Tuesday Morning News – Caught in the Middle with Ray, Vikings were scared of Saints, and more from the Spielmeister

Good morning Purple Nation. This morning more stories have been milked from the teat of Rick Spielman who spoke at the Vikings’ Arctic Blast event last week.

Following on from his statements about the future of Chester Taylor and other free agents, Rick also touched on the loss to the Saints. It’s pretty much the same stuff that’s been said by players and fans for the last 3 weeks, but at least the guy is also trying to move things on, by looking ahead to next year, “You have to move on, you don’t have any choice… we are very hopeful that we can have a good draft and get some of these guys back and we’ll be right back where we were last year.” Rick will soon be in Mobile looking for Leprechauns and potential players for next year, they’ve certainly set some high draft standards of late, let’s hope they can keep up the good work.

Spielman’s other priority as mentioned was to keep hold of our unrestricted free-agents, but while the future for these guys is clear, the situation for restricted free agents is not. Defensive End, Ray Edwards is not happy about being “caught in the middle” with regards the current situation. As it stands, we have to offer Edwards a contract or another team can lay claim to him so our role is clear, but this doesn’t stop Edwards feeling left out in the cold. Most of his frustration luckily is aimed at the “pencil push[ing]” Commish, Roger Goodell, and also the Players union. We just need to make sure that we do retain his services and keep him sweet with us. Handle this right and he’ll be a loyal player for years to come, take advantage of his situation and he could understandably leave us at the first opportunity.

Edwards also took time to speak about the loss to the Saints. His comments have drawn quite a bit of interest however due to hinting that the team showed some fear as the game neared its unfortunate climax.

“There’s no room for fear in this game and I felt that there was a little bit of that there in New Orleans and that’s why they beat us,”

We’d had a few pieces of insight into the Saints game but this is one of the more interesting. Now I’m not surprised the team were scared as the end of the game approached, this was a chance to get to the Super Bowl for the first time in 30-odd years, but being scared and showing fear are two different things, and Edwards is right when he says we showed fear whilst the Saints didn’t and that’s what lost us the game.

Edwards also vents some frustration at the attitude of the Vikings’ coaching staff.

“We try to pride ourselves in trusting everybody that is on our team and I feel that it wasn’t [the case],”

On the one hand these comments are worrying. For a player to come out and say that they didn’t feel the coaches trusted their players at a given point isn’t what you want to be hearing, and there is a good chance that over the coming days that certain areas of the media will take these quote and run wild with them, particularly with his future undecided. But at the same time, he also accounts this breakdown in trust as a blip, a poorly timed blip, but a blip nonetheless. Either way, it is something that needs to be overcome because if we are going to make it to the Promised Land, we need to be able to cope with crunch situations.

From real news to happy go luck offseason speculation, here’s a little gem from Bleacher Report, and 10 Things for The Minnesota Vikings to do this Offseason. Some pretty standard stuff in there about Favre and Peterson, but also some interesting opinions on keeping Ray Edwards over Chester Taylor, getting a better player to kick the ball to touchback every time (something about Ferris Bueler), and also some scathing views on the true value of Jared Allen and telling it like is about Madieu Williams.

And that’s all folks, apart from another slightly dour FAVRE WATCH

Today, Daniel Beer reckons we need to worry more about Cedric Griffin than we do Brett Favre.

And Dave Carroll throws in his opinion on Brett’s season and on our options if Favre does pack it all in.

Have a good one everybody!

Skol!

Sunday Vikings’ News. Favre’s ego, and the Rick Spielman special + My Top 10 Vikings’ Moments of 2009 #8 Jared Allen

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

And to celebrate the day of love, I’m serving up a healthy dose of news, Favre Watch, and the next in my series of Top 10 moments from last year.

And we kick off today with… FAVRE WATCH and an article by Patric Reusse, which states Favre will be coming back because of his ego. Cynical perhaps, but it should bring some hope for next season too. To be honest I don’t care if Favre comes out and says I’m only here for the money now, he will bring so much to the team once again if he returns, and is such an upgrade on what we already have.

Rick Spielman, who is taking over the post today says that “We’ll let [Brett Favre] decide what he wants to do. We’d love to have him back for another year so we can make another run at this,” Pretty much everyone at Vikings’ HQ is taking this road with Favre’s future, giving him space and letting him decide, and when the public are doing all the pleading for Favre’s return it really is the best way forward in making sure Favre doesn’t feel under pressure from his potential future employers.

In other news, apparently the Vikings are going to try and resign Chester Taylor. Hopefully they’ll be successful in that respect. Rick Spielman (VP of Player Personnel), said of Taylor; “He’s like the unsung hero of the offense.” And he’s right there, Taylor is our go-to guy on 3rd downs and can usually be counted on to make the key plays. Losing his, as has been said before would be a big loss for the team.

Spielman was also confident that Pat Williams will also make a return to the team next year despite saying he was 50/50 to retire during the offseason. Like Taylor, big baaad Pat is an integral part of the team, he may be no spring chicken, but he is a rock in the heart of the defence. Maybe we also need some billboards for CT and PW???

My number 8 isn’t so much a moment as it is a tribute to the biggest personality on the team. Jared “Mullet Mullitia” Allen.

Now hopefully you’ve already seen my collection of Jared’s greatest moments, but if you haven’t please do take another look, because it’s fantastic to see a guy who is unashamed to be himself, a proper, gunslinging, hunting, mullet wearing badass!

Every game at the Metrodome, Allen is out there, getting the crowd on their feet and screaming their hearts out. He gets everyone fired up, he winds up the opposition, and he loves what he does. And when he gets his sack, out comes the calf roping celebration. It’s hard not to love him!

Unless of course you are Aaron Rodgers. In our 2 games against Green Bay last season, Jared pwnd him, and then some. It was a joy to behold, and was one of the main reasons we torched them twice in the season.

His had a great season, but he also was a major factor in the spirit of the team, and that made following the Vikes last year even more exciting and fulfilling. And whilst he didn’t get the job done in the Superdome, we all know he’ll be back next season, striking fear into any O-Line that’s unlucky enough to line up opposite him.

Jared Allen, and your Kentucky Waterfall, we salute you.