View Full Version : Vikings: No star required: Lesser lights must shine

08-25-2006, 04:08 AM
Vikings: No star required: Lesser lights must shine


Koren Robinson caught 78 passes for 1,240 yards and five touchdowns in his finest season as the No. 1 receiver in a West Coast offense.
Four years later, his life seemed back in order, and he once again was the top threat in a West Coast offense.


Just like that, Robinson is gone, excused from all Vikings team activities since his Aug. 15 arrest for drunken driving and fleeing police. Lost with him, possibly, is the kind of production and extra attention from defensive coordinators that he commanded as a Seattle Seahawks star in the fall of 2002.

"Koren is a very explosive player, very strong, and if you single press him on a slant, he's going to beat you up," Vikings quarterback Brad Johnson said. "Teams have to be selective on who they put out there to cover him."

Heading into tonight's third preseason game against the Baltimore Ravens at the Metrodome, the Vikings have no clearly defined No. 1 receiver. Or No. 1 offensive threat.

And yet they don't seem to mind. In fact, they never actually referred to Robinson as their "No. 1" anything even before he was excused.

The full extent of this offense won't be unveiled publicly until Sept. 11 at Washington. For now, Johnson likes to call it "system ball." Superstars need not apply.

"One player isn't going to have to come up with so many catches for so many yards, just because Koren isn't here," Johnson said. "I think it's all of us doing our jobs. It's a system that coverage dictates where the ball goes."

Coach Brad Childress said the offense likes to "spread the thing around" to receivers, tight ends and running backs.

"I know it's easy to say No. 1 receivers, but it's not basketball," Childress said. "It's not a one guard, two guard, three guard. You play with two [receivers], you play with three, you play with four. So I don't really categorize those guys that way."

Even in limited viewing of the starters this preseason, it appears Childress is practicing what he's preaching. Among starters, the top four leaders in receptions are a fullback (Tony Richardson) with four followed by a tight end (Jermaine Wiggins), a running back (Chester Taylor) and a receiver (Troy Williamson) with three apiece.

"I'm no defensive coordinator, so I don't know how teams were scheming Koren," Wiggins said. "But he was a good player. When you lose a player of his caliber, everybody else has to pick it up."

Travis Taylor, a shifty player who caught 50 passes last season, replaced Robinson in the starting lineup. Marcus Robinson, whose size is an advantage near the goal line, moves up to No. 3.

And Wiggins is in the middle of it all, the garbage man collecting all the dump-offs and check-downs. He has quietly led the Vikings in receptions the past two seasons with 69 in 2005 and 71 (plus five more in the playoffs) in 2004.

"He's a hard one for the defense to figure out, isn't he?" Johnson said. "He just gets open.

"And, overall, all of these guys can win. They each have different strengths, but what means the most to me is can they catch the ball in traffic? These guys can."

Wiggins subscribes to the "system ball" mentality, but the coaches and quarterbacks also get a fair dose of that Boston accent directed their way on the field and in the classroom.

"I feel I can make every play, so I'm always in the coach's ears and the quarterback's ears telling them I can do this and I can do that," Wiggins said. "I welcome challenges."

The Vikings are facing one without Koren Robinson. It's one they're prepared to face together with an offense similar to the one that made him stand out four years ago.

08-25-2006, 05:28 AM
after we lost R.m. there hasn't been a true #anything of our WR's.

and i really think that B.j will get the ball 2 the open body. be it WR, TE, FB, RB.. that's what will cause D coaches headaches this year. not having THAT guy to watch.. but having THAT team to watch.

and B.j is just the man to lead that.. now lets get T.j to learn from him how to do this, and have his quick strong release.. and who knows.. maybe a HAH caught ya with yer pants down long ball.


Mr. Purple
08-25-2006, 10:53 AM
Well we're lucky, we just so happened to switch to the WCO.The WCO offense is a perfect fit for what we have.It will allow Brad to spread the ball around to all our receivers.We may not have a true number WR this year who puts up 1,500 yards and 18 TD's.Butttt we have a solid group of guys who can get the job done.I'm not lookin for Superstars, I'm lookin for wins!