Ruh-Roh, Cook Plans to Hold Out?

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Re: Ruh-Roh, Cook Plans to Hold Out?

Post by VikingLord » Wed Jul 15, 2020 10:33 am

RandyMoss84 wrote:
Tue Jul 14, 2020 3:04 pm
Keenum was good that year and I give him major props for that but Vikings made a smart decision letting him go and Keenum has been on the Broncos, Redskins, and now Browns since so it is pretty obvious he was not a very good quarterback on other teams
But that's not the point of this debate.

S197 and Stumphunter are claiming that the Vikings want to be a run-oriented offense. I'm questioning why a team that wants to run needs to pay a premium at QB for a guy like Cousins when a guy like Keenum would more than do for much less money. The fact that Keenum turned in several average or even below average seasons after leaving the Vikings supports my point. They could have paid him less to effectively focus on handing it off to Cook.
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Re: Ruh-Roh, Cook Plans to Hold Out?

Post by VikingLord » Wed Jul 15, 2020 10:43 am

S197 wrote:
Tue Jul 14, 2020 4:33 pm
Against New Orleans, the Vikings ran 40 times. 73% of their 1st down plays were running plays. That's 19 out of 26 opportunities. They ran so much on 1st down, even Diggs had 2 carries on 1st down.

You don't rush 3/4ths of the time on first down or 40 times in a game unless you're trying to establish the run. This is a run first team. Yes, it's crazy to pay a QB to hand the ball off 40 times. But that's what we're doing. When we don't do this and go pass heavy, we end up with results like when JDF was here.

Cousins best attribute is play action. Play action only works if you establish the run. If the run game isn't clicking, then Cousins primary strength diminishes. Hence the reason the offense sputters when a team like SF or the Bears can contain the run.
I claim they ran it like they did against the Saints because it was effective in that game. There were other games where it was also effective.

But just because it was effective in that game doesn't mean it's a point of emphasis in terms of how the offense is designed and who gets paid what in support of that design.

It's the difference between the weather on a particular day and the climate by comparison.

Maybe I can concede that if he could, Zimmer would run it all day. I can agree with that. I think most NFL head coaches and OCs would do that if it worked consistently. If you don't need to go to the air to win games, why take the risk? Passing is riskier.

But that doesn't mean Zimmer really thinks he can do that, or even could do it with all the requisite players, in the modern NFL. Being run-first requires that A) the team can actually impose its will on the ground against all comers and B) the team's defense is stout enough to consistently keep the opponent off the scoreboard.

Both of those are tall asks and, in my view, unreasonable assumptions in the modern NFL. The Vikings of 2019 met neither of those criteria, either. In individual games, sure, they met them, but on the whole, they did not. Heading into 2020, I would say based on the offseason moves so far they've moved farther away from meeting either, and handing Cook a big chunk of change won't substantially alter their position in either.
Last edited by VikingLord on Wed Jul 15, 2020 6:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ruh-Roh, Cook Plans to Hold Out?

Post by VikingLord » Wed Jul 15, 2020 10:55 am

StumpHunter wrote:
Tue Jul 14, 2020 9:33 pm
Not that this means paying a lot for a RB helps you win more than paying a lot for WRs, it doesn't at all if you look at other years, but it was interesting to see the two teams at the top. One was a QB away from winning the SB last year, the other is the greatest dynasty of all time.
The NFC playoff field last year was notably weak IMHO. Historically even. The 49ers and Saints were clearly the two best playoff teams in the conference, and after the Vikings knocked the Saints out in the 1st round, the 49ers coasted to the Superbowl easily. The two conference playoff games the 49ers played against the Vikings and then the Packers had to be two of the most lopsided playoff beatdowns that I've watched in recent memory.

When the 49ers finally met a team that their defense couldn't easily shut down, it was a much different story for their vaunted run game and displayed the futility of the run-first strategy. Once the Chiefs got ahead and the 49ers actually needed their pass game to close the gap, it wasn't there. Everyone saw the emperor had no clothes.
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Re: Ruh-Roh, Cook Plans to Hold Out?

Post by J. Kapp 11 » Wed Jul 15, 2020 12:48 pm

StumpHunter wrote:
Tue Jul 14, 2020 9:33 pm
Interesting tidbit.

In 2019, the 3 teams who spent the most at the RB position were:
49ers
Patriots
Houston

In comparison, the 3 teams that spent the most on Oline:
Cowboys
Packers
Bucs

QB
Lions
Packers
Redskins
Vikings

WR
Browns
Colts
Bengals

TE
Redskins
Packers
Colts

Not that this means paying a lot for a RB helps you win more than paying a lot for WRs, it doesn't at all if you look at other years, but it was interesting to see the two teams at the top. One was a QB away from winning the SB last year, the other is the greatest dynasty of all time.
I could be wrong, but a closer inspection reveals that the salaries for these teams at the RB position don't seem to correlate to much of anything.

New England spread its RB salary over several $2 million to $3 million backs ... they used their running backs mostly in the passing game (the Pats finished 18th in rushing offense and averaged a paltry 3.8 YPA) because Gronk wasn't there and they had basically nothing out wide. Additionally, the 2019 Patriots had a lot of problems on offense for a playoff team, riding a historically good defense for most of the year. Their offensive ineptitude showed up big-time in their playoff loss.

Meanwhile, the highest-paid RBs for both Houston (Lamar Miller) and San Francisco (Jerick McKinnon), both of whom ranked in the top 10 in RB salaries, didn't even play.
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Re: Ruh-Roh, Cook Plans to Hold Out?

Post by RandyMoss84 » Wed Jul 15, 2020 3:09 pm

J. Kapp 11 wrote:
Wed Jul 15, 2020 12:48 pm
StumpHunter wrote:
Tue Jul 14, 2020 9:33 pm
Interesting tidbit.

In 2019, the 3 teams who spent the most at the RB position were:
49ers
Patriots
Houston

In comparison, the 3 teams that spent the most on Oline:
Cowboys
Packers
Bucs

QB
Lions
Packers
Redskins
Vikings

WR
Browns
Colts
Bengals

TE
Redskins
Packers
Colts

Not that this means paying a lot for a RB helps you win more than paying a lot for WRs, it doesn't at all if you look at other years, but it was interesting to see the two teams at the top. One was a QB away from winning the SB last year, the other is the greatest dynasty of all time.
I could be wrong, but a closer inspection reveals that the salaries for these teams at the RB position don't seem to correlate to much of anything.

New England spread its RB salary over several $2 million to $3 million backs ... they used their running backs mostly in the passing game (the Pats finished 18th in rushing offense and averaged a paltry 3.8 YPA) because Gronk wasn't there and they had basically nothing out wide. Additionally, the 2019 Patriots had a lot of problems on offense for a playoff team, riding a historically good defense for most of the year. Their offensive ineptitude showed up big-time in their playoff loss.

Meanwhile, the highest-paid RBs for both Houston (Lamar Miller) and San Francisco (Jerick McKinnon), both of whom ranked in the top 10 in RB salaries, didn't even play.
49ers giving McKinnon $30 million 4 year contract was stupid since McKinnon has not played for 2 years due to season ending injuries
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Re: Ruh-Roh, Cook Plans to Hold Out?

Post by VikingLord » Wed Jul 15, 2020 6:26 pm

RandyMoss84 wrote:
Wed Jul 15, 2020 3:09 pm
49ers giving McKinnon $30 million 4 year contract was stupid since McKinnon has not played for 2 years due to season ending injuries
Good point, and a cautionary one as well. I don't know what San Fran had to actually pay for McKinnon, but they sure didn't seem to miss his "explosiveness" when forced to go with the much less-heralded and much lower paid backups.
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Re: Ruh-Roh, Cook Plans to Hold Out?

Post by RandyMoss84 » Wed Jul 15, 2020 8:53 pm

VikingLord wrote:
Wed Jul 15, 2020 6:26 pm
RandyMoss84 wrote:
Wed Jul 15, 2020 3:09 pm
49ers giving McKinnon $30 million 4 year contract was stupid since McKinnon has not played for 2 years due to season ending injuries
Good point, and a cautionary one as well. I don't know what San Fran had to actually pay for McKinnon, but they sure didn't seem to miss his "explosiveness" when forced to go with the much less-heralded and much lower paid backups.
Yup, if I am the 49ers, I would release Jerrick
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Re: Ruh-Roh, Cook Plans to Hold Out?

Post by StumpHunter » Wed Jul 15, 2020 8:57 pm

Yes, Houston's and the 49er's contracts for RBs did indeed work out about as poorly as possible.Their seasons still turned out alright despite all the money they paid to RBs who didn't contribute.

Seems like the risk is pretty minimal even if Cook doesn't play a snap on his new contract.
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Re: Ruh-Roh, Cook Plans to Hold Out?

Post by StumpHunter » Wed Jul 15, 2020 9:01 pm

RandyMoss84 wrote:
Wed Jul 15, 2020 8:53 pm
VikingLord wrote:
Wed Jul 15, 2020 6:26 pm


Good point, and a cautionary one as well. I don't know what San Fran had to actually pay for McKinnon, but they sure didn't seem to miss his "explosiveness" when forced to go with the much less-heralded and much lower paid backups.
Yup, if I am the 49ers, I would release Jerrick
I was curious why he was still on the team and see they would have saved nothing if they had cut him pre-June 1st. If they release him now it saves them 900K this year which is pretty much nothing. If he can contribute anything he probably doesn't get cut.
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Re: Ruh-Roh, Cook Plans to Hold Out?

Post by S197 » Wed Jul 15, 2020 9:47 pm

VikingLord wrote:
Wed Jul 15, 2020 10:43 am
S197 wrote:
Tue Jul 14, 2020 4:33 pm
Against New Orleans, the Vikings ran 40 times. 73% of their 1st down plays were running plays. That's 19 out of 26 opportunities. They ran so much on 1st down, even Diggs had 2 carries on 1st down.

You don't rush 3/4ths of the time on first down or 40 times in a game unless you're trying to establish the run. This is a run first team. Yes, it's crazy to pay a QB to hand the ball off 40 times. But that's what we're doing. When we don't do this and go pass heavy, we end up with results like when JDF was here.

Cousins best attribute is play action. Play action only works if you establish the run. If the run game isn't clicking, then Cousins primary strength diminishes. Hence the reason the offense sputters when a team like SF or the Bears can contain the run.
I claim they ran it like they did against the Saints because it was effective in that game. There were other games where it was also effective.

But just because it was effective in that game doesn't mean it's a point of emphasis in terms of how the offense is designed and who gets paid what in support of that design.

It's the difference between the weather on a particular day and the climate by comparison.

Maybe I can concede that if he could, Zimmer would run it all day. I can agree with that. I think most NFL head coaches and OCs would do that if it worked consistently. If you don't need to go to the air to win games, why take the risk? Passing is riskier.

But that doesn't mean Zimmer really thinks he can do that, or even could do it with all the requisite players, in the modern NFL. Being run-first requires that A) the team can actually impose its will on the ground against all comers and B) the team's defense is stout enough to consistently keep the opponent off the scoreboard.

Both of those are tall asks and, in my view, unreasonable assumptions in the modern NFL. The Vikings of 2019 met neither of those criteria, either. In individual games, sure, they met them, but on the whole, they did not. Heading into 2020, I would say based on the offseason moves so far they've moved farther away from meeting either, and handing Cook a big chunk of change won't substantially alter their position in either.
What are some examples of games that indicate this is a pass-first offense? If what I'm describing is the weather and not climate, then surely there should be a plethora of examples to contradict the ones I provided. Games where our run game struggled and was bailed out by the passing attack.

It seems like your argument revolves around Cousins' contract and that we cannot be a run-first team because we pay our QB elite money. Without any additional support, that's more an example of dissonance than philosophy.

Let me ask you this, do you think the Titans are a run-first offense? I'd say so. And yet Tannehill got the big extension before Henry. Looking at contracts in a vacuum isn't going to tell you the whole story. Seattle is another example. They have Wilson but clearly emphasize the run. Dallas very well could be another if they extend Dak.
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Re: Ruh-Roh, Cook Plans to Hold Out?

Post by RandyMoss84 » Wed Jul 15, 2020 9:51 pm

S197 wrote:
Wed Jul 15, 2020 9:47 pm
VikingLord wrote:
Wed Jul 15, 2020 10:43 am


I claim they ran it like they did against the Saints because it was effective in that game. There were other games where it was also effective.

But just because it was effective in that game doesn't mean it's a point of emphasis in terms of how the offense is designed and who gets paid what in support of that design.

It's the difference between the weather on a particular day and the climate by comparison.

Maybe I can concede that if he could, Zimmer would run it all day. I can agree with that. I think most NFL head coaches and OCs would do that if it worked consistently. If you don't need to go to the air to win games, why take the risk? Passing is riskier.

But that doesn't mean Zimmer really thinks he can do that, or even could do it with all the requisite players, in the modern NFL. Being run-first requires that A) the team can actually impose its will on the ground against all comers and B) the team's defense is stout enough to consistently keep the opponent off the scoreboard.

Both of those are tall asks and, in my view, unreasonable assumptions in the modern NFL. The Vikings of 2019 met neither of those criteria, either. In individual games, sure, they met them, but on the whole, they did not. Heading into 2020, I would say based on the offseason moves so far they've moved farther away from meeting either, and handing Cook a big chunk of change won't substantially alter their position in either.
What are some examples of games that indicate this is a pass-first offense? If what I'm describing is the weather and not climate, then surely there should be a plethora of examples to contradict the ones I provided. Games where our run game struggled and was bailed out by the passing attack.

It seems like your argument revolves around Cousins' contract and that we cannot be a run-first team because we pay our QB elite money. Without any additional support, that's more an example of dissonance than philosophy.

Let me ask you this, do you think the Titans are a run-first offense? I'd say so. And yet Tannehill got the big extension before Henry. Looking at contracts in a vacuum isn't going to tell you the whole story. Seattle is another example. They have Wilson but clearly emphasize the run. Dallas very well could be another if they extend Dak.
Speaking of Henry, he signed to a 4 year $50 million contract, that is a good deal for him
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Re: Ruh-Roh, Cook Plans to Hold Out?

Post by StumpHunter » Thu Jul 16, 2020 7:20 am

RandyMoss84 wrote:
Wed Jul 15, 2020 9:51 pm
S197 wrote:
Wed Jul 15, 2020 9:47 pm


What are some examples of games that indicate this is a pass-first offense? If what I'm describing is the weather and not climate, then surely there should be a plethora of examples to contradict the ones I provided. Games where our run game struggled and was bailed out by the passing attack.

It seems like your argument revolves around Cousins' contract and that we cannot be a run-first team because we pay our QB elite money. Without any additional support, that's more an example of dissonance than philosophy.

Let me ask you this, do you think the Titans are a run-first offense? I'd say so. And yet Tannehill got the big extension before Henry. Looking at contracts in a vacuum isn't going to tell you the whole story. Seattle is another example. They have Wilson but clearly emphasize the run. Dallas very well could be another if they extend Dak.
Speaking of Henry, he signed to a 4 year $50 million contract, that is a good deal for him
It isn't that bad of a deal for TN either. It is essentially a 2 year deal with a team option in year 3 and 4 (6 million, 3 million in dead cap).

If Henry has just two more years like 2019, the Titans will get good value on the contract.

If he gets hurt the first day of training camp next year, the Titans will not be a playoff team in 2021. Then again, if he goes to another team in free agency in 2021, they will also not be a playoff team. Very little downside to this contract.
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Re: Ruh-Roh, Cook Plans to Hold Out?

Post by VikingLord » Thu Jul 16, 2020 2:25 pm

S197 wrote:
Wed Jul 15, 2020 9:47 pm
What are some examples of games that indicate this is a pass-first offense? If what I'm describing is the weather and not climate, then surely there should be a plethora of examples to contradict the ones I provided. Games where our run game struggled and was bailed out by the passing attack.

It seems like your argument revolves around Cousins' contract and that we cannot be a run-first team because we pay our QB elite money. Without any additional support, that's more an example of dissonance than philosophy.

Let me ask you this, do you think the Titans are a run-first offense? I'd say so. And yet Tannehill got the big extension before Henry. Looking at contracts in a vacuum isn't going to tell you the whole story. Seattle is another example. They have Wilson but clearly emphasize the run. Dallas very well could be another if they extend Dak.
I didn't say the Vikings want to be a pass-first offense. If anything, they want to be balanced and capable of passing effectively when the situation calls for it.

I provided additional support for my argument beyond Cousins' contract. Cousins contract is the Godzilla in the room of this debate, but I pointed out other moves the Vikings have made in terms of personnel and who has been extended, from the type of OL they've drafted to the TEs and WRs they've drafted and extended. None of that suggests to me they are emphasizing run-first. I've also pointed out that the 2019 49ers were the closest thing to a run-heavy offense that made it to a Superbowl in at least the last 20 years if not longer. Teams that get to and win Superbowls have effective passing games. They run if they can because it is lower risk, but it is not a point of emphasis because it only works if the defense can keep scores close and the offense can consistently impose it's will running. Almost impossible to do in the modern NFL even with superior talent designed to run. The 2019 49ers were an aberration in the bigger picture and I'd say are highly unlikely to repeat that feat again if they can't improve their passing game.

I'm not trying to claim it's OK to ignore the run or that the Vikings are doing that or even want to do that. I think they see value in Cook and obvious value in offensive balance. So maybe we're just arguing semantics. The teams you listed clearly value balance as well, and there are examples of teams blowing big money at the RB position, whether collectively or at one primary guy if they think that primary guy is worth the money. But, and this is a big BUT, I don't see many successful offenses that want to power run and more or less ignore the pass. The teams you listed want to run, sure, but all of them signed their QBs first and foremost because they want to be able to pass successfully when the situation calls for it, and in the pros the situation is going to call for it more frequently than not, especially in the playoffs and against the best teams.

I doubt I'm going to convince you if I haven't already, and that's fine, but let's both just sit back and see what the Vikings choose to do with Cook's contract situation. If I'm right, there is no way he gets a $10+ million pay day this season. He might get it next season, be it from the Vikings or another team in FA, but only if he plays and stays healthy this season. And if he chooses to sit out, my bet is the Vikings let him and go with the guys they have.

If you're right, then Cook is going to get paid in some way, shape or form, both because the Vikings "need" him for their run-first offense to work this year, but also because they value him so highly they'll want to keep their prize offensive player happy.
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Post by YikesVikes » Thu Jul 16, 2020 3:24 pm

The Vikings are not seeking to be a pass-first or balance the offense. They desire to run the ball first and live off of play action. That's a run-first offense. We were 5th in rush attempts per game with non-mobile QB. Every team ahead of us, QB is capable of running the ball some. We were 30ths in passing attempts per game. This is a silly, silly argument that the stats simply do not hold up to. We are a running team. At home, when the conditions are best to pass the ball (crowd noise, dome) we are dead last in pass attempts. Dead Last! We have an old school coach that has voiced publicly his desire to run the ball. We have drafted OL that a built to run the ball, we have two 2nd round picks at RB. STOP!!!!
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Re: Ruh-Roh, Cook Plans to Hold Out?

Post by S197 » Thu Jul 16, 2020 4:45 pm

I don't really want to keep going around in circles so I'll just make a few final comments.

I don't think our OL picks are indicative of anything other than we are now a zone blocking scheme and those picks fit that scheme. A zone blocking scheme can be very successful at running the football as we saw for years and years with Kubiak's success in Denver. Or with Shanahan in San Francisco.

Also SF isn't some sort of unicorn. In 2018, the Rams were third in rushing and NE was 5th. The Eagles were #3 in 2017, 14th in passing. I don't need to go back 20 years, that's literally the last 3 championship teams. Two of the last three years with teams that were not very balanced at all.

YikesVikes added even more color on the Vikings specifically so no real need to comment further there.

And I think what's really getting lost in the shuffle is that I'm not pounding the table saying pay Cook $12M a year. All I'm saying is if you want to keep Cousins, you better make sure you have a very good run game because he is highly reliant on the rushing attack taking pressure off him and his primary strength as a QB is play action, which isn't effective without the run. If you don't want to say we're run-first then you can say we run to set up the pass. It's the same difference to me. Call it whatever you want, we need a top run game or bad things happen. I don't know that Mattison can get us there by himself. He hasn't been the perfect picture of health and he's also a big unknown catching the ball out of the backfield. I think it's more likely Cook plays this year absent some unforeseen COVID disruption, like players being able to opt out from playing for health/safety purposes. But the Vikings long-term plan is rather opaque right now. What they do with Cook will help clear that up some. But fans shouldn't get too spoiled and think we can just grab any 'ole 2nd/3rd rounder and find a Cook or Mattison. For every one of those, you also get your Toby Gerhart's on occasion too.
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