Welcome to our Week 7 chat live from Winter Park. If you have any questions, ask away. We'll be here until 12:50, when practice starts.
Hah, I appreciate that.
Right now, this Vikings offense is trying to figure that out. They are missing their running back, their tight end, their right guard and are trying to phase in a rookie quarterback.
It's not easy to do all that on the fly week-to-week. That's why I lift some blame from inconsistent playcalling, because right now Norv Turner is trying to figure out what these backups do well.
None on the offensive line. Don't expect any personnel changes on the OL as they've practiced with the same starting 5 all week.
Regarding the defense -- I think Andrew Sendejo or rookie Antone Exum could get some work at safety if the season slips away. I don't think Mike Zimmer would make that kind of a switch midseason unless he was building for beyond 2014.
No, Bridgewater is the future franchise and will be going forward unless he completely breaks down as a player or decides to pursue a dream of impressionist painting (/sarcasm).
Just what you mentioned about him shouldering the blame, that's another reason why they love him so much inside Winter Park. However, we've seen a QB say all the right things and not manifest that onto the field (Ponder). Let's be patient.
No. Word on the street comes from people who aren't watching practice.
Rhett isn't a pass-catching option. His routes are cumbersome, he's not quick and isn't the type of TE that Norv Turner likes to use. Chase Ford is that guy, but a broken foot put him behind in training camp and that's why Ellison was the guy for the first few games without Rudolph. We're writing something on Ford today, so stay tuned for a state-of-the-TE address.
I'd like to see Norv move Teddy out of the pocket more, but they're not so quick to start those habits with him. With a rookie, you want to try and work him out of the pocket first before evolving into a throw-on-the-run guy. However, right now it'd be better for him to run because that line is porous.
Expect more TE/RB chips in the backfield, more heavy sets in the backfield possibly with RB/TE next to him in shotgun, etc.
That hip flexor does it. He can't get in and out of his breaks as efficiently as he'd like to. He hopes to be 100 percent come this week, but you really don't know until you break out of a hook route and get laid out by a linebacker if your hip flexor is fully healed.
I think that's a decent point, but we're talking about a 31-year-old linebacker trying to not only earn his salary this year but in 2015. He's got a $8.8M cap hit next year.
He needs to show he can still be effective, stay healthy and do what Zimmer wants to earn that. Does that mean the Vikings let him? Not necessarily. But you can't tell a vet like Greenway to sit while healthy, even if you think Gerald Hodges gives you a better shot. Right now, I get the sense the coaching staff is welcoming back Greenway. They need the in-game adjustments and experience from a guy like that. (if able and healthy).
I don't know if "even" is the word, but they do want more balance than they got vs. DET. That was Mike Zimmer's point.
Expect McKinnon to be the feature back, with Asiata in a secondary role. This will be a committee, but I think McKinnon has the upper hand. It just won't be a 17 touches to 3 touches upper hand like last week.
That's interesting. I've been saying I think they need to bring in a veteran RB to take Asiata's role, but they've been loyal to Asiata -- and anyone that knows his story has a hard time not cheering for him. But I think they could get more production out of the backfield to help out Teddy and that -- to me -- means bringing in a vet like Spiller, or the lawfirm, etc.
False. I think he brings a shot of life, energy to that linebacking corps that an injured Greenway couldn't. But, if Greenway is healthy -- he's your play. He's a better all-around linebacker. Could he make that leaping pass deflection like Hodges last week? Probably not. But he'll maybe read an opposing backfield and understand his advantages to a given playcall before a given snap. There isn't a stat to point out how effective experience is, but a healthy Greenway is still a better option.
A side to Greenway -- fans have a bad taste in their mouths on him because of his below-average play with a broken right wrist in 2013 and a broken left hand and three broken ribs in 2014.
If he truly is healthy, he's a better player than he's shown. Key is he can't rush back to hurt this team by playing injured.
Ah yes, I liked Bobby. Another training camp hero.
He's had bad punts, not a bad punting season. He could be helping this offense out a lot more by, for instance, helping in field position vs. Detroit. However, he's a second-year player still fighting through a change in venue and his own technique.
St. Louis was the only healthy game he's had.
I was wondering at what point we'd get to this. I remember championing a storyline this offseason that both DEs won't be as statistically as productive in this scheme. I then remember fans (and Judd Zulgad) jeering me after Griffen got two sacks vs. STL.
These guys, like Linval and Sharrif, are being asked to take up blocks to let Anthony Barr, Hodges, etc. make plays. One out of every three tackles Barr gets, it's likely because Griffen took out the tackle and fullback.
I think Griffen and Robison could be better in pass rush, but part of the issue is they're now being coached to look for the run first. Another issue is the Vikings don't have leads on teams. Without leads, you can't forget your run responsibility and gun after the passer. St. Louis was the only game they've really done that (and second half vs. ATL).
Yes, they used that once vs. DET.
I liked that look, they ran a double screen, but Ducasse couldn't block out Ansah to give McKinnon room for a loss of 2.
You can draw these things up, but when Brandon Fusco isn't there to help, sometimes it really doesn't make a direct difference.
Does* make a direct difference.
Last answer, have to go out to practice now.
Yes. I think the week-to-week injuries and playcalling changes with different QBs has been a battle not only for the personnel, but for Norv Turner. We've seen some varying game plans from week-to-week and at some point he'll have to nail down common traits or themes that these guys are good at. But as of now, it's a work in progress.
Thanks all for joining! I appreciate the questions. We'll do it again next week.