    The Vikings didn’t pick up a prototypical #1 WR during the offseason as they didn’t want to spend the money to do so. They will not admit this of course and will continue to say the WR core is good enough. They are probably going to use a lot of two TE sets to establish Coach Fraziers Run First game plan. This is a mistake in a pass dominant league. We have to have high calibre WR and ones that gives Def backfields to hold back from the line. We are going to see a lot of 8 and 9 Def on the line again this year. This is going to cause more injuries to our RBs and possibly the QB. I am hoping we do better, but it appears this is the course the team is taking. This is the reason the Vikings are not rated very highly by the football experts. Not throwing in the towel, but the Coaches need to realize the current plan is not going to work. Hey let’s not throw Joe Webb under the bus. He is very athletic and a good back up to Ponder. He had one bad game. It happens.

  107. By Richard1A on Aug 15, 2012 | Reply

    Vikings rated 2nd to last as far as power ratings. Webb is just a pleasent thing to talk about, he never does anything and everyone always says the same thing, he’s got talent! is that the new thing, have someone sit on your bench with talent? why not make him into a receiver of sort? the talent he has showed was’nt his great qb skills, it was his running with the ball that amazed people, so why not turn him into a ball handler? 1st game but the Vikes did not look prepared at all, they did not play together at all, the 49ers ran passed at free will. They need some discipline immediately, or this season is done before it begins.

  108. By Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus on Aug 15, 2012 | Reply

    Webb is a nice young man with talent. Everyone is born with talent. It is whether or not you can develop it into a usable skill which matters. Webb has been on the team two years already– and sat under Favre. He also has played in a few prime time games. Does he look like he had one bad game or were we seeing a lot of what we have seen before from him? I think the latter. He may be a great QB one day, but our third QB last week looked way ahead of Webb.

  109. By OTKalil2012 on Aug 15, 2012 | Reply

    What worries this fan…Is that Webb seems to have hit his ceiling of development…What little that has been…

    While McLeod Bethel-Thompson might be just scratching the surface of good career ahead of him ??…

    So what do the Vikings do…

    Keep Webb around as the number 3 QB…(I believe Sage will be the number 2 ranked QB on the team very soon)…

    And try to sneak McLeod onto the practice squad when the team has to cut down to the 53 man roster ???…

    That isn’t going to happen…Bethel-Thompson has already shown enough talent for some team to scoop him up…

    Thoughts everyone…What do you think the Vikings should do ????…

    My vote would be to trade Webb for any kind of draft pick or player they could…

    Or just out right release the “athlete”…That never clicked at any position as a “football player”…

  110. By Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus on Aug 15, 2012 | Reply

    I am with you OTKalil. Bethel could be the best QB we have at this moment , at least in untapped potential. Just imagine if he were under our first O Line– but then he would also have been facing the Niners true defense. So many what ifs? We just have to hope Frazier and company make the best choices.

  111. By rory from n.w.ark on Aug 15, 2012 | Reply

    FACE IT WE HAVE A WAYS TO GO ,OUR D LINE IS WHAT REALLY HAD ME IN TEARS,WE USED TO BE THE BEST AT STOPPING THE RUN,NOW WE CANT STOP OURSELVES,AND RECEIVERS HAD A DAY OF DROPS,NO ONE STOOD OUT ,THAT IS ANOTHER BOTHER,I KNOW WE HAD VERY FEW STARTERS OUT THERE BUT THE OTHER PLAYERS ARE WHO WE ARE LOOKING TO FILL NEEDED SPOTS ON THE ROSTER,HOPE WE START TO LOOK BETTER NEXT GAME ,IM TRYING TO KEEP MY FAITH ,,,49 RS LOOKED LIKE THEY WERE HAVING FUN,WE LOOKED LOST…..

  112. By OTKalil2012 on Aug 15, 2012 | Reply

    @Titus…

    I don’t like being so blunt…But still have a bitter taste in my mouth a little from Childress and the T Jack experiment that went on 5 yrs to long in my opinion…

    Is Frazier going to be as stubborn and comfortable with Webb…As Childress was with T Jack ???…

  113. By Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus on Aug 15, 2012 | Reply

    OtKalil– I like to be optimistic, but I do have a gut feeling from watching last week’s game that we may be in for a long season. I hope I am wrong.

  114. By Spencer on Aug 15, 2012 | Reply

    Finally Titus, some honesty.

  115. By OTKalil2012 on Aug 15, 2012 | Reply

    There were a few things that need improvement for sure…But it was just the first preseason game…Basic gap dicipline was TERRIBLE last week on defense…

    WR play lacked concentration catching the ball..

    Misteral Raymond might as well of been wearing a skirt out there on the field instead of pads…

    And Webb…Well enough from this fan about that…

    But all in all…The first team players were not out there for very long…Some were not out there at all…

    Things will get into focus before the starting gun fires off…

    Lets look for better results this Friday…

    Maybe even Mistral Raymond will be up for at least some touch football this Friday night ???…

  116. By Spoiler Alert on Aug 15, 2012 | Reply

    ????Ok…..
    By Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply

    Not a big deal– I made a mistake, I admit it. I am running three businesses, teach at university, starting another post grad degree in three weeks, workout 10 times a week, etc.– I am a bit thin, sue me!
    ____________________________________________________________
    yet he still has time to post about twenty times a day??? Dude, you are a phony.

  117. By OTKalil2012 on Aug 15, 2012 | Reply

    Prediction…

    At the end of this coming season…

    TE…K Rudolf will be ranked in the top 3 overall statistically with receptions,yards,and TD’s for this year…

  118. By Spoiler Alert on Aug 15, 2012 | Reply

    Right on OTK! I have my fingers crossed that it’ll happen. He definatly has the size and the hands. Let’s hope he has the QB to be a top 3 TE.

  119. By Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus on Aug 15, 2012 | Reply

    Spoiler Alert, I do a lot of my operations from the Internet, like most 21st century people– so I am near vikings.com. I am not sure what you have against me, but can you relax and call a truce?

  120. By OTKalil2012 on Aug 15, 2012 | Reply

    In the TE catagory…

  121. By OTKalil2012 on Aug 15, 2012 | Reply

    *category

  122. By OTKalil2012 on Aug 15, 2012 | Reply

    Rudolf is making my fantasy team if possible…

    I think he is going to be awesome this year !!!

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

    One bad game and many people already write off Webb and the Vikings. Folks we have 16 regular and 3 exhibition games left!!!

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

    @Mike B.,

    Dennis Green led the Vikings to more division titles than another other Viking Head Coach except Bud Grant. After Green left they even had a decent team for a few years.

    Letting Green go was a horrible decision by Vikings Management. Green may have been the coach to get us the Super Bowl title we’ve missed here.

    People wanted to play for Denny Green!!!

  125. By Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus on Aug 15, 2012 | Reply

    Fred Jones speaks the truth again!

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

    @packhater,

    You made the good point that if we had another good pass rusher of similar ability to Jared Allen, we would be a dangerous team.

    Jones claims that if Griffen is used more, he could be that man. If he is not, WHY IS SO MUCH WRITTEN ABOUT THE GUY!!!

    It’s like doing a review for a top notch movie on the bit players!!! GET IT RIGHT!!!

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

    Thank you Titus. How do you know it is me?

  128. By Keith on Aug 15, 2012 | Reply

    How can you say Raymond is a star in the making? He is constantly out of position and is no where near a big hitter. His arms are the size of tooth picks, there is a reason he is struggling to start at safety on a team that is very weak at that position. I am a Vikings fan but you do not need to be so biased, anybody watching film on him knows he is not a “star in the making” so please be more careful with your words because it truly is laughable when you post blogs like this.

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

    THERE IS NO REASON that the Vikings could not win their first two regular season games versus Jacksonville and Indianapolis.

    THEN we shall see…

  130. By Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus on Aug 15, 2012 | Reply

    Fred Jones, I could ask the same and my question would have more authority, considering I am the most imitated blogger in vikings.com history.

  131. By Ozzinator on Aug 15, 2012 | Reply

    What does Frederick Jones think of Mistral??

  132. By sandiamond on Aug 15, 2012 | Reply

    Matt Kalil’s sister can sing! the national anthem at the panthers game vs the vikings 2009.

  133. By Spoiler Alert on Aug 15, 2012 | Reply

    Sure, Titus. Since you asked nicely and seem sincere, a truce is ok by me.
    Back to Vikings football, I too believe that the Vikings can go 2-0 at the start of the season. If they can win those first two games, I think some momentum will carry on into the season. I’m not saying that they will be in the playoffs, but those two first games may dictate whether or not the Vikings go 8-8 or 6-10.

  134. By Mike B. on Aug 15, 2012 | Reply

    @ Fred Dennis Green had arguably the best team on Defense and Offense and he could not get that team to the Superbowl. Great Coaches to great things with great talent. He didn’t get it done and afterward it was downhill. Don’t come preaching to me about how players liked playing for Denny. The fact remains he coudln’t get it done. He was miserable in Arizona. In my opinion he was a good coach not a great coach. Bud Grant was able to to get the team to the big game.

  135. By Spoiler Alert on Aug 15, 2012 | Reply

    Those Kalil women are a 10+!!

  136. By Spoiler Alert on Aug 15, 2012 | Reply

    Mike B, what are you talking about? After Dungy left, the Vikings D was horrible. The only reason we were who we were in 98′, was because of the Offense. The whole reason we lost the NFC championship game, was because of the Defense. They only had to make one stop, ONE. Yet, the defense could not get it done. Atlanta marched right down the field. In the 4′th quarter, the defense had two opportunities to pick off a pass, but the DB’s could not catch a cold on a windy day.

  137. By Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus on Aug 15, 2012 | Reply

    It’s true– the D in 98 relied on playing with a huge lead. Our offense was our defense. They could score in a minute or two without trying. Teams were almost always in a position of catch-up. Our D has had secondary issues for a long time.

  138. By Mike B. on Aug 15, 2012 | Reply

    Check the roster for 98 on Defense there was some great players there. One is a hall of fame player.

  139. By Stoney on Aug 15, 2012 | Reply

    in ’98 our kicker missed a 40 yard field goal (1st miss of the season) near the end of the game, or we would have been in the super bowl. Green was a good head coach

  140. By Mike B. on Aug 15, 2012 | Reply

    We were ahead 20-14 at the half, and Green doesn’t go for the Kill he lets Atlanta back in. We should have blown them out at the start of the thrid quarter. We had 0 points in that Quarter.

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

    @Ozzinator,

    Concerning Mistral, there has been a miss trial. Most of the DBs from last year couldn’t cover a 12 year old in a touch football league. I expect to see the new guys as we approach the new regular season.

  142. By sandiamond on Aug 15, 2012 | Reply

    All starters playing at least through 1st Q this friday per Frazier! Harvin, Allen, Williams

    might as well forget about jabbing last week and move forward ~

  143. By Viks8&8 on Aug 15, 2012 | Reply

    I thought we were going to hear about Smith Today. It is Wednesday isn’t it? Where is the update Wobs?

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

    @Mike B.,

    There are coaches who are supplied talent, and cannot win. Denny Green was a man who could recruit his own talent, and win with them.

    In the words of Mike Singletary: “Could win with em’, could win without em’”

    Jones is much older than most of the bloggers, he followed Green when Green was at lowly Northwestern (about 3 wins in 4 years at that time). Green did not turn Northwestern into a winner, but he got the process going for the next guy.

    Arizona is aruably the worst franchise in sports history. Up to the infamous Bears game, he almost turned them around.

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

    @Sandiamond,

    That’s a good point about the starters. Every team is not on the same page. We need to move on, and find out who are starters will be for 2012.

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

    Marcus Sherels can cover NFL players, Jones has seen him do it over and over again.
    Hopefully he will continue to get chances to make the starting unit.

  147. By ozzinator on Aug 15, 2012 | Reply

    @ Fred
    Ozz likes Fred’s evaluation!

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

    *Everson Griffen is always being touted as a great player. He’s had more Vikings.com blogs dedicated to him than any other player not named Harvin, Peterson, Greenway, or Allen.

    Everson Griffen should be starting, or SHUT UP!!!

  149. By ozzinator on Aug 15, 2012 | Reply

    Mistral does indeed suck………..

  150. By Immure on Aug 15, 2012 | Reply

    Who would’ve thought that sometimes it takes a player more than one season to fully define and hone their craft. Alot of fans like to give up on players way to early.

  151. By Immure on Aug 15, 2012 | Reply

    Both Webb and Mistral are still very raw give them some more time and practice some patience before you start prematurely kicking players off the team.

  152. By Spoiler Alert on Aug 15, 2012 | Reply

    Our DB issues have been around since nearly the beginning. There have been some great players, krausse, browner,sharper, but hardly ever has there been more than one legit player in the secondary at a time. Watching Smith, I think he will be added to the list as mentioned above, but only time can tell. We have a decent CB, but that has to be coupled with a good safety. If Smith can step it up, then look out!

  153. By Spoiler Alert on Aug 15, 2012 | Reply

    The days of the purple gang run stop defense are over. You have to have good pass defense in order to win in today’s nfl.

  154. By Matthias on Aug 15, 2012 | Reply

    It is preseason… You could say it is a mix of a regular season game and a training camp scrimmage. It is for analyzing and getting into the regular season mode.

    Everson Griffen is a beast… That’s all I have to say.

  155. By Troutdaddy on Aug 15, 2012 | Reply

    A few thoughts on the comments in the blog so far…Burton is going to be a big-time help this year. He has great chemistry with Ponder already and he is going to have an amazing year. I agree with many of the commetns about Webb. he is going to become 3rd string behind MBT and I see him in a possible trade situation even. Sanford better have a great pre-season or else I think he is going to be gone too. I see Raymond doing some good stuff, but again- he needs to adjust and man-up. He some some proving to do…Ponder is going to show the fans his worth this season. He has the brain for the position and his learning curve and growth is going to be evident. By week 4 I expect to see many on this blog “Pondering” over how good our QB is….

  156. By Tebowwhater on Aug 16, 2012 | Reply

    My guess for CB and SS would be :
    1. Harrison Smith SS
    2. Mistral Raymond SS
    3. Robert Blanton or Jamarca Sanford SS
    4. Antonie WInfield CB
    5.Josh Robison CB
    6. Chris Cook CB

    PS: First team defense

  157. By Purple on Aug 16, 2012 | Reply

    last year they mention about switch to 2-6 from 4-3 but they never use it. look at packers they use 2-5 against the steelers and won sb champ. last their record was 15-1.

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