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  1. Valhalla Villager: News, Rumors and Gossip

    I think the Vikes keep Rudolph until he retires. He seems like Kleinsasser in some ways, loyal, talented enough . . . and he's deeply involved in the community. He'll get a good value if he accepts a paycut. . . much more than veteran minimum but not top-20 money. Does that mean the Vikes pass on a 240-lb, 4.6 40 guy with sticky hands and a 80" wingspan? No, it doesn't. Matter of fact some of the greatest success Kubiak and Dennison had was with that guy in Denver . . . the one they could never find a true position for so they made up the H-back, just for dear ole' Shannon Sharpe. I don't know of anyone in this year's draft that emulates Shannon though . . . maybe Caleb Wilson from UCLA? Irv Smith Jr?
  2. 2019 Draft Talk

    I can hardly wait for the Combine, and with my work right now, I shouldn't even be thinking about it. BUUUUTTT, a guy's gotta do what a guy's gotta do. I've read quite a few of the stories and posts about thoughts on how the Vikes should roll this off-season. Some of the Experts' mocks are almost hilarious . . . like "Hey, I hate the Vikes and need to rile someone up." lol. To me, I'd like to see the Vikes keep Everson Griffen and Kyle Rudolph, even if they don't restructure their contracts. In all likelihood, the players are already anticipating that and may be looking at all options. With Rudolph's involvement in the community, I expect they'll work out an amenable extension to allow him to retire a Viking; however, that does not mean they should pass on a BPA situation in the 2nd or 3rd round. I believe Barr is gone, and that means Sheldon Richardson gets an opportunity to stay if he wants it and accepts average + 7-10% DT salary. If they cut Griffen, DE screws up this whole draft for me because, we know Hunter is the alpha . . . who'd be his fear-inducing, edge-setting monster partner? The positions I hope they focus on are OL, OL, OL, DL, WR, TE and CB. Now, Safety could be a wild-card position if they don't bring Sendejo back. The curious thing is learning Zimmer's system, as it took Smith and Sendejo about 2 - 3 seasons to really start clicking. Iloka, one would've thought, would slide right in . . . sounds like he got disgruntled because he didn't get the red-carpet automatic starter treatment., who knows? Regarding O-Line, I don't buy the fog of Reiff moving into OG. I hope that's all it is . . . a diversion to keep others from trading up for a Cody Ford, Dalton Risner, maybe even a Ben Powers, or someone else the Vikes are high on. It could also be that they look to draft a LT like Dillard or Williams and really want one of them as rookie insurance and long-term future starter, ala O'Neill who needs to stay at RT. Ultimately, I feel like Rds 1 and 3 or 4 are going to O-Line, and with all the guys coming back from injury, that'd give the Vikes a full cupboard to evaluate. At DL, it really depends on what happens with Griffen and Richardson. I have to say, they've done well drafting moldable guys, and it's definitely a deep rotation as long as guys stay healthy. Would we want to add a Christian Wilkins in Rd 1 or Jerry Tillery in Rd 2? After watching that National Championship game, how could you not want one of the Clemson guys or Quinnen Williams? If Ed Oliver blows up the combine, he'll be tabbed earlier than 18 . . . but if he's there, it gets interesting. On last DT to consider, Kahlen Saunders had a monster Senior Bowl week and if he continues at the Combine, he'd be a great 2nd Rd pick. I think he lasts that long, maybe into the 3rd Rd. WR is the one position I expect a lot of change in for the Vikes. Maybe there's a cheap alternative FA out there to fill the slot position? I was hoping Hakeem Butler would go completely unnoticed, after watching him in the bowl game against WA State this year. He's a beast, and another guy that might last a bit longer is Lil Jordan Humphries. I have to say his play was pretty solid overall. When this position group hits the field at the Combine, I'll be watching. Maybe Hunter Renfrow runs a 4.47? In any event, the Vikes really need trustworthy depth behind Diggs and Thielen. For CBs, it'll be nice to see the small school prospects compete. Find a guy that's got good size, has sub-4.5 speed and is coachable. For one of my two homer picks, Jordan Brown from SDSU Jackrabbits would be a candidate for 5th round, unless his combine and pro-day go better than expected. Then, maybe Rd 4? Finally, my other homer pick is Gardner Minshew, QB WA St. That guy leads!!! He may not have quite the arm of Russel Wilson, but he's every bit Drew Brees and Russel Wilson that they were going into their respective drafts. It feels like he's going to be a 4th Rd guy right now. I truly don't expect him to last that long. Granted the Vikes have a couple pretty good back-ups, and they have to play Cousins -- for now. However, if Minshew were drafted by the Vikes, my bold prediction would be he'd be #2 by end of camp and if Cousins got hurt, Minshew would make fans forget about the guaranteed money.
  3. 2019 - Oh, how we need an O-line

    Much like PCP, I've pounded the desk for high-round OL talent for several years now, since the Vikes let Hutch go elsewhere. Maybe I was spoiled as I grew up and watch legends like Yary, White, Tinglehoff, Lowdermilk, Zimmerman, McDaniel and Birk . . . Jeff Christy was pretty good, as was Stuessie and Stringer. We need a reliable, perennial ProBowl type OG or LT. Then again, if he continues his ascent, who knows where O'Neill will top out? For the record, I like Elflein at center, and I think his injury kicked his butt this year, and if he recovers, I think the line does better . . . if he's shown signs of not being able to recover or has become disgruntled behind locker room doors, then it's time to get a new C. Addressing the OLine through FA has failed miserably since the Hutch deal (a once in a lifetime event IMO). The team has several youngsters that were injured early and shelved. So, how do Easton, Collins and Isadora come back? Do they click with the new O Line Coach and the OC? Unfortunately, as serviceable as Hill is, he's a back up, much like the others mentioned previously. I like Hill . . . he's not the best with speed rushers, but ya feel like he's trustworthy -- most of the time. So, use the 1st Rd pick on the best OG on your board. Ya need a RG, and ya need a LG. Use the 3rd or 4th Rd pick on another, if you don't think others will rise to the occasion. Keep them healthy all year. Let them build chemistry all off-season and through training camp. Lastly avoid any other drama; although, it was just sad to lose Sparano so close to the season. So, I'm not sure who gets picked where, but Risner, Dieter, Beau B. and Ford would be pre-combine candidates for early picks. I also like Williams, Dillard and Taylor at OT if they go that route. It'll be really interesting to see if that kid from Elon does well at the combine, like runs a 5.3 and benches 35 reps. With that wingspan, plugging him at OG . . . might as well put Dixon or Allen (Larry) on his jersey in 5 years (j/k). I'll say this, whoever they pick for OL, please have a mean streak, be nasty!
  4. Anthony Barr

    It'll be an interesting month or two, no doubt. I think Barr's gone . . . just from the way he's answered questions. Seems like he's responding like, "yeah, I'd like to be back here . . . but, I have options . . . I'd like/need to be paid for my skills." I like the way Barr has played the game; although, I'm curious how he's made pro-bowl after pro-bowl without the glaring stats of other OLBs. Seems opposing offenses really do take heed to where he is, and I will say, he appears to play his assignment pretty well. If he came back at $12m per year, that would be excellent value for the Vikings and he'd continue to be a chess piece for Zimmer. Problem is he's kind of like a Aqib Talib or Suh … if someone needs that position to cement their D, he'll be coveted. Then again, Bill B. might just see him as the next Willie McGinest (who played well regular season, but in the post-season, the shackles came off and he dominated.) In any event, I kinda feel like the Vikes have quality depth at the LB position, so, let 'em deal the cards.
  5. The 2018 Kirk Cousins Megathread

    I'm a bit disappointed in Cousins play during 4 games this year, but I was exceptionally encouraged by his play in 10 of the games. The game against the Bills was atrocious. The last game against the Bears wasn't any better. That said, when the Vikes signed Favre, every team in the league was sitting there going . . . holy cow! The personalities of Favre and Cousins are different; they're different guys in that sense. But, what you really expect from them on game day -- what they both do/did -- isn't much different. Favre had the resume' by the time he came to the Vikings. Cousins is trying to build the resume'. Favre had been in the league 6 years before winning the SB. Peyton Manning? Remember how he couldn't win a playoff game, then he couldn't beat the Patriots . . . until he did and won it all. Oh, and Favre with that O-Line and defensive front . . . he still lost 4 games regular season, and should've led the Vikes to the SB, but for the Saints. The Vikings don't need Cousins to play flawlessly every single game, nor does he need to carry the team every single game . . . no one can do that. The key is the O-line and D-line carrying the day. When a gameplan calls for running the ball a ton, like Miami, do it. when you're in a shoot-out like in LA, fire away. When you need a comeback . . . that's where Cousins needs to prove his worth. Do the right things for 3 quarters to keep close and in the hunt . . . then finish. I feel like this is similar to the Favre experiment . . . as fans, we're going to get one good shot at it. If the experiment fails, the owners blow up the lab.
  6. 2019 Draft Talk

    As far as QBs go, Murray's more Manziel than Mayfield. I gotta believe he's using the NFL draft to bolster his capital in dealing with the A's. If the Vikes do draft a QB, Stick of course has winning records. Then, there's his main nemesis, Taryn Christion from SDSU who might turn a few heads during the draft process, or he might fail miserably. The final QB I watched a lot this year and absolutely love is Gardner Minshew. His attitude and football IQ are exactly what teams look for. the physical testing will be the determining factor as to whether or not he goes higher in the draft than say Rd 7 or 6.
  7. 2019 Draft Talk

    Well, the right guy at 18 could be the next Randall McDaniel . . .picked at 19 if I remember correctly. That 10-20 range is where the best interior O-line get picked. Let's just hope they get a guy with an attitude, strength and some skill.
  8. 2019 Sign, Draft or Promote - Starting DT (3-Tech)

    With Rick liking Golden Domers . . . would Tillery be a candidate for the 2nd round if he lasts that long?
  9. 2019 Draft Talk

    Since Childress was HC and the Triangle of Authority was calling the draft, what offensive linemen have been drafted that have really worked? Kalil had one good year. Sullivan was great for the Vikes and has been doing well since leaving years ago. Phil Loadholt was solid to me, and I think Elflein will be a Pro-Bowler. Jury's still out on O'Neill, Collins (UDFA), and Isidora. I do like Hill and Easton though talent can be drafted that makes them expendable. I think that means there were at least 9 or 10 wiffs on drafted OL in 10 years. It means something if just 3 of those would've cemented their position for even 6 years. The only 1st or 2nd Rd Olineman the Vikes have drafted since 1985 that really didn't live up to expectations was Marcus Johnson in 2005, Ryan Cook and Kalil. So, make the pick for a stud OG this year and keep next to Elflein for the next 10, oh and add O'Neill at the outside . . . 60% is a better start. Three years ago, Sparano was a dumpster fire with the O-Line, and then he hit magic in 2017. I believe part of that is the guys buying into his coaching -- and having a smart center. Onto answering the questions: 1. This core of players has 2 more years in my opinion. Age and cap hits will start happening in 2020 and 2021 . . . Plus, Zimmer hitched his wagon to Cousins. The Wilfs might extend him and Spielman after 2019 on a year-by-year basis, or they may blow it up and bring in a Mike McCarthy depending on 2019 goes. 2. I love Zimmer and his approach to the game, the team and the media. I do hope he gets this team to the SB and wins it before Cousins' contract is up. that's probably a pipe dream, but if he can't get this roster to win with Cousins, he's toast. 3. Do the players on this roster sit around and sing nursery rhymes? No . . . doubt it. Each of them has an agent and a gang their salaries provide for. Winning heals all ills . . . they know they have to do that . . . dropping a pass, missing a tackle, committing a penalty . . . everyone one of the stars committed something like that this year where it cost the team a win at one time or another. I think they kept dirty laundry in house very well and it'll stay that way. 4. As I said before . . . the window is 2 years, or it could get ugly around TCO Performance Center for a few years. 5. ZBS, Tampa 2, Spread . . . all terms of variations of football schemes. The double-A gap blitz is all the rage with Zimm, and it's good to see he's had an impact on the game. A team can call their offense or defense tootie frutie for all I care as long as the players execute their assignments and the team wins the games. Sometimes though, a gameplan with a certain scheme is doomed for failure. For me, it seems like the Vikes plan an AFC 3-4, they get stymied and lose. Part of winning is figuring those out and moving your chess pieces to give your guy the best chance to beat his assignment.
  10. 2019 Sign, Draft or Promote - Starting LG

    My vote is to re-sign Easton -- pending his full recovery from injury. Promoting Isadora may be an option, but he's didn't grab the position when he had the chance, so why believe he could get it now? I think the team's biggest priority is to draft a LG, and a RG. So, at LG they really have to take one of the consensus top 3 LGs on the board. I'd like to see them get one of the 330 lbers so they can beef up when needed. I really think going FA for another O-lineman would be a waste. Remember, this team had several guys get hurt and go to IR, and as they come back, there may be plenty of talent to work with. Upgrades are always nice, but when looking at the $$$, I suspect there's a chunk going to a certain OLB.
  11. 2018-2019 Offseason Thread (Season Concludes)

    No . . . I was asking what the tag rate was for OLB's, especially since Mack's # moved the value up. Sounds like the tag would be north of $15M. To me, $12M would probably be a fair average annual for him, but it seems like everybody's wanting that guaranteed cash. So, hypothetically, if the Vikes offered him six years, $72M with $35M guaranteed, would he be nuts to turn that down? Could the Vikes afford something like that? Given his history of needing to be motivated at times, I think he could be a bust-type if he is unhappy, so that's a concern. I'd like to see him back for the sole reason of stability and core chemistry. I think he fits well in this D, even though he's not the only star.
  12. 2019 Draft Talk

    Just some general thoughts on guys I've watched in Bowl games, and I'm not locking in on any given O-line prospects yet. I'll do that as the all-star games and combine conclude. There are a couple intriguing skill players, starting with Hakiem Butler, WR from Iowa State -- that guy's huge . . . I'm not sure he showed up in every game this year, but if he runs fast and catches at the combine, he'll go no later than Rd 2. Another WR I don't know has declared or not is Lil Jordan Humphries from TX . . . I liked what he showed on New Year's Day. As for RB, James Williams from WZZU declared and he'd be a good back-up to Cook. He's not as fast as Cook, but he catches well and runs tough. For interior O-line, every year, there are guys touted as "the next decade anchor." Have to say, Quentin Nelson, Dave DeCastro, and Lamp/Feeny have put their team's O-lines on the map. The Vikes were spoiled from the late '80s through 2011 with perennial All-Pro types at OG. Need to get back to that. We don't have Hutch at LG, we need someone like him, like Nelson and DeCastro. We need an ox at RG. Remmers just didn't get there, even though he had some good games, he's not anchoring like he needed to. Maybe part of that was the loss of Sparano, maybe part of it was the lack of Elflein the first few games. In any event, getting Isidora, Easton, and Collins back may be enough, but I think drafting high at O Line will yield better candidates.
  13. 2018-2019 Offseason Thread (Season Concludes)

    Good Lord! That's a BIG #! How high's the Barr? Does he think he should be $16-18M a year?
  14. 2018-2019 Offseason Thread (Season Concludes)

    Didn't Barr play under his fifth option year this year? Next step would be to tag him, but what's the price tag for that after the Mack signing? I hope they'll work out a long-term deal and let Richardson test the market, but money-wise, I don't see how the Vikes can afford a big contract for Barr . . . if they want him bad enough though, others will suffer. Might need to keep Richardson to afford others . . . I am curious if Barr was playing lights-out toward the end of the year as a job interview - youtube resume'?
  15. Behold Da Bearz!

    Merry Christmas all! I'm excited for this Bears game, no doubt. My apologies for being away so long, but work has been intense, which is a blessing and a curse. All season long, everyone's been talking about the Bears defense, and they've rightfully earned the air time. The Vikes D has been just as good in all departments except the interceptions . . .to average nearly 2 a game is unthinkable. So, kudos to the Bears D for being ball hawks. However, I think the Vike's D has had two games where they kinda stunk it up. Given the schedules, the Vikes played the Eagles and the Saints while the Bears played the Bucs and the Giants. Oddly, both teams split . . . a lot of things have happened over the year. Right now, I look at the positives . . . Cook and Barr are back healthy, the O-line has some semblance of continuity and with Elflein in at center, they've continually improved. The change from DeFillipo is working through kinks, but I think Zimmer was spot on removing the wart. What I'm hoping for is the Vikes to play sound and dominating football while beating the Bears this week at home . . . with no injuries. Then, I'm hoping for a miracle out west where the Seahawks somehow manage to lose. Then, we'd get to go to Dallas for the 1st round, and I like those chances.