All Things 2023 Minnesota Vikings Off-Season Thread

GophersInIowa

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The Vikings are fortunate that the AZ Cardinals HC position and the franchise in general is such a dumpster fire, with Kyler Murray at the center of it, that it more than likely made Flores shy away from taking that gig.

Cardinals HC is apparently now narrowed down to Benals DC Lou Anarumo and Giants OC (and former Northwestern QB) Mike Kafka.
I’m assuming you saw this?

On a side note, former Gopher, Nick Rallis, is the Eagles LB coach.

 

Ogee Ogilthorpe

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I’m assuming you saw this?

On a side note, former Gopher, Nick Rallis, is the Eagles LB coach.


Yup. This was followed a little bit in the SB thread below. It's a hard job right now, being HC for the Cardinals. The roster is a bit of a mess, and who knows what will happen with Kyler Murray. At this point, he's a massive waste of talent.

If Murray had the character, the work ethic, and the leadership of someone like Jalen Hurts, he would be All Pro, and one of the best in the league. In terms of those characteristics, there's a Grand Canyon between Murray and Hurts, and I would argue Murray is more talented. It would really be something if he gets his shit together, but I'm not holding my breath
 



Gophers_4life

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Yup. This was followed a little bit in the SB thread below. It's a hard job right now, being HC for the Cardinals. The roster is a bit of a mess, and who knows what will happen with Kyler Murray. At this point, he's a massive waste of talent.

If Murray had the character, the work ethic, and the leadership of someone like Jalen Hurts, he would be All Pro, and one of the best in the league. In terms of those characteristics, there's a Grand Canyon between Murray and Hurts, and I would argue Murray is more talented. It would really be something if he gets his shit together, but I'm not holding my breath
Hurts lost his job at Alabama and until this season wasn't anything special in the NFL.

Perhaps that motivates a player?
 


Gophers_4life

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So again, this includes guys like Pat Elflein and Wyatt Davis.

Both were Big Ten OL of the year at Ohio State. Elflein also won the Rimington Trophy (best Center in college football).

Bradbury won the Rimginton as well.


How do you go wrong with picks like that??? #Vikings
 

short ornery norwegian

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FWIW - New Arizona HC Jonathon Gannon was a Vikings assistant from 2014-2017 as a defensive quality control coach and assistant defensive backs coach.
 

howeda7

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FWIW - New Arizona HC Jonathon Gannon was a Vikings assistant from 2014-2017 as a defensive quality control coach and assistant defensive backs coach.
Rumors that Zim will be Cardinals DC. Or perhaps the Broncos. Maybe he's already tired of the hot chili in Boulder.
 

Ogee Ogilthorpe

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Rumors that Zim will be Cardinals DC. Or perhaps the Broncos. Maybe he's already tired of the hot chili in Boulder.

I would LOVE Zim for Gannon's new DC in Arizona. Gannon needs someone handling the defense so he doesn't have to focus a majority of his attention there. That would be fantastic, and then an OC who is willing to hit Murray over the head with a 2x4

EDIT: And, rumblings that Gannon is bringing former Gopher Nick Rallis with him to the desert, along with some help form Zimmer. I like it! Rallis gets mentored for a year or two by Zim and takes over the reigns.
 



short ornery norwegian

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I would LOVE Zim for Gannon's new DC in Arizona. Gannon needs someone handling the defense so he doesn't have to focus a majority of his attention there. That would be fantastic, and then an OC who is willing to hit Murray over the head with a 2x4

EDIT: And, rumblings that Gannon is bringing former Gopher Nick Rallis with him to the desert, along with some help form Zimmer. I like it! Rallis gets mentored for a year or two by Zim and takes over the reigns.

Maybe they can bring in Mike Rallis, too. that would be interesting.

seriously, if Zim is the DC, it will be fun to watch. you know the Twin Cities media would be comparing Zim's defense against Flores with the Vikings.
 

#2Gopher

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Has been a while since I've seen the wall where former players playing in the NFL are pictured. Do they do this with ex-players who are now coaches as well?
 

Ogee Ogilthorpe

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Yeah there's something that's keeping teams away from him.

I was listening to a podcast today that said Bienemy has had 12, TWELVE Head Coach interviews over the years, and a handful of those were with people he had worked closely with in Kansas City.

Shit, Ryan Poles (an African American) leaves KC and takes the General Manager gig in Chicago and had every chance to hire Bienemy, after working with Bienemy for almost 10 years, and he hired Matt Eberflus of all people for the Chicago HC gig.

An internet full of mindless f'ks who want to make the Bienemy think about race but there is something seriously going on when a guy can interview for an HC gig 12 times and not win the interview.

The particularly odd thing is I've heard podcasts with a number of NFL folks who are VERY well connected who have hinted/implied there is more but they won't go near it with a 10-foot pole. Kinda makes you wonder....

But yeah, sure, the obvious fall back for the weak-minded is that it's racism of some kind...
 

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You are right. It looks like the new defensive coordinator will use a more active version of the 3-4 most of the time, though he did also say it depends who the Vikings are playing. Then maybe I should mean the 3-4 variation of the coach that was just fired.
 



GophersInIowa

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I was listening to a podcast today that said Bienemy has had 12, TWELVE Head Coach interviews over the years, and a handful of those were with people he had worked closely with in Kansas City.

Shit, Ryan Poles (an African American) leaves KC and takes the General Manager gig in Chicago and had every chance to hire Bienemy, after working with Bienemy for almost 10 years, and he hired Matt Eberflus of all people for the Chicago HC gig.

An internet full of mindless f'ks who want to make the Bienemy think about race but there is something seriously going on when a guy can interview for an HC gig 12 times and not win the interview.

The particularly odd thing is I've heard podcasts with a number of NFL folks who are VERY well connected who have hinted/implied there is more but they won't go near it with a 10-foot pole. Kinda makes you wonder....

But yeah, sure, the obvious fall back for the weak-minded is that it's racism of some kind...
I think racism still exists in the coaching ranks but like you’ve pointed out there appears to be a lot more going on here.
 

Gophers_4life

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You are right. It looks like the new defensive coordinator will use a more active version of the 3-4 most of the time, though he did also say it depends who the Vikings are playing. Then maybe I should mean the 3-4 variation of the coach that was just fired.
The Vikings had a 40 front for more snaps on defense than any other front, last season.

Stupid, stupid, stupid to make a player like Danielle Hunter stand up, instead of have his hand in the dirt. But it was still a 40 front.


It will be the same thing here. We're just going to blitz a lot more, which is great.


There are actually very few times where it makes sense to have a true, real, 3-4 defense these days. That means: 3 big, beefy guys with their hands in the dirt (NT like 340lbs, "Ends" like 290lbs), two beefy middle LB's (240-250lbs) who smash runs up the middle, and two big but mobile OLB's (230lbs) who smash runs to the outside but can also cover routes run by TE's and backs.

That's olden days football.
 

JimmyJamesMD

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I was listening to a podcast today that said Bienemy has had 12, TWELVE Head Coach interviews over the years, and a handful of those were with people he had worked closely with in Kansas City.

Shit, Ryan Poles (an African American) leaves KC and takes the General Manager gig in Chicago and had every chance to hire Bienemy, after working with Bienemy for almost 10 years, and he hired Matt Eberflus of all people for the Chicago HC gig.

An internet full of mindless f'ks who want to make the Bienemy think about race but there is something seriously going on when a guy can interview for an HC gig 12 times and not win the interview.

The particularly odd thing is I've heard podcasts with a number of NFL folks who are VERY well connected who have hinted/implied there is more but they won't go near it with a 10-foot pole. Kinda makes you wonder....

But yeah, sure, the obvious fall back for the weak-minded is that it's racism of some kind...
hes not nice to his players, have read that a few times
 

Gophers_4life

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Interesting couple bits from Athletic interview with their draft expert Dane Brugler on the Vikings.


Transitioning to the current roster, the Vikings have decisions to make this offseason on unrestricted free agents like Garrett Bradbury and Irv Smith Jr., as well as players under contract such as Dalvin Cook and Ezra Cleveland. Can you recall your assessments of those guys coming out? And if so, how do those assessments match up with NFL production in your eyes?

We’ll start with the good and then work to the not so good.

Dalvin Cook was a good example of a question many outside evaluators ask themselves: “Would you rather be right on draft day, or trust your evaluation and hope to be correct in the long run?” Based on feedback from NFL teams, I knew Cook wasn’t going to be a top-20 pick. But I thought he was the best back in the class and I graded him that way. He was my RB1 in the 2017 draft class and the No. 11 overall prospect. His vision and athletic gifts made him a dynamic player with the ball in his hands. Christian McCaffrey was my second-ranked back and Leonard Fournette was third. Having my No. 11 overall player drafted at No. 41 overall didn’t look great on draft day, but it looks much better now (even if Cook might not be in Minnesota for the long term).

I was also very high on Ezra Cleveland coming out of Boise State. A college left tackle, I was impressed with his ability to stay balanced and provide an athletic answer to whatever was thrown at him. I was concerned about his ability to match power, and that is something we have seen him struggle with in the last three seasons. But he has gotten better and better in the run game and has provided good value relative to where he was drafted.

Garrett Bradbury was my top-ranked center in the 2019 draft class and my No. 17 overall prospect that year. The Vikings drafted him 18th, so my evaluation looked good on draft day. But four years later, neither I nor the Vikings (nor many, many others) are proud of that projection as Bradbury has struggled to live up to expectations — despite improved play in 2022. A former tight end, Bradbury moves quickly and did a nice job recovering at N.C. State, but he has struggled against NFL power as a pass blocker. The feedback from most NFL teams pre-draft that year was that Bradbury was the easy OC1 in the class, so I won’t slam Minnesota too much for that pick.

Staying with the 2019 class, I gave Irv Smith Jr. a second-round grade, and the Vikings drafted him 50th overall, another example of a pick that looked good on draft day but not so much four years later. Only 20 years old when he was drafted, Smith was an ascending, young talent coming out of Alabama. As a prospect, you liked his fluidity and ball skills as a pass catcher and his ability to create yards after the catch. He was a big-play creator in college and with continued route maturation, it was exciting to think where he could be a few years later. Unfortunately, he hasn’t taken those big steps in his development, which has obviously been stunted by injuries. Hopefully, Smith can stay healthy to work toward his potential, even if that doesn’t happen in Minnesota.


The injuries suffered by Lewis Cine and Andrew Booth Jr. certainly affected their early evaluations. I did, though, want to ask about a player who played the whole year: Ed Ingram. What do you recall about your evaluation of him, and how do you feel like some of his characteristics showed up (or didn’t) during the 2022 season?

As a prospect, there were elements of Ingram’s game that I liked and thought showed promise. He has an explosive upper body to stun defenders at contact and he has the competitive demeanor to match up well with defensive linemen. However, there were also things on tape that gave me concern.

While he is powerful with his punch, the timing and placement were very inconsistent, which is something you can get away with in the SEC but not in the NFL. The greater issue was his inconsistent balance and excessive leaning. He often sacrifices his posture due to his aggressive blocking mentality.

I graded him as a potential down-the-road NFL starter, but he didn’t make my final top-100 list, and it was a little surprising to see him drafted in the second round. I’m eager to track his development next season.

Continuing to think ahead, what are you most interested to see in how the Vikings approach the 2023 draft?

What I’m most interested to see is what happens in the two months before the draft and how that affects their draft strategy.

Who are the cap casualties? Adam Thielen? Za’Darius Smith? Others? Money is tight. How will they add depth pieces while staying within their means? Will they tip their hand on any long-term strategies at quarterback?

Adofo-Mensah is obviously trying to tiptoe the “we’re reloading, not rebuilding” line, which can be tricky.
 


GopherWeatherGuy

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The Vikings had a 40 front for more snaps on defense than any other front, last season.

Stupid, stupid, stupid to make a player like Danielle Hunter stand up, instead of have his hand in the dirt. But it was still a 40 front.


It will be the same thing here. We're just going to blitz a lot more, which is great.


There are actually very few times where it makes sense to have a true, real, 3-4 defense these days. That means: 3 big, beefy guys with their hands in the dirt (NT like 340lbs, "Ends" like 290lbs), two beefy middle LB's (240-250lbs) who smash runs up the middle, and two big but mobile OLB's (230lbs) who smash runs to the outside but can also cover routes run by TE's and backs.

That's olden days football.

Hunter was the Vikings best defensive player last season and there's nothing stupid about him playing the 3-4. Half the league runs the 3-4 including many good defenses, there's nothing olden days about that.

The 4-3 two years ago was just as bad as the 3-4 last year. Why? Because the players stunk on both defenses. You know what would be stupid? For a new head coach and new GM to decide that a 3-4 defense was the way to go, and then backdown from that decision 1 year later.
 

Ogee Ogilthorpe

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Hunter was the Vikings best defensive player last season and there's nothing stupid about him playing the 3-4. Half the league runs the 3-4 including many good defenses, there's nothing olden days about that.

The 4-3 two years ago was just as bad as the 3-4 last year. Why? Because the players stunk on both defenses. You know what would be stupid? For a new head coach and new GM to decide that a 3-4 defense was the way to go, and then backdown from that decision 1 year later.
This is what I've been saying since they dumped Donatell. They don't HAVE to dump the 3-4, they have to get better play on the back end and they just have to execute better.

They were pulling guys off the street to play DB last year; there ain't no NFL defense that's going to work effectively if you're doing that
 

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Regarding Bienemy, even if he really is the brains behind that KC offense and it's not all Andy Reid like many imply, there is an endless list of guys at both the pro and college level who are brilliant coordinators, but are not HC material. Two entirely different jobs. There are many possible explanations why Bienemy has not landed a HC job.
 

Ski U Mah Gopher

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Regarding Bienemy, even if he really is the brains behind that KC offense and it's not all Andy Reid like many imply, there is an endless list of guys at both the pro and college level who are brilliant coordinators, but are not HC material. Two entirely different jobs. There are many possible explanations why Bienemy has not landed a HC job.
Charlie Weis comes to mind.

BTW, remember when the Vikings hired an Andy Reid OC?

We got Brad Childress' Kick-ass offense.
 

howeda7

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Hunter was the Vikings best defensive player last season and there's nothing stupid about him playing the 3-4. Half the league runs the 3-4 including many good defenses, there's nothing olden days about that.

The 4-3 two years ago was just as bad as the 3-4 last year. Why? Because the players stunk on both defenses. You know what would be stupid? For a new head coach and new GM to decide that a 3-4 defense was the way to go, and then backdown from that decision 1 year later.
Hunter is talented enough to be "good" in a 3-4, but he's better in a 4-3. That combined with his age and injury history means they should trade him if they can get a 1st round pick for him, IMO.
 

JimmyJamesMD

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Hunter is talented enough to be "good" in a 3-4, but he's better in a 4-3. That combined with his age and injury history means they should trade him if they can get a 1st round pick for him, IMO.
im hopeful flores will find away to play him where he will excel. Meaning hes always going after the QB or RB
 

Gophers_4life

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Hunter is talented enough to be "good" in a 3-4, but he's better in a 4-3. That combined with his age and injury history means they should trade him if they can get a 1st round pick for him, IMO.
He started putting his hand back in the dirt, later on in the season. Because, quite obviously, he's more effective at rushing that passer that way than from a two-point stance.

Makes perfect sense. If Flores and his staff have any brains, they'll continue that. Along with ditching silly notions of having Hunter cover people.

That kind of silliness is all part of why Dontatell's bizarre year here was such a failure.
 

Gophers_4life

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Charlie Weis comes to mind.

BTW, remember when the Vikings hired an Andy Reid OC?

We got Brad Childress' Kick-ass offense.
Had Mike Tomlin here for a year as DC.

Wasn't a great year for the team. But obviously Tomlin went on to better things.
 

Gophers_4life

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Hunter was the Vikings best defensive player last season and there's nothing stupid about him playing the 3-4.
If he's in a two-point stance and if he's covering people, that's stupid and a failure.

Half the league runs the 3-4 including many good defenses, there's nothing olden days about that.
Just like the Vikings ran a 3-4 last year, right?

The one where we were only actually in a 30 front on like 25% of the total defense snaps?

The 4-3 two years ago was just as bad as the 3-4 last year. Why? Because the players stunk on both defenses. You know what would be stupid? For a new head coach and new GM to decide that a 3-4 defense was the way to go, and then backdown from that decision 1 year later.
It's all BS hand-waiving, to some degree.

The offensive game has changed. 5 defensive backs on the field is a normal thing. We claimed to be a "3-4" ... and then spent most of the time in a 4-2-5.


I like Flores' answer. "Who are we playing". That's the smartest thing you can do. 1) know who you have on the team and what they're most comfortable doing, and 2) do that thing and try to be adaptive to what the opposing offense is trying to do to you.

Being rigid about some alignment identity is really just hand-waiving.
 


Ogee Ogilthorpe

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The Watson deal will go down as one of the worst in NFL history. And Browns were finally starting to turn things around too.


The fish stinks from the head down. Bad ownership will always be bad ownership.

And this was the nonsense that put the notion into Lamar Jackson's head that he could get himself a fully guaranteed contract, just like Watson. The Ravens are smartly saying "no f'ng way". Can't play that game with one of the best run franchises in the NFL for quite a while now.

I would have to think the Ravens are at least exploring trade options a little bit.

Rumblings after the Senior Bowl, I guess the Bears are exploring trade options for Justin Fields. Smart to at least look into their options, but I doubt there's a super hot market for Fields. I can't see very many teams giving up much for him, at least not to play the QB position.
 





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