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Monday, September 03, 2007

A sign that the Vikings are improving personnel

I'm not sure how many games the Vikings are going to win this season. But this weekend proved that The Purple are making some sound personnel decisions. While they did release both seventh-round picks, the fact that Tyler Thigpen was added to Kansas City's 53-man roster as a backup quarterback is a credit to the Vikings scouting and coaching staffs. As if that wasn't enough, the Chiefs also signed DE Khreem Smith to the practice squad.

Not too long ago, players cut by the Vikings would turn in their purple jerseys and never play another down of professional football. That their cuts are now landing elsewhere is a clear indication that the Vikings are moving in the right direction.

But the ultimate feather in the cap is the mini-drama between Vikings coach Brad Childress and New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick. The two clearly are on opposite ends of the NFL coaching hierarchy. But the more unproven Childress didn't budge when Belichick challenged him this weekend.

With the Vikings set to make a claim on TE Garrett Mills, Childress received a phone call from Belichick. The Patriots coach wanted to make a deal. The Vikings pass on Mills, and the Patriots would pass on LB David Herron, who Childress cut Saturday.

During an interview with WCCO radio, Childress recalled Belichick telling him, "Is there any way you don’t take our guy and we don’t take your guy?”

Childress replied: “Well, I’m really interested in your guy. We’ll have to let our guy slide.

“He didn’t really care for that,” Childress told WCCO. “He was trying to leverage. But you always find out who is honest and straightforward."

The Vikings signed Mills on Sunday.

The final question posed to Belichick during his Monday press conference was about Childress' comments. In typical fashion, though, the colorful Belichick refused to say anything remotely controversial to the media.

"I talked to a lot of people in the league over the course of the last few days," Belichick said. "That's part of the whole process of player transactions and so forth. I'm sure that all of the coaches in the league are trying to get their team ready for opening day and the regular season and I'm trying to do the same thing. That's what I do and that's what all of the other coaches do too. "

Unfortunately, the two teams don't play this season, although Belichick has gotten the better of Childress in their last couple of meetings, most recently a 31-7 throttling at the Metrodome last October.


Blogger My little bunnies said...

Any chance that the "mini"-drama continues? I'd be for some more depth at WR. How about you?

Patriots release WR Caldwell

5:01 PM  
Blogger Ryan said...

I wouldn't get too excited about Caldwell. Honestly, there aren't really any impressive wide receiver free agents until 2010 (according to KFFL). However, if a big enough target hits free agency, I would imagine the Vikings will go after them with all this cap money. Our best bet for the time being is to get a quality wide receiver through the draft. People like Caldwell, Moulds, or Curtis aren't really going to make a huge difference for this team.

5:18 PM  
Blogger Eric said...

Caldwell is still relatively young and the other 2 are over the hill.

6:53 PM  
Blogger dscbubba said...

was looking over the vikings roster and noticed rufus alexander was on roster and counting for one of the 53 players, but i thought they placed him on ir and thast that removes from the roster. am i correct?

7:15 PM  
Blogger Northstardomus said...

"A sign that the Vikings are improving personnel"

Either that or cutting the wrong players.

9:37 PM  
Blogger Mikeal said...

Anyone else notice the teeth-gnashing over the loss of Tyler Thigpen? If we're so damn smart how could we keep *3* fullbacks when most teams don't bother to keep 1, and yet let a hot young QB prospect go out like that when you've got so many teams slavering for anything that looks like a QB? Why not keep him on the roster for a week till other teams have signed their QBs, and then swap him for our #3 fullback if we must?

12:52 PM  
Blogger Jonn said...

I worry about being an Eagles farm club (and maybe Wisconsin U. as well). We gave up Backett a very promising receiver for a jouneyman who has been released. We gave up draft choices and players for three jouneyman quarterbacks (two from the Eagles)while letting an excellent prospect go. Oh yes, and we made a trade with the Eagles for Hicks who is struggling. So if a player can't make the Eagles, its still an upgrade for Chili?

1:26 PM  
Blogger Ben said...

So far I've seen people complaining about losing a fourth string project QB (7th round pick) and a wide receiver (undrafted) who would be no better than 5th on our depth chart. To me that is a sign that our talent is getting better and that Chilly must be managing our talent pretty well.

Our O-line still needs to gel and we need to see our young skill position players develop, but at least we seem to have a lot more talent and athleticism on offense than last year.

I'm optomistic about Chilly having a pretty solid all around squad by next year's opening day.


2:58 PM  
Blogger Andrew E. said...

Few things are absolute. It defies logic to keep a qb who has looked utterly inept (Bollinger) while cutting Thigpen, who it would stand to reason would improve as the no. 3 more than Bollinger would. It's simply inane to trade for Holcomb to be the experienced No. 2 and then still keep Bollinger. Likewise, it was a bad decision to pay Shiancoe more money than his mother thought he was worth. Maybe Shiancoe works out, but just because an Altima will get to you work everyday doesn't mean that you pay the price of a Range Rover for it.

Some things, though, are good. Trading an undrafted free agent for a player is an excellent use of assets. Childress deserves credit for that.

Ben, I disagree with your view of 'letting the young skill positions develop.' Our starting WRs are a journeyman who couldn't stick with receiver hungry Bears, Falcons and Titans teams, and a guy who runs 4.3 but cannot see the ball. I like the young receivers, but it's negligent to have such awful starters. How is Jackson supposed to develop throwing to guys who might not make the CFL? I appreciate starting a young qb means there will be growing pains, but wouldn't it make a lot more sense to have an experienced WR that he could throw the ball to?

Regarding Sean's pieces, the trend of ex-Vikings remaining in the league started in the latter part of the Tice regime. Freddie Robbins, Ty Carter, Bob Griffith and even Everitt Lindsey all went elsewhere. I agree with the point, though, that it's nice to be past the days of Ronnie Bradford, Henri Crockett and Lorenzo Bromell.

It's also nice that Childress got a player that Belichick didn't want, but isn't it a bit sad when Childress runs to the media to share this victory? I would be more concerned with being worked like a speed-bag during the game last Hallowe'en and less concerned with scooping the Pats' taxi squad.

4:14 PM  
Blogger Ben said...


Since we're dialoguing, I'll tell you how I view the offense.

I'm not sold on Troy Williamson either, but I like Sidney Rice a lot. He'll be a very good receiver in this league - someday.

Bobby Wade's problem has been fumbles, so I'm a little nervous about putting the ball in his hands too many times, but he has proven that he can make plays in this league. (He had several return TD's to go with his fumbles as a Bear.)

Robert Fergusan is a serviceable 2 or 3 receiver. The Pack cut him over $$$.

I would cut Troy Williamson as soon as he is expendable, but he still gives a home run possibillity in the fourth receiver spot. I'd really like his eye thing to work out though because he seems like a nice guy.

I'm a lot more comfortable with Bollinger as a third quarterback than as back-up. And let's be honest, Tyler Thigpen was (another) project QB with some descent skills and upside. We can get a guy like that in next year's draft. Having said that, I probably would have kept Thigpen for his potential and cut Bollinger, but I'm not devastated.

Picking up Holcomb upgrades our depth at QB immediately. Let's put it this way, my happiness about picking up Holcomb outweighs my disappointment in losing Thigpen.

8:26 AM  

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