Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Should the Vikings make a deal for Kolb? We say yes, absolutely yes. Since Vincent Jackson wasn't added to the roster today, the Vikings could still make this kind of move and it would probably only cost them a first day draft pick. Or at most two picks on day one - but isn't that worth it for what many consider to be a franchise quarterback?
Favre probably won't be back in 2011, and Joe Webb/T-Jack won't be starting games next year for this club. At least, we hope they won't be starting games next year for this club.
Why not Kolb? Doesn't it sort of make sense? Chilli loves young QB's, he knows the west coast offense...we say get this deal done asap.
Saturday, September 18, 2010
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Aaron Ziemer is the News/Sports Director at Marshall Radio in Marshall, MN. He covers the Vikings/Twins/Gophers/Timberwolves/Wild in addition to handling local sports responsibilities in Southwest Minnesota and he is in his 8th year as the voice of Southwest Minnesota State Football/Basketball. We are thrilled to announce he’s also now a contributing writer for Cold Omaha.
By Aaron Ziemer
The question has to be asked. What is the future of the Gopher Football program?
Count me as one of the people around Minnesota College Football that was stunned. I knew the Gophers had lost to North Dakota State once, and struggled to beat South Dakota State last year, but I never anticipated South Dakota would go into TCF Bank Stadium and give the Gophers a game.
We were told Brewster was a recruiter, not a coach. Clearly he isn’t a coach, but at least Michael Floyd looks great in Maroon and Gold, running pass patterns in the Gophers wide open offense…oh… sorry, he’s in Notre Dame.
Well at least, Seantrel Henderson is doing a wonderful job protecting Adam Weber—about that.
Well at least Eric Decker, the Rocori standout, was a terrific get for Brewster—oh he was a Mason recruit…wait a minute, I thought Brewster was a recruiter.
There is a fine line between talking the talk, and walking the walk, to me, it is glaringly obvious that Brewster is the former, and not the latter. He came in with Rose Bowl Dreams, and less than Music City Bowl results.
Usually in athletics things are never as bad or as good as they seem. But, how do you even begin to prepare a team to face USC, when you have just lost to South Dakota? That is the question that Tim Brewster is asking himself this week.
The question is for how much longer will he be coaching a Big Ten football team? I’m not big on firing a guy mid-season in college football, but was I the only one that noticed the gleaming smile on Glen Mason’s face on the Big Ten Network Saturday after the game. I didn’t think so.
VIKINGS NEED TO FIND A RECEIVER
I am not overly concerned with the Vikings loss to New Orleans. In fact, I think there are some really big positives out of the game, namely on the defensive side of the ball.
The Vikings did a great job keeping the Saints high scoring offense in check. After the opening drive, the Vikings defense rallied and kept them in the game. That was nice to see. I will remind all Vikings fans that 2010, isn’t going to be 2009, the Vikings have a brutally tough schedule, and will have to find a way to win at least three of the following road games this year to win the division.
They play tough road games at New England, Green Bay, Washington, Philadelphia, and Chicago. I think the Vikings need to win at least three of those games, in order to have a shot to win the NFC North. I think that is definitely within reach, for Minnesota, but offensively they need to get on the same page.
A late arriving Brett Favre, Percy Harvin’s health problems, and Sidney Rice’s injuries all played a factor in the Vikings looking out of sync offensively last week at New Orleans. I would expect them to look much more in sync on Sunday against Miami, and I’m excited about Greg Camarillo’s ability to get open for the Vikings offense, but I don’t think that the playmakers are there at the receiver position right now.
The Vikings need to find one, and about the only option out there to help a team out is Vincent Jackson, the soon to be former San Diego receiver. I like him, he’s another big target, and by trading him and signing him long term, would allow the Vikings to have a big target in Sidney Rice’s absence, and just think what it could mean when Sidney returns… maybe a long overdue adieu for Bernard Berrian?
We can only hope.
Sunday, September 12, 2010
The problem for Maturi will not be getting rid of him -- Brewster's buy-out is lower now than it was before Maturi gave him his extension. The problem will be finding a coach who can generate some fan interest, coach the players, and give some sort of credibility to a program that lacks it in mass quantities. It shouldn't be that hard to do this...but for Minnesota, it seems like a huge task.
And, before you jump the gun and think the administration will fire Maturi and let his replacement find a new head football coach, don't even bother with that thought process. Maturi won't go anywhere unless he wants to leave. He's less than three years away from retiring, President Bruininks is in his final year (along with many other high-level administrators at the U of M) and there is zero chance Maturi is shown the door.
So where does Maturi go from here?
Our first choice? Tony Dungy. He has family in Minnesota, he's a former Gopher, a former Super Bowl winning head coach, and he oozes confidence and credibility. If I am Maturi I talk to Dungy and I offer him 2-3 times whatever he wants to coach again. Problem is...it seems pretty clear Dungy doesn't want to coach right now and maybe not ever again.
That is a problem --but we have an answer. Maturi should make his way over to Winter Park and scoop up Vikings defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier.
Frazier has won Super Bowls as a player and as a coach. He was mentored by and coached with Dungy for two years with the Colts. If Dungy has a clone, it is Frazier. He coached for the Bengals and the Eagles as defensive coordinator and prior to his NFL coaching experience, he coached for 11 years at the collegiate level.
The majority of that time was spent as the head coach at Trinity College. He started that football program from scratch and his work culminated in two Illinois Intercollegiate Conference titles. Granted, it isn't the Big Ten, but it is real-life head coaching experience. Add that to his experience as a player and coach in the NFL and you really can't ask for more, especially for a program like Minnesota.
Frazier is over qualified compared to Tim Brewster. Frazier is going to be a head coach at some level next year. He's too good to get overlooked again. Maturi owes it to this fan base to go out and get him.
Friday, September 10, 2010
Some of the issues are fixable right now. Brett Favre will eventually get into game shape and get some timing down with his all-too-slow wide receivers. The defensive backs will get healthy and Sidney Rice will hopefully come back at some point.
The Vikings couldn't run the ball in the 2nd half against the Saints because they really couldn't throw the ball the entire game. The Saints loaded up on the run and Bernard Berrian, Greg Lewis, and Percy Harvin ran bad routes, stopped routes altogether, or in Berrian's case -- just sloshed around at the line of scrimmage and never really looked interested in playing.
Berrian is a joke. A colossal failure as a wide receiver and as a punt returner. We were nervous every time the ball ended up near him. He either lets the ball bounce off his hands or he trips and stumbles before the ball gets to him.
Greg Camarillo needs to be a larger part of this offense. He and Visanthe Shianco are the only guys we trust right now. Even Percy looked "off" last night. Part of that might be his newly diagnosed sleep apnea problem. Part of it might be his ability/curse to only run underneath the defense 5-10 yards off the line of scrimmage.
It isn't going to be a magical 14-win season for the Vikings this year. With all the problems, it will take them awhile to get healthy and to get an identity. Ten wins sounds about right. Optimistic maybe. But hopefully right.
Thursday, September 9, 2010
One of our biggest frustrations is the constant complaining about Matt Capps. Sure, Capps isn't Mariano Rivera in his prime, but compared to the rest of the healthy options in the Twins bullpen, he is far and away the best closer on the staff. Brian Fuentes is hurt. Jesse Crain is not trustworthy. Joe Nathan ain't walking through that door. John Rauch has all the same issues Matt Capps has, multiplied by fifty.
Capps has pitched in 19 games for the Twins this year. He has 14 K's, 11 saves, and an ERA below 2.o. Sure, his WHIP is a bloated 1.47 and he pitches to contact, but we knew what we were getting with him and no matter how often people try to tell us differently -- he was worth Wilson Ramos during a potential World Series season. Most of those people complaining about trading for Capps are the same people who were clamoring for Anthony Slama earlier this year. How did that work out?
The point is, Capps is the best option the Twins have at the back-end of the bullpen. And even though the experts think they know Capps will implode in the post-season, nobody really has a clue. We would be very happy to send him out there against the Yankees with 1-run lead in the 9th inning. He's probably going to get that shot - if he blows it, then you can complain.
Until then, enough already. Thanks.
Monday, September 6, 2010
Head Coach Brad Childress thinks that beating went beyond what the rules should allow and the Saints were intentionally hitting Favre late and maybe even trying to hurt him/get him out of the game. It sounds like Childress thinks the Saints will do the same thing again on Thursday.
Of course the Saints are going to try to get Favre out of the game -- why wouldn't they? Tavaris Jackson is the back-up and the drop-off to T-Jack from Favre is comparable to the drop off the Twins have from Justin Morneau to Michael Cuddyer. In other words - its huge. But I would hope our defense will do something similar with Drew Brees.
And while we are worrying about Favre staying healthy over the next 72 hours, we can also think about the Vikings potentially signing former Bengals and Seahawks WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh. Reports are that Housh wants to sign with the Redskins or the Raiders, but at some point he should come to his senses and play for a contender. The only thing either of those teams can offer Housh is a contract he doesn't deserve, won't earn, and the willingness to give it to him. Oh wait...nevermind...he will sign with one of those teams.
Football is here in three days people. Put on a happy face.
Saturday, September 4, 2010
We kind of, sort of, get the Rosenfels departure. He was clearly not a Chilli guy and he wasn't going to be backing up Brett Favre this year. The Vikings didn't want to lose Joe Webb, so Sage became very expendable. The fact that they got something for him is a good thing.
We are really confused by the Reynaud trade though. Percy Harvin should not be forced to return kicks and punts on a full-time basis this year. It could be argued he shouldn't be returning at all. So, that left the Vikings with a very solid option in Reynaud. And now...who? We actually aren't sure - but it is clear the Vikings think they know.
As for Tavaris Jackson backing up Favre? We are fine with it. Best case scenario was Sage would stay as the number 3 and Webb would be on the taxi squad. But Webb would have been picked up by some other team if the Vikes released him. But now you have two run-first QB's backing up what could be a brittle 41-year-old starter.
Can Jackson lead the team better than Sage could have? Can Joe Webb? We say "no" to both. But...the Vikings must have a plan. We hope.
Thursday, September 2, 2010
One thing about which we can all agree is this will be Tim Brewster's final season as head coach of the Minnesota Golden Gophers. The squad opens the season tonight against Middle Tennessee State and the Gophers are favored to win! Sure, they are favored by less than a field goal and the Gophers were underdogs up until MTSU's starting quarterback was suspended...but hey, they are favored.
MTSU plays in the Sun Belt conference by the way. So, they probably should be favored against a Big Ten team with a huge recruiting budget, a new stadium, and oh yes...a coach who sold himself as a recruiter, motivator and offensive genius.
Our best guess is the Gophers lose by at least a touchdown and then Brewster claims the kids played hard and did well in a tough environment. Moral victories are victories too, especially when you are molding young minds and trying to figure out a way to not get fired.
We can all agree on that.