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ejmat
07-04-2005, 09:58 PM
Minnesota

Good: The Vikings have finally made significant upgrades on defense

The Vikings could have six new starters after a heavy-spending offseason that included the addition of free agents such as NT Pat Williams, CB Fred Smoot, FS Darren Sharper and trades for SLB Napoleon Harris and MLB Sam Cowart. WLB Dontarrious Thomas, a second-round pick in 2004, is expected to be the sixth new starter, replacing Chris Claiborne. Claiborne signed as an unrestricted free agent with St. Louis.

Reynolds’ take: Minnesota could have the best secondary in the NFC (the Ravens’ secondary is tops in the league), and the defensive line, counting on a pair of recent first-round picks in Erasmus James and Kenechi Udeze, might get there. The question mark is the LB corps. Napoleon Harris struggled in coverage with the Raiders and became a two-down linebacker. If the Vikings can use him as a pass rusher and athlete, he’ll be a nice fit. Cowart is on the wrong side of 30, but E.J. Henderson, the starter inside in ’04, has been a horse in the offseason program. Thomas was caught thinking too often last season, which slowed him down. If he adjusts mentally, the LB corps will prosper and the Vikings will have a chance to be a stellar defense.

Bad: Moss is gone, and there are questions at running back

The Vikings traded away perhaps the top receiver in the game when they sent Randy Moss to Oakland in exchange for Harris and draft choices, including one that they used to select Moss' eventual replacement, Troy Williamson. The Vikings have a stable of capable running backs, but keeping them on the field has been a problem. Michael Bennett has been plagued by knee and ankle injuries the past two seasons, and Onterrio Smith has been suspended for the entire 2005 season for violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy. In reserve are second-year man Mewelde Moore, versatile veteran Moe Williams and rookie Ciatrick Fason.

Reynolds’ take: With enough digging and handwringing, there is fault to be found with Mike Tice’s rationale in dealing Moss. But Tice and the Vikings’ organization decided that, given the maturation of Daunte Culpepper, the sum of all parts makes a pretty electric whole, even without Moss. Minnesota battled inconsistency in the running game when Moss was injured last season, and it lacks stability at that position. The Vikings say Bennett is “back,� but we’ll believe that when we see it. Nate Burleson is a solid No. 2 wide receiver, but he doesn’t come with a fear factor for opponents.



I have to agree with everything being said here except Nate Burleson only being a #2 WR. He has proven he can be a great #1 WR while Moss was out. Give Pep the freedom to do what he wants and not what Moss wants and Burleson will be just fine.

Hopefully Bennett emerges as a top back. I'll believe it when I see it but hope he does.

SamDawg84
07-04-2005, 10:03 PM
Im not so sure Burleson has really emerged as a number 1 quite yet.. Atleast not a really good one quite yet.. I wanna see him take on the likes of Mcallister, Bly, and other great corners like that week in and week out and prove he can make a full year against number 1 corners.. He should be solid atleast..

Ltrey33
07-04-2005, 10:06 PM
I'm so damned tired of the media!!!!! At the end of last season, all we F-ing heard was "trade Moss, trade Moss. He's a distraction. He's not a team player. He murders small children." Now they all wanna say how great he is and how it was a mistake to trade him. God damn that makes me angry!

Anyways, I agree with his take on the D, but I don't know if we have "questions" at running back. It's true we never know if Bennett is going to be healthy (I pray to God he is) but I think Mewelde is a very good back and could fill in as a starter if Bennett goes down. I'd be less worried if Smokey McPot were still around, but I think we're good at RB.

SamDawg84
07-04-2005, 10:13 PM
Yah it is kinda funny how the media changes thier perspective after we got rid of him.. I don't understand that at all!

vikingdude82
07-04-2005, 10:45 PM
the LB corps should be better with the addition of Cowart, and E.J getting his playing time, Napoleon should have a decent season, maybe not pro-bowl, James-Pat Williams-Kevin Williams-Udeze.. thats one good sounding line, secondary will have 3 pro-bowl starters, Winfield,Smoot,Sharper,the three amigos, and the offense will do fine with the loss of Randy, Taylors has the catching ability as Moss, but early in Taylors career he never had anyone that could get him the ball like Culpepper will, Williamson will obviously bring the speed, I think he'll draw double team with his speed and catch ability, which Burleson might draw double also, considering his going to be the #1 receiver, and that will open up the run game for Bennett, and if Bennett can hit the hole and get his speed back that will equal another pro-bowl season for Bennett, thats my outlook for 05'

souls-fan
07-04-2005, 11:06 PM
Our offense still has too many weapons to be stopped...if we just use last season's philosophy of "taking what the defense gives us" we'll still score. Plus, look for some shorter fields than we're used to, because the defense will be much improved. Top 5? TBD, but improved nonetheless. They only need to be top 15 for us to be dramatically improved from years of late. "At this point", "on paper" (and all those other wait and see sayings) we should be top 15 pretty easily.

So "knock on wood" 'cause "time will tell".

Happy 4th!

BBQ Platypus
07-04-2005, 11:09 PM
I agree with all the strengths and weaknesses listed in the article except for running back. We still have a lot of depth at RB, especially since we drafted Fason. I agree that we aren't as strong at receiver as we were when Moss was around, but that shouldn't be too much of a problem for our offense as a whole, since Culpepper is excellent at spreading the ball.

V4L
07-04-2005, 11:19 PM
Im predicting we get a first round bye in the playoffs.. and atleast make it to the NFC championship...


Prowbowlers- Pep.. Birk.. Bennett(?)... K-will.. Sharper

ejmat
07-04-2005, 11:59 PM
I guess we will see what happens. I don't think the media is doing anything wrong about the Moss trade. Let's face it, no one ever down-played his ability. Whether we like it or not, the Vikings are a different team without him. Moss is a loss no matter how it's looked at. We do however have the talent to make up for Moss. Kleinsasser is back to help block and come out of the backfield. the question at RB is one to respect. Not because of lack of talent but because of unproven players. The only real proven player we have there is Moe Williams. MeMo did well but not enough to call him proven. C4 hasn't played a down yet. Bennett, well, we don't know and he is the one starting. So I would agree it is a question at this point. Again, the talent pool is good but is very unproven.

Burleson had a 1,000 yard year last year even though Moss played nine games. That's pretty damn good enough to be a #1 on a lot of teams by itself. now imagine if Moss wasn't on the team last year. Maybe he would have been doubled more often but he seemed to handle it just fine during the games he was the #q receiver. Besides, that is one position you really don't need a #1 at. There is enough proven talent there to have to cover all the WRs. Even Williamson yu have to respect his speed. Like someone stated, Pep is pretty good at spreading the ball around and now he will be able to do that without being questioned.

BigMoInAZ
07-05-2005, 12:19 AM
"vikingdude82" wrote:

the LB corps should be better with the addition of Cowart, and E.J getting his playing time, Napoleon should have a decent season, maybe not pro-bowl, James-Pat Williams-Kevin Williams-Udeze.. thats one good sounding line, secondary will have 3 pro-bowl starters, Winfield,Smoot,Sharper,the three amigos, and the offense will do fine with the loss of Randy, Taylors has the catching ability as Moss, but early in Taylors career he never had anyone that could get him the ball like Culpepper will, Williamson will obviously bring the speed, I think he'll draw double team with his speed and catch ability, which Burleson might draw double also, considering his going to be the #1 receiver, and that will open up the run game for Bennett, and if Bennett can hit the hole and get his speed back that will equal another pro-bowl season for Bennett, thats my outlook for 05'
Looks like we have quite a few options, but until I see it in game action 6-7 man coverages might be enough to stiffle our younger WR corp. If Robinson can step up to the plate and lead by example, staying healthy and being our best or at least most capable red zone target! DC's not gonna forget so easily some of the strikes he made to Robinson in his biggest game last season against the Texans! It was good enough to hold a lead even if the game went into overtime! Robinson could be very key to the Vikings not missing a beat with the loss of Moss in 2004! Taylor is an unknown but could turn into a very big surprise if he can establish a repor with Culpepper to be another alternative short to mid range reciepient! If Taylor along with first round draft pick Williamson, can be succesfull options out of the slot in 3 and 4 WR sets than this offense could explode with a wider range of calls out of the option calls that Culpepper has mastered going into his 6th season at the helm of the Vikings offense. His 98 TD's, 16 rushing, are 2nd in the league to only Peyton Manning's 107 over the last 3 NFL seasons! Interestingly enough Donovan McNabbs 76 TDs are 13 short of Bret Favre's 89 TDs over that same period!(Got, don't you hate any little praise a Packer actually might deserve?) I think Pepp is gonna be just fine in leading this team completely to the next level! Time to step up "PLAYERS!"

midgensa
07-05-2005, 01:38 AM
I still think we are a year away from Williamson being where he needs to be and from the defense gelling, I got us losing in the NFC Championship to the Atlanta Falcons ... but I definitely hope that I am wrong ...

akvikefan89
07-05-2005, 01:41 AM
"BigMoInKS" wrote:

"vikingdude82" wrote:

the LB corps should be better with the addition of Cowart, and E.J getting his playing time, Napoleon should have a decent season, maybe not pro-bowl, James-Pat Williams-Kevin Williams-Udeze.. thats one good sounding line, secondary will have 3 pro-bowl starters, Winfield,Smoot,Sharper,the three amigos, and the offense will do fine with the loss of Randy, Taylors has the catching ability as Moss, but early in Taylors career he never had anyone that could get him the ball like Culpepper will, Williamson will obviously bring the speed, I think he'll draw double team with his speed and catch ability, which Burleson might draw double also, considering his going to be the #1 receiver, and that will open up the run game for Bennett, and if Bennett can hit the hole and get his speed back that will equal another pro-bowl season for Bennett, thats my outlook for 05'
Looks like we have quite a few options, but until I see it in game action 6-7 man coverages might be enough to stiffle our younger WR corp. If Robinson can step up to the plate and lead by example, staying healthy and being our best or at least most capable red zone target! DC's not gonna forget so easily some of the strikes he made to Robinson in his biggest game last season against the Texans! It was good enough to hold a lead even if the game went into overtime! Robinson could be very key to the Vikings not missing a beat with the loss of Moss in 2004! Taylor is an unknown but could turn into a very big surprise if he can establish a repor with Culpepper to be another alternative short to mid range reciepient! If Taylor along with first round draft pick Williamson, can be succesfull options out of the slot in 3 and 4 WR sets than this offense could explode with a wider range of calls out of the option calls that Culpepper has mastered going into his 6th season at the helm of the Vikings offense. His 98 TD's, 16 rushing, are 2nd in the league to only Peyton Manning's 107 over the last 3 NFL seasons! Interestingly enough Donovan McNabbs 76 TDs are 13 short of Bret Favre's 89 TDs over that same period!(Got, don't you hate any little praise a Packer actually might deserve?) I think Pepp is gonna be just fine in leading this team completely to the next level! Time to step up "PLAYERS!"
Why the large font?

magicci
07-05-2005, 02:39 AM
i know were lookin great we just have to prove it to everyone else

i_bleed_purple
07-05-2005, 07:01 AM
if bennet can stay healthy we will have an excellent year. ill tell you why.

bennet is just about as fast as they come. once he gets to the outside he's gone. he wasn't able to do that last year because our best blocking back was injured (kleinsasser) wit jimmy back he should be able to get to the outside and get big gains and if Birk gets back early it will be even better as birk can pull and block extremely well. if both jimmy, bennet and Birk are helathy this season, bennet should have a 1100+ season.

i_bleed_purple
07-05-2005, 07:04 AM
if bennet can stay healthy we will have an excellent year. ill tell you why.

bennet is just about as fast as they come. once he gets to the outside he's gone. he wasn't able to do that last year because our best blocking back was injured (kleinsasser) wit jimmy back he should be able to get to the outside and get big gains and if Birk gets back early it will be even better as birk can pull and block extremely well. if both jimmy, bennet and Birk are helathy this season, bennet should have a 1100+ season.

Potus2028
07-05-2005, 07:11 AM
i also think we got pretty lucky with the great schedule...

:king:

PAvikesfan
07-05-2005, 05:26 PM
i believe bennett will stay healthy this year, if he doesn't he is done in the NFL--no one will take him.

i also think burleson will be solid at #1. he will have some games that he will do almost nothing though. top #1's always give the team something--at least a 2 yard TD catch, even if they don't catch another ball in the game. I don't think Burleson is at that point yet where it is a given that he will contribute every game with something wonderful.

DarrinNelsonguy
07-05-2005, 06:08 PM
Our running game should be improved with Kleinsasser and Rosenthal back but we also need to stick with it and not get pass happy if it is slow at first. How Burleson performs with defenses now focusing on him and game plan for him has yet to be seen. We need some WR to step up and take heat off of him (yes, that means you Coo-Coo Ca-Choo Robinson). LB still is our area of concern and we need the players that we have to react instinctively and not think on the field.

That being said I see us as a 10-6 or 11-5 team that has a chance to do some damage in the playoffs.

Ltrey33
07-05-2005, 10:07 PM
"SamDawg84" wrote:

Yah it is kinda funny how the media changes thier perspective after we got rid of him.. I don't understand that at all!

Yeah it's wierd. I always thought people were anti-Viking because of Moss, not anti-Moss because of the Vikes. Strange...

Articnv
07-05-2005, 10:39 PM
I for one have to agree with bennet as the starter our running game is a big big question mark. Bennett has not had the ability to hit the right hoel constintly. He realy isnt a running back that gives coonsient possitve yards. The reason his number dont reflect that is he dose have the aboility to break a long run. He has not shown he can break tackles very well. I have feeling Memo will be the starter by the end of the year.

Passign game we we will have to many peopel that can catch the ball. You cnat cover every one when u factor in Jimmy K and wiggins and Memo or mo if he starts. Not to sure on bennets hands.

With Moss gone we have many more weapons as Pep can pass to who eever is open and not get flak for any one reciever not gettign the ball enuff.


On papper yes i see the vikings need to pick a number one reciever. Realsticly i see the ball being spread around so much we will not have a true number 1 reciever.

Well back the hole i dispeared into err i shoudl ssay everquest lol

Del Rio
07-05-2005, 10:44 PM
I think Bennett will be the sure starter at RB, and I think he knows this may be it for him. So I expect to see some serious effort and some serious production out of him.

As far as people hating the Vikings it wouldn't surprise me. I think more then anything it is a fresh start for the media maybe they feel he will be more approachable playing for the Raiders?

DeathtoDenny
07-05-2005, 10:44 PM
We have the most offensive weapons in the NFL. Kleinsasser, Wiggins, Burleson, Taylor, Robinson, Williamson, Cambell, Bennett, Moore, Fason, Williams and Culpepper behind the best O-line in the NFC.

PurpleElf
07-16-2005, 07:09 AM
I think the only reason we gave up on the running game so early was we were behind so early every dizamn game. With the defense keeping us in games early on we will have the opportunity to just pound the rock. Then when they start dragging there safeties into the box we send T.Will deep for 60.

LB's still scare me a little though. The fact is I have only seen very little of Cowart playing, but he seems to be around the ball all the time. As for Napo all I have seen is the superbowl against Tampa Bay where he did make a few plays but nothing spectacular. On the other hand I have seen alot of DT and to be honest NONE of it made me feel he's going to good, now that might just be rookie mistakes and what not(let's just hope that the case and it's out of his system).

RandyMoss8404
07-16-2005, 07:44 AM
MeMo will replace Bennett by week 4.

If he doesn't, Tice should be shot.

happy camper
07-16-2005, 07:46 AM
"PAvikesfan" wrote:

i believe bennett will stay healthy this year, if he doesn't he is done in the NFL--no one will take him.



ludacris.

nobody will take him at a #1 rb money. but someone if the situation ever happened, a team would be making a steal if they got him for #2-#3 money.

midgensa
07-16-2005, 07:47 AM
This seems to be the consensous from analysts everywhere, and most are calling us the top threat to the Iggles, so I guess we cannot complain ... here's to an amazing 2005!!

magicci
07-16-2005, 06:50 PM
yup all this stuff saying that we are a big threat to take the eagles out of the superbowl and all my friends still say the vikings suck, god i hate ignorants

Mr Anderson
07-17-2005, 04:26 AM
"Articnv" wrote:

I for one have to agree with bennet as the starter our running game is a big big question mark. Bennett has not had the ability to hit the right hoel constintly. He realy isnt a running back that gives coonsient possitve yards. The reason his number dont reflect that is he dose have the aboility to break a long run. He has not shown he can break tackles very well. I have feeling Memo will be the starter by the end of the year.

Passign game we we will have to many peopel that can catch the ball. You cnat cover every one when u factor in Jimmy K and wiggins and Memo or mo if he starts. Not to sure on bennets hands.

With Moss gone we have many more weapons as Pep can pass to who eever is open and not get flak for any one reciever not gettign the ball enuff.


On papper yes i see the vikings need to pick a number one reciever. Realsticly i see the ball being spread around so much we will not have a true number 1 reciever.

Well back the hole i dispeared into err i shoudl ssay everquest lol


Two words.

Spell Check.

i'm sorry, but honestly, It took me fifteen minutes to read that post. Just please read what you write before you post it. I am a real stickler for spelling, sorry, but it's just a serious pet peeve of mine.

But when I did figure out what you said, I totally agree. Especially about when Kleinsasser and Birk return to block around the 7 and 9 holes and on sweeps and even some HB screen plays that I see us running.

As for the WR situation, we have so much depth and so much talent I don't think it really matters who our number 1 WR is, and I see us having atleast 2 or 3 guys with 70 or 80 receptions next year.

We'll be fine without moss, we're gonna have a great playoff run, and I could seriously see us winning the NFC.

Ltrey33
07-17-2005, 04:53 AM
"RandyMoss8404" wrote:

MeMo will replace Bennett by week 4.

If he doesn't, Tice should be shot.

I was watching MeMo today on the team highlight show. I had forgotten how freakin good that guy was. I only got to see him play one game last year, becuase we moved and our DirecTV was out for two sundays in a row, so I missed 2 of the 3 games he started. Watching him on the highlight show, I almost want to root for him to get the starting job.

ultravikingfan
07-17-2005, 07:07 AM
"Mr Anderson" wrote:

"Articnv" wrote:

I for one have to agree with bennet as the starter our running game is a big big question mark. Bennett has not had the ability to hit the right hoel constintly. He realy isnt a running back that gives coonsient possitve yards. The reason his number dont reflect that is he dose have the aboility to break a long run. He has not shown he can break tackles very well. I have feeling Memo will be the starter by the end of the year.

Passign game we we will have to many peopel that can catch the ball. You cnat cover every one when u factor in Jimmy K and wiggins and Memo or mo if he starts. Not to sure on bennets hands.

With Moss gone we have many more weapons as Pep can pass to who eever is open and not get flak for any one reciever not gettign the ball enuff.


On papper yes i see the vikings need to pick a number one reciever. Realsticly i see the ball being spread around so much we will not have a true number 1 reciever.

Well back the hole i dispeared into err i shoudl ssay everquest lol


Two words.

Spell Check.

i'm sorry, but honestly, It took me fifteen minutes to read that post. Just please read what you write before you post it. I am a real stickler for spelling, sorry, but it's just a serious pet peeve of mine.

But when I did figure out what you said, I totally agree. Especially about when Kleinsasser and Birk return to block around the 7 and 9 holes and on sweeps and even some HB screen plays that I see us running.

As for the WR situation, we have so much depth and so much talent I don't think it really matters who our number 1 WR is, and I see us having atleast 2 or 3 guys with 70 or 80 receptions next year.

We'll be fine without moss, we're gonna have a great playoff run, and I could seriously see us winning the NFC.

Don't be like that.

Also, check yourself for proper punctuation too.

magicci
07-17-2005, 08:31 AM
lol burned.

SKOL
07-17-2005, 08:53 AM
Let's not forget that Bennett is in a contract year. He's never had as much motivation as now to play. If the OL stays healthy I think Bennett could push 1,500+ yards.

I'd like Mewelde to take over our 3rd down back duties, and keep Moe healthy for insurance.

collegeguyjeff
07-17-2005, 05:16 PM
moss got way too much credit for the offense. people tend to forget we run 2 tight ends and usually one of them is open and that can eat up a ton of yards during a game. moss pretty much got the ball thrown to him deep when he got it thrown to him and a lot of downs were wasted throwing him the ball when he woudln't catch it

Lotza
07-17-2005, 05:23 PM
"Vikez4Lyfe" wrote:

Im predicting we get a first round bye in the playoffs.. and atleast make it to the NFC championship...


Prowbowlers- Pep.. Birk.. Bennett(?)... K-will.. Sharper

pro bowlers pep birk bennett p will Winfield.

magicci
07-18-2005, 08:08 AM
have any of our TE's had a 100 yard game?

josdin00
07-18-2005, 07:27 PM
As far as I've been able to find, Wiggins had a 94yd game against the Packers last year in week 10, but that's the closest any Viking TE has come to a 100 yard game since 1995. (the Database I have doesn't have game data from before 95)

muchluv4smoot
07-19-2005, 02:56 AM
As far as can burleson replace moss as the #1 receiver, why does he have to? Who was the #1 receiver for NE? Branch, Patten or Givens? Branch had a huge super bowl so people would say him, but patten and givens also had their share of big games for NE. The point is, they had no true #1 WR, just 3 or 4 good WR's. That is what I see on our team, with a possibilty of burleson being a stud #1 this year, but again if he isn't, I don't think it will matter. We also have great receiveing TE's and RB's.

I really don't see why we need another moss at WR. Look at the super bowl winners lately and how many of those teams had a moss-like #1 WR?

I still worry more about our D being good enough this year, then I do about our offense without moss.

DemonicViking
07-19-2005, 03:02 AM
I wish people would let players establish themselves as indivduals instead of being labeled the next Moss, Montana, Barry Sanders.. blah blah blah. Those players were/are in a class by themselves as should the others who bring their own talents to the table.

midgensa
07-19-2005, 03:30 AM
"muchluv4smoot" wrote:

As far as can burleson replace moss as the #1 receiver, why does he have to? Who was the #1 receiver for NE? Branch, Patten or Givens? Branch had a huge super bowl so people would say him, but patten and givens also had their share of big games for NE. The point is, they had no true #1 WR, just 3 or 4 good WR's. That is what I see on our team, with a possibilty of burleson being a stud #1 this year, but again if he isn't, I don't think it will matter. We also have great receiveing TE's and RB's.

I really don't see why we need another moss at WR. Look at the super bowl winners lately and how many of those teams had a moss-like #1 WR?

I still worry more about our D being good enough this year, then I do about our offense without moss.

Well said my man ...
This offense has all the tools to be one of the best in the NFL ... EVEN without Moss. I am more worried about the defense being on the same page and the LB's performing up to snuff ... but I am not that worried.
We are Super Bowl bound ... bottom line.

Ltrey33
07-19-2005, 03:33 AM
"josdin00" wrote:

As far as I've been able to find, Wiggins had a 94yd game against the Packers last year in week 10, but that's the closest any Viking TE has come to a 100 yard game since 1995. (the Database I have doesn't have game data from before 95)

What?! Hunter Goodwin never had one?! :roll: lol

muchluv4smoot
07-19-2005, 03:42 AM
"ltrey33" wrote:

"josdin00" wrote:

As far as I've been able to find, Wiggins had a 94yd game against the Packers last year in week 10, but that's the closest any Viking TE has come to a 100 yard game since 1995. (the Database I have doesn't have game data from before 95)

What?! Hunter Goodwin never had one?! :roll: lol


I'm suprised chamberlain never had any. I remember some long Td's from him.

magicci
07-19-2005, 03:48 AM
i cant really remember chamberlain that much, was he really that good in his best years for us?

Lumadad
07-19-2005, 03:51 AM
I think there should be no worries about the offense. Their going to do what they do, especially against a division that focused mainly on the offensive side of the ball with their off-season moves. Detroit drafting another reciever, the Bears focusing on their offense when their D is injury prone, and the Packers... F!@# the Packers! For the first time in a long time I am more excited to watch the Vikings on the defensive side of things instead of offense. A defense like this can definitly put the "black and blue" back into the NFC North.

muchluv4smoot
07-19-2005, 03:53 AM
"magicci" wrote:

i cant really remember chamberlain that much, was he really that good in his best years for us?


He had a pro bowl year for us and I remember a long TD catch from him. He must not have done aything esle after that catch. Actually now that I think of it, he might have gotten hurt in that game. He was good for us, until he got hurt and fat.

magicci
07-19-2005, 04:14 AM
he was taking aphedra i think.