I understand your optimism and looking at this season as standalone. For me this is year 7 with Zimmer and 10+ with Spielman depending on how much you want to give him credit when he was director of personnel. Zimmer isn’t Childress and Spielman isn’t Foley so in that sense they’re a lot more polarizing because both the bulls and the bears can make a pretty solid case for one or both of them.J. Kapp 11 wrote: ↑Thu Dec 17, 2020 3:24 pmI understand your entire argument and thesis here. I really do.S197 wrote: ↑Wed Dec 16, 2020 7:51 pm
I more or less went out of my way to not talk about the 2020 draft class because it's early and players need to acclimate. My only statement was that snaps doesn't equate to success. I just think it's wrong to say, "wow look how many rookies are playing, such a great sign" when really they're thrust into playing because there's no real other options. If Dantzler and Gladney don't play, we're putting guys like Hill (now cut), Boyd, Hand, Jones etc. out there. So it's not exactly like they're beating out solid competition.
I don't see it as half empty. I mentioned Dantzler was covering Chark and Godwin the last two weeks and both had very quiet games. I even talked about some progress on the O-line and was given flak for it. Which is all good but it's not like everything I've said is negative.
Let's try from a different perspective. Would it be fair to say 4th and 5th round picks aren't throwaway picks? You're not going to hit on a Diggs in the 5th every year but you can find very solid contributors in the middle of the draft. Guys like an Everson Griffen or Brian Robison as an example. Let's take a look at the last five years, excluding 2020 because it's too early to call. This is the list.
TJ Clemmings - Huge bust
Mycole Pruitt - Miss
Stefon Diggs - Homerun
Willie Beavers - Huge bust
Kentrel Brothers - Special teams LB
Jaleel Johnson - Underperforming starter
Ben Gedeon - Marginal mike LB
Rodney Adams - Cut before the season
Danny Isidora - miss
Jaylyn Holmes - Unproductive DE by even your account
Tyler Conklin - Solid run blocking TE
Daniel Carlson - Cut
Dru Samia - Huge bust
Cam Smith - Tough break with his condition but he didn't really see the field even when healthy
I'd say that's a decent sample size. Out of 14 I'd say Diggs, Conklin and Gedeon panned out. Is my glass really half empty when 21% of the picks in the last 5 years pan out?
This is why I'm saying our strategy worries me. We need guys like Wonnum, Lynch, Dye, Hand etc to work out. History says maybe one of them actually pans out. That's on top of guys like Cleveland, Dantzler and Gladney also needing to be hits.
I don't care for PFF's line grades but if they're saying Bradbury is that good then that's encouraging. I'll take it and rescind my comment on him for now. But what about guard? Who is the last decent guard we've had? If I'm feeling generous maybe Fusco? That was 9 years ago.
You guys are making it out like I'm looking very short term when in fact my concerns are because of Rick's long term track record particularly at certain positions.
The problem is that it misses the point.
The point was that many of us have optimism for next year.
I've given plenty of reasons why I have that optimism, based on how I feel the rookies and young guys are playing this year. I'm looking at this year, what we have coming back next year, and feeling bullish.
You've given me the past as a reason for being bearish.
Yes, I realize you've pointed out a pattern, one that we all have seen. And yes, that pattern is continuing this year. Unless we win out, we won't make the playoffs, which means the every-other-year trend will continue.
But here's the thing. If I said, "The every-other-year pattern means we're GUARANTEED to make the playoffs next year," you'd hammer me for that, and rightly so.
Then why is it OK to use past years as a precursor to what's going to happen in 2021? You can't use the pattern to support a negative argument if I can't support it to support a positive one, can you?
I believe you have to look at each year as its own entity. And when I see the way the rookies and second-year players are developing, along with the talent we should have returning, I'm optimistic about next year. That doesn't mean a thing ... we could go 2-14. But I'll tell you what. Give Jefferson, Gladney, Dantzler, Wonnum and others OTAs, a full camp and preseason, and I wouldn't be surprised at a division title and high seed, either.
And for the record, I don't think there were many Vikings fans on this board who expected big things this year, if we're all being honest. We lost four defensive starters in the offseason, and we had no idea Jefferson would be Jefferson. Everyone here expected a dropoff. To my mind, the fact that we're still in the playoff picture entering Week 15 is a positive. Because I honestly didn't expect it.
In my case, a guy who was bullish can even capitulate to a bear. But I don’t want to be too much of a downer because that’s no fun and I don’t want to bring down other people’s optimism, so perhaps I should leave it at that. And while not certainly a guarantee I do think this team has a pretty good shot of making the post season next year.