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singersp
09-15-2006, 08:38 AM
Posted on Fri, Sep. 15, 2006

Where's the 'Long' in Longwell? (http://www.duluthsuperior.com/mld/duluthsuperior/sports/15525132.htm)

VIKINGS: Kickoffs were short against Washington.

BY JON KRAWCZYNSKI
ASSOCIATED PRESS

MINNEAPOLIS - Minnesota Vikings kicker Ryan Longwell certainly didn't live up to his name, at least on kickoffs, in the season opener at Washington.

He wasn't very long off the tee, consistently landing his kickoffs around the 10-yard line Monday night. Longwell couldn't figure out why he wasn't kicking the ball deeper, but promised to return to the form he showed in the preseason when the Vikings play Carolina at the Metrodome on Sunday.

"It was one of those things where I was trying a bunch of different things to try and get them deeper," Longwell said Thursday. "The first one I hit really well and it came down at like the 9- or 10-yard line and I was shocked it came down that short.

"So they'll definitely be deeper, there's no question. And they were all preseason, but the other night was just a weird night with the way the wind was blowing and the balls we had just didn't fly."

Other than the short kickoffs, Longwell's first game as a Viking was a success. He hit a 31-yard field goal to win the game and added another before halftime that proved crucial in the outcome.

"I thought it was OK. I think we're still getting better," Longwell said. "The field goal we made before halftime was real big momentum-wise. We're much better than we were six weeks ago and we need to be perfect. But to test it on the game-winner, that's the ultimate test, the pressure for snap, hold and kick. We came through there."

Special teams coordinator Paul Ferraro, who held the same job with the Panthers last season, said he was confident Longwell would improve on kickoffs in the Dome.

"Certainly I would like to see the kickoffs a little deeper than they were," Ferraro said. "I think you will see that on Sunday."

Longwell was racking his brain for justifications on Thursday, even jokingly blaming the new footballs with new Commissioner Roger Goodell's name on them, replacing Paul Tagliabue's.

"The balls have a lot of say in how we perform," Longwell said. "The new Roger Goodell balls, I guess, didn't arrive in time. They weren't too broken in. We'll be better this week for sure. I think you'll see my kickoffs more like they were in the preseason than they were the other night."

KLUWE'S NIGHT

Longwell wasn't the only Vikings kicker having trouble getting the ball to fly.

Punter Chris Kluwe, who earned a reputation last year as one of the league's heavy hitters, averaged just 28.4 yards a punt on five punts against the Redskins.

"I just think he had a bad night," Ferraro said. "I don't expect to see that kind of a performance from him again. He knows he needs to improve, and he will. It was just a bad evening."

Kluwe, who is coming off knee surgery in the offseason to repair torn ligaments in his kicking leg, said he wasn't concerned.

"Just a bad night," Kluwe said.

FAMILIAR FACE

Carolina guard Mike Wahle knows a thing or two about playing in the Metrodome.

The veteran played his first seven seasons in Green Bay, which meant an annual trip to one of the noisiest stadiums in the NFL.

Wahle recalled one run-in quarterback Brett Favre had with Ragnar the Viking, the team mascot who likes to drive his motorcycle on the turf when the team first comes on to the field.

"When I was up there with Brett one year, the guy was driving by and Brett hit him with a football," Wahle said. "It was hilarious."

Wahle is getting his teammates ready for a raucous atmosphere that includes loud music and louder fans.

"It gets real loud. They pump in music from extra speakers they put behind your bench so you can't hear anything," Wahle said. "We might have to go out there early and yank the plugs or something, I guess."

IMPRESSIVE DEBUT

Vikings rookie defensive end Ray Edwards impressed in his debut Monday night.

Edwards was considered by some to be a reach when the Vikings picked him in the fourth round of April's draft. But his speed and athleticism has put him right into the thick of the defensive line rotation, behind starter Erasmus James.

"Ray is not mesmerized by the bright lights, and that was the case on Monday night," defensive coordinator Mike Tomlin said. "I thought his play was solid. Of course he has some areas in which he can improve. Mainly, it needs to take place on the practice field."

Edwards didn't record a sack, but he did tip a pass by Mark Brunell at the line of scrimmage and nearly intercepted it.

"I'm definitely getting more comfortable," Edwards said. "I'm just trying to go out there and make things happen when I get the opportunity."

GOOD SEATS AVAILABLE

The Vikings announced that, as of Thursday evening, 300 tickets remained for sale for the home opener.

whackthepack
09-15-2006, 10:58 AM
Wahle recalled one run-in quarterback Brett Favre had with Ragnar the Viking, the team mascot who likes to drive his motorcycle on the turf when the team first comes on to the field.

"When I was up there with Brett one year, the guy was driving by and Brett hit him with a football," Wahle said. "It was hilarious."


Ragnar should have went over and kicked Favre's a$$!
Or maybe ran him over with his Harley!

CCthebest
09-15-2006, 11:12 AM
Michael's and Madden would have been there within seconds to take the brunt of the blows.

cajunvike
09-15-2006, 11:13 AM
"whackthepack" wrote:



Wahle recalled one run-in quarterback Brett Favre had with Ragnar the Viking, the team mascot who likes to drive his motorcycle on the turf when the team first comes on to the field.

"When I was up there with Brett one year, the guy was driving by and Brett hit him with a football," Wahle said. "It was hilarious."


Ragnar should have went over and kicked Favre's a$$!
Or maybe ran him over with his Harley!




That's alright...the Vike-tastic Four will run over Favre's A$$ in their two matchups this season!!!

SKOL
09-15-2006, 11:37 AM
I don't mind kickoffs that aren't terribly long, as long as it's high, and especially if the kicker can direct the ball to a particular spot.
It's hard to set up a long return if they're short.
That's why I never minded when Gary Anderson kicked off.

NodakPaul
09-15-2006, 12:16 PM
Wahle recalled one run-in quarterback Brett Favre had with Ragnar the Viking, the team mascot who likes to drive his motorcycle on the turf when the team first comes on to the field.

"When I was up there with Brett one year, the guy was driving by and Brett hit him with a football," Wahle said. "It was hilarious."

<cough>bullsh!t<cough>

Ragnar rides in when the players are announced, and rides down the home sideline.
When would Fav-re been able to throw a ball at him?
I've been to a lot of the GB games in the dome since '98, and I don't remember that at all (if anyone else remember sit, please correct me).


However, it wouldn't surprise me if Fav-re hit Ragnar with a ball during the game or halftime when he was taunting them on the sidelines.
I have seen Ragnar engage in light hearted taunting with the visitor bench several times. ;D Wahle
is just trying to make the story a little more interesting.

PurplePride80
09-15-2006, 02:47 PM
Ryan Longwell has never had a strong leg.

He's a very accuruate kicker, but when he has to attempt field goals that are 50 yards or longer, he struggles.

And that's why I'm suprised we haven't signed another kicker, just for kickoffs.

Json
09-15-2006, 02:50 PM
As long as he keeps kicking game winners I'm cool.
I think Childress should have punted rather then having him attempt that 54 yard field goal but I'm not the coach so it is what it is.
That and they still won so who am I to complain?
::)

thevikingfan
09-15-2006, 02:51 PM
Its just like the "telephone" game eventually it gets so distorted that it is completely different from what originally happened.What probably happened was that favre was warming up and passing to his reciever when ragnar rode throught the field on his bike and picked him off...yea that sounds about right!

Tarkenator
09-15-2006, 06:09 PM
"Json" wrote:


As long as he keeps kicking game winners I'm cool.
I think Childress should have punted rather then having him attempt that 54 yard field goal but I'm not the coach so it is what it is.
That and they still won so who am I to complain?

::)


Yeah, I didn't like that call either.
It put us in a vulnarable position.
I think he was very confident in our defense.
It definitely showed our hand to other teams as to Longwell's current capabilities.

scottishvike
09-15-2006, 06:44 PM
"Tarkenator" wrote:


"Json" wrote:


As long as he keeps kicking game winners I'm cool.
I think Childress should have punted rather then having him attempt that 54 yard field goal but I'm not the coach so it is what it is.
That and they still won so who am I to complain?

::)


Yeah, I didn't like that call either.
It put us in a vulnarable position.
I think he was very confident in our defense.
It definitely showed our hand to other teams as to Longwell's current capabilities.



I think the reason that call was made was because of the missed extra point, if we were ahead at that point with the defence playing as well as they were punting would have been the decision. I'm not too sure why Kluwe is holding on the kicks, last year Brad was doing it even when he was starting, if there is a bad snap I'd rather have the ball in the hands of a QB than a punter.

Tarkenator
09-15-2006, 07:04 PM
T. Jackson holding would have been a good option if he had practice as the holder.
I think he could have run that extra point in.

Deronn
09-15-2006, 07:18 PM
"Tarkenator" wrote:


T. Jackson holding would have been a good option if he had practice as the holder.
I think he could have run that extra point in.


I was thinking the same thing when it happened. Kluwe almost made it, but it would have been sweet to watch TJ run that in for a Viking touchdown!

singersp
09-15-2006, 07:58 PM
"Deronn" wrote:


"Tarkenator" wrote:


T. Jackson holding would have been a good option if he had practice as the holder.
I think he could have run that extra point in.


I was thinking the same thing when it happened. Kluwe almost made it, but it would have been sweet to watch TJ run that in for a Viking touchdown!



I don't understand why they don't use him or another player with a good arm & legs. It comes in handy for situations like this & leaves the option open for faking a field goal
& going for 6 or 2 point conversions.

Deronn
09-15-2006, 08:05 PM
"singersp" wrote:


"Deronn" wrote:


"Tarkenator" wrote:


T. Jackson holding would have been a good option if he had practice as the holder.
I think he could have run that extra point in.


I was thinking the same thing when it happened. Kluwe almost made it, but it would have been sweet to watch TJ run that in for a Viking touchdown!



I don't understand why they don't use him or another player with a good arm & legs. It comes in handy for situations like this & leaves the option open for faking a field goal
& going for 6 or 2 point conversions.


EXACTLY!
It just gives them another option on the play that they DON'T have with Kluwe taking the snap.
Makes sense to me, but then again what the heck do I know!