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 Offensive Optimism: They might be better than you think... 
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Post Re: Offensive Optimism: They might be better than you think
One of my reasons for focusing on the offense directly in this thread is because I view the the offense as the most significant thing that is holding back the defense. Spending more time in games with a lead will help their statistics, (It does wonders in NE and GB...) and not just because of the standard cliche of making the other team one dimensional (which certainly helps) but also because our unit is at it's best in the Double A nickel package which it can't play in as much as it likes when the opponent is winning on the score board and can dictate tempo.

Maybe a better to way to make the point is with a question: If the offense improves as I've outlined above, why would you expect the defense to not play at least as well as it did in 2016? For that matter, why would you expect it to not be better?

As I pointed out in my first post, it doesn't take much to get the avg margin of victory over 6 points. That was with only a 1 point improvement in PA. Just getting it over 3 is a big deal. Now the opposition can't sink you with a field goal. That alone provides a big change in how a game plays out for the opposing offense.

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Tue May 30, 2017 9:25 am
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Post Re: Offensive Optimism: They might be better than you think
mansquatch wrote:
One of my reasons for focusing on the offense directly in this thread is because I view the the offense as the most significant thing that is holding back the defense. Spending more time in games with a lead will help their statistics, (It does wonders in NE and GB...) and not just because of the standard cliche of making the other team one dimensional (which certainly helps) but also because our unit is at it's best in the Double A nickel package which it can't play in as much as it likes when the opponent is winning on the score board and can dictate tempo.

Maybe a better to way to make the point is with a question: If the offense improves as I've outlined above, why would you expect the defense to not play at least as well as it did in 2016? For that matter, why would you expect it to not be better?


I think your point is already clear. There's some disagreement about whether the offense is the most significant thing holding the defense back but I don't think there's any disagreement with the idea that an improved offense (especially an offense that scores more TDs) should help the defense.

Quote:
As I pointed out in my first post, it doesn't take much to get the avg margin of victory over 6 points


It's clearly difficult since there are usually only 5 or 6 teams that manage it each season and the Vikings have only done it once in the past 15 years or so (in 2009, of course). Your point about possible improvement is valid but we know from experience that things rarely work out as neatly on the field as they do on paper, in theory. Given the team's history in this century, there's reason to doubt they can easily achieve an average margin of victory of 6+ points but it's definitely not impossible.


Tue May 30, 2017 10:28 am
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Post Re: Offensive Optimism: They might be better than you think
I dunno, I think they are a prime candidate:

We have a team that last year actually improved at the QB position and WR position, but took a massive step backward at RB and Tackle. We have a QB who is likely on the verge of a 4000 yard season and the starting WR/TE have shown they can produce at the NFL level. In the case of both RB and the tackles, we were starting backups. For OL we were starting younger players with low ceilings, both of which have been replaced with veteran starters and in the case of Reiff a far better draft pedigree. For RB, we've added a veteran and a promising rookie in place of a career backup in Mckinnon. They've made changes at the weakest positions on that side of the ball without giving up any of their strengths from last season.

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Tue May 30, 2017 10:57 am
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Post Re: Offensive Optimism: They might be better than you think
mansquatch wrote:
I dunno, I think they are a prime candidate:

We have a team that last year actually improved at the QB position and WR position, but took a massive step backward at RB and Tackle. We have a QB who is likely on the verge of a 4000 yard season and the starting WR/TE have shown they can produce at the NFL level. In the case of both RB and the tackles, we were starting backups. For OL we were starting younger players with low ceilings, both of which have been replaced with veteran starters and in the case of Reiff a far better draft pedigree. For RB, we've added a veteran and a promising rookie in place of a career backup in Mckinnon. They've made changes at the weakest positions on that side of the ball without giving up any of their strengths from last season.


We'll see what happens. I think the sheer amount of change on offense might be enough to make the kind of leap you're talking about difficult but it's not impossible.


Tue May 30, 2017 11:06 am
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Post Re: Offensive Optimism: They might be better than you think
A big key will be how effectively they practice. It is obvious that Zimmer is able to get a lot into his guys on the defensive side of the ball in terms of teaching/coaching, but we have not seen the same level of efficacy on the offensive side of the ball. Hopefully this is something both he and Shurmer can improve this summer.

There are going to be growing pains on the OL, there always are when you insert a new guy into a group. I feel this is at least somewhat offset by the fact that last year they never really had consistent continuity until we reached the last half of the season, ergo the dumpster fire.

A big reason for my optimism is that last season was exceptionally burtal on the offensive side of the ball and the areas of particular pain were a result of poor backups playing significant snaps. That makes the Viking's situation a bit different than a team that say replaces one player but keeps an otherwise under-performing unit of starters. The guys we are replacing were not starters in the first place.

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Tue May 30, 2017 1:17 pm
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Post Re: Offensive Optimism: They might be better than you think
mansquatch wrote:
A big key will be how effectively they practice. It is obvious that Zimmer is able to get a lot into his guys on the defensive side of the ball in terms of teaching/coaching, but we have not seen the same level of efficacy on the offensive side of the ball. Hopefully this is something both he and Shurmer can improve this summer.

There are going to be growing pains on the OL, there always are when you insert a new guy into a group. I feel this is at least somewhat offset by the fact that last year they never really had consistent continuity until we reached the last half of the season, ergo the dumpster fire.

A big reason for my optimism is that last season was exceptionally burtal on the offensive side of the ball and the areas of particular pain were a result of poor backups playing significant snaps. That makes the Viking's situation a bit different than a team that say replaces one player but keeps an otherwise under-performing unit of starters. The guys we are replacing were not starters in the first place.



Yes and no. Technically, Reiff is replacing Kalil, not Clemmings. Remmers is replacing Smith (and Clemmings, who started in 2015). The RBs are replacing Adrian Peterson. When viewed in that light, I'm not sure there's much of an overall upgrade (or any at all at RB).

We'll see how it all shakes out. They had an average margin of victory of about 3.5 points in 2015 so 6 isn't out of reach, especially with an arguably better and definitely more experienced QB and without Clemmings starting. i think they'll need a lot to go right... starting at OC.


Tue May 30, 2017 2:46 pm
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Post Re: Offensive Optimism: They might be better than you think
I agree with JIm that a lot of the teams fate will fall at the feet of Shurmur, especially since there is no threat of Zimmer ever taking over playcalling.
I've been fairly positive on his changes due to the talent they have in place and the QB. Having said that, as much as I disliked Norv as a fit here, when he finally began making significant adjustments to accomodate for the o-line woes, it was effective for what they had.
When Shurmur took over there was regression. I'm hoping it was due to there just being a major change mid-season as opposed to, like some here speculate, that Shurmur is over his head with any offense.
We'll see but if it's the latter, things will get ugly quickly.


Tue May 30, 2017 3:21 pm
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Post Re: Offensive Optimism: They might be better than you think
It seems almost a certainty that we will have a new C as well. It's early, but 1st team reps were between Elflein and Easton in the first OTAs. That's 3/5ths of the O-line, which is a major overhaul. How quickly they're able to gel is going to be a big factor as well, especially if we start a rookie. I'd imagine Bradford will be making the line calls for the time being.


Tue May 30, 2017 3:51 pm
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Post Re: Offensive Optimism: They might be better than you think
This is all true, but if your starting point is 2016, then you have to weigh in the fact that performance we saw in 2016 was from an OL that never had a chance to gel AND started two substandard players at both tackle positions. IMO the gel factor is an issue, but it is also a push from what we saw in 2016.

In 2015 with AP, an slightly better OL of Kalil/Johnson/Berger/Harris/Clemmings and AP we put up 2200 yards. I do not think all of those 1000 yards were due to AP. Some of it certainly was. Kalil was so-so in 2015. Not sure Johnson was better than Boone. Berger is a push. Harris got cut, enough said. and Clemmings... LOL.

Here are some rushing stats to consider from 2016:

#32: MIN 1205 YDS
#31: LAR 1252 YDS (With Todd Guerly!!!)
#30: DET 1310 YDS
#29: NYG 1412 YDS
#28: BAL 1463 YDS
#27: DEN 1484 YDS
#26: SD 1510 YDS
#25: SEA 1591 YDS

My main point in showing this is that this is the bottom 25% of the league. If we jsut move to top of this dung heap we improve by almost 400 of the 600 yards I cited above, that just doesn't feel like a major move to me when you consider what we had last season vs. this season.

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Tue May 30, 2017 4:14 pm
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Post Re: Offensive Optimism: They might be better than you think
Nunin wrote:
I agree with JIm that a lot of the teams fate will fall at the feet of Shurmur, especially since there is no threat of Zimmer ever taking over playcalling.
I've been fairly positive on his changes due to the talent they have in place and the QB. Having said that, as much as I disliked Norv as a fit here, when he finally began making significant adjustments to accomodate for the o-line woes, it was effective for what they had.
When Shurmur took over there was regression. I'm hoping it was due to there just being a major change mid-season as opposed to, like some here speculate, that Shurmur is over his head with any offense.
We'll see but if it's the latter, things will get ugly quickly.



Good post. I was pretty critical of Turner during his stay in Minnesota but it IS worth noting that the Vikings record with him as OC was 23-16 and without him last year they went 3-6. That could just be due to other factors but as frustrating as he was at times, I suspect his experience had it's benefits and one of those benefits may have been an ability to manage games with his playcalling in a way that played to the Vikes overall strengths as a team.

Then again, maybe not. :)


Tue May 30, 2017 4:32 pm
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Post Re: Offensive Optimism: They might be better than you think
mansquatch wrote:
This is all true, but if your starting point is 2016, then you have to weigh in the fact that performance we saw in 2016 was from an OL that never had a chance to gel AND started two substandard players at both tackle positions. IMO the gel factor is an issue, but it is also a push from what we saw in 2016.

In 2015 with AP, an slightly better OL of Kalil/Johnson/Berger/Harris/Clemmings and AP we put up 2200 yards. I do not think all of those 1000 yards were due to AP. Some of it certainly was. Kalil was so-so in 2015. Not sure Johnson was better than Boone. Berger is a push. Harris got cut, enough said. and Clemmings... LOL


I think a lot of that really was Peterson. The man gained a lot of yards after contact.

By the way, I think you meant Fusco, not Johnson. :)

Quote:
My main point in showing this is that this is the bottom 25% of the league. If we just move to top of this dung heap we improve by almost 400 of the 600 yards I cited above, that just doesn't feel like a major move to me when you consider what we had last season vs. this season.


It's certainly a possible improvement. After all, the 2001 Vikings were 25th in rushing and Mike Tice vowed that was going to change in his first season as HC. In 2002, the Vikings were the #1 rushing team in the league. They went from 1609 yards rushing to 2507 yards rushing in one year. That's a massive change in one season.

Assuming they can make a 400-600 yard improvement with their rushing game this season, the impact that will have on their record may depend on how it works with other factors. Will those gains in the ground game come at the expense of passing yardage or can they be more productive in both areas? Will that production translate into a better 3rd down conversion rate, into extended drives and touchdowns? I think that's the stuff that will ultimately be important. if gains in rushing or passing yardage are accompanied by factors like an increase in turnovers, too many costly penalties and continuing struggles to score in the red zone, they may not have much impact on the W/L record.


Tue May 30, 2017 4:54 pm
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Post Re: Offensive Optimism: They might be better than you think
We already should have a improved OL

Quote: The Vikings have penciled in the same five offensive linemen on the first-team unit through the first four OTA practices.

Riley Reiff, an offseason free agent signing, has lined up at left tackle next to left guard Alex Boone, who is in his second season in Minnesota. Nick Easton has taken early reps at center, and Joe Berger has shifted over to right guard - a combination the Vikings used at the end of the 2016 season. Mike Remmers, another free agent acquisition, has been the first-team right tackle.

The Vikings second-team unit has been left tackle Rashod Hill, left guard Jeremiah Sirles, center Pat Elflein, right guard Zac Kerin and right tackle T.J. Clemmings.


http://m.vikings.com/news/article-1/3-O ... 0a13f309dd


Tue May 30, 2017 6:27 pm
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Post Re: Offensive Optimism: They might be better than you think
mansquatch wrote:
This is all true, but if your starting point is 2016, then you have to weigh in the fact that performance we saw in 2016 was from an OL that never had a chance to gel AND started two substandard players at both tackle positions. IMO the gel factor is an issue, but it is also a push from what we saw in 2016.

In 2015 with AP, an slightly better OL of Kalil/Johnson/Berger/Harris/Clemmings and AP we put up 2200 yards. I do not think all of those 1000 yards were due to AP. Some of it certainly was. Kalil was so-so in 2015. Not sure Johnson was better than Boone. Berger is a push. Harris got cut, enough said. and Clemmings... LOL.

Here are some rushing stats to consider from 2016:

#32: MIN 1205 YDS
#31: LAR 1252 YDS (With Todd Guerly!!!)
#30: DET 1310 YDS
#29: NYG 1412 YDS
#28: BAL 1463 YDS
#27: DEN 1484 YDS
#26: SD 1510 YDS
#25: SEA 1591 YDS

My main point in showing this is that this is the bottom 25% of the league. If we jsut move to top of this dung heap we improve by almost 400 of the 600 yards I cited above, that just doesn't feel like a major move to me when you consider what we had last season vs. this season.


No doubt I expect this year's line to be better but a lot of that is due to last year being a total train wreck. I think it's totally plausible the offense could end up around middle of the pack, which may be enough if the defense can remain stout.

Looking at the line depth, it's better than last year especially in the interior if guys like Isidora and Easton can work out. Hill looked decent in limited play, I just hope someone can beat out Clemmings for the backup job or he has some MAJOR offseason improvement.


Tue May 30, 2017 6:33 pm
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Post Re: Offensive Optimism: They might be better than you think
as it stands, the o-line is one injury away from clemmings starting.
that is zero improvement, IMO.
i cannot understand what a guy, who didn't even play on offense until late in college, who has a significant amount of film supporting the view that he just doesn't cut it at tackle, is doing on this team at all.
whta. i'm .i. missing?


Tue May 30, 2017 8:48 pm
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Post Re: Offensive Optimism: They might be better than you think
S197 wrote:
It seems almost a certainty that we will have a new C as well. It's early, but 1st team reps were between Elflein and Easton in the first OTAs. That's 3/5ths of the O-line, which is a major overhaul. How quickly they're able to gel is going to be a big factor as well, especially if we start a rookie. I'd imagine Bradford will be making the line calls for the time being.


And 4/5 in new positions because Berger will be at RG instead of C


Tue May 30, 2017 9:39 pm
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Post Re: Offensive Optimism: They might be better than you think
Nunin wrote:
as it stands, the o-line is one injury away from clemmings starting.
that is zero improvement, IMO.
i cannot understand what a guy, who didn't even play on offense until late in college, who has a significant amount of film supporting the view that he just doesn't cut it at tackle, is doing on this team at all.
whta. i'm .i. missing?

We he decent at DT? Why did they move him?

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Wed May 31, 2017 7:33 am
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Post Re: Offensive Optimism: They might be better than you think
Nunin wrote:
as it stands, the o-line is one injury away from clemmings starting.
that is zero improvement, IMO.
i cannot understand what a guy, who didn't even play on offense until late in college, who has a significant amount of film supporting the view that he just doesn't cut it at tackle, is doing on this team at all.
whta. i'm .i. missing?


A stubborn determination to develop him because he was drafted in the 4th round? I don't know. Whatever you're missing, I'm missing it too.


Wed May 31, 2017 8:03 am
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Post Re: Offensive Optimism: They might be better than you think
PurpleMustReign wrote:
Nunin wrote:
as it stands, the o-line is one injury away from clemmings starting.
that is zero improvement, IMO.
i cannot understand what a guy, who didn't even play on offense until late in college, who has a significant amount of film supporting the view that he just doesn't cut it at tackle, is doing on this team at all.
whta. i'm .i. missing?

We he decent at DT? Why did they move him?

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i don't recall why they switched him and I have no idea how he was on D. I never heard of him til they drafted him.


Wed May 31, 2017 8:20 am
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Post Re: Offensive Optimism: They might be better than you think
Mothman wrote:
Nunin wrote:
as it stands, the o-line is one injury away from clemmings starting.
that is zero improvement, IMO.
i cannot understand what a guy, who didn't even play on offense until late in college, who has a significant amount of film supporting the view that he just doesn't cut it at tackle, is doing on this team at all.
whta. i'm .i. missing?


A stubborn determination to develop him because he was drafted in the 4th round? I don't know. Whatever you're missing, I'm missing it too.


My guess is that they think he has the physical tools but needs time to learn. They brought in a physically talented guy who was in the middle of a conversion and they knew needed work.

Some interesting things about him via Wikipedia.

Regarding him on defense.

Quote:
Regarded as a four-star recruit by Rivals.com, Clemmings was ranked as the state's No. 2 prospect and the country's No. 16 strongside defensive end.[2] Scout.com rated him the No. 1 overall player in New Jersey and the nation's No. 6 defensive end prospect, as well as the country's No. 38 player overall.[3] He was selected to PrepStar "Dream Team" and was rated one of the country's top 50 overall prospects by PrepStar. In June 2009, Clemmings committed to the University of Pittsburgh to play college football.[4]


I'm not sure if he was moved to the offensive line because he wasn't working on defense or what;

Quote:
Prior to the 2012 BBVA Compass Bowl, he was switched from defensive end to offensive tackle.[6] In 2013, he became a full-time offensive tackle and started all 13 games at right tackle.[7][8] Clemmings returned as a starter in 2014.[9]


Pre-draft he was apparently thought to be a first round pick by some at least;

Quote:
Clemmings entered the draft process as one of the top prospects in his position and likely a first round selection, but fell on draft boards presumably because of a report that surfaced in the week leading up to the 2015 NFL Draft saying he had a stress fracture in his foot.


Perhaps the foot injury has started causing issues? He apparently wasn't too terrible in 2015 (how did I not realize he was playing there?);

Quote:
Clemmings tied a franchise rookie record by starting all 16 games after the Vikings lost veteran starter Phil Loadholt at right tackle for the entire season due to an achilles injury.[11] He joined an offensive line that helped Adrian Peterson lead the NFL in rushing with 1,485 yards and posted the No. 4-ranked rushing attack in the league.


From another article; http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/news ... ot-injury/
Quote:
Clemmings, who has been compared to New England Patriots tackle Sebastian Vollmer, is currently projected to go No. 28 to the Denver Broncos in the mock drafts of NFLDraftScout.com analysts Rob Rang and Dane Brugler.

Clemmings was a defensive end until two years ago, recording 20 tackles in eight games. He made the switch to right tackle full-time in 2013 and went on to start every game over the past two seasons. Raw at the position, Clemmings is considered to have strong upside, with many scout pointing to the success of former quarterback/tight end/defensive end Lane Johnson, who was selected with the fourth overall pick by the Philadelphia Eagles two years ago.


I think the bottom line is that they've got a physically talented guy at a position they're very thin at and are hoping they can still do something with him.

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Wed May 31, 2017 8:56 am
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Post Re: Offensive Optimism: They might be better than you think
Cliff wrote:
Perhaps the foot injury has started causing issues? He apparently wasn't too terrible in 2015 (how did I not realize he was playing there?);


I don;t know because he was definitely terrible n 2015!

Quote:
I think the bottom line is that they've got a physically talented guy at a position they're very thin at and are hoping they can still do something with him.


I'm sure that's the explanation but he looks more and more like the classic player who teams stick with due to his athleticism rather than his performance. As a professional football player, he's been awful. Basically, I think they spent a 4th round pick on an athlete whose skills and experience have been more like those of a practice squad player and they've been stubbornly treating him like a starter or grade-A backup ever since.


Wed May 31, 2017 9:17 am
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Post Re: Offensive Optimism: They might be better than you think
Mothman wrote:
I'm sure that's the explanation but he looks more and more like the classic player who teams stick with due to his athleticism rather than his performance. As a professional football player, he's been awful. Basically, I think they spent a 4th round pick on an athlete whose skills and experience have been more like those of a practice squad player and they've been stubbornly treating him like a starter or grade-A backup ever since.


Well, to be fair he was a starter ;)

Seriously though, I just don't see any real incentive for them to drop him unless he's completely given up trying. He's still under his rookie deal but maybe if we needed the roster space?

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Post Re: Offensive Optimism: They might be better than you think
The past year I've wondered, with regards to Clemmings, if the issue is ineffective coaching / teaching given the modern CBA and what is allowed in terms of practice time. When you watch Clemmings play, it is obvious that he has the physical tools to play in the NFL. His issues are all technique. Even the announcers have caught onto it. In most cases, he plays too high / too upright and at the NFL levels the Defenders are just too well polished and physically gifted for him to get away with those flaws.

On top of that, the guy has had over 30 NFL starts, far more than just about any player at his level of development gets. Experience tends to be a good teacher, but he doesn't seem to be adapting.
Why isn't he learning? Why isn't he making the adjustment?

It is worth noting that it could also be a case where Clemmings just isn't that smart of a guy and he can't pick up the nuances of the technique. Not everybody can play tackle in the NFL, so he wouldn't be alone in that regard.

Zimmer's actions during his tenure would at least partially seem to indicate that he felt Jeff Davidson was the problem, but last year was a cluster. Tackle can probably be in part dumped on the injury report, but we saw a poor year out of Fusco and Boone was pretty subpar as well. So what's up Sparano? To be fair, I think even at the most critical the worst you can grade Sparano is an incomplete. It is just too hard to know with the rash of injuries if it was all on him or not. Hopefully 2017 will shed some light on the matter.

This is all conjecture on my part, but something has been going awry here for awhile. Is it fixed?

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Post Re: Offensive Optimism: They might be better than you think
Cliff wrote:
Mothman wrote:
I'm sure that's the explanation but he looks more and more like the classic player who teams stick with due to his athleticism rather than his performance. As a professional football player, he's been awful. Basically, I think they spent a 4th round pick on an athlete whose skills and experience have been more like those of a practice squad player and they've been stubbornly treating him like a starter or grade-A backup ever since.


Well, to be fair he was a starter ;)


:lol:

True. I guess I could have phrased that better! I should have said "qualified starter" or something similar.

Quote:
Seriously though, I just don't see any real incentive for them to drop him unless he's completely given up trying. He's still under his rookie deal but maybe if we needed the roster space?


I think the incentive should be to find a better, more deserving player for that roster spot.


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Post Re: Offensive Optimism: They might be better than you think
Personally, I don't like to dis on Clemmings...he's in a crapfully managed situation, much like Ponder was in terms of where he is based on the teams needs vs what he is actually capable of in the now. He could wind up being solid someday.....maybe.
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My desire would be not to have him as the first guy up when a tackle goes down. That has been the REAL mismanagement of this current o-line incarnation. It's not that the starters have been substandard as much as it has been the incredible dropoff when one of them goes down.
Kalil actually played well when he was healthy...just that he was rarely, if ever, healthy past his rookie year. That's part of football. But bringing in a project like Clemmings to bolster that position, AS YOUR ONLY SERIOUS EFFORT, is remarkable, considering the importance of LT and what was happening to Kalil each season injurywise. (caps for emphasis...not shouting)
Throw in Sullivan, Loadholt...and repeat.
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Right now, saying the line is improved is a bit of a misnomer. The line is healthy. Is Remmers an upgrade over Smith? I dunno cause Smith got hurt before he ever got in the flow. Is a healthy Reiff better than a healthy Kalil? Doubtful, IMO...but if he stays healthy, he's better than injured Kalil.
I think the interior of the line will be better with Boone and Berger at G. Center will be a mystery. And all of it is precariously proppd up on the backs of extremely questionably talented depth.
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I think there IS something to the coaching/CBA angle, as well as the trend happening in college with guys not being steeped in NFL fundamentals.
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I caught a piece on the NFL network a year ago that was describing it. It was 3 O-lineman from different teams meeting and training in the off season to get better. I don't remember who they were, I wanna say one of them was Oher?
Anyhow, their comments were all about how difficult it is to get better at what they need to do given the parameters of te CBA and practice. The only way they felt they could get an edge was to voluntarily meet up and train/share technique/info etc, in the offseason.
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The Vikes, or any team that wants to win, needs to sign guys with this kind of attitude and work ethic.
Overpaying for average starters and backing them up with WTF?, ain't gonna cut it. And saying it's difficult to find lineman is just an excuse. The coaches need to create a culture and attitude around what's expected...just like Zimmer does with DBs. It's their job for crying out loud.
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I have no idea, myself, how to make a good o-lineman. It remains to be seen if Sparano does.
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pardon the rant


Wed May 31, 2017 10:50 am
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Post Re: Offensive Optimism: They might be better than you think
Smith went out in Week 3, so a more apt comparison is if Remmers is better than Sirles / Clemmings at RT. It is also worth noting that despite Smith being at best below average we won all three of the games he started. Also worth noting, why would Spielman pay Remmer $30MM if he felt he was a push with Sirles who is already on the roster at a much lower contract price? I know there is a lot of angst over Tricky Ricky, but even he is not that stupid.

Even if you want to say something like "Well we went 2-0 with Kalil at LT and 3-0 with Smith, so Clemmings/Sirles was a 5-8 effort, not 8-8, I'd respond by saying that Kalil and Smith were both prety bad in the 3 games they played. Kalil was a total gimp with the hip injury in week 2 against GB. Smith maybe not as bad, but still very subpar. So really the comparison in terms of incremental improvement isn't to Kalil/Smith, but Clemmings/Sirles.

By just about every indication the two tackles we have now should be a massive upgrade from the debacle we saw in 16. So the question is, what does that do for the rest of the offense.

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Wed May 31, 2017 11:44 am
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Post Re: Offensive Optimism: They might be better than you think
The point I was making is that Smith was the FA brought in to play RT, so Sirles/Clemmings wouldn't have to start....just like Remmers is now. If Remmers gets hurt it's back to Clemmings/Sirles
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So, Smith played only 3 games before getting injujred on a line that had 3 new starters and one other guy playing a different position. I don't know if Remmers is an upgrade over Smith. He certainly better be an upgrade over the backups. The depth is where they should really be looking to improve...in any/every way they can.
Last year may have been a statistical anomally as for the # of injuries on the line....but there is usually significant time missed along the line each season.
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I'm not suggesting that it's easy...but I do question the comittment to quality depth there and also the choices being made as to who is coaching positions on offense across the board.
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I think, in the spirit of this thread, that the talent is there and the offense will improve. Just because the line will start out with healthy, starter quality guys...like it did last season. But when I see that TJ Clemmings is still the 1st guy up at T, it really makes me wonder how they aren't the absolute defnition of insanity in motion.
They have done the exact same thing as last season.....if injuries occur, I would expect similar results. Although it's not quite June and the roster could change significantly in terms of depth chart.
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The only exception to the above, IMO, is the Eflien pick. I think they made a good haul there, I hope the kid can stay on the field when the time comes.


Wed May 31, 2017 12:12 pm
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Post Re: Offensive Optimism: They might be better than you think
http://www.dailynorseman.com/2017/5/31/ ... comparison

This whole article is appropriate for the thread, but this caught my eye:

Quote:
Bradford starts the season with a solid trio of capable, proven receivers in Stefon Diggs, Adam Thielen and Kyle Rudolph. Both Thielen and Diggs had nearly 1,000 yards receiving last year, and the Bradford to Thielen connection produced the highest QB rating in the league last year.


Kyle Rudolph also had his most productive year as a receiver, getting nearly twice as many targets last year as the season prior, and nearly doubling his receiving yards as well.

New Tools and Talent
Building on that, an upgraded offensive line, even if it turns out to be only average, will help relieve some of the pressure on Bradford, giving him a little more time to make his progressions and connect with receivers down field.

But beyond the upgraded offensive line, Bradford also will enjoy some added talent to work with at skill positions.

First, the prospect of having at least one more capable receiver emerge this year seems increasingly likely. Whether it’s the veteran Michael Floyd, or the 2nd-year rookie Laquon Treadwell, or Bucky Hodges, or Jarius Wright, or MoBo, or all of the above, it seems likely that at least one of those receivers will emerge to give Bradford another weapon to test the limits of opposing defensive secondaries.


I'm thinking Treadwell will be the breakout receiver. We're hearing good news about his ankle, which apparently affected his performance last year. And he seems to be making strides in comprehending the offense.


Thu Jun 01, 2017 5:42 am
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Post Re: Offensive Optimism: They might be better than you think
Mothman wrote:
mansquatch wrote:
This is all true, but if your starting point is 2016, then you have to weigh in the fact that performance we saw in 2016 was from an OL that never had a chance to gel AND started two substandard players at both tackle positions. IMO the gel factor is an issue, but it is also a push from what we saw in 2016.

In 2015 with AP, an slightly better OL of Kalil/Johnson/Berger/Harris/Clemmings and AP we put up 2200 yards. I do not think all of those 1000 yards were due to AP. Some of it certainly was. Kalil was so-so in 2015. Not sure Johnson was better than Boone. Berger is a push. Harris got cut, enough said. and Clemmings... LOL


I think a lot of that really was Peterson. The man gained a lot of yards after contact.


I know it's not a big sample size but he averaged 1.9 yards on 37 carries behind the 2016 and that wasn't even while it was at it's worst. It certainly wasn't trending towards anything near the 2015 rushing game.

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Thu Jun 01, 2017 9:38 am
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Post Re: Offensive Optimism: They might be better than you think
Mothman wrote:
I think the incentive should be to find a better, more deserving player for that roster spot.


Well sure, but who is that? They've probably spent all they're going to in FA on linemen and the people left in free agency at this point aren't necessarily going to be much better if at all. At least with Clemmings they know they *can* have at least a decent line with him at RT (or one that can generate a league leading rushing game). They know he's got the physical tools and he's already under contract. I'm no Clemmings fan, I can just see why he's still on the team.

Speaking of oline coaches, I miss Mike Tice :tongue:

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Thu Jun 01, 2017 9:48 am
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Post Re: Offensive Optimism: They might be better than you think
Cliff wrote:
Mothman wrote:
mansquatch wrote:
This is all true, but if your starting point is 2016, then you have to weigh in the fact that performance we saw in 2016 was from an OL that never had a chance to gel AND started two substandard players at both tackle positions. IMO the gel factor is an issue, but it is also a push from what we saw in 2016.

In 2015 with AP, an slightly better OL of Kalil/Johnson/Berger/Harris/Clemmings and AP we put up 2200 yards. I do not think all of those 1000 yards were due to AP. Some of it certainly was. Kalil was so-so in 2015. Not sure Johnson was better than Boone. Berger is a push. Harris got cut, enough said. and Clemmings... LOL


I think a lot of that really was Peterson. The man gained a lot of yards after contact.


I know it's not a big sample size but he averaged 1.9 yards on 37 carries behind the 2016 and that wasn't even while it was at it's worst. It certainly wasn't trending towards anything near the 2015 rushing game.


I seem to be missing your point. :(


Thu Jun 01, 2017 10:07 am
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