From the Beard of Chilly

Good morning Vikings on all sides of the Atlantic and beyond. It’s another slow day in Purple Town, and most of our interest is drawn by the dark clouds surrounding the possibility of a new stadium. Things are not looking good, and the powers that be seem to be more concerned with keeping Minneapolis on the right side of bankrupcy and a new convention centre, as opposed to forking out $800mil for a new home for our beloved Vikes. Depressing thoughts surround this so I’m not going to entertain them, instead it’s time for my weekly look at what’s been going on in Brad’s facial foliage.

6.30am: Brad overslept, so didn’t have time to trim me this morning. Man, I look like crap, and I think I’m starting to matt. Breakfast was last night’s leftovers, chicken pot pie, what did I do to deserve being stuck to such a slob?

7.30am: Arrive at Winter Park to take a look at the new recruits. Joe Webb is busy jumping over everyone, Toby Gerhart is getting picked on for looking like a chubby Matt Damon, and most of my staff keep calling Chris Cook, Jimmy by mistake; I told Rick this would happen.

8.30am: Noobies have been fed, kitted out and Brad’s trying to give them all nicknames now. Trouble is, he can’t think of any, so keeps scratching me instead and getting his fingers snagged in my untrimmed mess.

11.30am: End of morning practice, these guys are pretty good, though I still don’t know what to do with Joe Webb. Is he my new T-Jack, Sidney Rice, or barber? What can I say, man’s got skills with scissors, fixed me up real nice after Brad got bubble gum stuck in me. Now I’ve got a bit of a d’Artagnan going on, think I might get Brad to audition for the next Pirates film.

1.30pm: Lunch over, gonna get over the courthouse to try and intimidate the StarCaps jury, and then onto the State meeting about the stadium. How can they say no when I look this good?

3.30pm: Dammit Brett! Just as Brad was about to unleash me on the money men after they said they’d rather waste their money on a convention centre and a funnel cake stand, the old man calls. From what I gather he’s worried that Jimmy… sorry, Chris (dammit, now I’m doing it) can do a better rendition of Pants of the Ground, so he’s not coming back.

3.45pm: Brett called back to apologise. Said he’s going find Jared to slap his butt, that should calm him down. Just as he was hanging up I swear I heard him mumbling…”looking… hmmm, hmmm…witcha….. hmmm, hmmm ground”.

5.00pm: Driving home, and a P*ckers fan cut me up on the freeway, flipped me off and called me Friar Tuck! Jerk, not like Aaron Rodgers could pull this kinda look off, he’s just a pre-pubescent Brett clone who spends more time kissing facemasks than he does throwing touchdowns. Think I’ll sick Joe Webb on him, he could jump over their O-Line, then morph into a linebacker and sack his ass, then grab the ball and throw it backwards to himself, before running it in for a touchdown. Note to Brad, sack McKinnie, and make Webb an OT.

8.30pm: Forgot Lost wasn’t on this week, gonna have to watch House instead. My money’s on Lupus this week, Brad thinks it’s gonna be a tumor.

10.30pm: We were both wrong, it was a bee sting. Off to bed now, I wonder if Joe Webb also has a degree in Medicine, he could be the Gregory House of the Vikings. Maybe we’ll finally figure out what’s wrong with Brett’s ankle.

Advertisements

If our draft recruits were Superheroes, they still wouldn’t sing in public

Good morning Purple Nation, now that the dust is settling on the draft and our new recruits are fixing their contracts, it’s suddenly got a little quiet again. Save for Chester Taylor wailing like a banshee…

Really? At what point did CT think, you know what, I want to get up in front of 50,000 people and sing a song written by a 5 year old?

But I digress, because there is another Viking related video doing the rounds this morning, and it’s of our QB/WR supermegacomboplayer, Joe Webb, jumping the empire state building..

Pretty cool eh? I mean it would be better if there was one of him throwing 200 yards through a crowd of Spartans, and catching it himself to further they myth of his apparent superhuman throwing/catching/running/jumping/climbing trees/putting on makeup ability, but at least we know that if we do throw him the ball, he’ll be able to jump up to catch it, and if he’s being rushed he can play leapfrog with the corners.

I wonder what other visual treats of our new recruits are out there…

Well first up it’s the man with the heart of a lion: Toby Ger(Lion)hart who should really have schooled Chester on singing etiquette, ie. don’t f*cking sing!

Then it’s the turn of our 1st round pick, Chris Cook who I think is going to get on very well with Jared Allen:

Everson Griffen doesn’t like shirts, but enjoys matching his doo-rags with whatever is in the background, and his goal in life is to get a ton of sex:

What’s next for the Vikings? Controversial QBs and a tougher NFC North

Good morning nation, after a lovely weekend of sunshine and football (the Olympians won 32-6!!!) it’s back to the daily grind, and the realisation that we all now have to endure an uber barren period of Viking nothingness now that the draft is over. True, we will still be making a few signings over the coming weeks as we take a look at some prospects who missed the draft, but otherwise it’s going to be slow going until the real preseason begins.

The first thing I’d like to do today is give a big shout out to all the other Viking blogs out there who covered the draft in more detail than I. It’s great to see so many fans out there sharing their knowledge and opinions, something I particularly appreciate given that draft coverage in the UK is minimal. So check out my blogroll and visit these sites!

Back to the matters of the day and more on the undrafted player we’ve taken an interest in, and one in particular who stands out from the crowd,  QB Ryan Perrilloux. On paper and in criminal record, he screams Vikings Diamond in the Rough, 2,318 yards and 19 touchdowns in his first season playing for Jacksonville State, and alleged positive testings for Mary-Jane, and numerous late and no shows to practices and a rougher-than-Jared-Allen attitude towards bar brawls. A big catch on a player with a lot of potential, but maybe the Vikings have seen something that leads them to believe they can tame him, and mould him into an acceptable person as well as an exceptional player. So watch this space and see how his trial period went.

The second order of the day is the state of the NFC North. One of the biggest talking points from the draft has been how the other teams have improved as a result of their picks. The Lions in particular are apparently starting to look like a good team, hardly surprising considering they’ve been #1 and #2 in the draft for the last 2 years and have used their picks pretty well, getting Matthew Stafford and Ndkakakahhaammaam Suh as their top picks in the past 2 years. They also picked up a good DE meaning our O-Line will need to be extra sharp when we play them, as they usually give us a fiery battle no matter how crap they are against other teams. As Rick Alonzo puts it, these are no longer win in the bag games.

Another D-Line we’re going to have to be strong against is that of the Bores. Julius “Bane of McKinnie” Peppers is likely to rip through our line 6-7 times a game so we need to address this by adding protection to whoever is QB, or we could end up with another poor result, especially when we play them in Chicago. Add to that a certain Chester Taylor who will want to prove a point and the Bores are suddenly looking more menacing, at least until Cutler gets his chubby mits on the pig-skin.

And that nicely moves us onto the arch nemesisessses, the P*ckers. Last year they started slow but finished strong despite us doing the double over them, and despite having one of the worst QB protection schemes in the game. Next year they will have more O-Line protection in OT Bryan Bulaga-Whale, and a big score to settle. I can’t see them making the same mistakes they made this season, and as much as it pains me to say it, Aaron Rodgers is a damn good Quarterback, so they will be our biggest threat.

Of course though, all this doom and gloom doesn’t take into account our strengthening. We are an awesome team and still the best in the division when we are at our best. Favre coming back should be the icing on the cake for the team if it happens, so all the above means is that we will need to up our game if we want that bye or in the least, home field advantage in the Wildcard round.

It’s a meaner division but we’ve still got the biggest teeth. Skol!

No fireworks, but plenty to cheer about

A bit of a short one today because I’m on filming duty and it’s the opening day of the season for the London Olympians as they take on the Bedford Blue Bombers, so COME ON THE O’S!!!!

In more Purple matters we’ve completed the 2010 Draft and whilst it was a somewhat drab affair, with no big headline signing, I think we got just what we needed in order to push for a Super Bowl. True, we passed up on Jimmy Clausen and a couple of other players who could be future stars of the game, but the truth is that, short term at least, we don’t need them.

So we welcome to the Vikings the 2010 Draftees; Chris Cook, CB, Toby Gerhart, RB, Everson Griffen, DE, Chris DeGeare, OT/OG, Nathan Triplett, LB, Joe Webb, QB/WR, Mickey Shuler, TE, Ryan D’Imperio, ILB/FB and some undrafted Free Agents too. For a better run down of each of these guys I recommend taking a look at The Daily Norseman.

Now overall I’m pretty pleased with our picks, like I said, we filled in gaps that needed filling, and there’s a couple of exciting players, I’m particularly interested in the future of Joe Webb who is a QB/WR hybrid who could prove a very versatile player indeed. But despite the fact that he can play QB, the extra string to his bow does suggest he’s a jack of all trades and master of none, which begs the question, why didn’t we address our long term QB situation?

As I said after day one, I thought we’d be sure to grab Clausen, and invest in the future with a QB who could carry the franchise for a great many years. Instead we passed and strengthened the secondary which in the short term would have been equally shaky. I guess the Vikes were somewhere between a rock and a hard place when it came down to the draft. We don’t grab a premier DB and our season could spring the same leaks it did last year, ending in disappointment and a lot of flak for the management for not addressing the secondary; or we do what we did and wonder about the what-ifs of a very promising player who is likely to start for Carolina. It’s a tough call, I guess the team believe they have what it takes to win it all with a few tweaks, rather then compromising with a choice for the future.

All in all, yes I’m a bit disappointed that we passed on Clausen, but at least we’ve addressed the key areas and look stronger going into next season. All we gotta do now is wait for a certain grey haired bloke to turn up.

Minnesota welcomes Cook and Gerhart – Say Goodbye to Rnd3

Okay, so it was another interested morning of stories to wake up to, not quite what I was expecting, but relatively pleasing nonetheless.

With our 34th overall pick taken from the Lions we took Cornerback Chris Cook, a 6’2″, 210lb’er who gives us added security at a position which was not only questionable last year, but was looking very shaky going into 2010 with various injuries, especially the ACL issue with Cedric Griffin. He could also offer cover at safety, and should work well in our defensive set-up. But it wouldn’t be the Vikings unless he had some sort of “past”, and for Cook he missed large parts of his college career, through injury and also suspension for “academic reasons”.  But he showed real quality when he came back after his trouble and put up good numbers in the combine, and the Vikes staff too notice.

And then rather than waiting for our next pick at 62nd overall, the mighty Brick suddenly had a bit of a sinking feeling and felt the need to trade up at 51st to grab Toby Gerhart, a Heisman runner-up-running back. A very exciting prospect who will back up Peterson in 2010 and can also catch and block, a fullback with tailback legs, the heart of a lion, and the gills of Aquaman.

So two things can be taken from this, one that we picked up two players in positions that needed strengthening, and they seem to be good picks. The second is, however that we grabbed two players from the first 3 rounds, which is a little less positive.

The Gab sums up the understandable disappointment at this, but I’d like to add my two cents to it because I’m of the opinion that we actually did pretty well in strengthening rather than pasting over the cracks with more players of lesser quality. I’m a draft rookie so I’m not so well versed in the intricacies of trades for position, I understand wanting to move up and down, but when you are the team giving away trades you have a extra dimension to consider because you have something to lose as well as gain.

In the case of our first three rounds, many fans feel that there is the nagging feeling we didn’t need to lose a 3rd rounder and could have ended up with our draft bag a little fuller. Let’s say that in Round 1 we didn’t give up a pick and grabbed the CB we ended up picking yesterday, okay, so we don’t have some extra picks from the Lions, but we still have our man. Then going into round 2 we have two options, we hold our horses and wait until our original pick, hoping that Gerhart is still around or just pick the “best player available” which was apparently our drafting policy, or we do what we did, and lose a 3rd rounder to trade up for Gerhart anyway, essentially what we did yesterday.

Now, and I hope I’m making sense here, if we didn’t give up a round 3, we probably wouldn’t have gotten Gerhart, so while we would have had 2 players to compliment Cook, maybe, just maybe they wouldn’t have added up to the quality of Gerhart. So was our original decision that bad given what we got? I don’t think it was, we got great players at the key positions. We are not a team in desperate need of big changes, we are Super Bowl contenders who need a little tinkering ad we still have plenty of picks going into today, including an upgraded 4th rounder and an extra in round 7, so I’m hoping that Brick knows what he’s doing, and we end up with the right personnel.

So I’m staying positive, and I also need to stress that there is no point in judging our draft until it is well and truly over. So roll on tonight, and hopefully Brick will show us that there is method to their apparent madness.

And once again, welcome to Chris Cook and Toby Gerhart, may your futures be Purple and prosperous.

Brick Keeps Us Waiting

Good morning Purple Nation. Well I didn’t see that coming I must say, I was hoping to wake up this morning to see us with a shiny new draftee, but there were a confusing few moments when I logged onto NFL.com this morning. First off, I saw that Sam Bradford went to the Rams, okay pretty standard stuff, so then I scrolled down to #30, and saw… the Lions with a new running back… Ummmmay, so did we trade up for 2nd overall, and grab Ndkdkaakahhagmmgmggmnng? No… Detroit got him too, so where the bugger were we in round one? Well it seems that Rick and Brad (Brick if they were a celebrity couple) decided to pounce on this years very deep draft and trade 30th overall for the Lions’ 2nd, 4th and 7th round picks. Score!!!

Unlike Jim Souhan at the Tribune who frets that the choice to allow our divisional rivals the chance at another solid player could result in Detroit being half decent in a year or seven’s time, I for one am excited at us making a very smart move in the draft. And, like Gonzo at the Norseman, I feel like it’s given us an opportunity to take a franchise Quarterback, in Jimmy Clausen at the top of round 2, and still have the picks to strengthen the defence, plus we didn’t really miss out on anyone we were needed from the later picks by the Colts and S*ints, so it seems to be a win/win.

From what I’ve heard Clausen is a real top prospect, and if we do take him, he is a player we can school for a year or two, and then unleash. He was meant to be first round, high-pick material and it is a bit of a mystery why gimps like Tebow were picked above him, but it is the way it is and I think we’d be mad not to take this opportunity. A good QB will last a long time, can take the team places, and we need someone like that. Favre or no Favre, T-Jack/Sage are not franchise material and I can’t see us getting another opportunity next year to take such a promising player. Plus if we take him now, he’d have the opportunity (probably) to learn from one of the greatest of all time. There have been questions over Clausen’s temperament but surely a couple of seasons under the wing of some quality players will ground the guy and ready him for the big time.

And if we did take him, the extra picks we have would let us still make quality signings to strengthen the team. We are not as desperate for a CB either, so in my opinion it makes sense.

But if yesterday taught us one thing, it’s to expect the unexpected, and this could well be a move from the Brick to make wholesale changes to key areas of the team. Regardless, if you’re a Vikings, suddenly round 2-7 are going to be a lot more interesting.

And to add some spice to the mix, and possibly influence our decision, we have the return of FAVRE WATCH!!!

NFL Network’s Steve Mariucci claims that he had a phone conversation with Brett Favre a couple of days ago, and the Silver Fox claims that he is still unsure about 2010, mainly because his poor little ankle still hasn’t recovered from the battering it took back in January. So expect the man’s agent to release more pics, we all remember the old ones of course…*cue miniature violins*

So what will this all mean? Well I won’t know till tomorrow morning, but it should be tasty whatever happens.

Pointless Preseason Predictions – Part 2

Well the sun is still shining in London and the planes are starting to take off again, though the skies are still eerily quiet. But all this travel chaos will take a back seat on my radar for this weekend as we sit down and enjoy the wonder that is the NFL Draft. With 30th pick overall, our Minnesota Vikings may not necessarily sign a franchise superstar, but we should be able to build on what is already a very strong team.

So when I wake up tomorrow morning and turn on my computer (there’s no way I’m staying up until 3am!) I’m hoping to see a wealth of headlines about our new recruits, though I might scream if “pieces” and “puzzles” are mentioned. The draft if an enigma for a British sports fan. It does not exist within the realms of sport in this country. In soccer, players are poached from youth academies when they are as young as 9 or 10, there is no college system (so they are as dumb as they are ugly), and when it comes to the top leagues, the lack of parity means that top clubs stay great for years whilst the lower down clubs remain poor and struggle to attract star players. For these reasons and many more, I love the draft, I think it keeps things relatively fair and creates a buzz for every team in the league (apart from the Raiders), and not just those with large wallets. Plus it puts to bed all those sodding mock drafts. So here’s to the Vikes personnel team (I’m looking at you Spielman), may you bring in the next generation of Purple legends!

So, for me, less than 24 hours,or everyone who’s -5hrs BST, less than that. But to fill the time until then, here’s part 2 of my 2010 season prediction, following the release of our schedule. I had us at 5-3 for the 1st 8 games, can it get better?

Wk10 @ Bores: In a word, no. We want revenge for last season, but there’s just this nagging part of me that thinks we won’t get it. Taylor will run and run, Julius Peppers will have a blinder, and whilst Cutler will be a fat lump of choad, I can sadly see losing a close one. It’s going to be cold and nasty, and Favre’s arm doesn’t tend to do well in bitter conditions. A Peterson TD and a pair of 50 yarders from Longwell will be all we get. Prediction: L ~ 13-17

Wk11 v P*ckers: Okay so now we’re pissed and the scum are coming to our place. Time to get medieval on their candy asses. The Williams wall enters steamroller mode and the linebackers play “Let’s collect Rodgers’ teeth”. On the offence Peterson runs riot, with Harvin, Berrian and the Shank each picking up scores. We have a comfortable lead, Rodgers can only piss in the wind. Prediction: W ~ 24-35

Wk12 @ Redskins: The One That Got Away Bowl maybe, but I’m never convinced by the Redskins and no amount of heavy spending is going to change my mind on them even if they are at home. Sure they are going to be better than last year, but they sucked last year and they won’t get that much better. Their pass D was pretty good so I see All Day and Harvin charging at them until they run screaming. Prediction: W ~ 34-14

Wk13 v Bills: They really suck and we’re at home. Prediction: W ~ 7-28

Wk14 v Giants: We’ve made a very good habit of beating these guys and they must be sick and tired of coming to Minneapolis to be whipping boys, there is just something about this matchup which will leave them once again leaving the State of 10,000 Lakes with their tails between their bandy legs. Eli is a little bitch who hasn’t yet found a use for the Mach3 razor Peyton got him on his 17th birthday, and their D needs a lot of work after collapsing following their miraculous Super Bowl victory. It won’t be a blowout like last year, but it’s still money in the bag. Prediction: ~ W 14-31

Wk15 v Bores: Revenge is a dish best served to Jay Cutler, because you know that lardo will eat anything covered in sprinkes. Momentum will truly be on our side as the noise of the Metrodome beats down on the Bores, and Favre will make up for missed passes in week 10. Harvin once again will star, and this will also be the week that Greg Lewis catches his one TD of the season. Prediction: ~ W 14-34

Wk16 @ Eagles: No McNabb, but I forsee the wind getting knocked out of our sails. Philly are due a beating from us but they are a dark horse as far as I am concerned this year. Kolb and Jackson will have clicked by this time and I think our tendency to take our foot off the gas towards the end of a season combined with a road game could equal a bit of misfiring. Prediction: ~ L 16-24

Wk 17 @ Lions: When the NFL said that there would be more divisional matchups to end a season, I was sure we’d get the P*ckers @ Lambeau just to feck us all off, but no, we get the Lions. Ha! No complacency like last year, no mistakes, we’ll have hopefully made the playoffs already, but may need this to secure the division so we’ll come out all guns blazing. Favre for 3 quarters and T-Jack to finish off. They’ll make it tough, but they won’t be able to stop us. Prediction: W ~ 27-10

So there you have it. It really means nothing, just my gut feelings, but despite a little doom and gloom, I think 11-5 should see us through to the playoffs, if not take the NFC North again. I’ll do another round of these in a couple of months, once we get an idea of the draft, they will probably be equally meaningless, but there you go. You read it, you can’t unread it ;)

Roll on the Draft and the new season. Skol!