Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Vikings Weekly Wrap

Joe Webb

I know what most Vikings fans are thinking after head coach Leslie Frazier said Friday that Joe Webb will concentrate on being a quarterback this season – it's about time.

For two seasons now, we've watched Webb make some jaw-dropping plays and perform pretty competently when he's been forced to play significant reps at quarterback. Those performances have been enough to have us fantasize about what Webb could accomplish if the Vikes coaching staff stopped jerking him around and had him focus on becoming an NFL quarterback. This week Vikings Territory head honcho Adam Warwas penned a guest post for me calling on the team to commit to developing Webb as a quarterback full-time. Warwas got his wish.

This is the right move for a number of reasons.

1) If starter Christian Ponder develops into the QB the Vikings expect him to, but Webb also shows he's got starter potential, the Vikes – if they play it smart – can trade Webb to another team for a premium. That would not be a bad return on a sixth-round investment.

2) If Ponder develops into a good starter, but Webb blossoms into a great starter, then the Vikes trade Ponder to another team for a premium.

3) And if Webb can't beat out Ponder, but still hones his craft enough that he's a solid backup option, that's okay as well. You can always use a decent backup.

Webb was never going to pan out as a wide receiver or kick returner anyway. So today was a good day for Joe Webb, the Minnesota Vikings and Viking fans.

Leslie Frazier

I think it's fair to say the bloom is off the rose for Frazier when it comes to Vikings fans. Being the head coach for a team that goes 3-13 never does a whole lot for a guy's popularity. Still, I liked some of the things coming out of Frazier's piehole in this post by ESPN 1500's Tom Pelissero.

The 2012 season is going to be a big one for Frazier. His team will have to show great improvement in order for him to keep his job. At least he's saying things right now that make perfect sense to me: that he's told Adrian Peterson to get smart when it comes to rehabbing his knee; that he wants to get Percy Harvin on the field more than we saw in 2011; and that he wants to give defensive lineman Jared Allen, Brian Robison and Kevin Williams more rest to keep them fresher next season.

What doesn't make much sense to me is entertaining the thought of bringing back Cedric Griffin. After two major knee operations, Griffin doesn't look like he's got anything left.

Again with Mario Manningham

No, I do not have a Mario Manningham fetish. However, I've been writing about him lately because I get the feeling the Vikings are going to pursue him when free agency starts on March 13. He's young (25), he's been reasonably productive (in 2010 he caught 60 passes for 944 yards and nine touchdowns) and he likely won't be horrendously expensive. That's a combination Minnesota general manager Rick Spielman will like.

Yet Manningham probably doesn't fill the Vikings need for a number #1 wide receiver. That is the view of The National Football Post's Matt Bowen, anyway.

That doesn't mean the Vikes shouldn't target Manningham, as he would be an obvious upgrade at the position. But the Vikings, and Vikings fans, should be realistic about what player they are getting if Manningham does sign with Minnesota. He's a good player. I don't think he's a great player. This club could use a few more good players, though.

Matt Kalil

The USC left tackle would fill an obvious need for the Vikings. That's why many mock drafts have Minnesota taking him with the number three overall pick.

I'm not going to write about that today. Instead I am going to make fun of a quote of his that appeared in this Thursday post by ESPN NFC North blogger Kevin Seifert.

Seifert marveled (at least I think he was marveling) that Kalil didn't look like a prototypical portly offensive lineman at the combine. "I'm so tall and slender, I could weigh 310, and it wouldn't look it," Kalil told reporters with a straight face.

I love this. It might be the first time in history a 6'6, 306-pound guy called himself slender. Matt – 6'6 and 206 pounds is slender. When you're 6'6 and over 300 pounds, well, that's just big.

Blog Developments

After some lean months in 2011, I've been blogging pretty steady here at Grant's Tomb since September and have every intention of doing so for the foreseeable future.

But change is afoot. On March 1st, I'll be putting Grant's Tomb out to pasture after 500-plus posts and debuting a new, mostly Vikings-focused blog.

I'm pretty pumped about this, and what's even better is I will have some help. I have recruited another writer to contribute regularly to the blog, and while I don't want to give anything away at this point, I think fans who frequent Viking sites regularly will be somewhat familiar with the writer's previous work.

I will leave it at that for now. Just be sure to check back here on March 1st, as I will post a link to the new site at Grant's Tomb on Thursday.

Ahh, the excitement. Can you feel it?


Bismuth said...

If secret-blogger-person is who I think they are, then I am super pumped!

Darren Campbell said...


All will be revealed on Thursday.