Let's play "Manage the Cap — 2021"

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Re: Let's play "Manage the Cap — 2021"

Post by psjordan » Wed Dec 23, 2020 10:05 pm

StumpHunter wrote:
Wed Dec 23, 2020 9:59 pm
psjordan wrote:
Wed Dec 23, 2020 9:51 pm


Now you're just toying with me, yes? :cry: What source are you using to determine these are "Rick's coaching staffs"? Or was that a typo and you meant Zim?
I referred to them as that because there have been multiple regimes under Rick.

Rick does get a say in everyone who is hired though.
Zimmer is the only "regime" during Rick's stint as GM. Leslie Frazier was HC before Rick became GM. I think there is a tendency to hang a lot of stuff on Rick he was not responsible for at the time. He didn't hire Frazier.

Agreed Rick may "have a say", but I guarantee you he has little to no "say" when it comes to assistant coaches. I mean seriously, do we think Rick scoured who was available out there and hired Zimmer's son, Kubiak's son, Patterson's son and Kubiak's buddy-at-every-stop Dennison?
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Re: Let's play "Manage the Cap — 2021"

Post by StumpHunter » Wed Dec 23, 2020 10:09 pm

It seems to me there is a trend among some fans to mitigate Rick's role of finding talent to put on the field, as if that is some sort of defense for him.

He either has very little input on how the team is built and it doesn't matter if we fire him for a GM who can actually build a team to compete for a SB, or he has a lot of input in how this team was built and should be fired so we can hire a GM to build a team to win a Super Bowl.

The same goes for coaching. John Elway had no problem saying no to Dennison as his oline coach. Why didn't Rick? What exactly is his role on the team if not to manage the team?
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Re: Let's play "Manage the Cap — 2021"

Post by StumpHunter » Wed Dec 23, 2020 10:13 pm

psjordan wrote:
Wed Dec 23, 2020 10:05 pm
StumpHunter wrote:
Wed Dec 23, 2020 9:59 pm


I referred to them as that because there have been multiple regimes under Rick.

Rick does get a say in everyone who is hired though.
Zimmer is the only "regime" during Rick's stint as GM. Leslie Frazier was HC before Rick became GM. I think there is a tendency to hang a lot of stuff on Rick he was not responsible for at the time. He didn't hire Frazier.

Agreed Rick may "have a say", but I guarantee you he has little to no "say" when it comes to assistant coaches. I mean seriously, do we think Rick scoured who was available out there and hired Zimmer's son, Kubiak's son, Patterson's son and Kubiak's buddy-at-every-stop Dennison?
I am not blaming Rick for Frazier, but he was a HC on the team Rick apparently did nothing for because his title wasn't GM and Frazier had the same issues developing the talent provided him as Zimmer is having. So did Brad Childress for that matter.
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Re: Let's play "Manage the Cap — 2021"

Post by S197 » Wed Dec 23, 2020 10:15 pm

VikingLord wrote:
Wed Dec 23, 2020 9:22 pm
I was being facetious.

- Neither you nor I can accurately remember the Vikings having a particularly good or bad offensive line over the last 10 years beyond just saying we believe it
- You are the one claiming Spielman sucks at finding offensive line talent and has produced year after year of bad lines as a result. I think the burden falls on you to prove it if you want to convince others you're right
I'm not here to convince anyone I'm right, you believe what you want to believe. Also, I think you're the only one that needs convincing. As I'll point out below I don't really think that's the debate.
Rodgers moves well in the pocket too. Is this great pass blocking offensive line really the requirement, or just having an experienced vet at QB who can avoid pressure and get rid of the ball in time?

It's just not as simple as you're making it out to be. A lot of passing success comes about because of the play of the QB. A lot of passing success comes from having a credible run threat to force defenses into staying honest. A lot of passing success comes from effective execution on 1st and 2nd downs. A lot of passing success comes from having reliable receivers and creative play calling.

You want to boil it down to the offensive line. You're entitled to do that, but that doesn't convince me.
There are obviously synergies when talking about these types of things but you wanted league-wide statistics. I'm not going to sit here and dissect 31 teams and their GM decisions but I thought I would at least provide you with something. Like I said, I'm not trying to convince you but I'm at least trying to put some substance behind my thought process. Reiff is 29th in pass protection according to PFF. Now, you may not agree with them but it's a data point at least. You say Reiff is "not that bad" and yet provide no substance for that other than your intangible "smell test." Shouldn't the burden go both ways?
You're not really claiming the OL is all that bad. With a better QB, the Vikings OL is fine? Is that a fair summary of what you just wrote?
No, what I'm saying is the composition of a team makes a difference. Everyone is constrained by limited capital so you can't have great players at every single position. If your strategy is to bring in a rather immobile pocket passer then being unable to execute on finding competent pass protectors is a problem. If you want a run heavy team that is going to be below average in pass protection, then you're going to need a QB that can extend plays. Seattle is a good example of this, they run the ball a lot and their line isn't great at pass protecting but Wilson is mobile enough that he can extend plays. Their team composition makes sense. The Vikings are paying huge sums of money to an immobile QB despite a conservative run-first offense and an OL that is historically very poor at pass protection. Their team composition makes no sense.
OK, but you seem to be claiming Spielman's offensive lines have been consistently bad over the last 10 years. Are you saying that Spielman was able to acquire the talent at those offensive skill positions to overcome that?

If you are saying that, at least give him credit for it.
Yes, to a certain degree you can compensate for poor line play if you have good skill players. That much should be obvious. But eventually things will break down because winning in the trenches isn't just an adage, it's the way you build long-term success. It's foundational. You can build a house on a poor foundation and it will look good for a while but over time the stress will start to show and cracks will become evident. A GM is charged with building a TEAM, not just finding players at certain positions and flat out missing at entire groups. I've given Spielman plenty of credit for his picks, the problem is when you ignore (or fail) at something as fundamental as the offensive line, you're only going to get so far. And no surprise, the Vikings only achieve a moderate amount of success with typical and successive failures in important games. This is the fourth year in a row that the team has had something to play for and has fallen flat on their face. You don't see this as a problem? Four years does not make a pattern?
I think it's a little more nuanced than that. I mean, I agree with the basic premise of what you're saying. I just don't agree that the Vikings have had such issues and consistent failures with their OL over the last 10 years that that explains their failure to get to, much less win, a Superbowl. The OL has not been that much of a liability, at least not consistently.

The interior OL to start this season was for about the first 4 games. But there were other major issues with the team as well during that phase (defensive secondary comes to mind), and over the last 4-5 games special teams has been an equally large issue.
Dozier is ranked dead last amongst guards right now. He's graded below 40 in the last 3 games, not the first 4, the last 3. Again, it's just another data point but it is data, which you keep asking for despite providing none of your own.

Also, at no point did I say the OL is the only reason this team hasn't won a Super Bowl. If you go back and read how this all came about, the discussion revolved around moving on from Reiff, which would create another hole in the interior. To which I replied, if said void is filled in the draft it's likely to be a mid-round pick or later (because we have no 2nd and a 1st round pick on a guard is unlikely). I then listed the dumpster fire of mid-round picks that Spielman has drafted as my basis for concern. The discussion then changed to how accountable the coaches should be, and that's when I made the statement about Rick's failure over 10-years. To be clear, no one is disputing our poor line play except you. It was a discussion on how much of the issue should be assigned to the GM vs the coaching staff. But the fact that there is an issue, I don't see any dispute.

But if anyone else thinks our offensive line hasn't been that much of a liability, I'm sure they'll chime in.
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Re: Let's play "Manage the Cap — 2021"

Post by S197 » Wed Dec 23, 2020 10:28 pm

psjordan wrote:
Wed Dec 23, 2020 9:47 pm
S197 wrote:
Wed Dec 23, 2020 6:10 pm
What org chart are you referencing? The whole point of elevating Spielman from director of personnel to GM was to get rid of the “triangle of authority.” And obviously he needs to consult with the owners but Zimmer was his hire.

Spielman has been part of personnel decisions in one capacity or another for 14 years. And over that tenure he has struggled with fielding a decent OL. Other than the Wilfs, no one else has been around that long. He is clearly the primary issue. I never said coaches aren’t responsible, quite the opposite in fact, but the problem starts at the top.
This one among others https://theorg.com/org/minnesota-vikings/org-chart
You can't see who reports to each without more digging or paying, but Rick had 10 direct reports (at the time of the chart) and Zim has 21. If you click on a name and then the ellipsis, it shows who they report to and a few direct reports. You can pretty much fill out the direct reports via the Vikes web site. They both have Mark Wilf listed as their manager.

If you go back and read the articles at the time of Zimmers hire, it's crystal clear the Wilfs hired Zim (Rick was only a GM for two years at the time, but of course he led the search, made recommendations and almost surely endorsed Zim). Zim then hired his own staff.

What HC in the NFL would put up with the GM picking his staff?

Yeah, Rick went from personnel to GM to get rid of three guys being forced to share every decision. It did not work then and no one else in the NFL has ever done it to my knowledge. Rick going to GM got pro personnel, scouting, draft and analytics. I believe Rick now has 14 or so direct reports.

Zim has 21 coaches on HIS staff.

Mark Wilf extended Zim and Spielman. Zim's agent negotiated his extension with the COO, Andrew Miller, who also reports to Mark Wilf.

Again we can agree to disagree on the impact a coach has on a player. Many, many drafted players make it or break it based on their coaches. Some fly right to the top no matter who the coach is.

If it continues to be our philosophy to not draft OL early, then we need a coaching staff at the position that's worth more than a pile of beans. And I highly, highly doubt Rick is telling Zim "I'll draft the positions I want to draft in the order I want to draft them". So not picking OL early is CLEARLY ok with Zimmer.

Then again, maybe not anymore. I really don't see how everyone involved in this season stays on board. There HAS to be a change or three, I'd imagine.
I don't know how accurate "theorg" is, it has the feeling of being a generic corporate aggregator site. As an example, I tried looking up random NFL teams and they all have the same structure where everyone reports up to the owner. I couldn't find any that show Owner => GM => HC although I only looked at maybe five or six random teams.

But I do absolutely agree that Zimmer is the one picking his coordinators and position coaches, no argument there. Like I said in another thread, I think the well is poisoned and they all need to go. It's been too long with the same problem for it to be as simple as moving on from the HC, OC (our usual scapegoat), OL coach, etc. That's not to say they aren't part of the problem but cutting off a limb when the whole tree is diseased isn't going to work IMO.
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Re: Let's play "Manage the Cap — 2021"

Post by psjordan » Thu Dec 24, 2020 8:30 am

StumpHunter wrote:
Wed Dec 23, 2020 10:09 pm
It seems to me there is a trend among some fans to mitigate Rick's role of finding talent to put on the field, as if that is some sort of defense for him.
Well you can take it to the 30,000 ft view if you want, but I certainly don't see that. And I don't see a lot of "defending Rick" going on. At least for me, my opinion is that Rick doesn't suck at running pro personnel. I don't call that "defending Rick", I call that pointing out the facts.

My point in recent threads has been there are two main factors affecting our OL play (disregarding offensive scheme to fit players, etc.). And that is the GM and the OL coach(es).

Posters here BY FAR castigate the GM for the OL woes, like 99.9% of the time, and seemingly never the OL coaching staff. How many "fire Dennison" threads have been started this year? Last year? In fact, how many times has he even been mentioned as a problem, outside of my posts? And for those who say "well yes, the coaches don't get a pass", I say malarkey. You've given them a pass for years by not dissecting their performance to the degree you dissect Rick's.
StumpHunter wrote:
Wed Dec 23, 2020 10:09 pm
The same goes for coaching. John Elway had no problem saying no to Dennison as his oline coach. Why didn't Rick?
Well, because until I'm blue in the face I guess, it is NOT Rick's coaching staff. The OL coach is 99.99%, if not 100%, up to Zimmer.

I do feel that Rick and Zim work well together - and don't run off on a tangent just yet - so yes, Zim probably runs names by Rick just to see if he has any input. But Bonnie and Clyde also "worked well together", and society wasn't really impressed with the result. So while I think Rick/Zim do work well together, the end result is sub-optimal.
StumpHunter wrote:
Wed Dec 23, 2020 10:09 pm
What exactly is his role on the team if not to manage the team?
Rick does not "manage the team" outside of player personnel. Rick's day-to-day role is published as Pro Personnel, Scouting and Analytics. If the HC job opens up he would lead the search. My guess is that if the "capologist" job opened up he would lead that search as well. His day-to-day role in other areas would depend on his expertise and how valued his opinion may be. If he's worked with a coach in MIA for instance, he may be asked about him. My guess is that his opinion is well-respected in the building so he has input on a lot.

Mark Wilf "manages" the team. General Managers "running the football side of the organization" is an outdated model that hasn't been followed in my recent memory.
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Re: Let's play "Manage the Cap — 2021"

Post by psjordan » Thu Dec 24, 2020 8:38 am

S197 wrote:
Wed Dec 23, 2020 10:28 pm
I don't know how accurate "theorg" is, it has the feeling of being a generic corporate aggregator site. As an example, I tried looking up random NFL teams and they all have the same structure where everyone reports up to the owner. I couldn't find any that show Owner => GM => HC although I only looked at maybe five or six random teams.
It's pretty accurate for mid-caps and above. The reason you can't find many Owner => GM => HC models out there is because that way of doing things got destroyed by Parcells and Belichick. I don't think (I'm going from memory) any HC hired in the last 5/6/7 years or so reports directly to a GM? Maybe one of the HC's directly from the college level?

Anyways I don't think our HC has ever reported to our GM, at least as far back as the Triangle of Authority.
S197 wrote:
Wed Dec 23, 2020 10:28 pm
I think the well is poisoned and they all need to go
You may be right, but I'd still prefer coaches go first and if the new staff + Rick does not work, move on from Rick.
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Re: Let's play "Manage the Cap — 2021"

Post by chicagopurple » Thu Dec 24, 2020 9:50 am

sad to see fans arguing amongst themselves about which cog of this sad organization is the cause of failure...the truth is that zim and spielman are all part of a failed corporate structure. Neither are top notch in their fields. Neither would be a sad loss if they were to leave. We all deserve far better then either of them and its the Wilf Family's job to upgrade BOTH positions if they are truly committed to being a winning organization. 7-10 years of treading water and wetting the bed in the few important games we have reached is pitiful. You all have some strong opinions about who is MOST to blame but the truth is neither guy is good enough for me, you, or the proud Viking teams of the past who did deserved to wear the purple and gold.
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Re: Let's play "Manage the Cap — 2021"

Post by psjordan » Thu Dec 24, 2020 10:47 am

chicagopurple wrote:
Thu Dec 24, 2020 9:50 am
sad to see fans arguing amongst themselves about which cog of this sad organization is the cause of failure
Allow me to be Nadeen at the Augustus General Emergency Room:
"SIMMMMMMAAAHHH DOOOOWWWNN NAH!"
"SIMMADOWNNAH!"

Anyways, I think your sentiment is right on the money. Getting to and winning a SB is what we all want. I think the overwhelming consensus is that our current group has less than 5% chance of bringing home the trophy.

At least for me, the ideas we are kicking around in this thread simply mix in reality with the above goal. Only the wildest gambler here feels firing the (up to) 37 heads involved in coaching and GM groups and starting over would result in something better than what we have in any kind of reasonable timeframe.

Me? This is all entertainment, so I have zero problems with a bunch of 3-13 years and high draft choices. Honestly, I really don't care if we go 8-8, 9-7, 10-6, 5-11 or 2-14. I really don't. Assuming we'd end up with a string of top-five picks by starting the FO and coaches over, it would be just as entertaining for me to feel giddy from April to September waiting on that stud draft pick to see if he's the key to getting to the SB as it would for me to watch us win 8 meaningless games with the current group year after year after year. I'd take five seasons of two wins if it led us to the SB in year 7, 8 or 9.

So I'm not exactly Ricky Bobby philosophy, but I'm close. No team I have ever rooted for or will ever root for will have a Nick Foles run to a title. Stuff like that just does not happen to me. So the old "let's just get in to the playoffs and see what happens" is a bunch of hooey to me.

But all my conversations here revolve around what I think the Wilfs may realistically consider or do, not my pie-in-the-sky-I-don't-care-if-the-team-loses-money-so-I-can-see-Ned-Ryerson-in-purple wishes.
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Re: Let's play "Manage the Cap — 2021"

Post by VikingLord » Thu Dec 24, 2020 12:27 pm

S197 wrote:
Wed Dec 23, 2020 10:15 pm
I've given Spielman plenty of credit for his picks, the problem is when you ignore (or fail) at something as fundamental as the offensive line, you're only going to get so far. And no surprise, the Vikings only achieve a moderate amount of success with typical and successive failures in important games. This is the fourth year in a row that the team has had something to play for and has fallen flat on their face. You don't see this as a problem? Four years does not make a pattern?
So in your view, those failures in those situations is because the Vikings lacked the talent to compete? They lost to the Bears in this last game because the offensive line couldn't compete?
S197 wrote:
Wed Dec 23, 2020 10:15 pm
I then listed the dumpster fire of mid-round picks that Spielman has drafted as my basis for concern. The discussion then changed to how accountable the coaches should be, and that's when I made the statement about Rick's failure over 10-years. To be clear, no one is disputing our poor line play except you. It was a discussion on how much of the issue should be assigned to the GM vs the coaching staff. But the fact that there is an issue, I don't see any dispute.

But if anyone else thinks our offensive line hasn't been that much of a liability, I'm sure they'll chime in.
I'm not saying the OL play has been stellar, be it this season or over the last 10 seasons.

I'm just saying I think it's been pretty average overall. Some years better than others. And there is young talent on the line that Rick has drafted that gives me some reason for optimism, especially considering they have played better as this season has gone on.

Look, if you want to blame Spielman for decisions that you feel have been poor, that's fine. I largely think he's been a pretty average GM for the most part, be it with his OL choices or elsewhere on the team. I just don't think he's done a much worse job overall than 90% of the GMs out there, and while he's had some stinker seasons, he's also had a few where the Vikings were fairly competitive. Maybe not New England Patriots or New Orleans Saints competitive, but competitive.
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Re: Let's play "Manage the Cap — 2021"

Post by psjordan » Thu Dec 24, 2020 2:11 pm

A little Holiday reading if you have the time ...
S197 wrote:
Wed Dec 23, 2020 10:15 pm
I've given Spielman plenty of credit for his picks, the problem is when you ignore (or fail) at something as fundamental as the offensive line…
Aaaaaannnnd THIS is where all logic breaks down for me.

If we were to sum up the "Rick must go" logic, we have this:
Rick has been OK at drafting just about every position but OL and QB;
Rick has made "horrible" - or at least "deserving of being fired" - decisions in FA;
Rick has had some wins like AD, Harrison Smith, Cook, Rudy, Diggs, Jefferson, Kendricks, Hunter, etc.

I could go on, but let's work with that list and concentrate on our drafting of OL, since we simply have not had draft capital to get a transitional QB, IMO. Could Rick have bet the farm and gone all in on a Wilson or Mahomes? I guess. But anyone holding his feet to that fire simply has no grasp on NFL realities.

So we're down to not being able to draft OL. How do we figure, in any logical sense, that "Rick" (and I use quotes because I don't believe for one instant that draft picks are at the sole discretion of Rick) can somehow realize what it takes to succeed at every position but OL?

I mean, think that over. They must have lists of attributes that they are scouting at each position, both college and FA's. But somehow someway, the list we use for OL simply is broken - year after year after year? Does that make ANY kind of sense to anyone? The probability that that scenario is indeed the case is infinitesimally small. And to think Rick just blurts out a name and makes the team select that guy is equally non-likely.

If there is any annual review of draft picks, wouldn't it occur to anyone involved - including the janitor passing by the room - that the list of attributes for OL is broken?

It simply makes zero sense to proclaim "Rick can't pick OL". Zero, zero sense.

So what's going on with the OL - or at least what is more LIKELY going on at OL?

1) Our scouts in charge of OL have sucked over the years. In order for this to be the case, Rick and Zim would have had to ignore watching any potential OL picks in person, AND also be equally sucky as our scouts at recognizing talent on film. I don't know if this is true or false. If it was indeed our scouts+Rick+Zim, I would think 2-3 years into no drafted OL looking good would result in a change in the scouting personnel or process. When I hear “Rick sucks at picking OL”, this is the scenario I imagine the poster intends, and it makes little to no sense to me that ALL of the heads we have in on the draft process simply suck at recognizing OL talent.

2) Rick simply does not realize what OL attributes translate to the NFL, and his incompetence in this area has trickled down through the scouting department. He insists on taking "his guy" and everyone else can go eat fudge. Every year at the draft, Zim says to Rick “well, if you think he can play, go ahead and pick him”. In order for this scenario to be true, Zim would have to have been a patsy going on six years now. At some point doesn’t anyone think Zim would say “let ME pick the OL, your picks are going to get me fired!!”. We’d have shuffled the deck if this scenario were even remotely true.

3) It is not a team priority to draft OL in the early rounds, therefore the OL we do draft are less talented. There are some things that I feel are "Ricks Draft Philosophy", like trading down, but not picking OL early is not one of them IMO. 100% this approach would require buy-in from the coaching staff and is a "Team Draft Philosophy". We have no idea who wants what behind the scenes when we make draft selections, so this one is a wild guess. But Rick+Zim history says we don’t rush to pick OL in the draft, and nothing logical points to Rick simply stuffing that philosophy down everyone’s throat. It seems an agreed-upon approach or it would not be continuing.

4) We draft OL pretty much in the appropriate round, with physical attributes that “should” transition into the NFL. Once they get to Winter Park we have no clue how to help them make the transition and improve. This task would fall squarely on the OL coaching staff, which maybe has not “failed” in 7-8 years but certainly would not win any “Assistant Coach of the Year” awards IMO.

5) Our strength and conditioning staff is failing. When I see our OL get bounced around with no clue about leverage and see our DL get zero pressure, I give this some very likely credence.

6) The players are not responding to a nepotistic, sarcastic and caustic coaching staff led at the top by Mike Zimmer, and it’s particularly hard on the OL. I want to give this some credence, but Belichick is/was getting away with it in NE to some degree (maybe not anymore). Maybe you can be caustic and hire your son when you have Tom Brady at the helm, I don’t know. I do think Belichick’s personality is a lot friendlier than Zim’s with the team (based on what I’ve heard). But if players think the three sons on our coaching staff shouldn’t be there and Zim’s a tool, that’s a problem.

#3 seems a given, with history as the guide.

I give top “logical likelihood” to #4 and #5 as the main culprits, with a hint of #6.

#1 and #2 just seem preposterous when they are written down.
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Re: Let's play "Manage the Cap — 2021"

Post by S197 » Thu Dec 24, 2020 3:29 pm

VikingLord wrote:
Thu Dec 24, 2020 12:27 pm
So in your view, those failures in those situations is because the Vikings lacked the talent to compete? They lost to the Bears in this last game because the offensive line couldn't compete?
We have several issues. The first, which I thought I pointed out pretty clearly, is that we have an issue with team construction. We have a strategy in place for one way to win and then we draft players for a completely opposite strategy. This is what I said:
No, what I'm saying is the composition of a team makes a difference. Everyone is constrained by limited capital so you can't have great players at every single position. If your strategy is to bring in a rather immobile pocket passer then being unable to execute on finding competent pass protectors is a problem. If you want a run heavy team that is going to be below average in pass protection, then you're going to need a QB that can extend plays. Seattle is a good example of this, they run the ball a lot and their line isn't great at pass protecting but Wilson is mobile enough that he can extend plays. Their team composition makes sense. The Vikings are paying huge sums of money to an immobile QB despite a conservative run-first offense and an OL that is historically very poor at pass protection. Their team composition makes no sense.
I also feel that while Zimmer is a good DC, he isn't a very good HC. He's far too focused on the defense and delegates way too much of the offense and special teams to his coordinators. I also don't feel his conservative approach to the game is in tune with the modern NFL, whose rules have evolved greatly and mostly to the benefit of the offense. He's also has the tendency to be badly outcoached in key games (Eagles '17, Bears '18, 49ers '19, Bears '20).

But in answer to your question if I think the OL could compete? No, I think they were manhandled by the Bears like they have been for the past 3 years.

Here's an example of Dozier and Bradbury getting beat. On the same play.

https://videopress.com/embed/1YwRkyFI?h ... ermalink=1

That's not Hicks and Mack beating them, that's Brent Urban (who?) and Nichols.

Here's a key play in the game and I have no idea what O'Neill is doing. He has a guy lined up directly over him and the Vikings call some sort of RPO (lol). Conklin motions to the left and Cook is the decoy with the fake handoff. There is quite literally no one assigned to block the guy DIRECTLY in front of O'Neill. But he proceeds to let him pass untouched, slams into CLEVELAND, before helping with a double on the tackle.

https://videopress.com/embed/TZBX5ojH?h ... ermalink=1

Was Conklin supposed to chip him? Maybe, but there's also an outside LB sitting at the LOS so the DE pays zero attention to Conklin as he easily passes him off to the LB dropping in coverage. So who was supposed to pick up the DE? Maybe O'Neill was supposed to block down (the fact that he crashes into Cleveland leaves me skeptical) but clearly someone wasn't on the right page.

I'm not saying it was only the OL, the defense struggled a lot as well, but since you asked, yes I believe the Vikings do not have the talent on the OL to compete with the Bears.
I'm not saying the OL play has been stellar, be it this season or over the last 10 seasons.

I'm just saying I think it's been pretty average overall. Some years better than others. And there is young talent on the line that Rick has drafted that gives me some reason for optimism, especially considering they have played better as this season has gone on.

Look, if you want to blame Spielman for decisions that you feel have been poor, that's fine. I largely think he's been a pretty average GM for the most part, be it with his OL choices or elsewhere on the team. I just don't think he's done a much worse job overall than 90% of the GMs out there, and while he's had some stinker seasons, he's also had a few where the Vikings were fairly competitive. Maybe not New England Patriots or New Orleans Saints competitive, but competitive.
I think you'll be hard pressed to find a lot of people that would agree that the line has been pretty average. We played some bottom of the barrel teams that may have pushed them up a notch or two but even in those games, Jacksonville as an example, that team wasn't able to generate any sort of pressure all year against anyone but they did it against this supposed pretty average line.

I'm not going to argue Rick isn't an average GM. I think average is fair. But I don't think average gets us a championship, all it does is continue this cycle of up and down years. If we move on there's definitely a chance we do worse but for me it's a chance I'm willing to take. I've seen enough 8-8 seasons and wildcard games to last me a lifetime. It's all or bust. Also, I don't really understand the 90% comment, is Rick average or is he in the top 10%? Those two sentences seem contradictory.
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Re: Let's play "Manage the Cap — 2021"

Post by Maelstrom88 » Fri Dec 25, 2020 7:39 pm

I'd let Reiff, Harris, Smith, and Barr go. Then I'd draft defense and sign impact offensive lineman. Also wouldn't mind drafting a QB and 3rd WR. I'd target Patrick Surtain Jr. in the first.
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Re: Let's play "Manage the Cap — 2021"

Post by VikingLord » Sat Dec 26, 2020 3:54 pm

S197 wrote:
Thu Dec 24, 2020 3:29 pm
But in answer to your question if I think the OL could compete? No, I think they were manhandled by the Bears like they have been for the past 3 years.

Here's an example of Dozier and Bradbury getting beat. On the same play.

https://videopress.com/embed/1YwRkyFI?h ... ermalink=1

That's not Hicks and Mack beating them, that's Brent Urban (who?) and Nichols.
You consider Dozier failing to block 2 rushers by himself getting "beat"?

Bradbury did a poor job on that play, I'll agree, but Dozier did fine until Reiff released his guy inside because the Bears were blitzing a guy untouched off the corner and Reiff had to take him.

If you ask me, this is an example of an overload blitz where the defense brings more guys to one side than can be blocked.

Overload blitzes like this are easily beaten if the QB recognizes where the extra man is coming from and can get the ball out quickly. Cousins either didn't see the pressure or thought he had something better developing in front of him.

But blaming Dozier for that result and saying he got beat? :roll:
S197 wrote:
Thu Dec 24, 2020 3:29 pm
Here's a key play in the game and I have no idea what O'Neill is doing. He has a guy lined up directly over him and the Vikings call some sort of RPO (lol). Conklin motions to the left and Cook is the decoy with the fake handoff. There is quite literally no one assigned to block the guy DIRECTLY in front of O'Neill. But he proceeds to let him pass untouched, slams into CLEVELAND, before helping with a double on the tackle.

https://videopress.com/embed/TZBX5ojH?h ... ermalink=1

Was Conklin supposed to chip him? Maybe, but there's also an outside LB sitting at the LOS so the DE pays zero attention to Conklin as he easily passes him off to the LB dropping in coverage. So who was supposed to pick up the DE? Maybe O'Neill was supposed to block down (the fact that he crashes into Cleveland leaves me skeptical) but clearly someone wasn't on the right page.
You show another play where the player you are criticizing, presumably to convince me he lacks talent, is not beaten per se. He is doing something you don't understand, but he is not beaten.

This is a question of scheme and play design, and your criticism is of that and not O'Neill or his lack of talent.

You should be criticizing Kubiak on this one, or at least asking what the design is.

If I had to guess, the Vikings send O'Neill where he goes to draw that man lined up across from him and set up Kirk's naked bootleg. The Bear defender doesn't go with O'Neill. He gambled and it paid off for him. Had the play been an actual run and that Bear defender done what he did, he would likely have left a big cutback lane there for the running back and he would have looked like the incompetent player and not O'Neill.
S197 wrote:
Thu Dec 24, 2020 3:29 pm
I'm not saying it was only the OL, the defense struggled a lot as well, but since you asked, yes I believe the Vikings do not have the talent on the OL to compete with the Bears.
Believe what you want, but the two examples you shared don't support that claim.
S197 wrote:
Thu Dec 24, 2020 3:29 pm
I think you'll be hard pressed to find a lot of people that would agree that the line has been pretty average. We played some bottom of the barrel teams that may have pushed them up a notch or two but even in those games, Jacksonville as an example, that team wasn't able to generate any sort of pressure all year against anyone but they did it against this supposed pretty average line.
Well then, the only logical conclusion is that Rick Spielman must kill it in the draft with talent at other positions in order to overcome his poor choices at OL.
S197 wrote:
Thu Dec 24, 2020 3:29 pm
I'm not going to argue Rick isn't an average GM. I think average is fair. But I don't think average gets us a championship, all it does is continue this cycle of up and down years. If we move on there's definitely a chance we do worse but for me it's a chance I'm willing to take. I've seen enough 8-8 seasons and wildcard games to last me a lifetime. It's all or bust. Also, I don't really understand the 90% comment, is Rick average or is he in the top 10%? Those two sentences seem contradictory.
Poor wording on my part.

I also think Rick is pretty average overall. But getting rid of him only makes sense if they get someone better.
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Re: Let's play "Manage the Cap — 2021"

Post by J. Kapp 11 » Sat Dec 26, 2020 5:45 pm

I think it's time to cut ties with Kyle Rudolph. Smith and Conklin are more productive.

There. I said it. :lol:

Seriously (well, I am serious about Rudolph) I think the most effective thing the Vikings could do to manage the cap would be to fire Zimmer and Spielman. I do agree we shouldn't do it unless we plan to hire someone better ... so I'll give it to you. Mentioned this in the New Orleans thread as well.

Hire Mike Borgonzi, the Chiefs director of football operations, as GM. He's been No. 2 for both the Chiefs and the Patriots, two solid winning cultures. But only hire him on the condition that he then hires Eric Bieniemy as head coach. You don't work under Andy Reid for 8 years without learning a thing or two.

Both of these guys are winners. We need winners here.

And hopefully they don't just hire their sons and buddies as assistant coaches. Honest to God, I've never seen as much nepotism as there is on the Minnesota Vikings coaching staff.
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