Sunday, August 5, 2012

Camp Thoughts

Some thoughts to take our minds off of Greg Childs tearing the patellar tendons in both of his knees:

  • New defensive coordinator Alan Williams is planning on limiting the snaps of the Vikings' defensive linemen by subbing them in and out hockey-line style. On one hand, this makes some sense--the defensive line is the key to the Vikings' pass defense and keeping them healthy and rested is of paramount importance. Additionally, the Vikings' defensive line is probably the deepest unit on the team, talent wise. And William's plan to sub the linemen in and out in units helps to lessen confusion and ensure that players are comfortable with each other. On the other hand, the Vikings' line seems to have done just fine last year without limiting players' snaps (something of an understatement, I think). The line shifts should help lessen confusion and allow for easier substitutions, which is important in an NFL that is playing more no huddle in an attempt to create mismatches by exploiting defenses that can't substitute its players, but it also forces star players like Jared Allen to the bench and will make it even harder to adapt the line's personnel to in game situations and formations because it would require a change in personnel and substitution patterns in game, something that is a lot more complicated when the play clock is ticking. Of course, the NFC North isn't a particularly fast division--the Lions are one of the fastest teams in the NFL, but the Bears are one of the slowest. The Packers, well, they vary from year to year, and there's no doubt that Aaron Rodgers can run a hurry up no-huddle offense to take advantage of the Vikings' substitutions (I'm already shuddering about Jared Allen being left off the field on a key third down). In the end, I agree with Jared Allen--it seems like a good idea in theory, but in practice, it seems unworkable and an attempt to fit the personnel to a scheme, rather than a scheme to the personnel.
  • Apparently Calvin Johnson is faster now than he was last year. Good for fantasy teams, I guess, but absolutely terrifying for the Vikings and their rebuilt secondary.
  • How about some cheery news? Kyle Rudolph seems poised for a breakout. Lots of buzz, and I really like the fact the Vikings' are planning on copying the Patriots' use of Gronkowski. Rudolph presents a huge target for Ponder, and one that almost no defender can match up with. And with Childs' injury adding to the list of pass catchers the Vikings' won't have, its crucial that Rudolph actually live up to the buzz. Ponder to Rudolph has a nice ring to it, I think--hopefully we'll get to hear announcers say it a lot.


  1. I like the other 4th round receiver to get a look outside. Great speed good route runner not 6'2'' but if you get seperation (Open) you don't have to be. Steve Smith is a beast and is not tall. I just want productive from our not tall but talented receiver. Hell I don't like him sitting behind Percy. Withy no talent behind him they set him 40% last year. Lets not tempt them to set a an all time low for Harvin Reps this year. Give the new kid a chance outside.

  2. Anon:

    Good point about Jarius Wright. We haven't heard a ton about him in camp because, well, I'm not sure why but it's perhaps because he's expected to be a slot guy and the Vikings already have one of those in Harvin and he's pretty darned good.

    Steve Smith is a beast and I think they list him (generously) at 5'11, so, yes, you don't need to be 6'4 to be deep threat. We'll see how Wright makes out in training camp and where they play him. He can force the Vikings to play him there if her makes plays and performs.