Now that the first official game of the 2006 Minnesota Vikings is in the books, here are my first impressions of the 2006 team.- Why do we continue signing free agents on offense from the Baltimore Ravens?!? The Ravens are, year after year, among the worst teams in the league on the offensive side of the ball. Yes, the scheme itself may be broken, but it isn’t the offensive playbooks on the field, it’s the players. Wasn’t the team’s signing of Travis “Do Nothing” Taylor last year enough of a hint? Apparently not, because this year we’ve also got Chester “Who?” Taylor cluttering up the roster. Here’s a novel though: let’s try signing some of the defensive players from the Ravens; that’s the side of the ball where they excel.
- Keep Chester Taylor’s first game in perspective. Yes, he rushed for 88 yards, but he did that on 31 carries. That’s not even three yards per carry. Anything less than four yards per carry is considered below average in the NFL; below three yards per carry will get you booted off most teams during the pre-season. In addition, he did that while running behind a line that has three players earning more than $100 million over the course of their contracts.
- Troy Williamson is probably not the answer at wide receiver. He wasn’t the answer last year and he doesn’t look like the answer this year.
- Jermaine Wiggins will have a huge year. After all, who else will Johnson have to catch his passes? Marcus Robinson? Travis Taylor? One of the ball boys?
- It’s nice to see that the new regime hasn’t completely thrown out the worst aspects of the previous two regimes. I wouldn’t know what to do with myself if the Vikes stopped throwing seven yard passes on third-and-twelves.
- Chris Kluwe has not recovered from the injury he sustained last year. Pre-injury, he was booming the ball downfield. This year, his punts are below league average, at best.
- Last year in Green Bay, Longwell blamed many of his struggles on problems created by his holder. It looks like he can trot out many of those same quotes again this year in Minnesota.
- Childress may be creating a culture of accountability, but the only culture I saw on Monday was on PBS. What sort of accountability sanctions an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty immediately after a big play. The result of that penalty? Washington has the ball on the seven yard line with a first down. The very next play they score. At one point in the first half, the Vikings had already been penalized six times for forty-two yards while the ‘Skins hadn’t been penalized once. Does a culture of accountability reach up into the upper levels of the coaching staff?
- Bryant McKinnie for $48 million?!? Why just give me the money? At least I won’t pretend that I can play tackle in the NFL.
- At this point, the Vikes just aren’t a very compelling story when set against the pennant/wild card race currently being run by the Twins, Tigers, and White Sox.