Andy Benoit: Vikings Have a Big Problem

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VikingLord
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Re: Andy Benoit: Vikings Have a Big Problem

Post by VikingLord » Wed Oct 26, 2016 2:31 pm

S197 wrote: I'm okay with the approach I think the failure was in scouting.
I'm OK with the approach too, but I don't think the failure was in scouting per se. If we're simply talking about last weekend's performance by the offensive line, to me that looks more like a failure in adjustment and execution in a particular game rather than an indictment of the entire philosophy taken by the GM and head coach over the last several years.

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Re: Andy Benoit: Vikings Have a Big Problem

Post by Mothman » Wed Oct 26, 2016 2:34 pm

S197 wrote:I thought about it for a while and I think this is the issue. Some feel as though the line was neglected, that there was no plan or focus on remedying the problem (or at least a poor one). A knock on Spielman's philosophy as I believe Jim put it. This is what I have to disagree with because I think they did focus on the line, look no further than the added coaching, personnel, and the amount of money spent.
None of those factors (coaching, personnel, money spent) alters my view that it was a poor plan. It's not simply neglect. They've spent resources on the line but I don't think they've done so very wisely and I think that point is underscored by how much they've spent and how bad they've been.
And I think it was a fairly reasonable plan given their options. They brought in competition at nearly every position and drafted 4th rounders to play back ups. And I think part of this was not only to get the best guy on the field but also to address the potential injury issue. However, I don't think anyone could have foreseen the amount of injuries that hit. Hence my comment on context.

Jim mentioned quality and I think this is where we can get on the same page. I think really where the "philosophy" has failed has been in the scouting dept. If you look at the flip side of the line, we're getting great production out of "scrap heap" picks (Robison, Griffen, Stephen, etc.). So to me, it really isn't about the strategy as the same strategy is employed at other positions, it's just that the picks have been rather poor. To me that's a ding on scouting. A big one, but also a bit of hindsight.

Yes, people have been saying our line has been bad for years. People have also said our receivers were garbage, our DB's were bad, our run defense was bad, etc. But take it further than that, okay the line is bad so who shouldn't have been drafted? Saying we should have put more high round picks into the O-line has negative consequences as well, which seems to get glossed over.

Tl;dr - I'm okay with the approach I think the failure was in scouting.
I agree that some of the failure lies in scouting. I think some of it lies in philosophy as well and there's probably a relationship between the two. Both fall firmly under Spielman's jurisdiction. I still disagree about hindsight because even when it comes to the poor picks, that's been going on long enough that the failure of their philosophy has been apparent for many years (and thus, the need to change the approach has too).

I've addressed the cost of investing more first and second day picks on OL in the past. Basically, I'm fine with it, including the consequences. As I said above, i believe it should be a high priority because blocking is fundamental to success on offense. I think it's an area to address early in a rebuild, not at the end.

Another part of this whole equation lies in how draft picks are used and the high cost of failure with those early round picks. Trades impact the number of choices available in positive and negative ways. Repeatedly missing on first and second day players (QBs, for example) has a high cost because every miss means future resources have to be spent in the effort to address those positions. This gets back to scouting but also to player development and philosophy. All of this stuff is interrelated. I recognize it's not simple.

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Re: Andy Benoit: Vikings Have a Big Problem

Post by VikingLord » Wed Oct 26, 2016 2:50 pm

Mothman wrote: None of those factors (coaching, personnel, money spent) alters my view that it was a poor plan. It's not simply neglect. They've spent resources on the line but I don't think they've done so very wisely and I think that point is underscored by how much they've spent and how bad they've been.
Let's just say for kicks and giggles that the Vikings go on to win the remainder of their games, finish 15-1, and go on to win the Superbowl. Let's say the OL performs adequately the rest of the way out. Forget how likely that is for a second, but let's say it happens.

Does your position change if the outcome is not what you expect based on what you observe right now? Would you still say that Spielman blew it if the above happens?

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Re: Andy Benoit: Vikings Have a Big Problem

Post by halfgiz » Wed Oct 26, 2016 3:11 pm

The #Seahawks have failed to score a TD in half of their games this season. And they're the Vegas favorite to win the NFC.

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Re: Andy Benoit: Vikings Have a Big Problem

Post by halfgiz » Wed Oct 26, 2016 3:13 pm

halfgiz wrote:The #Seahawks have failed to score a TD in half of their games this season. And they're the Vegas favorite to win the NFC.
No the Vikings OL is still the weak link.

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Re: Andy Benoit: Vikings Have a Big Problem

Post by PurpleMustReign » Wed Oct 26, 2016 3:15 pm

halfgiz wrote: No the Vikings OL is still the weak link.
Lol
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Re: Andy Benoit: Vikings Have a Big Problem

Post by Texas Vike » Wed Oct 26, 2016 3:37 pm

S197 wrote:I thought about it for a while and I think this is the issue. Some feel as though the line was neglected, that there was no plan or focus on remedying the problem (or at least a poor one). A knock on Spielman's philosophy as I believe Jim put it. This is what I have to disagree with because I think they did focus on the line, look no further than the added coaching, personnel, and the amount of money spent. And I think it was a fairly reasonable plan given their options. They brought in competition at nearly every position and drafted 4th rounders to play back ups. And I think part of this was not only to get the best guy on the field but also to address the potential injury issue. However, I don't think anyone could have foreseen the amount of injuries that hit. Hence my comment on context.

Jim mentioned quality and I think this is where we can get on the same page. I think really where the "philosophy" has failed has been in the scouting dept. If you look at the flip side of the line, we're getting great production out of "scrap heap" picks (Robison, Griffen, Stephen, etc.). So to me, it really isn't about the strategy as the same strategy is employed at other positions, it's just that the picks have been rather poor. To me that's a ding on scouting. A big one, but also a bit of hindsight.

Yes, people have been saying our line has been bad for years. People have also said our receivers were garbage, our DB's were bad, our run defense was bad, etc. But take it further than that, okay the line is bad so who shouldn't have been drafted? Saying we should have put more high round picks into the O-line has negative consequences as well, which seems to get glossed over.

Tl;dr - I'm okay with the approach I think the failure was in scouting.
1. Re: "Scrap heap," since I was the one to use the term and it seems to have ruffled feathers, let me explain more clearly what I meant. If you go back to my initial post I state clearly that I'm referring to the talent they brought in to create competition, all of whom were UDFAs, 7th rounders, or guys that were rumored to be about to get cut but instead we picked up in a trade (Sirles/ Easton). Our philosophy seemed to me to be "We don't really know what were doing here so we're opting for quantity over quality and hoping that out of all these bodies someone emerges". Which leads to...

2. I completely agree that scouting (even coaching) is a major problem here. Compare the DRASTIC improvement in our secondary to the situation w/ our OL. Since Zimmer came, we've seen a remarkable improvement in our secondary. He has a vision. To realize it, he's committed significant draft picks and FA pick ups. And it has paid dividends. Another worthwhile comparison is the DL (which you've made). I would argue that they've managed to be successful with a lower-investment strategy precisely because Zimmer knows what the heck he's doing and what he's looking for. He knows to snag a Danielle Hunter. I think our scouts have done well to acquire (and recognize the talent of) Everson G, Shamar Stephen, Robison, etc. Great investment in Linval too. We've made smart moves on this line, pretty much the exact opposite of our uninformed approach with the OL.

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Re: Andy Benoit: Vikings Have a Big Problem

Post by Mothman » Wed Oct 26, 2016 4:40 pm

VikingLord wrote:Let's just say for kicks and giggles that the Vikings go on to win the remainder of their games, finish 15-1, and go on to win the Superbowl. Let's say the OL performs adequately the rest of the way out. Forget how likely that is for a second, but let's say it happens.

Does your position change if the outcome is not what you expect based on what you observe right now? Would you still say that Spielman blew it if the above happens?
It disappoints me that you'd even ask that question. :(

I'm criticizing the team's failure to build a quality o-line because, to my eyes, it seems like a pretty clear failure. I'm not biased about it. I wish the situation were better. However, I obviously think the OL could be enough of a problem to prevent them winning the Super Bowl and if I recall correctly, you've said the same thing so why the test?

If the Vikings run the table and win it all, I think that would speak for itself.

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Re: Andy Benoit: Vikings Have a Big Problem

Post by Mothman » Wed Oct 26, 2016 4:51 pm

Texas Vike wrote:1. Re: "Scrap heap," since I was the one to use the term and it seems to have ruffled feathers, let me explain more clearly what I meant. If you go back to my initial post I state clearly that I'm referring to the talent they brought in to create competition, all of whom were UDFAs, 7th rounders, or guys that were rumored to be about to get cut but instead we picked up in a trade (Sirles/ Easton). Our philosophy seemed to me to be "We don't really know what were doing here so we're opting for quantity over quality and hoping that out of all these bodies someone emerges". Which leads to...

2. I completely agree that scouting (even coaching) is a major problem here. Compare the DRASTIC improvement in our secondary to the situation w/ our OL. Since Zimmer came, we've seen a remarkable improvement in our secondary. He has a vision. To realize it, he's committed significant draft picks and FA pick ups. And it has paid dividends. Another worthwhile comparison is the DL (which you've made). I would argue that they've managed to be successful with a lower-investment strategy precisely because Zimmer knows what the heck he's doing and what he's looking for. He knows to snag a Danielle Hunter. I think our scouts have done well to acquire (and recognize the talent of) Everson G, Shamar Stephen, Robison, etc. Great investment in Linval too. We've made smart moves on this line, pretty much the exact opposite of our uninformed approach with the OL.
Excellent point and people may recall that when Zimmer was hired, he met with Spielman and the scouts to explain what he was looking for in players. Since his expertise is in defense and, as you said, he has a vision for that unit, it's not surprising that they've found some good mid-to-late round defenders like Hunter and Stephen as well as both high-profile free agents and free agents like Tom Johnson, most of whom have fit pretty well into the defense.

There seems little, if any, clear vision for the offense in the Zimmer era and it shows.

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Re: Andy Benoit: Vikings Have a Big Problem

Post by Boon » Thu Oct 27, 2016 2:20 am

S197 wrote:Lets look at the other side of the trenches. We have 3 healthy DT's. That's it. Tom Johnson (and Robison at times) are the backups with Floyd injured. Lets not forget Linval was injured for some of last season as well. So if Linval gets hurt, we're starting Tom Johnson and Shamar Stephen with Toby Johnson coming off the practice squad. Is that adequate depth? Those are all "throw away" picks.

Same with the DE's, we have a solid backup in Hunter but then it's Trattou and your pick of a practice squad guy. Is that adequate depth? Lets keep in mind that D-lines rotate a lot more than O-lines so if anything, they utilize more players.

That depth looks a little thin to me. Same with safety, Harrison goes down and we're starting Kearse and Harris with maybe Terrence Newman as your emergency guy. That's a 7th rounder and an undrafted as our depth!

My point is this is the NFL so the phrase "adequate depth" is often used here in some sort of opaque sort of way. It's a misnomer. Now, that's not to say there are no issues with the O-line, one could argue even the starters had they not gotten injured are shaky. But that's different than depth, and I feel as though the whole depth issue is driven by hindsight. No one has a bunch of 2nd and 3rd rounders waiting in the wings to step in if guys get hurt. Guys get hurt and you're starting late round guys. That is my point. Criticism is deserved but context also needs to be kept.
:appl:

The solution would have been cut the entire Oline and all their salaries and sign 20 or so offensive linemen? You are 100% correct. they have played 4 teams with 15 or more sacks, 3 in the top 10 overall and this eagles game was the only one where bradford was assaulted badly. Yeah he's taken some hits but this game was more than bad, its hard to believe it will continue all season. You can't predict they would all go down. Load retiring. Everyone has injury issues but to that extent is rare, on one unit. Zim loads up on defense. Thats what he does, they go and get a 1st rd wr and this idiot turner probably confuses the hell out of him with his stupid playbook and he doesn't see the field. I'd be willing to bet my right testicle that if he ended up on new england right now he would have 5 touchdowns by week 12. and thats not because of just brady. This offensive coordinator is sabotaging this team and it's pissing me off.

We just gotta sit back and hope they can protect just enough to score enough. This defense is the most ravenous i have ever seen in my entire time watching this team play. I wasn't around for the old teams but I believe they will come through all season.

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Re: Andy Benoit: Vikings Have a Big Problem

Post by Mothman » Thu Oct 27, 2016 7:25 am

Boon wrote: :appl:

The solution would have been cut the entire Oline and all their salaries and sign 20 or so offensive linemen? You are 100% correct. they have played 4 teams with 15 or more sacks, 3 in the top 10 overall and this eagles game was the only one where bradford was assaulted badly. Yeah he's taken some hits but this game was more than bad, its hard to believe it will continue all season. You can't predict they would all go down. Load retiring. Everyone has injury issues but to that extent is rare, on one unit. Zim loads up on defense. Thats what he does, they go and get a 1st rd wr and this idiot turner probably confuses the hell out of him with his stupid playbook and he doesn't see the field. I'd be willing to bet my right testicle that if he ended up on new england right now he would have 5 touchdowns by week 12. and thats not because of just brady. This offensive coordinator is sabotaging this team and it's pissing me off.
... and the head coach has no control over how his team's offense is run?

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Re: Andy Benoit: Vikings Have a Big Problem

Post by losperros » Thu Oct 27, 2016 10:15 am

Mothman wrote: ... and the head coach has no control over how his team's offense is run?
Yes, the head coach *should* have control over the offense. He sure is supposed to have control. After reading and hearing some interviews with Zimmer, I'm beginning to believe he's fed up with the lax offense, including the poor play by the offensive line.

Still, I agree with Boon about Norv being a big problem for an offense not fitting the so-called system. That's where Zimmer really needs to step in and be the controlling point. The Vikings offense needs to adapt its shortcomings and play to their strengths. It's not impossible. Other teams do it.

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Re: Andy Benoit: Vikings Have a Big Problem

Post by Mothman » Thu Oct 27, 2016 12:57 pm

losperros wrote:Yes, the head coach *should* have control over the offense. He sure is supposed to have control. After reading and hearing some interviews with Zimmer, I'm beginning to believe he's fed up with the lax offense, including the poor play by the offensive line.
I sure hope he's fed up with it. I know I am. :)
Still, I agree with Boon about Norv being a big problem for an offense not fitting the so-called system. That's where Zimmer really needs to step in and be the controlling point. The Vikings offense needs to adapt its shortcomings and play to their strengths. It's not impossible. Other teams do it.
It's not impossible at all and I agree, Turner's been a problem at times, although he's also done some smart things. Overall, the results haven't been good on offense and it seems like there's a lot of compartmentalization going amongst Vikes fans when it comes to that subject. Zimmer is often given a pass for the offense while Turner gets raked over the coals but as you said, Zimmer is supposed to have control over the offense. As far as I'm concerned, it's problems are his problems, as surely as he's primarily responsible for the team's excellent defense. I have to wonder if Turner's taking his cues from Zimmer in the first place because after all, Zimmer's the head coach. This offense has been pretty conservative since he took over, more conservative than the typical Turner offense. Some of that may have to do with personnel but I suspect some of it comes from the way Zimmer wants to play football too.

I will now prepare to be flogged. :)

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Re: Andy Benoit: Vikings Have a Big Problem

Post by S197 » Thu Oct 27, 2016 1:58 pm

I think given Zimmer's defensive strength and being a new HC, he was right to delegate responsibilities to Turner. As he gains experience and comfort, he should start to become more involved in the offense.

I look at football like a corporation. You have the Board (Wilfs), CEO (Spielman), President (Zimmer), then your CFO/COO (coordinators). Leadership is supposed to set an overall vision and strategy, which is then delegated downwards for execution. The top doesn't have time to scrutinize at the granular level and needs to rely on his/her trusted inner circle for this level of detail. I think with Zimmer, the overall strategy is mental toughness, play as a team, and be accountable. We've seen the toughness, he's often dismissed individual awards, and he has also been upfront when he makes bad calls/mistakes.

Now that the "corporate culture" has been set, I think the next step is to review the performance of those under him and whether or not they meet expectations.

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Re: Andy Benoit: Vikings Have a Big Problem

Post by VikingLord » Thu Oct 27, 2016 2:14 pm

Mothman wrote: It disappoints me that you'd even ask that question. :(

I'm criticizing the team's failure to build a quality o-line because, to my eyes, it seems like a pretty clear failure. I'm not biased about it. I wish the situation were better. However, I obviously think the OL could be enough of a problem to prevent them winning the Super Bowl and if I recall correctly, you've said the same thing so why the test?

If the Vikings run the table and win it all, I think that would speak for itself.
I have said the same thing, but I'm not as inclined to indict the entire plan based on this last game. Plus, to be fair to Spielman and the Vikings, they had a few curveballs thrown their way this season so far, including the early retirement of Loadholt, 2 key injuries to starting offensive lineman, the loss of their starting QB and starting RB. I mean, holding their feet to the fire can be justified at some level I suppose, but a lot of this stuff could not be anticipated or planned around very well and I think most teams would be struggling under similar circumstances.

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