Indeed it does but my response was to mansquatch's implication about "the narrative", not to what you wrote. I responded directly to that and you said you didn't disagree with any of that response.
I'm not attempting to disprove the OL was awful and I didn't suggest the team lacked the capability to throw deep so we did not and do not disagree about that. I didn't attempt to disprove that the team was 12th in 20+ yard passing plays either so why, exactly, is any of the paragraph above being directed at me?
So it goes. It's a public board with an inevitable diversity of opinions. Some of them are frustrating but over the course of the past 12 years, the team has had 5 winning seasons, 4 playoff appearances and just one playoff win. Over that time, the team has sometimes been terrible. That track record certainly provides more than a little reason to be dissatisfied with the front office. The offense has struggled for the majority of that time too so whether the Vikings care about it or not, they haven't done a very good job with it most of the time. Blaming fans for expressing frustration over all of the above is shooting the messenger. The organization has underperformed and there's no disproving that particular fact.
It's very difficult but what is it you want from people here, to be cheerleaders? There's always someone upset that somebody else isn't optimistic enough or is too optimistic. In these free agency threads, we're ALL assessing whether the Vikings are addressing their stated weaknesses and presumably, most of us are also trying to assess if they've done so effectively and if so, how effectively.
It's your choice, no need to flame you for it. Everybody else gets to make a choice too. Personally, I don't choose a default setting of optimistic or pessimistic when it comes to the Vikings. I certainly don't live "under a shroud of doom" when it comes to the team either and I don't think many fans here do.
Again, what do you want? Conformity to a particular point of view? Are people supposed to look at an offense comprised almost entirely of players with a history of being mediocre-to-average in the NFL, led by a coordinator with a similar history, and automatically anticipate greatness? Are we supposed to expect a team that's been disappointing for so long, and that disappointed us once again last year with a serious collapse after a great start, to storm to a Super Bowl?
I think you'll agree that there's a difference between hopes and expectations and I doubt many fans here have given up the former but at least some of us have been conditioned by the Vikings to reign in the latter. If I could have it my way, the Vikes would be seeking their 10th Super Bowl or so this season and we'd all have reason for great optimism. Unfortunately, that's not the case.
Thank you for not flaming. Sorry ... I've been working 70 hours a week and just had my first day off in a month.
I get that we haven't been very good over the past, well, couple of decades. Like you, Jim, I grew up with the Vikings winning the division every single year. This sucks.
But here's the weird thing ... I'm also a Cubs fan (not that weird, I guess, since the Iowa Cubs are right here where I live) and I waited my entire life for last season. Never lost optimism, even though most of the years I've been alive, they've had no shot. Maybe I'm just a glutton for punishment. Or maybe it's the Cub fan in me that's not afraid to say, "Wait until next year." I don't know.
Leadership is everything, no matter the organization. We saw with Childress that you can overcome a crappy leader, but not for very long. My personal opinion is that we have an excellent head coach in Mike Zimmer who is only going to get better. I honestly believe we're in really good hands. Let's not forget that the man also has had four eye surgeries (or however many it is) and went through a LOT last year in his personal life. He'd never, ever use it as an excuse, so I'll do it for him. The man lost his wife not that long ago, and has had the eye trouble, but he also has legions of players all over the league who would run through a cinder-block wall for him. So for me, Zim is the man to lead us.
On the other hand, I just don't know about Spielman. Sometimes he seems incredibly shrewd, especially on draft day. But some of his moves, shrewd as they seem at the time, haven't worked out. And the O-line has been an issue since the days of Randall McDaniel. Spielman deserves heavy criticism for that. On the other hand, I think his acquisition of Sam Bradford was a great move. Some will disagree, but I thought it was a stroke of genius. We paid a first-round draft choice for Bradford -- what are the odds we could have drafted a quarterback who's as good as Bradford was last year? Especially this draft class, where there may be NO viable quarterback options. It's a mixed bag with Rick.
Overall, I just want the Vikings to have a plan and stick to it, especially on offense. If they're going to go with Pat Shurmur as OC, then they need to go all-in. They need to acquire and draft players who fit what he does. That's why I give the Murray signing a thumbs-up. I think he's the right kind of player for Shurmur's offense, where he might NOT have been the right kind of player for Bill Musgrave's offense in Oakland.
As for AP, it sucks to see him go out this way, but the fact that he hasn't made a single visit to any team tells me that the Vikings were right in cutting ties. As the Patriots have shown over and over, a team is always better off dropping the sentimentality and doing what's necessary.
Finally, Remmers and Reiff aren't all-pros, but they're solid veterans who still have plenty of tread on the tires. To expect the Vikings to go from dumpster fire to an O-line full of Pro Bowlers in a single season is pretty unrealistic. Especially when league average gets us in the playoffs. We just need IMPROVEMENT.
Anyway, that's my take. I don't mind the moves. They're not splashy moves that make headlines. But I think they improve our offense, and with our defense, that might just be good enough, at least to get into the playoffs.