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Vikings Improved, But Not Satisfied

Posted by Mike Wobschall on January 8, 2013 – 11:56 am

A huge takeaway from the Vikings 2012 season will be that the team made a 7-win improvement from the 2011 season. That 7-win improvement represents the largest single-season turnaround in franchise history.

That’s good news. But don’t for a minute think players in the locker room will identify satisfaction in that improvement as the dominant emotion as they depart for the offseason. This is a Vikings locker room that is encouraged by its improvement, but is now hungry for more.

“It was a big improvement from last year, but we’re not satisfied with just making the playoffs,” DT Kevin Williams said. “We wanted to stay in a little longer and try to make it to New Orleans (site of this year’s Super Bowl). It’s a step. We’ve got to keep improving.”

One of Williams’ teammates along the defensive line, a pretty important teammate at that, echoed that sentiment.

“We’re not in the business of just making the playoffs,” DE Jared Allen said. “It’s a feel-good story, it’s a great turnaround from 3-13 to 10-6 and being in the playoffs. But that’s not what we’re here for.

“Typical offseason now…you’ve got to let your body rest up and use this as motivation to get back, and next year win it.”

Although Vikings players departed Winter Park for the 2013 offseason following a disappointing playoff loss to Green Bay and having not accomplished their ultimate goal of winning the Super Bowl, you could sense an aura of momentum and positivity. The key now is for those positive sentiments to yield ambition and hunger rather than satisfaction and complacency.

Judging by the above-comments from some of the team’s leaders, that won’t be a problem.


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Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 55 Comments »


55 Responses to “Vikings Improved, But Not Satisfied”

  1. By Shawn on Jan 8, 2013 | Reply

    First

  2. By Shawn on Jan 8, 2013 | Reply

    Sounds good …

    Pay Loadholt

    Sign DWayne Bowe

    MVPeterson

    Draft in any order … WR … WR … CB … LB (either OLB or ILB) … QB (time for Ponder to compete with an actual QB) … DT … OG

    Frazier Coach of the Year

  3. By Shawn on Jan 8, 2013 | Reply

    1 more thing move Joe Webb back to WR … STOP WASTING HIS ATHLETICISM

  4. By Shawn on Jan 8, 2013 | Reply

    Joe Webb would be the perfect back up to Percy … Joe is nearly as athletic as Percy.

    a 6’4″ 220 slot WR … with 4.4 speed … umm can someone say match up?

  5. By Shawn on Jan 8, 2013 | Reply

    Joe like Percy could play RB and WR … Like Percy would thrive on reverses (which for some reason I dont recall seeing any this season) Like Percy Joe would do just fine on bubble screens

    O nevermind … Musgrave is dead in the box unable to think outside it with his 4 play sheet

    Lets see … Musgrave play card

    1- Peterson up the gut
    2- Peterson outside
    3- Percy bubble screen
    4- see previous three

  6. By Musgrave on Jan 8, 2013 | Reply

    Hmmm 2nd and 25 ….

    Peterson up the gut …. See Im a genius

  7. By Parkway on Jan 8, 2013 | Reply

    Shawn you forgot his 42″ vertical

  8. By meswant on Jan 8, 2013 | Reply

    Ponder surprised me – will admit was not sure about him from his rookie year but he showed me he can lead & play to win. He just needs to be more consistent & work on throwing the ball acurately down the field. We need receivers that will not only catch the ball but they need to fight off & dominate the defenders. All in all was very happy with the progress they did from last season. This team will only get better.
    GO VIKINGS!!!!

  9. By Mark B on Jan 8, 2013 | Reply

    To all of you mentioning Joe Webb’s undeniably good physical stats
    (6’6″, 220 lbs, 4.4 40 yard dash, 42″ vertical), let me remind you of another set – 6’1.75″, 205 lbs, 4.32 40 yard dash, 37″ vertical.

    You can’t judge how well a player will do at a position based only on those numbers. If the coaching staff felt that Joe was better suited to play QB and developed him there for the last couple of years culminating in the mess that was Saturday’s game, what are you basing your conclusions on? Where is the tape of Joe Webb running solid routes, being explosive in and out of breaks, getting and maintaining separation, showing an ability to adjust to a poorly thrown pass, and displaying good hands and body control? Against any competition? While at UAB, he played WR one year (2007) where he posted 30 receptions for 459 yards and 3 TDs (in 8 starts) but he had a couple big games against Tulane (7th worst in NCAA that year giving up 287 yards passing) and Michigan State (about middle of the pack that year giving up 217 yards per game passing) that year. Those two games account for 204 yards (45% of his output that year) and one TD.

    For those that are curious or can’t remember, that second stat line is that of Troy Williamson.

  10. By DRS. on Jan 8, 2013 | Reply

    Webb would be a great back up for AP, just think Joe Webb on the right side of Ponder and AP on the left, who will run the ball or will Ponder pass.

  11. By DRS. on Jan 8, 2013 | Reply

    Fill the remaining holes, let go the dead weight and the Vikings will be contenders.

  12. By Parkway on Jan 8, 2013 | Reply

    Have Webb be a safety

  13. By DRS. on Jan 8, 2013 | Reply

    SKOL Vikings

  14. By DRS. on Jan 8, 2013 | Reply

    Pay AP incentive pay.

  15. By Shawn on Jan 8, 2013 | Reply

    Mark B … Joe’s move to QB was Chilly’s idea. When Frazier took over Joe became QB. Joe won a couple of games and Joe likes the QB position so Frazier kept him at QB behind McNabb and Ponder. Joe finally got a chance and in a big game had his worst game with the worst WR corp in the NFL.

    You may make all of your decisions based on limited experience failure but I dont.

    If you havent seen Webb’s athleticism you havent owned a TV. Joe has the athletic ability to play with the big boys. He hasnt been given a shot at WR yet and catching a bubble screen is much easier than catching a pass 30 yards down field.

    So you can shove you negativity … Im a Joe Webb fan and the kid is 24 years old.

  16. By DRS. on Jan 8, 2013 | Reply

    Yes, keep Webb though not as a QB. Get him involved in some other aspect of the game.

  17. By DRS. on Jan 8, 2013 | Reply

    Fill the holes and let go the dead weight. SKOL Vikings

  18. By Shawn on Jan 8, 2013 | Reply

    Comparing Webb to Williamson is the dumbest thing Ive heard in a month and I read these blogs nearly everyday.

    Lets see WR games played …

    Joe Webb …. 0 … thats ZERO … 6th round pick

    Williamson … 24 starts … 1st round pick

    Yea Mark great comparison … O i know lets make another relevant comparison

    Williamson … 24 starts … 1st round pick

    Mark B … 0 … 0 ….0 … 0

  19. By The 1 And Only PurplHaze! on Jan 8, 2013 | Reply

    By Mark B on Jan 8, 2013 | Reply
    To all of you mentioning Joe Webb’s undeniably good physical stats
    (6’6″, 220 lbs, 4.4 40 yard dash, 42″ vertical), let me remind you of another set – 6’1.75″, 205 lbs, 4.32 40 yard dash, 37″ vertical.
    You can’t judge how well a player will do at a position based only on those numbers. If the coaching staff felt that Joe was better suited to play QB and developed him there for the last couple of years culminating in the mess that was Saturday’s game, what are you basing your conclusions on? Where is the tape of Joe Webb running solid routes, being explosive in and out of breaks, getting and maintaining separation, showing an ability to adjust to a poorly thrown pass, and displaying good hands and body control? Against any competition? While at UAB, he played WR one year (2007) where he posted 30 receptions for 459 yards and 3 TDs (in 8 starts) but he had a couple big games against Tulane (7th worst in NCAA that year giving up 287 yards passing) and Michigan State (about middle of the pack that year giving up 217 yards per game passing) that year. Those two games account for 204 yards (45% of his output that year) and one TD.
    For those that are curious or can’t remember, that second stat line is that of Troy Williamson.

    *******

    As much as the Vikes were hurting at WR this season, I have to agree with you that there must have been a reason Joe didn’t end up on the outside. That is, other than the fact that Les said Joe Webb will play QB!

  20. By DRS. on Jan 8, 2013 | Reply

    Have a great day, next year the real Vikings are reborn.

  21. By The 1 And Only PurplHaze! on Jan 8, 2013 | Reply

    Off your meds again, Shawn?

  22. By Shawn on Jan 8, 2013 | Reply

    Mark B may be right check out this comparison

    Jerry Rice … 1549 catches … 22895 yards … 197 TDs

    Joe Webb …. 0 ………………………0 …………….. 0

    Yea Joe Webb time to give up on this 24 year old bust

  23. By Shawn on Jan 8, 2013 | Reply

    I should be fare and point out it took Jerry Rice 284 starts to achieve those numbers … and its taken Joe 0 to do what he has done at WR

  24. By Parkway on Jan 8, 2013 | Reply

    Webb is 26, but I think it is on the coaching staff that they didn’t find the right place for him to play instead of letting him rot on the bench.

    With an OC with half a brain, could have used him in a similar pistol formation like the skins were using with AD, Harvin, and Webb in the backfield behind Ponder.

  25. By Shawn on Jan 8, 2013 | Reply

    PurpleHaze …. shhhh :)

  26. By The 1 And Only PurplHaze! on Jan 8, 2013 | Reply

    If Joe can catch the ball, make him a WR. He’s just not suited for QB. And, if he can’t contribute to the team in some way, we have to consider letting him go.

  27. By Shawn on Jan 8, 2013 | Reply

    oops 26 … i apologize. it took only 8 days this year to be wrong … im getting old

  28. By The 1 And Only PurplHaze! on Jan 8, 2013 | Reply

    :D

  29. By The 1 And Only PurplHaze! on Jan 8, 2013 | Reply

    Add a few more key pieces and play as a TEAM! I think the future is very bright for this young group of men! SKOL VIKINGS!!!

  30. By liito on Jan 8, 2013 | Reply

    Get help . . . . PPPPPlllllllleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaassssseeeeeeeeeeee.

  31. By Parkway on Jan 8, 2013 | Reply

    new blog

  32. By Troutdaddy on Jan 8, 2013 | Reply

    I think people should be done debating about Webb. It is a moot point now. he should have never been in that position to begin with. Can’t go back now. It is done. Chalk it up as a “I can’t believe this happened just when we made the playoffs” situation.

    Ponder is going to get a good shot next year to continue to lead this team. I hope the Vikes do bring in a veteran QB. We need that type of a backup and someone Ponder can get development from. The focus for this team should be to find a receiver or two, strengthen our secondary and get us a couple of bench-strength players to fill the gaps. We have a few players we can cut loose (Webb being one of them) to go out and get some better options. I think Cook is another one that just did not pan out for us this year. Too many missed opportunities. (Sorry Spencer) A few moments of effort, but not enough to be a consistant go-to person. Jefferson was also a bust. He had WAY too many people burn him deep, mid and shallow. I quit counting. Carlson by far was the biggest waste of money for what we needed. We can get better people. I see some good opportunities in FA and in the draft to really put the pieces of the puzzle together for this next year.

  33. By Troutdaddy on Jan 8, 2013 | Reply

    We may have some great options at WR through FA and I know that Spielman is going to make the right moves if the opportunity presents itself. Just seeing where we are now and where we were a year ago speaks volumes about this team and the plan to solidify its foundation. I for one am going to be optimistic. I have had to put my own opinions in check the last 2 months and I am glad I did because it was a lot more fun to sit back and let the Vikes figure it out rather than whine about everyone each week. (And believe me, I did that too) Finishing 10 and 6 has me EXTREMELY excited for this next year. Frazier deserves respect and it took me a while to buy-off on him and his style. If it is good enough for Peterson to sing his praises, then it is good enough for me. So, with that said, my victim mentality is gone and my accountability/optimistic attitude is on. Thoughts anyone?

  34. By Mark B on Jan 8, 2013 | Reply

    Did I ever once say to give up on Webb or compare his catches, yards and TDs to that of Williamson?

    Let me answer for you – NO! What I did do was compare them PHYSICALLY (which aside from straight line speed, Webb is superior) and imply that more research needs to be done before moving him to WR. Is he able to do those things (create separation, be explosive in and out of breaks, prove he has good hands and body control, adjust to a poorly thrown pass) that are required from an NFL caliber receiver.

    Should they try him at WR? Sure, why not? But based on past performance, I’m not holding my breath for the next Curtis Duncan, Joe Horn, or Dwight Clark; I won’t even mention late round guys like Stevie Johnson, Marques Colston, T.J Houshmandzadeh, Steve Largent, or Shannon Sharpe(even though he was a TE).

    If it goes bad, let’s just hope the coaches and front office aren’t as stubborn as they have been with him being a QB.

  35. By Jayson on Jan 8, 2013 | Reply

    Troutdaddy, I agree with you. I to am very pleased with this season even though we got beat the way we did in GB. I do think the Vikes would have had a MUCH better chance in GB had Ponder been in there but it went the way it went and I am excited for next year. If the Vikes have as good a draft as they did last year they will (IMO) be very close to be a SB contender. I have a feeling that they will pick a veteran FA WR. POSSIBILY Greg Jennings (We will see). I think the Vikes are building this team the right way which will make them competitive for years to come. SKOL VIKES!

  36. By stumandoo on Jan 8, 2013 | Reply

    Sign Percy and you will see Jennings in GB take a look at playing wide of Percy. Can’t get a probowl reciever picking one in the 3rd round. Move Webb to wide reciever quit wasting his talents. Draft two blue chip linebackers and another cornerback. Think defense this off season and quit wasting picks on offensive busts. What do I know I just like watching Vikings games.

  37. By Andrew on Jan 8, 2013 | Reply

    Larry Fitz and some CB’s and i think we will be fine, As For Joe “im a fan” though waste’n space is not good. Use him as a WR “we have” check it, And for those of you who think Harvin’s going to be on the Team “Put down your Bong” He’s to head strong for the win now Im the Star Idea. And Again Fitz is from MN and i think would love to come home!

  38. By BlueBird7 on Jan 8, 2013 | Reply

    Joe Webb as a WR? That can throw the b-a-l-l? Hmmm I see possibilties.

  39. By BlueBird7 on Jan 8, 2013 | Reply

    Joe Webb as a WR? That can throw? Hmmm I see possibilties.

  40. By BlueBird7 on Jan 8, 2013 | Reply

    I have a double barrel computer.

  41. By robb on Jan 8, 2013 | Reply

    To all the fans who think Ponder isn’t accurate please recall the second Packers game where he hit Jenkins in the end zone.Now that’s accurate with a touch.

  42. By BigHorn on Jan 8, 2013 | Reply

    LOL @ Bluebird – double barrel computer!

    I dont think Fitz is a FA this year? But I sure like the idea of him coming to Min!

  43. By Vikes4life06 on Jan 8, 2013 | Reply

  44. By Dave on Jan 9, 2013 | Reply

    A few good comments, Mark B, especially, Webb athletic ability is no guarantee of good quality play…..anyone who thinks differently need a wake up call.
    Vikings plug some holes and get some defined WR. We will need them for next years shedule.

  45. By smokinjoe on Jan 9, 2013 | Reply

    Webb should be called in when Ponder is having a bad game. He should be an option quarterback not a pocket passer. He should give defenses a different look.Get rid of Musgrave and bring in someone who can utilize Webbs unique athleitic ability. Very poor game plan against Green Bay. Of course, we wont mention Green Bay holding on just about every play or Jordy Nelson doing his Drew Pearson impersionation by pushing off at the 3 yard line. The Vikes didn’t deserve to win this game, but I hate it when the refs play favorites. I hope the Vikes draft Tavon Austin. I like his attutude.With Percy, Jarius and Tavon, the Vikes would give defenses fits. Keep Simpson as a deep threat

  46. By vikesince69 on Jan 9, 2013 | Reply

    Congrats to the Vikes on a season that caught most of us off guard. Everyone say goodbye to Harvin because he has left the building! The Webb controversy is dead unless your of the ilk that wants to continue to talk about it. Off season moves should be get a decent WR and a veteran QB, some youth at inside DL, a couple of run stopping LB’s, and a couple of more dependable CB’s.

    This team is not that far away from being a real SB threat but they have to take that next step or this miracle year will soon be forgotten.

  47. By Mark B on Jan 9, 2013 | Reply

    @vikesince69 – I like most of your pickups, but I think we need a couple of LB’s that can cover more than stop the run – that is where both Brinkley and Henderson excel. The issues with teams running the ball on the Vikings comes more from the inside of the DL, specifically the 1-technique spot where Pat Williams used to play. If we get get a guy who commands (and can handle) double teams at that position on a consistent basis, you will see a dramatic improvement in the run defense. I’m more concerned with the LB’s when they drop into pass coverage as both Brinkley and Henderson allowed some crucial completions and yards after the catch (just look at the playoff game this year). I would love to see the draft go something like this:

    Trade down from First round, gain a second and 4th.
    Trade 3rd and 4th (from Lions) for another second
    2. Kawann Short (from first trade)
    2. Khaseem Greene (from second trade)
    2. Da’Rick Rodgers
    4. Gabe Jackson (from first trade)

    Then select BPA from there.

  48. By Scott Nicola on Jan 9, 2013 | Reply

    I have started to research some of the ILBs in this years draft class, because although I believe Brinkley is a decent backer we still could use an upgrade on the inside. T’eo will by all rights be gone by our pick, so I have left him out. Alec Ogletree is the best physical specimen of the group he looks strong and quite lanky. He dances a lot in the hole to avoid blockers which seems to get him out of position a lot. That being said he is very fast and explosive and would be a great addition. Kevin Minter did not impress me much in the film I watched. He is a good athlete but not an elite one. I think he may be getting his hype from playing inside on a great LSU defense. The player that I believe will be the best ILB for us is Jonathan Bostic. The way he diagnosis plays is uncanny. It does not take him long to decide his next course of action and then he explodes. The best thing about him is that he will be able to be drafted later then both Ogletree and Minter. Mark my words he will be a star in this league, and I hope it is in Purple and Gold! SKOL Vikings.

  49. By smokinjoe on Jan 9, 2013 | Reply

    Vikings were in 31st place in passing offense. 19th place in 3rd down conversions. 20th place in total number of offense plays attempted. Average time of possession was a dismal 28:44 a game. Bottom line is, if the offense can stay on the field longer, it would take a lot of pressure off the defense. Wayyy too many 3 and outs this year. The number one glaring need is wide receiver which it has been for a number of years now. I hope the Vikings will learn from past drafts that trading up to reach down is a huge mistake. If a first or second round prospect is on the board in later rounds TAKE HIM. The Vikings made a huge mistake in not taking Alfonzo Dennard or Trevin Wade in the 6th and seventh rounds last year . We would not be talking about the cornerback position for years if the Vikings had drafted these two players. get on the ball draft team and do the obvious moves and quit trying to be geniuses.

  50. By vikefan on Jan 9, 2013 | Reply

    I have not been keeping up on all the talk in a long time. So I will make comment on comment made by others.
    1st) Trading down our 1st rd draft has to be the……….. WE NEED TALENT
    its not like the old days when we draft a Scott Studwell in the 9th round. There is alot more overall talent but not nfl talent. (better scouting evaluations)
    2) TRADE WEBB. IF we can get anything for him.. That says his NFL value.
    QB LOL Yes he is very athletic but does nothing on the bench. Ponder is QB
    3) Percy Harvin, I really dont want to loose him but if he is leaving trade him.
    Oh, and as for the Draft (my opinion)
    1) Alec Ogletree or MInter (ILB)
    2) Justin Hunter, Patterson or Rogers (WR)
    3) Ricky Wagner (OT) or Best DL avail
    again these are my opinions Go Vikes

  51. By Mark B on Jan 9, 2013 | Reply

    vikefan –
    1. While trading down may seem like the Vikes would be giving up on talent, with the way this year’s draft will stack up, I don’t see the Vikes getting good value at a position of need at 23 – I expect both Ogletree and Minter to be gone at that point, right along with the top tier DTs and the fall off at WR isn’t as much as one would think so we should be able to get good value in the second. I would prefer the Vikes to trade out of the first (gaining a second and 4th at least) then trade again back into the middle of the second. You could then grab Kawaan Short (underrated DT IMHO), Khaseem Green (and move him from OLB to ILB), and Rogers all in the second round. Another guy I think they should take a long look at would be Terry Hawthorne – CB (Illinois). He is a big corner (6’1″ right around 200 lbs) that has the ability to return punts. The depth behind Cook is what killed this team, they need another tall rangy corner in case he goes down again.
    2. COMPLETELY agree.
    3. I don’t see any way the Vikes come ahead on value if they trade Percy. He is as dynamic as they come, and with what looks to be a young receiving corp again next year, they need all the veteran leadership they can get at that position. I don’t read too much into the speculation that he is again causing problems, the “blowup” in Seattle could have been frustration on his part, who (outside of Winter Park) really knows.

    On your draft:
    I like the picks in the second round, but realistically Rogers will be the only one still on the table when the Vikings would be on the clock. I have already said my piece on your first round pick, and I think that LG is more of a need the ROT. Loadholt played pretty well this year, not a Pro Bowl year but pretty solid overall. If he can agree to a reasonable contract he would be worth hanging on to.

  52. By vikefan on Jan 9, 2013 | Reply

    Hey Mark,
    I can agree with your statement…. I just really feel that right now the team NEEDS an ILB. I just looked over the past and when the Vikes had a great defense they had a great MLB. Now, if the top three MLB’s are gone before our 1st round pick. I can agree to trade down and get more picks.
    As for Percy Harvin. I dont want to lose him. However, putting the tag on him only increases our cap. I just do not want to see a Sidney Rice fiasco happen. He has trade potential. If he has had it with Vikings they should trade him. Otherwise, the path I hope they take. Make him happy within reason.

  53. By Mark B on Jan 9, 2013 | Reply

    In recent past, the tough run defenses the Vikings posted were more a testament to the play of Pat Williams than it was that of EJ Henderson. If they can get a dominant DT for the 1-technique, it would create more 1-1 match-ups for the rest of the DL, and allow the linebackers to fill gaps or drop in coverage more.

    Do they need an upgrade at MLB? Sure, but I feel that upgrade needs to be more in pass coverage than in the run game – which is why I’m targeting Short and Greene. If Short can become consistent (he has a little problem with hand and foot placement, but those can be taught) he can be that Pat Williams type 1-technique tackle. Greene has the coverage ability of an outside backer, but played enough inside in the nickel to where I would feel comfortable making the move permanently – giving the Vikings what they haven’t had since EJ left, a 3 down linebacker.

    Just keep in mind, technically speaking Percy has one year left on his rookie deal so using the franchise tag on him would be unnecessary. What he wants is a new contract with a larger paycheck which is something I think he has earned. I would probably favor a contract something like 5 years, $30 – $35 million with performance incentives.

  54. By Scott Nicola on Jan 9, 2013 | Reply

    Vikings Draft.

    1.) DT Jesse Williams- starter across from Kevin Williams. Williams Wall anyone?
    2.) WR Cordarlle Patterson- Starter over Jerome “Flips” Simpson and he returns kicks!
    3.) ILB Jonathan Bostic- Starter for Jasper, very instinctive.
    4a.) OLB Kasheeme Greene- Starter if Erin Henderson is not resigned
    4b.) SS Robert Lester- Will play over everybody not named Harrison
    5.) WR Dri Archer- Small but electric. He is very fun to watch!
    6.) Best Guard availible- Lineman fall in the draft especially guards.
    7.) Best player left on Vikings Big Board.

    This draft would keep Spielman’s draft success alive and make us better in 2013. Of course all these players may not be around in the draft but it is fun to speculate.

  55. By CEO on Jan 10, 2013 | Reply

    I think ponder could have started the QB position against Greenbay but the team made a decision to go with Webb and it caused us the game and it should be a lesson learned from that. Let’s focus on next season and do what we are setting ourselves out to do kick sum butts and hopefully be a Superbowl winning team.

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