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*** Minnesota Vikings: OFFICIAL

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If Green Bay wants DeFillipo so bad as their next head coach as the rumor suggests, Let him go there next week.  His playcalling and game plan is pathetic.

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Seriously do not get coaching complaints. Vince Lombardi could not win with Don Coryell as his OC with a line that can't convert 3rd and 1 and can't protect more than 1.5 seconds. To call them soft is frankly an insult to the word soft.

Edited by BigJim®

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On 12/2/2018 at 7:49 PM, Andy Dufresne said:

They were playing Marcus Sherels and Holton Hill at CB at one point. In a passing league, they're just undermanned.

The biggest problem is what everyone said it would be - the offensive line sabotages everything.

Holton Hill is better at this point in his career than Tray Waynes.  I still can't believe the Josh Gordon penalty he gets called for last week.  Brady underthows Gordon and Gordon reaches out and grabs Hill to get back to the ball.  Hill gets called for PI.  

Edited by Donnybrook

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7 hours ago, BigJim® said:

Seriously do not get coaching complaints. Vince Lombardi could not win with Don Coryell as his OC with a line that can't convert 3rd and 1 and can't protect more than 1.5 seconds. To call them soft is frankly an insult to the word soft.

Are we watching the same games :confused:. I found this write up about just last night(could probably find similar questionable calls for the past month) that justify the complaints on how bad the Play calling has been:

Quote

The play-calling hasn’t helped much.

Trailing 6-0 in the fourth quarter the Vikings got the ball to the 4-yard line, then had a terrible sequence. They ran up the middle for 2 yards, a conservative call. Then Kirk Cousins threw incomplete. Third down brought another run up the middle for nothing. And on fourth down the Vikings went for it, which was a justifiable call. But the play call wasn’t very creative, nobody was open, and Cousins forced a pass to Kyle Rudolph that was easily batted down.

That came after a fourth-and-1 call in which the Vikings lined up in an extreme tight formation, asking the Seahawks defense to cram the line of scrimmage, and a run to Latavius Murray up the middle was stuffed easily.

Earlier in that drive they have Kirk sneak through for 3 yards.. Then 3rd and one, instead of going with what worked, play action, then the mentioned failed convert on 4th and 1..

His play calling has been atrocious for weeks.. The talk of him being a "Hot candidate" for a Head coaching job went to his head, and instead of coaching the team he has, he has been trying to impress for the job he wants.. He can take the walk of shame to the unemployment line any time now. :bye:

Edited by snogger
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Something about the Vikings and losing in the NFC Championship.. The next season they seem to play with a hangover.

1998 - 15-1 Should have been in the Super Bowl.. Next season 10-6 lose in the divisional round

2000 - 11-5 get destroyed in the NFC Championship game ... Next season 5-11 :bag:

2017 - lose to the Eagles in the NFC Championship game... current season 6-6-1 and, if they are lucky enough to make the playoffs, look like a one and done.

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1 hour ago, snogger said:

Are we watching the same games :confused:. I found this write up about just last night(could probably find similar questionable calls for the past month) that justify the complaints on how bad the Play calling has been:

Earlier in that drive they have Kirk sneak through for 3 yards.. Then 3rd and one, instead of going with what worked, play action, then the mentioned failed convert on 4th and 1..

His play calling has been atrocious for weeks.. The talk of him being a "Hot candidate" for a Head coaching job went to his head, and instead of coaching the team he has, he has been trying to impress for the job he wants.. He can take the walk of shame to the unemployment line any time now. :bye:

Could there be more creativity, motions, etc? Sure, I think there should be. Is it JDF's fault that the Vikes can't get a measly 1 yard running that play? No. I'd love to see a stat of how many times this year the Vikes could not generate a single yard on an X and 1 play. I don't know if JDF is just accommodating Zimmer in calling what he does, or if he's determined creativity only takes away a needed blocker. My only point is this OL would struggle against college defenses, and that is something that changes everything, and everyone around them. 

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1 hour ago, BigJim® said:

Could there be more creativity, motions, etc? Sure, I think there should be. Is it JDF's fault that the Vikes can't get a measly 1 yard running that play? No. I'd love to see a stat of how many times this year the Vikes could not generate a single yard on an X and 1 play. I don't know if JDF is just accommodating Zimmer in calling what he does, or if he's determined creativity only takes away a needed blocker. My only point is this OL would struggle against college defenses, and that is something that changes everything, and everyone around them. 

My biggest problem is.. Everyone watching can see the OL sucks.. Yet he continues to call Pocket pass plays that Kirk has 25% chance of surviving long enough to find a receiver and runs up the middle..

Even the announcers commented multiple times last night that the best plays all night had been designed Roll-outs and outside running..

Yet, as I pointed out above, he calls Tight formations on short yardage attempts and runs into the middle where 9 guys are waiting. :wall:

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1 hour ago, BigJim® said:

Could there be more creativity, motions, etc? Sure, I think there should be. Is it JDF's fault that the Vikes can't get a measly 1 yard running that play? No. I'd love to see a stat of how many times this year the Vikes could not generate a single yard on an X and 1 play. I don't know if JDF is just accommodating Zimmer in calling what he does, or if he's determined creativity only takes away a needed blocker. My only point is this OL would struggle against college defenses, and that is something that changes everything, and everyone around them. 

That is part of the problem of the OC.  We all know the line is terrible so why call plays that accentuate that terribleness?  That is all on the OC.  Sure it would be nice to be able to pick up 1 yard like most teams but the O-Line is not good enough to get that push.  So instead of continuously calling obvious plays out of those formations that get stuffed do something creative and play to what little strengths the O-line has.  That is 100% on the OC

 

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10 minutes ago, Gally said:

That is part of the problem of the OC.  We all know the line is terrible so why call plays that accentuate that terribleness?  That is all on the OC.  Sure it would be nice to be able to pick up 1 yard like most teams but the O-Line is not good enough to get that push.  So instead of continuously calling obvious plays out of those formations that get stuffed do something creative and play to what little strengths the O-line has.  That is 100% on the OC

I realize I'm completely flipping my typical script dating back to saying Ponder/Tarvaris stunk (visibly) despite having an excuse (no OL, no surrounding talent). To my eyeballs, they did not have it. I'm not ready to go there with coaching. Truly, I think it is impossible to measure capabilities of an OC, and what he might be able to scheme with NFL-caliber talent, when he's hamstrung with an OL that can neither pass protect nor run block a bit. Not even a little bit. To be fair, I think you'd also have to conclude Dalvin can't run, Cousins can't pass, etc. Everything ties back to an inescapable fatal flaw in this team. If things were different, they wouldn't be the same. 

Edited by BigJim®

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2 minutes ago, BigJim® said:

I realize I'm completely flipping my typical script dating back to saying Ponder/Tarvaris stunk (visibly) despite having an excuse (no OL, no surrounding talent). To my eyeballs, they did not have it, and I think that has proved out. I'm not ready to go there with coaching. Truly, I think it is impossible to measure capabilities of an OC, what he might be able to scheme with NFL-caliber talent, when he has a OL that can neither pass protect nor run block a bit. Not even a little bit. To be fair, I think you'd also have to conclude Dalvin can't run, Cousins can't pass, etc. Everything ties back to an inescapable fatal flaw in this team. If things were different, they wouldn't be the same. 

The best coaches see what the players they have can and cannot do then adapt to put them in positions to play to their strengths.  If the coach continuously puts players in positions that play to their weaknesses they will always look terrible.  Obviously the O-line is not very good but I have not seen any mis-direction plays and very little roll out/moving pocket plays.  Everything is very easy to read for what they are trying to do.  Very little creativity.  Last night was a perfect example with 1st and goal from the 4.  Two runs out of run formations and two passes out of spread formations.  I could easily call what each play was going to be.  It was telegraphed.  That is all on the OC. 

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12 minutes ago, Gally said:

The best coaches see what the players they have can and cannot do then adapt to put them in positions to play to their strengths.  If the coach continuously puts players in positions that play to their weaknesses they will always look terrible.  Obviously the O-line is not very good but I have not seen any mis-direction plays and very little roll out/moving pocket plays.  Everything is very easy to read for what they are trying to do.  Very little creativity.  Last night was a perfect example with 1st and goal from the 4.  Two runs out of run formations and two passes out of spread formations.  I could easily call what each play was going to be.  It was telegraphed.  That is all on the OC. 

Totally agree on lack of creativity. I had the same complaint after the Chicago game. The question is whether this guy deserves to be fired for not solving the rubik's cube that is our offensive line. I don't think he does, and would prefer seeing how he does with actual talent, but that's just me.

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7 minutes ago, BigJim® said:

Totally agree on lack of creativity. I had the same complaint after the Chicago game. The question is whether this guy deserves to be fired for not solving the rubik's cube that is our offensive line. I don't think he does, and would prefer seeing how he does with actual talent, but that's just me.

I think he deserves to be held accountable (not necessarily fired yet) because of no creativity and not figuring out how to play to the strengths (what little strength there is) for the players he has.  Coaches should adapt to their players or acquire players that fit their schemes.  Be flexible and adapt.  I don't see JDF doing that. 

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Where is the criticism of Spielman in all this? For the hundredth time, everyone knew the o-line was a problem and he did little to fix it in free agency and admitted he was caught pants down in the draft. 

Edited by Andy Dufresne
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17 minutes ago, Andy Dufresne said:

Where is the criticism of Spielman in all this? For the hundredth time, everyone knew the o-line was a problem and he did little to fix it in free agency and admitted he was caught pants down in the draft. 

:goodposting:

Now there's a donkey I can get behind pinning a tail on. For years this team has prioritized over OL... including putting rookie QBs behind lines that gave them zero chance of success/growth. Then Treadwell, then Dalvin - even more frustrating since it is far more difficult (for this team) to find talented OL in the 3rd-4th than it is to find RB/WR. Last year, going 3rd CB over OL was maybe my tipping point. At a time the defense is already top 5 and you've invested so heavily in an immobile QB. The team drafts like it has already reached a goal and has luxury of drafting for the future, when in reality it remains an OL away from being a contender. That's on Spielman.  

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46 minutes ago, Andy Dufresne said:

Where is the criticism of Spielman in all this? For the hundredth time, everyone knew the o-line was a problem and he did little to fix it in free agency and admitted he was caught pants down in the draft. 

Oh there is plenty of blame to go around.  Spielman is an off season target because that's when he is "on the field".  Right now, the players on the field and play calling are the target because they are front and center to try and win with what you got.  There are definite deficiencies in place due to the front office but that is gripe for the off season..haha

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1 minute ago, cap'n grunge said:
7 minutes ago, Squintz82 said:

Can we fire the Oline too?

Can't fire something that doesn't exist.. :pokey:

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Wow I did NOT expect that so soon... but after Zimmer chewed out DeFilippo last week and the results this week? Oh yeah it had to be coming. Vikes are fighting for their playoffs lives and look worse on O this year than last.
 

Quote

Vikings fired OC John DeFilippo.

The Vikings had big expectations on offense after signing Kirk Cousins this offseason, and they simply have not met them, especially as of late. The final straw was a disheartening loss to the Seahawks on Monday night in which Minnesota did not score until deep into garbage time. Considered an up-and-comer when the Vikings hired him, it will be interesting to see where DeFilippo lands.

 

Edited by The Frankman

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Stefanski joined the Minnesota Vikings in 2006 as an assistant to former Head Coach Brad Childress.

In 2017, after the termination of Scott Turner, Stefanski was promoted to coach the Vikings QBs, he helped transform the Vikings into the NFL's 10th-highest scoring offense. Quarterback Case Keenumhad his best season under Stefanski, he threw 22 touchdown passes and 7 interceptions. He previously worked with the RBs in 2016, and the TEs in 2014 and 2015.

After 2017 season New York Giants requested to interview and hire Stefanski as their new offensive coordinator but Vikings denied it.[1]

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59 minutes ago, Andy Dufresne said:

Where is the criticism of Spielman in all this? For the hundredth time, everyone knew the o-line was a problem and he did little to fix it in free agency and admitted he was caught pants down in the draft. 

Well, if we want to travel down that road I'm with you.. My opinion is worth less then :2cents: but....
I still feel they could have kept Case and Teddy, and used the money they saved on the OL..

But, we all know Zimmer was not a fan of Case so that was probably not going to fly. So they spent a lot for a hope and a dream QB, and decided that Swiss Cheese at OL was good enough if we had Kirk running the show.

Edited by snogger

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4 hours ago, BigJim® said:

I realize I'm completely flipping my typical script dating back to saying Ponder/Tarvaris stunk (visibly) despite having an excuse (no OL, no surrounding talent). To my eyeballs, they did not have it. I'm not ready to go there with coaching. Truly, I think it is impossible to measure capabilities of an OC, and what he might be able to scheme with NFL-caliber talent, when he's hamstrung with an OL that can neither pass protect nor run block a bit. Not even a little bit. To be fair, I think you'd also have to conclude Dalvin can't run, Cousins can't pass, etc. Everything ties back to an inescapable fatal flaw in this team. If things were different, they wouldn't be the same. 

To illustrate how effective OC can adapt his team personnel, Carolina Panthers are the best example with atrocious OL at the beginning and yet their OC Norv Turner learned to adapt to play whoever they have.  He utilizes McCaffrey effectively especially in wheel routes and screen passes.  I really did think Cook could had been utilized in the same fashion but alas, DeFlippo insisted on Cousins to rely on Diggs and Thielen and ignore other capable offensive playmakers.

Edited by Aznflyer14
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So last night I DVR'd the game, intending to watch it after I got home from work at 11:30 CT. Coworkers told me it was an awful game, so I conceded and saw the score before I came home. Decided to watch the game anyway, cuz I'm a rube and a masochist (pretty much 2 synonyms for "Vikings fan").

It was eye-opening watching the game, knowing what was going to happen.  Like watching film.  Emotion was removed, and I used a more critical eye than normal.  What I saw was encouraging, especially after finding out JDF got fired today.

This team is this close.  The defense is dominant.  If Waynes and Rhodes can get healthy, their pass defense is practically impenetrable.  They've faced an absolute murderer's row of elite QBs this year, mostly on the road, and been in every single game. Their undoing is untimely turnovers and penalties (along with a few really egregious non-calls like the PIs against NE and the FG block vs Seattle) along with lack of execution and some truly mystifying play calling on offense.  Seattle was playing dominating D in that game.  They made EVERY tackle.  It was a really spectacular display.  And the Viking offense was awful.  And the team was still in the game at the end of the 4th quarter.  This keeps happening.

Now Stefanski is the OC. A bit of invention on his part may be enough to energize these guys.  JDF just simply wasn't calling plays to minimize the OL weaknesses.  There's little effort to get Cook the ball in space.  Diggs and Thielen both being doubled seems to be the easiest way to flummox this offense.  That means Cook, Rudolph, Treadwell, etc are all seeing excellent opportunities to make plays.  And it's not happening. I'm hopeful Stefanski can change that. I do fear Treadwell is a lost cause, and Rudolph is a good, not great TE, but Cook has been woefully misused this season and Murray has been invisible the last couple games.  A different OC can change this quickly.

I'm still rather hopeful.  Great defense is what wins games in the playoffs. With the possible exception of the Bears, who will be held back by Trubisky, this is the best defense in the NFC postseason. Get in and anything can happen.

SKOL

Edited by Herb
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If the Vikings are ever going to win their first Super Bowl, it will never be as a favorite. The fate, the karma, the fortunate "energy" just simply aren't there.  The past bears this out.  They've fielded the "best" team in the league, what? 6-8 times in their history?  Been favored in how many playoff games they've lost? Not going to happen. The weight of history crushes these aspirations.

Their first Super Bowl is going to be a surprise. The fans and media won't expect it. They will have long been written off as a second tier, one-and-done team even before they back into the playoffs. They'll be the wildcard team that wins 3 brutal road games as heavy dogs against elite opponents only to advance to the Super Bowl against NFL royalty in a game in which they will surely be trounced.

Every game will be a formality for their foes. These powerhouse teams will be advancing to play the next opponent, dismissing this bunch of losers from the Great White North, these backwards denizens of flyover country, with their ridiculous fans and the horns on their heads and that big, loud, obnoxious one in their stadium, the team that always finds a way to disappoint. The team that has never won the big one and never will. No one will take them seriously.

Until the Vikings grab them by the balls, squeeze the #### out of them, and forcefully demand respect. They will be the team that suffocates their opponents MVP QBs with their front 4 and punishes the All-Pro receivers and RBs with LBs and DBs that make them pay with devastating brutality every time they touch the ball. The team that does just enough on offense, that scores the winning TD on a 4th and goal fade from the 9-yard line, down by 5 with 20 seconds left on the clock, shocking the world to hoist a Lombardi.

And then the team that never will becomes the team that just did.

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1 hour ago, Herb said:

If the Vikings are ever going to win their first Super Bowl, it will never be as a favorite. The fate, the karma, the fortunate "energy" just simply aren't there.  The past bears this out.  They've fielded the "best" team in the league, what? 6-8 times in their history?  Been favored in how many playoff games they've lost? Not going to happen. The weight of history crushes these aspirations.

Their first Super Bowl is going to be a surprise. The fans and media won't expect it. They will have long been written off as a second tier, one-and-done team even before they back into the playoffs. They'll be the wildcard team that wins 3 brutal road games as heavy dogs against elite opponents only to advance to the Super Bowl against NFL royalty in a game in which they will surely be trounced.

Every game will be a formality for their foes. These powerhouse teams will be advancing to play the next opponent, dismissing this bunch of losers from the Great White North, these backwards denizens of flyover country, with their ridiculous fans and the horns on their heads and that big, loud, obnoxious one in their stadium, the team that always finds a way to disappoint. The team that has never won the big one and never will. No one will take them seriously.

Until the Vikings grab them by the balls, squeeze the #### out of them, and forcefully demand respect. They will be the team that suffocates their opponents MVP QBs with their front 4 and punishes the All-Pro receivers and RBs with LBs and DBs that make them pay with devastating brutality every time they touch the ball. The team that does just enough on offense, that scores the winning TD on a 4th and goal fade from the 9-yard line, down by 5 with 20 seconds left on the clock, shocking the world to hoist a Lombardi.

And then the team that never will becomes the team that just did.

So you're calling Super Bowl in 2018? ;)

I'm not a big fan of the JDF firing... I feel like there are bigger issues and there's just no way to know if it was a good/bad move. OTOH, I wouldn't rule out that there were deeper issues, based on the peculiar comments from Zimmer in recent weeks. It was odd for a HC to call out how his own team was being run. Possibly, there was even undermining going on if JDF took exception to that public scrutiny and called vanilla runs, only to show they don't work with this OL. We'll never know. It's just really hard not to come out disappointed that we hired an alleged chef and asked him to do his magic cooking a gormet meal with Spam. 

Edited by BigJim®

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4 hours ago, cap'n grunge said:

@RapSheet: Expect QB coach Kevin Stefanski to call plays https://twitter.com/rapsheet/status/1072535288679931909

It will be interesting to see how much the playcalling changes with Stefanski.  Remember, he was interviewed for the OC position last year before Defillipo was hired and Zimmer denied him going to the Giants to be the OC for Shurmer.  

It might not be as glaring, but I am thinking Shurmer needs to go as well.  We probably won't see that until the offseason, but I read an interesting article that said the Vikings have had kicking woes since Kluwe was let go by Shurmer because of differences.  I am not saying Kluwe is the answer, but when he was the holder Walsh had a good career going.  Kluwe was let go the season of the infamous kick at TCF stadium by Walsh.

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4 hours ago, Herb said:

So last night I DVR'd the game, intending to watch it after I got home from work at 11:30 CT. Coworkers told me it was an awful game, so I conceded and saw the score before I came home. Decided to watch the game anyway, cuz I'm a rube and a masochist (pretty much 2 synonyms for "Vikings fan").

It was eye-opening watching the game, knowing what was going to happen.  Like watching film.  Emotion was removed, and I used a more critical eye than normal.  What I saw was encouraging, especially after finding out JDF got fired today.

This team is this close.  The defense is dominant. 

Did you notice that the defensive line was getting pushed back on a lot of the Seahawks running plays?

They also lost contain on the outside of plays several times.

Everson Griffen is not playing as well as his former self. He isn't getting off blocks and lost containment against the run to his side.

Linval Joseph and Richardson are missing tackles. The penetration doesn't help if you don't make the play or if the play doesn't get spilled to another defender. Joseph also with costly penalty again. Joseph has not been playing as well this year as in the past. He did have a stretch of 4 games or so since the last time I criticized him, but has had a couple bad games in a row now.

Ben Gedeon was getting isolated on runs and in coverage by the Seahawks and he did not answer the bell. He is worse than Barr and I think Barr is merely average although Zimmer seems to think that Barr is significantly better than Eric Wilson is. I do think Barr is faster than Wilson, and that may be what Zimmer is talking about. As usual Barr is pretty invisible on the field. He spends a lot of time in coverage and has done a better job with that in recent games.

I agree somewhat with Jim that the offensive line is so bad, it makes it hard to judge offensive plays at times. The Vikings completely blew a blocking assignment on defensive back blitzing through. The center and left guard just opening a lane for him and Cook protecting to the outside instead of picking up the free guy. Mike Remmers beat so often I just want him on the bench. Hard for me to imagine the back ups being worse than him (although they probably are).

That said this offensive line is not as bad as when they had TJ Clemmings starting at tackle. O'Neil is certainly much better than him. He isn't perfect by any means but he has been better than expected for his first year. I have some hope of him improving and becoming a strength of this offensive line that sorely needs one. Both of the guards need to be replaced.

While the issue with the offensive line is a long standing one, and as I have said before, I am not sure if the coaching staff is capable of coaching up offensive linemen. It has been a pretty long drought of them developing a late round pick into a starter as they have done in the past. For example Fusco who wasn't great but I believe he is still playing in the league right now. The last really successful one being Sullivan who had injury issues when the Vikings let him go, but Sully is playing some good football for the Rams the last two seasons.

The Vikings haven't struck gold with a player like this really since Sullivan, and several coaching staffs ago.

Sparano did die during camp. So that didn't help. I think the issue is still personnel though, and Tony (RIP) was not doing that well identifying it as shown by the Beavers pick, when Beavers could not even make the team, despite the Vikings needs there.

The problem with the offensive line is very much tied to the philosophy of ZImmer and Spielman. They just don't seem to think that offensive linemen are any good, and not worth prioritizing with draft capital. They can't seem to identify talent at the position, so they are left to free agency to try to upgrade there. Teams do not usually allow good offensive linemen to become free agents. Well except for the Bengals.

This is the biggest problem the Vikings have. Identifying and developing offensive line players.

While I wondered at the draft why the Vikings did what they did, with some good offensive linemen available to them, I think Mike Hughes was a very good pick. He played great and even though he was only a rookie, the defense has missed having him in the lineup. With further injuries leading to Sherels playing defense, I think it is clear that the Vikings did need depth at the position. Even with the Hughes pick, they have been undermanned at the position. I am not sure all of these defensive backs will be with the team next season either.

You guys can't have it both ways. If Sherels is a problem then the Vikings did need to draft a corner. If you think they should have drafted an offensive linemen before Hughes which one? The Patriots and Lions took the two offensive linemen that I thought might be worth taking over Hughes. So no need to reach for one with the best ones gone and a better player available at another position.

As far as the idea about using more money in free agency to address the offensive line, even at the cost of not being able to sign Kirk Cousins, Well who would they have signed?

Here is an article talking about free agency from last season.

As you can see the Vikings signed two of the top 25 free agents last year. Just neither of them played offensive line.

The best offensive linemen out there signed for a lot of money. Money the Vikings could not afford, and yes QB takes priority over offensive line.

Here were the options.

Offensive tackles

Nate Solder, Patriots (agreed to sign with Giants for four years and $62 million)
Cameron Fleming, Patriots
Chris Hubbard, Steelers (agreed to sign with Browns for five years and $37.5 million)
LaAdrian Waddle, Patriots
Sam Young, Dolphins
Chris Clark, Texans
Greg Robinson, Lions

Guards

Andrew Norwell, Panthers (agreed to sign witih Jaguars for five years and $66.5 million)
Justin Pugh, Giants (agreed to sign with Cardinals for five years and $45 million)
Josh Kline, Titans (re-signed with Titans for four years and $26 million)
Patrick Omameh, Jaguars (re-signed with Jaguars for three years and $15 million).
Zach Fulton, Chiefs (agreed to sign with Texans)
Josh Sitton, Bears (agreed to sign with Dolphins for two years)
Brandon Fusco, 49ers (agreed to sign with Falcons for three years and $12.75 million)
Joe Berger, Vikings
Jahri Evans, Packers
Evan Smith, Buccaneers
Senio Kelemete, Saints (agreed to sign with Texans for three years and $12 million)
Jack Mewhort, Colts
Jermon Bushrod, Dolphins (agreed to sign with Saints)
Brian Schwenke, Titans
Alex Boone, Cardinals
Allen Barbre, Broncos
Luke Joeckel, Seahawks
Matt Slauson, Chargers
D.J. Fluker, Giants
Shawn Lauvao, Redskins
Xavier Su’a-Filo, Texans

Centers

Ryan Jensen, Ravens (agreed to sign with Buccaneers for four years and $42 million)
Weston Richburg, Giants (agreed to five-year contract with 49ers)
John Sullivan, Rams (re-signed for two years and $15 million)
Spencer Long, Redskins (agreed to sign with Jets)
Mike Pouncey, Dolphins (agreed to sign with Chargers for two years and $15 million)
Russell Bodine, Bengals (agreed to sign with Bills for two years and $5 million)

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1 hour ago, Biabreakable said:

While I wondered at the draft why the Vikings did what they did, with some good offensive linemen available to them, I think Mike Hughes was a very good pick. He played great and even though he was only a rookie, the defense has missed having him in the lineup. With further injuries leading to Sherels playing defense, I think it is clear that the Vikings did need depth at the position. Even with the Hughes pick, they have been undermanned at the position. I am not sure all of these defensive backs will be with the team next season either.

You guys can't have it both ways.

It's really not about having it both ways. A contending team can't have this OL, plain and simple. It can have a defense that slips from 1st to 6th. JMHO, it's about having manageable weaknesses, and having an OL that functions is a significant need. I can't claim to say who the Vikes should have taken at OL. I would hope a scouting department would. You said it yourself... you can't get OL via FA, and when you do you are paying guys like Remmers/Rieff $10M per. I would like to think Zimmer has an eye to select functioning CB in mid-rounds... seems a bit wasteful to use his eye on 1st round players when there are bigger needs.  

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I was praying they would take Will Hernandez at 1.30 but they went Hughes. Hernandez ended up a Giant in round 2. I would still much rather have Hernandez and this team would be way better if he would have been the choice imho.

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6 hours ago, BigJim® said:

So you're calling Super Bowl in 2018? ;)

I'm not a big fan of the JDF firing... I feel like there are bigger issues and there's just no way to know if it was a good/bad move. OTOH, I wouldn't rule out that there were deeper issues, based on the peculiar comments from Zimmer in recent weeks. It was odd for a HC to call out how his own team was being run. Possibly, there was even undermining going on if JDF took exception to that public scrutiny and called vanilla runs, only to show they don't work with this OL. We'll never know. It's just really hard not to come out disappointed that we hired an alleged chef and asked him to do his magic cooking a gormet meal with Spam. 

Yeah, but that's part of the problem.  You hire a chef and you expect him to have the skill to make a decent meal with whatever you give him.  Unfortunately, JDF is the Wolfgang Puck type that said "#### that, I refuse to work under these conditions" instead of the Bobby Flay type that said "Spam huh... Interesting, might be kinda fun" and then does something weird and unorthodox to make something good anyway.

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I didn't expect DeFilippo to be fired before the end of the season. It's tough to defend him or argue the decision though. He just wasn't ready for this yet. Maybe he will be at some point in the future. Pretty sure Mike Tice is available if they want to bring in someone.

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1 hour ago, sports_fan said:

I didn't expect DeFilippo to be fired before the end of the season. It's tough to defend him or argue the decision though. He just wasn't ready for this yet. Maybe he will be at some point in the future. Pretty sure Mike Tice is available if they want to bring in someone.

I'd take him in a heartbeat as OL coach.

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5 hours ago, BigJim® said:

It's really not about having it both ways. A contending team can't have this OL, plain and simple. It can have a defense that slips from 1st to 6th. JMHO, it's about having manageable weaknesses, and having an OL that functions is a significant need. I can't claim to say who the Vikes should have taken at OL. I would hope a scouting department would. You said it yourself... you can't get OL via FA, and when you do you are paying guys like Remmers/Rieff $10M per. I would like to think Zimmer has an eye to select functioning CB in mid-rounds... seems a bit wasteful to use his eye on 1st round players when there are bigger needs.  

This. I think Sparano’s death had an impact on the performance of the oline. He was always a great motivator and he had the line over-performing last year. 

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11 hours ago, 32 Counter Pass said:

This. I think Sparano’s death had an impact on the performance of the oline. He was always a great motivator and he had the line over-performing last year. 

Yeah.  It was pretty obvious.  I was worried about that when we lost him then.  I was hoping maybe they'd rally around him with a whole "win one for the gipper" mentality, but it hasn't happened.

Even with Sparano though, I think we'd have struggled.  Losing Berger to retirement and then Easton to injury has hurt badly.  Our struggles have come from the interior of the line more than the edges, which makes things so much harder on a QB.  With edge pressure you can always step up, but when there's such a quick push inside, a guy like Cousins just doesn't have the mobility to get away.  Plus our inside running game is just a wreck.  

JDF certainly deserves some blame, but Spielman deserves a lot too.  We've had a below average o line for 3-4 years now and our personnel has gotten worse instead of better.  Just can't justify that.

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22 hours ago, BigJim® said:

So you're calling Super Bowl in 2018? ;)

Never say never.

I think this is a great team with a bad OL. Not sure I can think of a SB champion that had anything worse than an average OL. Typically they're somewhere between very good to dominant. Obviously I'd love to see a SB win (or berth), but don't expect it this season, unfortunately. 

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15 hours ago, sports_fan said:

I didn't expect DeFilippo to be fired before the end of the season. It's tough to defend him or argue the decision though. He just wasn't ready for this yet. Maybe he will be at some point in the future. Pretty sure Mike Tice is available if they want to bring in someone.

I don’t agree with the firing.  He is a scapegoat for Kirks inability to execute the  game plan.  

He will make a fine OC for some other team.

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17 minutes ago, Donnybrook said:

I don’t agree with the firing.  He is a scapegoat for Kirks inability to execute the  game plan.  

He will make a fine OC for some other team.

What if the game plan wasn't executable because the personnel they have (O-line primarily) wasn't suited for the game plan he created?  Part of being an OC is developing a game plan for the players you have (Cousins included).  So if the OC designed a gameplan that his QB could not execute, doesn't that mean most of the blame should go to the OC for putting in a game plan his personnel couldn't execute?

 

Coaches should put their players in a place to play to their strengths not away from their strengths.  That is on the OC.

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3 minutes ago, Gally said:

What if the game plan wasn't executable because the personnel they have (O-line primarily) wasn't suited for the game plan he created?  Part of being an OC is developing a game plan for the players you have (Cousins included).  So if the OC designed a gameplan that his QB could not execute, doesn't that mean most of the blame should go to the OC for putting in a game plan his personnel couldn't execute?

 

Coaches should put their players in a place to play to their strengths not away from their strengths.  That is on the OC.

I think this is a fair point... OC's should call plays in consideration of talent/weaknesses. OTOH there could be something to what Donny said - that possibly Kirk was calling a lot of audibles because he did not like plays being called, which too is probably based on his perception of what he saw from the defense pre-snap and whether the called play could work. There's just too many unknown variables that go into assigning blame. That's the main reason I'm lukewarm on the firing. Maybe it is a great firing, maybe it will be one that is regretted. I just don't know how anyone can be judged on what this offense does with this OL. The only thing I know is this OL should be fired.

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21 hours ago, BigJim® said:

It's really not about having it both ways. A contending team can't have this OL, plain and simple. It can have a defense that slips from 1st to 6th. JMHO, it's about having manageable weaknesses, and having an OL that functions is a significant need. I can't claim to say who the Vikes should have taken at OL. I would hope a scouting department would. You said it yourself... you can't get OL via FA, and when you do you are paying guys like Remmers/Rieff $10M per. I would like to think Zimmer has an eye to select functioning CB in mid-rounds... seems a bit wasteful to use his eye on 1st round players when there are bigger needs.  

You make an interesting point about ZImmers abilities to identify defensive back talent more successfully than he can identify offensive linemen. Holton Hill has looked pretty good for a rookie in my opinion.

With that in mind I would agree they should adjust their priorities to take advantage of that, and perhaps use higher picks on offensive linemen who are harder for them to identify.

Will Hernandez is a lineman who was available to them at their pick that they passed on. I am not sure how well he has played as a rookie, but I know Hughes played well before being injured. Still as you say perhaps that would have been a better choice for this team and the front offices strengths and weaknesses.

The problem here is a philosophical one. From listening to Spielman and Zimmer talk about the draft for several seasons now, neither of them seem to think offensive linemen are good enough to use a 1st round draft pick on. Spielman will talk about their analytics and how their research supports that view about the relative value of offensive linemen and other football players.

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6 hours ago, Biabreakable said:

The problem here is a philosophical one. From listening to Spielman and Zimmer talk about the draft for several seasons now, neither of them seem to think offensive linemen are good enough to use a 1st round draft pick on. Spielman will talk about their analytics and how their research supports that view about the relative value of offensive linemen and other football players.

It could be their undoing, but I think they'll outrun this debacle. There was definitely a run on OL from the end of the 1st through the 4th - I get that targeted guys were gone. But the run never stopped and when the dust settled they were a day late and a dollar short. It's sort of inexcusable though. They see the league wide need, they know the economics of paying a horrible Remmers $10M. They should know the value of OL at draft time. I don't expect the historic philosophy to go beyond 2018. It's inconceivable Wilf pays Cousins' deal with this OL. 

Edited by BigJim®
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On ‎12‎/‎11‎/‎2018 at 8:41 PM, encaitar said:

 "Spam huh... Interesting, might be kinda fun" and then does something weird and unorthodox to make something good anyway.

FWIW, I reconsidered that example when I remembered the crowd. Spam's awesome regardless, am I right?

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21 hours ago, BigJim® said:

OTOH there could be something to what Donny said - that possibly Kirk was calling a lot of audibles because he did not like plays being called, which too is probably based on his perception of what he saw from the defense pre-snap and whether the called play could work.

 

21 hours ago, Donnybrook said:

I don’t agree with the firing.  He is a scapegoat for Kirks inability to execute the  game plan.  

He will make a fine OC for some other team.

 

With word coming out today that Zimmer thinks Cousins will feel comfortable "suggesting things a little more" to Stefanski, I'm starting to wonder if there was a major personality problem with DeFilippo. His body language during an exchange with Cousins at the Seattle game seemed unjustified, and at the time I was wondering if I was over-analyzing it. But now I'm getting the feeling that DeFilippo is a my way or the highway kind of leader.

Donny, you may turn out right that he'll make a fine OC for some other team, but it's crystal clear it wasn't going to be for this team. Between Zimmer's comments through the the season, and the struggles of the offense, it's obvious DF just wasn't meshing in Minnesota. So even if he excels somewhere else, firing him was still the right thing to do for this team.

And just to point out, Cousins didn't have any major issues executing the game plan for McVay. Which only adds fuel to the fire on the idea that DeFilippo's game plans just plain suck.

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14 hours ago, steelwind said:

Does this mean Rudolph will become relevant again?   Currently have Ian Thomas starting over him.

Maybe.

I wouldn't count on it though. Rudolph just isn't very good. Sure he did great with Bradford who was afraid to throw it to anyone else. Most of those catches that year did not lead to first downs. Just check downs.

I thought Cousins went to Rudolph a few times when he had better options.

I hate Kyle Rudolphs crappy blocking though, so I may be a bit biased in regards to his value for fantasy.

I would stick with Thomas. Good player.

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On 12/12/2018 at 2:32 PM, Biabreakable said:

This is excellent read on examining Vikings' offensive issue under microscope.  It perfectly illustrated what I have said all the long on DeFilippo's failure to use Vikings' offensive playmakers in Cook, Rudolph, and other players and made Cousins to be heavily reliance on Diggs and Thielen.  Failure to adapt in latter end of season is DeFilippo's downfall.  It doesn't matter if Vikings' OL stinks... The best coaches will find a way and adapt regardless (i.e. Turner / Panthers and O'Brien / Texans).  

Another good link on assessing Vikings' woeful issue with their OL and offense and especially befuddled lack of play action.  

Quote

Zimmer’s desire for a run-heavy attack to complement his elite defense doesn’t match up with his team’s build on offense or DeFilippo’s strength as a passing game designer. Lord only knows how promoted QBs coach Kevin Stefanski is going to satisfy his boss’s insatiable appetite for running plays. But one thing he can establish (and something I mentioned before the Packers win, as well as something DeFilippo got away from the past two weeks) is play-action.

An outstanding rushing attack helps the play-action passing game, but as I often discuss with podcast partner and eggnog connoisseur Andy Benoit, it’s not a prerequisite. When Kirk Cousins was one of the most effective play-action passers in football, Washington didn’t have an elite rushing attack to set it up (though that was an issue with their crummy running backs as opposed to their O-line). You’re probably not sucking the linebackers up on third-and-18, or when trailing by 10 points with three minutes left. But play-action can still be effective on first down. A year ago, the Vikings led the league in play-action frequency, using it on 30% of their snaps (according to Football Outsiders). So far this season, they rank 26th in play-action frequency (20%). With Cousins at quarterback and two elite receivers on the outside, that’s no good.

If Vikings' offense somehow "improves" in final 3 games (they are off to good start vs. Dolphins in today's game... albeit Dolphins' medicore defense) and fail to get into the playoff, I hope Vikings and Zimmer retain Stefanski as OC next year with investment in strengthening their OL via free agency / draft.  And I hope Zimmer and Stefanski talk Cousins into being game manager to utilize his offensive playmakers while Vikings defensive team to control the game (i.e. Seattle Seahawks' game script in their only Super Bowl championship year).  

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