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HitStickAllDay

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  1. The 2018 Kirk Cousins Megathread

    I’m just happy to see Cousins overcome adversity. Rise above criticism. Keep coming back. I saw a QB today well worth market rate, to use Krauser’s terminology. I’d much rather have Cousins at this point than an unknown. Draft a replacement, sure, but ride with Cousins for 3-4 more years. He has earned it in my eyes and only appears to be getting better. My one quibble is I’d like to see him take command of audibles more. There are a couple cringe worthy plays where it seems obvious where the play is going and the defensive adjustment that is happening. Would love to see him take the elite step we see from the upper echelon of QBs. Give him some latitude, especially early next season to change plays when he sees something.
  2. Week 13: VIKINGS (8-3) at Seahawks (9-2)

    I think it is fixed by getting Rhodes out of there and playing Kearse more. I have to re-watch the game, but I’m curious if Kearse played much. I’d like to think he should’ve been in the game a lot given the physical need of matching up against a punishing run game. The other thing I didn’t love was seeing Wilson in there. I like him, but I think we need a thumper to shed against heavy sets. Unfortunately we don’t really have one and for whatever reason Harrison Smith disappeared today in the run game. I seem to remember him cleaning up a lot of running game problems in the past. Perhaps it’s because Joseph is hurt or has lost some of his unworldly strength.
  3. Week 13: VIKINGS (8-3) at Seahawks (9-2)

    The defense is getting a lot of flack, rightly so after this game. But let’s not pretend that this isn’t a defense that is statistically a top 10 defense. Sure, it has regressed quite significantly from the halcyon years, but it’s still good enough. I think the defense gets materially better if Rhodes is benched. Also need to figure out how to stop the run. No idea how that happens. Also, it could just be that Seattle has a phenomenal run game and outschemed us. Summer historically has done well adjusting to passing games, but the run D hasn’t been a real problem until now. We we shall see how he adjusts. Realistically, we were in a game that we knew would be tough with a small margin for error. Difficult watch? Sure. But far from a disaster.
  4. The 2018 Kirk Cousins Megathread

    Nothing short of an amazing turnaround. Thought it was a psychological problem. He clearly has enough arm talent to be a top 5 QB. I was growing skeptical that the coaches and Cousins could turn things around in time after the Chicago game. The question of of whether this coaching staff is elite has been answered. The question of whether Cousins can change has been, mostly, answered. He still has to win some important games to shed the stigma that surrounds underwhelming performances against winning teams. That the team figured out a way to put him in a position to succeed, and quickly, is amazing to watch. Fun things are happening. Now please, please don’t deliver a soul-crushing blow at some point during the season. I just hope we don’t beat ourselves at some point. If we get outplayed, but we don’t make dumb mistakes, I can accept that. Sometimes people/teams are just better.
  5. Thought the OL had their best game yet. Elflein doesn’t appear to be a lost cause. Dozier looked nice and Hill played incredibly well in relief of Rieff. Bradbury was great and O’Neill was an absolute stud. Great to see what happens when there isn’t incessant pressure. SKOL!!!!!
  6. Week 6: Eagles (3-2) at VIKINGS (3-2)

    Elflein with a nice anchor block
  7. Something brewing with Diggs?

    Maybe it’s about winning and not touches. Two games that arguably could have been won with superior quarterbacking. It’s kind of interesting, though, that Diggs is equally responsible for last week’s loss given his fumble. Cousins needs momentum and he fumbled it away ultimately leading to a cascade of events.
  8. Something brewing with Diggs?

    Something occurred to me while watching the Seahawks’ game tonight. It was the incredible passion of the team. They were fired up no matter the circumstances. Sometimes the Vikings are fired up and sometimes they come out lifeless. I wonder if some of this is the coaching philosophy. Pete Carroll looks like he’s having a blast out there. Perhaps that vibrates through to his players whether it’s spoken or not. Zimmer is no nonsense. Rarely cracking a smile. I’ve never seen him really celebrate with a player. Now. There’s another no nonsense coach, Belicheck, that has a no nonsense attitude and obviously it works for him. Maybe it’s about constructing a roster that matches the type of personality that works with the coaches’ demeanor. Belicheck seems to value robots and treats players, with the exception of Brady, as dispensable. It’s likely because he is coaching on an entirely different level so he doesn’t need as much talent. One other thing I noticed was the contrast of Russell Wilson’s demeanor between Cousins’. Nothing seems to phase Wilson. Throw a pick? Same face. A bad play. Nothing. He seems imperturbable and it shows in how he reacts when chaos is all around him. Cousins, on the other hand, looks like he is petrified. Scared of making mistakes. Incredibly high strung. Cousins’ problem is likely psychological. What I think he needs is a great therapist. The talent is there, but there is something holding him back from unleashing its latent potential. The problem with psychological work is it often doesn’t lend to quick fixes. This is especially true if the person doesn’t think they need help or is non compliant. Sometimes people aren’t ready to listen. That doesn’t make them a bad person, or incompetent. It just makes them human. I hope that they’ve considered this angle with Cousins. I don’t enjoy watching someone be stressed out. I don’t care how much money they make. His poor play is symptomatic. With the way football is oriented toward warrior-spirit and masculinity it’s hard for me to imagine he’ll get the help that might unleash his inner beast.
  9. The 2018 Kirk Cousins Megathread

    I’ve been re-watching games from last year. I’m not convinced Cousins is incapable of bringing us to the promised land. Is he currently broken? Yes. Can he be fixed? Well, maybe. If you’ve NFL game pass go re-watch the Jets, Cardinals, and especially NO games. Does he look shaken? I don’t think so. There’s also another another interesting thing to notice. We run/pass wayyyyyyy more out of shotgun. This was under JDF, sure. But I really think we should operate out of the shotgun way more often with Cousins. Maybe Cousins folds under pressure and against good teams. But let’s put him in the best situations possible. In the New Orleans game especially last year, Cousins is committing to his passes. Seeing the field and firing despite pressure in his face. He’s throwing the ball down the field and giving his receivers a chance. The problem may not be all Cousins. It might be the offensive pass philosophy/scheme. I’m all kinds of bi-polar right now with how I’m thinking about Cousins. I’ll keep watching to see where he gets broken.
  10. Something brewing with Diggs?

    Yes. I think there is something up with him. Judging by how he is reacting and Thielen as well, I think Zimmer is on the verge of losing the team. Maybe that’s hyperbolic and short sighted after a couple terrible weeks. However, I think the WR are losing faith in Cousins’ ability to do anything. There’s only so many times you can be wide open and not get the ball and remain calm. These are high level athletes who have achieved what few can. Mediocrity for some of them is likely inexcusable. Something happened to Cousins. My hypothesis is the bad offensive line last year completely ruined him. Cousins in the first part of last season is what he is capable of. So, in hindsight, it wasn’t a bad move. The bad move was not figuring out the line first. History is replete with bad OL wrecking quarterbacks. It’s a rarity (Russell Wilson comes to mind) to be able to overcome the physical and psychological effects of getting pressured at an insane rate. At this point we have to either move on from Cousins or re-vamp our philosophy on offense. Seriously. I’m not of the opinion that we aren’t talented enough to win games and have a chance throughout the playoffs. We need a better scheme that understands our weaknesses. I’m growing increasingly skeptical we are capable of adjusting. The same issues we’re dealing with right now manifested in the latter half of last year. It’s problematic and likely means we need a coaching change, as much as I absolutely love Zimmer’s defensive mind. If we keep doing the same thing expecting different results it’s the definition of insanity. If this persists that’s how you lose a team and a fan base (at least parts of the fan base and team - some of us have suffered through higher levels of mediocrity so we aren’t going anywhere soon).
  11. Why do the Patriots seem to have a good (great?) offensive line every year? Is their talent really elite or does their game planning also help make them look good? A quick release from Brady in tandem with good scheme? Hmmmmmmm. Perhaps. Perhaps. We could learn something. The Patriots always seem to be trading or rotating out offensive linemen yet they persist with a strong offense year in and year out. i think the difference is getting the most out of your players. Understanding your own weaknesses better than your opponents and then scheming out of it. That’s what great coaches do. Take what they have and make the most of it.
  12. The 2018 Kirk Cousins Megathread

    I’d just go full crazy mode. Teddy... 5 years $20mm/year. Trade Diggs for Trent Williams. Sign whichever LG is best on the market. Don’t sign Rhodes. Don’t sign some others on D. Zimmer can make due with a random assortment of talent and mediocre players. Thielen, Bisi, Smith, Cook, Beebe are fine enough. Really solidify the line at all costs and get a QB that isn’t broken. Or, move O’Neil to LT. Reiff to RT. Sign the best LG you can find....... Profit. Go out guns-a-blazing if you are Speilman. I think we’re too concerned about keeping defensive talent. We can afford to regress on defense. Sell Rhodes and Waynes down the river and just roll with Hughes/Hill/Mack. Zimmer is good enough to keep rotating in some talent. Same with the D-Line. Trade Danielle Hunter for all I care. Get creative. Realistically, we need a LG and a LT or RT if O’Neill moves over. Sell some of our prized assets to do it. BUILD the OFFENSIVE LINE into the strongest unit on the team at all costs to protect Bridgewater or Cousins for all I care. Sometimes you have to burn down parts of the building to do a remodel. We have an embarrassment of riches across many facets of the team, but if we don’t fix the line and QB it’ll be all for naught .
  13. The 2018 Kirk Cousins Megathread

    Teddy Bridgewater is only on a one year contract with NO. He seems to be incredibly happy in NO and perhaps the heir apparent to Brees. Anyone have any insight into if there’s any chance he’d be interested in getting the band back together next year?
  14. Week 4: VIKINGS (2-1) at Bears (2-1)

    With the short-area quickness of Diggs/Thielen it’s unconscionable that we didn’t come out doing this. I’ve been maintaining that we can’t just use the same game plan for every team. The under center zone running concept is great. But when you’re facing good defenses, you need to try something different. Analyze what has worked against similar defensive schemes and come out and mash. I know now it was garbage time and Chicago was keeping things in front of them, but Cousins looked far more comfortable in the shotgun running no huddle and just firing on open reads. Why on earth can’t we just do that from the start? I just don’t get it. Cook, Thielen, Diggs are nightmares in space. I suspect Smith Jr is as well. What concerns me is we appeared to learn nothing from last year against Chicago. However, I just re-watched the game. Hear me out. Cousins looked shook. That’s been established. He has to make that deep pass to Thielen early. Has to. But there were numerous other issues that Cousins really has nothing to do with. Diggs’ fumble is inexcusable. Zimmer calling the timeout before the half is inexcusable. Rieff getting turnstyled by Mack isn’t Cousins fault. I actually put that not all on Rieff, but on the scheme. Cousins needs to be able to see the pressure from Mack and the play call was first read right and Cousins had no chance. There should always be help with Mack either through RB or TE chips. Always. Not in order, but the roughing call on Stephen was hot garbage. Again, more momentum. Then we get that 4th down conversion and immediately get a hold. Penalties are killing drives. After I freaked out for awhile I find myself being slightly less insane after a repeat viewing. Chicago had to play a perfect game to win by 10. Minnesota can’t make mistakes when the other team plays perfect. We made too many mistakes. Had a poor game plan for the Bears’ obvious strengths. We need to come out and spread it out in shotgun with quick hitters against better pass rushing teams. Take a sober look at things. Adjust. Learn from the mistakes. The problem is obviously we don’t appear to be learning, as this Bears team is what they were last year. That’s concerning and unfortunately I think a great deal of it comes from a poor offensive scheme. Great coaches figure out how to compensate for weaknesses. We’ve yet to prove we can do that on offense. For goodness sakes, possible. Now, try something different.
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