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Shiancoe, Rudolph Emerge In Passing Game

Posted by Mike Wobschall on October 4, 2011 – 8:23 am

Head Coach Leslie Frazier said on Monday that, after watching tape of last weekend’s game with his entire coaching staff, he feels the Vikings are “on the verge of getting things headed in the right direction.” It’s not an easy thing for fans to hear after the disappointing start to the season, but it will be interesting to see if Frazier is indeed correct when the Vikings return to Mall of America Field for a game against the Arizona Cardinals this Sunday.

Beyond citing the fact that this weekend’s game is at home, Frazier didn’t go into specifics for why he felt a turnaround was in store for his team. But one reason I have to believe Frazier feels improvement is imminent is that we finally saw the Vikings get their TEs involved in the passing game. Both Kyle Rudolph and Visanthe Shiancoe were factors in the passing game against Kansas City, and hopefully that will prime the pump for Donovan McNabb going forward.

Shiancoe had his best outing of the season against Kansas City, hauling in 6 receptions for 56 yards; he had just 4 receptions for 36 yards and a TD over the first 3 games of the season. In addition, Rudolph caught 3 passes for 44 yards, giving the TE duo more than half of the team’s production from pass catchers.

More important than just the sheer numbers for Shiancoe and Rudolph were the situations in which McNabb leaned on them. McNabb favored Shiancoe on critical downs, as the two hooked up for two completions on 3rd downs and another on 4th down. In fact, all 6 of Shiancoe’s receptions resulted in 1st downs.

Also, McNabb found Rudolph down the left sideline for 41 yards when the Vikings were backed up on their own 15-yardline early in the 2nd quarter. That drive ended in a turnover, but until that point Rudolph’s long reception looked to be the key play in what would become a scoring drive that would’ve increased the Vikings lead to double digits.

Click here to watch a video highlight of Rudolph’s catch.

It’s a negative situation to start the season 0-4, but in looking for a bright spot here and there you can’t help but notice the improvement from Shiancoe and Rudolph in the passing game. It will be interesting to see how Arizona defends this aspect of the Vikings offense, and what other areas of the Vikings offense will open up as a result.


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Vikings Drop 22-17 Road Decision To Chiefs

Posted by Mike Wobschall on October 2, 2011 – 4:25 pm

The Vikings went to Kansas City this weekend looking for their first win of the 2011 season, but they came up short in their attempt as the Chiefs defeated them 22-17 at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday afternoon. It’s another frustrating loss for the Vikings because they held advantages in TDs scored, 1st downs, red zone scoring efficiency, rushing yards and time of possession, yet came away with their 4th consecutive loss.

Another solid outing from the Vikings defense kept Kansas City’s offense in check for much of the afternoon. The Chiefs entered the red zone three times on the afternoon, yet never scored when threatening. K Ryan Succop was called upon to convert a career-high 5 FG attempts, and he also nailed a career-high 54-yarder along the way. The Chiefs only TD came on a 52-yard bomb from QB Matt Cassel to playmaking WR Dwayne Bowe.

The Vikings offense, meanwhile, did find the end zone twice on Donovan McNabb TD tosses to Devin Aromashodu early and Michael Jenkins late, but they were unable to outscore the Chiefs. Kansas City’s #1 defensive priority was clearly to stop RB Adrian Peterson - he had 80 yards on 23 carries – but that allowed the Vikings to attack creatively in other areas, such as with Percy Harvin on end-arounds and with TE Visanthe Shiancoe through the air. Harvin had 67 rushing yards on 4 carries and Shiancoe had 6 receptions for 58 yards.

Ultimately, though, the Vikings couldn’t drive for a TD late in the game and Kansas City was able to pickup a 1st down when they needed it most, allowing them to run out the clock on the Vikings defense. The Chiefs came away with the win, their first of the season. The loss for the Vikings dropped them to 0-4 on the season as they return home this week to prepare for a contest against the Arizona Cardinals next Sunday at Mall of America Field.


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Frazier Sounds Optimistic On Shiancoe, Kevin Williams

Posted by Mike Wobschall on August 29, 2011 – 3:05 pm

It’s the preseason so sometimes it’s not too alarming when regular starters aren’t in the lineup. The reality, though, is that once the regular season begins the availability of those regular starters is heavily scrutinized.

That’s where TE Visanthe Shiancoe and DT Kevin Williams enter the conversation. Both guys sat out of Saturday’s game against the Dallas Cowboys and Shiancoe has actually not played at all this preseason. Shiancoe is dealing with a pesky hamstring injury and Williams has a foot ailment. That’s the bad news.

The good news is that Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier sounded optimistic that both guys will be ready for the regular season.

“Pretty optimistic that he’ll be ready,” Frazier said of Williams. “He moved around fairly well (Monday); much better than I anticipated. He was able to go through some of the drills and [I] wasn’t sure if he’d be able to do that. Hopefully tomorrow he can do a little more, but we’ve got some time before that first game, so I’m optimistic that he’ll be ready.”

As for Shiancoe, Frazier said he won’t play on Thursday against Houston in the preseason finale but they feel “pretty good that he’ll be ready for our opener.” Frazier also said that if it were the regular season right now, Shiancoe would probably be able to play.


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McNabb Says Offense Is Coming Along; Practice Observations

Posted by Mike Wobschall on August 24, 2011 – 3:41 pm

Vikings QB Donovan McNabb met with reporters after practice on Wednesday, just three days before the Vikings suit up for preseason game #3. Typically the third preseason game is when starters see the most playing time, so Saturday night’s contest against the Dallas Cowboys should give us a pretty good glimpse into just how much progress the Vikings offense has made.

Remember, coming off a lockout that canceled all Organized Team Activities (OTAs) and minicamps in addition to a new Offensive Coordinator and starting QB has the Vikings a bit behind the 8 ball. But the Vikings won’t use that as an excuse for poor play, largely because many other teams are enduring the same or similar disadvantages and also because there’s a sense among many on this team that the offense is making strides.

“We’re getting very close, we’re getting very close,” McNabb said about the chemistry developing between himself and the receivers. “I’m excited with where we’re at right now and those guys kind of have a feel of where I may place the ball [when] they come out of their routes. I have a feel of how they’re going to come out of their routes.

“But again, each game is different and it’s a learning process for all of us and hopefully once the whistle blows come Game One we’re right where we want to be.”

That’s the goal – to be ready to go once Week 1 rolls around and then to continue getting better from that point forward. It seemed as if the Vikings offense made a step forward in that effort on Wednesday. During one full team period of practice, I was standing just behind Musgrave and I heard him complement the Vikings offense a number of times on their spacing and timing.

“We had a good day today,” Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier said after practice, speaking about his entire team. “I really believe we got better in some areas. We worked a little bit of short yardage, some goal line and some two-minute. Great weather again for us to practice in, which really helps a lot as you’re trying to mold the team and get the team ready for our third preseason game.

“I think we’re moving in the right direction,” Frazier continued. “This game on [Thursday] night will give us a better indication of where we are and how far we have to go to be ready for our first regular season game.”

Here are a few observations from practice…

– The Vikings worked for roughly two hours on Wednesday in full pads and in warm, breezy conditions.

– Vikings TE Visanthe Shiancoe, who returned to practice from a hamstring injury on Tuesday, was not out on the field taking part in practice on Wednesday. Frazier said Shiancoe incurred a setback, but said it was not a major setback. The Vikings ultimately decided to hold him back on Wednesday rather than risk further injury.

– With Shiancoe on the sidelines, rookie TE Kyle Rudolph saw a few more reps. He’s had a tremendous training camp so far and he was very good on Wednesday. The one aspect of Rudolph’s game that I notice the most is how sure-handed he is; you rarely, if ever, see him take his eye off the ball before he secures it and moves upfield. He also rarely traps the football against his body to catch it.

– There was some pretty good action in the goal line portion of Wednesday’s practice. On three straight plays, the Vikings defense made stops against the scout team. On the first play, DT Letroy Guion penetrated and stopped a run in the backfield. On the second play, the offense used a play-action fake to try and fool the defense but LB Erin Henderson did not bite and was able to tip the pass and cause an incompletion. On the third and final play of the series, DT Christian Ballard and CB Cedric Griffin combined to stop a run short of the goal line.

– WR Percy Harvin made the play of the day on a pass from rookie QB Christian Ponder. Harvin was flying down the left sideline and was able to catch up to and dive under a pass that Ponder had launched downfield. Harvin came up with the ball, secured it all the way to the ground and then quickly got to his feet and completed the play by dashing to the endzone. This was one of the plays when Musgrave complemented Ponder and Harvin on “great timing.” In fact, Musgrave made the “great timing” comment as Ponder’s pass was in the air and about 75% of the way to where Harvin ended up making the catch.


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Frazier Sees Progress, But Also Knows Work Remains; Practice Notes

Posted by Mike Wobschall on August 22, 2011 – 2:23 pm

After a day off on Sunday following their preseason victory over the Seattle Seahawks on Saturday night, the Vikings returned to the practice fields at Winter Park on Monday for an abbreviated workout. The Vikings conducted what they call a 10-10-10 practice, which lasted for approximately an hour.

Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier met with reporters after practice and said that after watching the tape from Saturday night’s win over Seattle he saw his team was making progress. But he also acknowledged there is still work to be done before the team is prepared to open the regular season on September 11 in San Diego.

“There were some good things that we really felt good about,” Frazier said. “There was some improvement in some key areas, really across the board. But there’s also a lot of work to be done, we realize that. That’s one of the reasons we’re in the preseason, to try to improve and identify what we are going to be as a football team.”

Monday’s practice saw the return of a few key offensive players, with TE Visanthe Shiancoe and WRs Greg Camarillo and Percy Harvin back in the action. Frazier seemed please with his team’s effort in practice on Monday and said the team is poised for another solid week of practice leading up to Saturday night’s contest with the Dallas Cowboys at Mall of America Field.

“Really appreciative of the effort that our guys displayed and the desire to want to be good,” Frazier said. “Today’s practice we wanted to make sure they were focused, they were in tune with what we were trying to get done, and that was the case so it was a good way start to the week.”

Here are a few notes from Monday’s practice and Frazier’s press conference…

– The Vikings practiced in helmets, shells and shorts on Monday in warm temperatures and under a sunny sky. They worked on both kickoff and punt return and also had a period of no-huddle offense/defense against the 40-second play clock.

– Devin Aromashodu and Harvin logged highlight-caliber catches during practice. Harvin ran a corner route and hauled in a long pass before falling to the ground and out of bounds with Antoine Winfield covering him like a blanket. Aromashodu’s catch came on a quick out route in which spun out of his break, briefly lost his footing, regained his footing and turned to look for the football just as it arrived. Aromashodu is climbing up the depth chart in a crowded WR stable and is doing so in large part because of his ability to contribute on special teams.

– LB Erin Henderson, who is still the favorite to win a starting outside LB position, intercepted a pass from Donovan McNabb. But McNabb turned around and hit WR Bernard Berrian on the next play and then found WR Michael Jenkins deep down the field just a few plays later.

– Among those who did not practice today were RB Toby Gerhart (ankle), LB Ross Homan (concussion) and LB Mark Washington (stinger). LB Heath Farwell, who missed much of last week’s practice, was back on the field. Frazier Homan will not play in this weekend’s game against the Cowboys.

– Frazier said he was unsure if starting RG Anthony Herrera would make his preseason debut this weekend and he also said that Ryan Cook would be the likely replacement if Herrera was unable to go.

– In what will hopefully be a minor issue but could turn into a major one, DT Kevin Williams was held out of practice today because of a foot injury that’s been bothering him since training camp. Frazier said Williams was having trouble pushing off on the foot during last Saturday’s game. Williams will see a foot specialist today and Frazier said the team could hear the results from those tests as early as tomorrow. Also, Frazier said he hasn’t heard a word from the NFL regarding Williams’ possible four-game suspension.


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Assessing The Defensive Line And Tight End Positions

Posted by Mike Wobschall on August 9, 2011 – 4:18 pm

Over the next five days on the vikings.com Blog, we’ll breakdown the Vikings roster position-by-position to give fans a comprehensive assessment of the team as the first preseason game – this Saturday night in Tennessee – approaches. Click here to read Monday’s breakdown of the offensive line. Up next is the defensive line and tight ends.

From the moment the Vikings acquired DE Jared Allen before the 2008 season, the defensive line has been a strength and it’s a position that fans didn’t really worry about watching during training camp. The starters were set in stone and any talented players beyond the starters were just gravy.

Heading into the 2011 season, the Vikings still have Allen and fellow Pro Bowler DT Kevin Williams, but gone are former starters DE Ray Edwards and DT Pat Williams. Beyond inserting Brian Robison as Edwards’ replacement and signing DT Remi Ayodele to help Williams in the middle, the Vikings are reassessing their depth behind the starters and also bringing along a couple draft picks.

Jared Allen and Jim Kleinsasser battle during practice

We’ll begin with the two new starters – Robison and Ayodele. They’ll team with Allen and Williams to form the four down linemen in coordinator Fred Pagac’s 4-3 scheme. Ayodele is a run-stuffing DT that will fill the role vacated by Pat Williams. Robison will fill the role vacated by Edwards; he’s earned the opportunity after four productive seasons as a reserve.

Beyond those four players, the Vikings have a bushel of linemen fight for spots in the rotation. And the Vikings defensive line this year will truly be a rotation. Right now the depth chart is not well-defined with first-, second- and third-team units. Rather, several players are rotating in and out of different groups, which creates several different combinations and will allow the defensive line to have fresh legs late in games. When assessing the depth behind the starters, we also have to keep in mind that Williams could be suspended for the first four games of the regular season, which means a starting spot will be available.

Here are a few observations from the last two days and throughout last week on the Vikings defensive line rotation…
– Allen is having a tremendous training camp, but so is fellow DE Everson Griffen. He was a fourth-round pick in the 2010 draft and played just occasionally last year. This year, though, I think he’ll be a guy who plays at least 10-15 defensive snaps per game. After Allen, Robison and then Griffen, the next DE in line to play is Adrian Awasom, who has shown some flashes during camp.
– Fred Evans and Letroy Guion seem to be in line after Williams and Ayodele at DT. I’ve also seen Christian Ballard – a fourth-round pick this past April – and Tremaine Johnson take reps with the second-team, but it’s been mostly Evans and Guion. Evans is a guy VP of Player Personnel Rick Spielman picked up from Miami early in his tenure with the Vikings. Guion was a fifth-round pick of Spielman’s in 2008 and has developed steadily during his career. He may finally be blossoming into a regular member of the DL rotation. Both guys have taken reps with the first-team on occasion but spend most of their time with the second-team.
– DE D’Aundre Reed is a player to watch this preseason. He’s passed the vikings.com Blog Eye Test a few times during training camp and he’s even been mentioned by head coach Leslie Frazier during a press conference. He stands at 6-4, 260 pounds and is a talented pass rusher. He could improve against the run but I think he’s shown explosion in pressuring the QB from the edge. He’s spent a lot of time with the second-team but is also bouncing down to the third-team at times.
– Former Gopher Cedric McKinley and new pickup Colby Whitlock are primarily third-team DTs and David Akinniyi plays DE on the third-team.

To go any further than that at this point is probably jumping the gun. There are 14 defensive linemen in camp right now and I’m guessing the final number on the 53-man roster will be somewhere between nine and 11. Once we get a couple preseason games under our belts, we can make a better guess as to which players will round out the DL rotation.

Let’s jump quickly to the TEs, where Visanthe Shiancoe enters atop the depth chart and second-round rookie Kyle Rudolph follows. I anticipate the Vikings will use multiple TE sets regularly this season, which means we’ll see Rudolph and Shiancoe on the field at the same time. Shiancoe has had a solid camp and Rudolph has impressed me quite a bit with the camp he’s put together.

Rudolph and Shiancoe aren’t going to blow anyone away with their blocking, though. But that’s part of the reason why the Vikings still have Jim Kleinsasser. He’ll be on the roster and will be a valuable part of this offense, as an option at TE and also as a pseudo member of the offensive line.

If the Vikings keep more than three TEs, which is certainly possible, Jeff Dugan offers consistency and familiarity with the franchise. Then youngsters Ed Barham and Allen Reisner enter the picture and could be fighting for spots on the practice squad. Reisner is out of the University of Iowa and has shown flashes of solid pass-catching ability while Barham has done the same and is a hard guy to tackle after the catch.

As is the case with all positions at this point in training camp, we need preseason games before we further judge.


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Shiancoe Excited For 2011 Season

Posted by Mike Wobschall on July 25, 2011 – 3:59 pm

Count Vikings TE Visanthe Shiancoe as one who is excited that the NFL’s work stoppage is over and the season is about to begin.

“Been a long process but finally things are worked out…can’t wait to see the guys and get back to work,” Shiancoe said via text message.

Shiancoe stops to sign autographs for fans after an evening practice at Verizon Vikings Training Camp

 

Shiancoe will be entering his 5th season with the Vikings after signing a free agent contract with the team prior to the 2007 season. The 6-4, 250-pound TE struggled to fit in with the Vikings offense during his first season here, but since then Shiancoe has become an integral part of the passing game. His best season was in 2009 when he had 56 receptions for 566 yards and 11 TDs.

Watch for Shiancoe to have another big year in 2011. The Vikings drafted TE Kyle Rudolph in the 2nd round of last April’s draft, leaving open the possibility for two TE sets and also indicating that new offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave values pass-catching TEs. Remember, Musgrave comes from the Atlanta Falcons, where young QB Matt Ryan had a nice safety net in TE Tony Gonzalez.

Speaking of young QBs, the Vikings have a pair of youngsters who will compete for the starting QB job in 2011. For those young QBs – Christian Ponder and Joe Webb – a productive, pass-catching TE is a great weapon.

“This is going to be an exciting year,” Shiancoe says.


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Rudolph “Too Good To Pass Up” For Vikings

Posted by Mike Wobschall on April 29, 2011 – 5:52 pm

The Vikings used the 43rd pick in the 2011 NFL Draft to grab the #1 player at his position – TE Kyle Rudolph of Notre Dame. Considered a 1st-round prospect by most, Rudolph slipped into the 2nd round but he didn’t slip past the Vikings.

The only reason one can muster for his slight slide into the 2nd round is a medical issue, as he missed the last 7 games of the 2010 season because of hamstring injury that required surgery. The Vikings clearly felt comfortable with Rudolph’s medical report and whoever the Vikings QB will be in 2011 will feel more comfortable with Rudolph on the field.

“We had no issues with him medically after he was cleared by our doctors,” Vikings VP of Player Personnel Rick Spielman explained. “When he fell to us, it was too good of a player to pass up. We feel he has a lot of unique skills as a tight end and we’re going to stay true to our board. That was a situation where there was a player that normally I don’t think if he had that hamstring injury you would’ve even had a chance to get. We feel we got great value where we got Kyle.”

Many will compare Rudolph to New England’s Rob Gronkowski, as both have a combination of great size, strength and speed, along with tremendous ball skills. Despite playing in just 29 games for the Irish, Rudolph ranks 4th all-time among Notre Dame TEs with 90 receptions for 1,032 yards. His career-best 33 catches during his sophomore campaign placed 7th among TEs on the school’s season-record chart.

“He has a lot of different skill sets,” Spielman explained. “They’ve split him out wide. They’ve put him at the H. They put him on the line of scrimmage. He’s going to develop into a solid starting tight end in this league.”

At first glance, TE doesn’t appear to be a need for the Vikings. Visanthe Shiancoe is a solid starter and both Jeff Dugan and Jim Kleinsasser are effective in their roles. But Spielman says the Vikings just couldn’t pass on Rudolph and they’ll figure out the roster situation at a later point.

“This was a situation where, I know we have three tight ends that are on our roster right now, but when you have a player like that it’s just too good to pass up,” Spielman said. “I know we’ll sort it all out as we get there. But we just wanted to stay true to our board and he was by far the highest player on our board at this time and we weren’t going to pass him up.”


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Thoughts From Vikings Players On Moving Game To Tuesday Night

Posted by Mike Wobschall on December 26, 2010 – 1:18 pm

As you know by now, tonight’s Vikings-Eagles game has been postponed due to weather and is not scheduled for Tuesday night. The Vikings gathered as a team earlier this afternoon to go over details and we were able to catch up with a bunch of players following that meeting to hear their thoughts on the situation.

Here’s what they had to say…

Adrian Peterson: “Hey, at least it’s another couple of days to heal. We just have to handle this like we have everything else that has gone on this season. Coach Frazier told us to continue to stick together, to stay focused, and that’s what we’ll do. This is just another bump in the road.”

Jared Allen: “What else can you say? Just add this to the list for the 2010 season. But you know what, we have to remain together as a team and keep a positive mind frame. It’s important to be a professional and be ready to play on Tuesday night.”

Chad Greenway: “It’s just another interesting twist to our season. It’s been tough to deal with all the distractions and this just adds to it. We’ll be staying here for a couple nights, so we’ll treat it like a (college) bowl game. In a bowl game you’re typically there for about a week and we’ll be here for about three days. But it has that feel. Everybody is here together; we’ll be hanging out. I’ll probably go get a cheese steak tonight and just hang out.”

“At this point, there is so much time. We have to take some time just to relax, watch a couple movies and hang out. When it comes down to it, tomorrow we’ll get back into our game planning. We’ll watch some more film and keep interested in what’s going on instead of getting lost in the craziness.”

Ryan Longwell: “It’s tough, especially in a season that you didn’t think any more curve balls could happen. This is a rough one being away from our families during Christmas and being stuck in Philly. At the same time you realize that you’ve got to reconfigure the mind for Tuesday night and show up ready to play.”

On what the leadership committee discussed with Interim Head Coach Leslie Frazier: “A couple different angles. One is the logistics of being stuck in a hotel. Usually we’re a hotel for one night so guys bring one change of clothes and that’s it. Now we’ll be here for three days and we have to figure out how to take care of guys. So the logistics is one thing. Two is keeping your mind right. We have every reason, because of the season, to say ‘this is the last straw and I’m checking out.’ But this is the NFL and you can’t do that. You have to show up ready to play Tuesday night and that’s what we’re trying to get the young guys and everybody to understand.”

Percy Harvin: “Football is football, no matter what day you play it. They’re accommodating us very well at the hotel. We get to wash our clothes, there are movies to watch and we can eat. It’s just like being at home; we’ve just got to stay here, relax and then be ready when it’s time to play.”

Visanthe Shiancoe: “As a professional athlete, as coach (Leslie Frazier) said, you can only control your attitude and your approach to it. So we have to have a positive approach to it. We get a little extra time to rest, a little extra time to be in the playbook and we’re still going to be on a national stage. We still have a chance to showcase the Vikings. We need to stay ready, no matter the circumstances.”

Joe Webb: “It’s another situation you can’t control. The only thing we can control is keeping our focus and staying composed. We need to fight through this adversity. It’s important to not check out mentally and stay in the playbook studying so we are prepared for the game.”

Heath Farwell: “We’re just going to roll with it, that’s what we have to do. We’ve had a lot of adversity this year and this is another example of it. We are professionals and we have to adapt to what’s given to us.”


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Vikings Leaders Standup After 21-3 Loss To NY Giants

Posted by Mike Wobschall on December 14, 2010 – 9:01 am

After the weekend we just experienced and then the game the Vikings played on Monday night, it’s impossible and somewhat disingenuous to put a positive spin on any aspect of the Vikings performance against the Giants at Ford Field. But from the moment the game ended to now, there is one thing that stays atop my mind and it should be evidence enough for Vikings fans to have faith in this team, in the short-term but especially in the long-term.

I won’t go into details because I believe what happens behind closed doors in a locker room is meant to stay behind closed doors, but what I saw in the Vikings locker room after the loss was not a team that is about to quit or a group of players that don’t believe in one another. I’m confident that the core of this Vikings team will stand up to not allow a lapse in effort going forward, even though playoffs are no longer even a remote possibility.

On top of that, I read a few quotes from core Vikings players on Access Vikings this morning and that fortified my opinion even more of the status of this Vikings team. Check out what Ben Leber, Chad Greenway and Visanthe Shiancoe had to say following the 21-3 loss to New York. Again, these were transcribed and posted by Chip Scoggins of the Star Tribune’s Access Vikings and I think they’re a good indication of how the leadership of this team will guide the franchise going forward.

Ben Leber: “That performance out there is unacceptable to every guy in the locker room. I think that’s why everybody is shocked right now, especially on defense to give up that many rushing yards. That’s unacceptable. But we’re going to come back and make it right. I don’t care if we’re out of the playoffs. We’re going to make it right.”

Chad Greenway: “I want to apologize to our fans. We have good fans back home. We have fans who made it all the way here. We have fans everywhere. They expect us to go out and play hard. I think we played hard. We just didn’t play good enough to win that’s for sure.”

Tight end Visanthe Shiancoe had tears in his eyes, Scoggins said, as he spoke with reporters:

“That’s embarrassing. We had a lot of energy coming into this game. People were energized. I can’t put my finger on nothing for why this turned out this way. Our offense has to put up more points than three points. You’ve got to put up more than three points on the Giants. They’re going to score. You’ve got to score too.”

“This is the second time this year: The Packers [loss] and this,” he added. “Something is going on. Something has to be fixed man. This is atrocious. This is embarrassing. We look like the Bad News Bears out there. That’s some embarrassing stuff to put on film in front of the whole damn nation. That’s embarrassing. I can’t put my finger on nothing. I don’t understand it.”

Asked if the tears in his eyes were because he was angry or disappointed, Shiancoe said, “That’s a combination of everything. Combination of everything. I’m very disappointed. I didn’t expect the season to end like that. But it did. But you’ve got to keep on trucking. This is all about what’s in here now [pounding his heart]. What’s all about in your chest man. We’ll see who lays down.”


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