All Things 2023 Minnesota Vikings Off-Season Thread

forever a gopher

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Bradbury is a free agent. Even if he were "fine" it's not worth the $$ it would take to re-sign him. Getting the #1 center at pick 23 when it's a position of need is better than getting the 5th or 6th best DE or CB. We've done that plenty and it ends up Jeff Gladney and Mike Hughes more often than not.
Cousins took the most QB hits in his career this year. Even if the sack #'s are down a bit, this OL is not good. I haven't been the biggest Cousins fan, but I thought he did a really good job of getting the ball out, not holding on to it too long and avoiding sacks more so than he has in the past. Even with that, he took a beating. An upgraded OL improves the QB play. In the way the NFL is structured, QB/offensive play trumps defense every time. You can overcompensate on offense to cover up your bad defense (look at this years team and results). If the top center is available (JMS in this instance), I'd take him. Especially since JMS was an academic All American (in addition to his playing accolades), we shouldn't fall into the same trap as last year's top pick that apparently couldn't learn the bleepin' playbook.
 

JimmyJamesMD

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Cousins took the most QB hits in his career this year. Even if the sack #'s are down a bit, this OL is not good. I haven't been the biggest Cousins fan, but I thought he did a really good job of getting the ball out, not holding on to it too long and avoiding sacks more so than he has in the past. Even with that, he took a beating. An upgraded OL improves the QB play. In the way the NFL is structured, QB/offensive play trumps defense every time. You can overcompensate on offense to cover up your bad defense (look at this years team and results). If the top center is available (JMS in this instance), I'd take him. Especially since JMS was an academic All American (in addition to his playing accolades), we shouldn't fall into the same trap as last year's top pick that apparently couldn't learn the bleepin' playbook.
PFF has Darisaw the #2 ranked OT and O'Neill 6 or 7th. Shows you how awful the 3 interior OL were. Give me a C, OG, DT, S, in the first round.
 

Ogee Ogilthorpe

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PFF has Darisaw the #2 ranked OT and O'Neill 6 or 7th. Shows you how awful the 3 interior OL were. Give me a C, OG, DT, S, in the first round.
I expect Ingram to get a lot, LOT better. He was banged up in camp, and OL that are banged up in camp are HISTORICALLY behind for most of the season, just can't seem to fully catch up to speed. I think Ingram is going to be a really good one, I'm not worried about him.
 

howeda7

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Cousins took the most QB hits in his career this year. Even if the sack #'s are down a bit, this OL is not good. I haven't been the biggest Cousins fan, but I thought he did a really good job of getting the ball out, not holding on to it too long and avoiding sacks more so than he has in the past. Even with that, he took a beating. An upgraded OL improves the QB play. In the way the NFL is structured, QB/offensive play trumps defense every time. You can overcompensate on offense to cover up your bad defense (look at this years team and results). If the top center is available (JMS in this instance), I'd take him. Especially since JMS was an academic All American (in addition to his playing accolades), we shouldn't fall into the same trap as last year's top pick that apparently couldn't learn the bleepin' playbook.
If a Randy Moss/Warren Sapp/Aaron Rodgers situation occurs and some top 10 pick falls in your lap, you take them. But outside of that, I agree. Give me a guaranteed starter on OL over the 5th or 6th edge rusher etc.
 

GopherWeatherGuy

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PFF has Darisaw the #2 ranked OT and O'Neill 6 or 7th. Shows you how awful the 3 interior OL were. Give me a C, OG, DT, S, in the first round.

The Vikings have spent a lot of high picks on the OL lately, all of our starters were either drafted in the 1st or 2nd round. When healthy, I don't think the OL is as bad as people make it out to be, Cousins deserves some of the blame with his pocket presence and lack of mobility.

Darrisaw - 1st round
Cleveland - 2nd round
Bradbury - 1st round
Ingram - 2nd round
O'Neill - 2nd round

Centers can be found in the mid to late rounds. I don't want to spend another 1st rounder on one with so many other needs.
 
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short ornery norwegian

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if the Vikes had a full compliment of draft picks, I could see going after Schmitz in the 2nd round if he's available.

But the big issue remains - the Vikes have 4 draft picks, and they have salary cap issues.

So they will get limited help, at best from the draft. and they will have to cut or renegotiate deals with a lot of players in order to create enough cap room to sign a quality free agent or two.

In short - too many problems to fix, and limited resources to address those problems.

the defense, especially is not a 1-year fix. without draft picks and cap room, the best they can do is bring in some lower-priced free agents and hope to get lucky. Also - Cine, Booth and Evans have to stay healthy and contribute.
 

Gophers_4life

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I appreciate being an over the top fanboy of JMS simply because he’s a Gopher, as much as anyone.

But it’s ridiculous to waive your hands and pronounce that if a defensive player falls to our spot that they’re the 5th or 6th best at that position but if it’s a Center that they’re a guaranteed starter if not first year all-pro. :rolleyes:

Bradbury and Elflein were both highly rated out of college.
 

Gophers_4life

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2017 was a great year, Kirk was brought in as the missing piece to get us to the Super Bowl in 18, and the team flopped.

I hope it doesn’t repeat, but it’s 35 year old Kirk, same statue that he’s always been, it’s going to be the same OL to a man, and G-D if my spider sense isn’t telling me that Donatell would’ve been fired by now if they were going to do that. With a decent chunk of the same defensive players.
EDIT: HE GONE :)

Don’t be shocked if 2023 is another 2018 esque flop.

It’s not like the Wilfs will lose money. Fans keep showing up regardless.
 
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forever a gopher

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Don’t be shocked if 2023 is another 2018 esque flop.

It’s not like the Wilfs will lose money. Fans keep showing up regardless.
If they go .500 in the one-score games this year, they're 8-9 this year. Assuming the D can't be overhauled in one year, the law of averages says that's likely.

Depends what you define as a "flop", but right on the edge of playoff territory is likely, IMO.
 



howeda7

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if the Vikes had a full compliment of draft picks, I could see going after Schmitz in the 2nd round if he's available.

But the big issue remains - the Vikes have 4 draft picks, and they have salary cap issues.

So they will get limited help, at best from the draft. and they will have to cut or renegotiate deals with a lot of players in order to create enough cap room to sign a quality free agent or two.

In short - too many problems to fix, and limited resources to address those problems.

the defense, especially is not a 1-year fix. without draft picks and cap room, the best they can do is bring in some lower-priced free agents and hope to get lucky. Also - Cine, Booth and Evans have to stay healthy and contribute.
Their cap issues really aren't that bad. If they make the obvious moves, they can easily get $45 million under the cap. That's enough to target a MLB and a CB with decent sized contracts, and a 2nd LB and 2nd WR with more moderate contracts while bringing in a cheap RB and bringing back Mullens and Duke Shelly. IF C is filled in round 1 (or 2 if they trade back) most of the remaining picks can be for depth on defense. But you can't assume you're getting a starter from rounds 3 and beyond.
 


Ope3

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He gone.

How get rid of some of the players.
Lots of rejoicing amongst fans of the Purple, several of which called for his ouster.

I get that, but If he was that bad, what does that say about the decision makers that brought him on board?

What confidence is there they will make the right call this time?

Just feels like Vikings fans give KOC a free pass on the decision to begin with. I guess he is entitled to 1.
 

kg21

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Lots of rejoicing amongst fans of the Purple, several of which called for his ouster.

I get that, but If he was that bad, what does that say about the decision makers that brought him on board?

What confidence is there they will make the right call this time?

Just feels like Vikings fans give KOC a free pass on the decision to begin with. I guess he is entitled to 1.
People forget how hideous this defense has been for 3 straight seasons.

Hell, on Christmas Day two years ago, Alvin Kamara ran for 6 touchdowns and they put up 55 points.
 



From the Parkinglot

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Lots of rejoicing amongst fans of the Purple, several of which called for his ouster.

I get that, but If he was that bad, what does that say about the decision makers that brought him on board?

What confidence is there they will make the right call this time?

Just feels like Vikings fans give KOC a free pass on the decision to begin with. I guess he is entitled to 1.
I agree completely. The decision both of the front office and the personnel on the team made no sense to hire him. KOC did some good things, but being 11-1 in 1 score games makes up for an awful lot.
 

Ope3

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People forget how hideous this defense has been for 3 straight seasons.

Hell, on Christmas Day two years ago, Alvin Kamara ran for 6 touchdowns and they put up 55 points.
I haven't forgotten that either, especially in 2020 & 2021 after Hunter went down. If the Hoodie himself ran the D with the same players, how much improved would they be? Mid 20s, maybe.

It seemed pretty clear any post-season success was going to be predicted on getting a turnover or two. Against the NYG, they had none. They lost.
 

Gophers_4life

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If they go .500 in the one-score games this year, they're 8-9 this year. Assuming the D can't be overhauled in one year, the law of averages says that's likely.

Depends what you define as a "flop", but right on the edge of playoff territory is likely, IMO.
2017: 13-3, Mpls Miracle, NFC Championship game, couple pieces away from the Super Bowl
2018: 8-7-1, did not make playoffs.

That to me makes 2018 a "flop".
 

Gophers_4life

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I get that, but If he was that bad, what does that say about the decision makers that brought him on board?
From today's STrib:

The 65-year-old Donatell had been Vic Fangio's defensive coordinator the previous three seasons in Denver, and O'Connell hired Donatell to run Fangio's scheme in Minnesota. The approach has become popular around the league and made an impression on O'Connell while he was the Rams' offensive coordinator practicing against Brandon Staley's similar defenses. O'Connell found the scheme, which aims to eliminate big plays with two deep safeties and prioritizes deceptive pass coverages over heavy run fronts, one of the league's toughest to solve.


I guess this is reasonably why.

He thought the concept was the toughest. Problem is: he brought in a dud to run it.
 

Gophers_4life

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Damn, man. I get why you did it.

But the decision cost you a special season. In your first year, no less! Those 13 wins, two of them indeed up there with the best in franchise history (Buffalo and Indy) and will stand out on their own apart from the season, were entirely because of the offense.

If we just played average defense, we're probably a top 2 seed and still rolling.


I know this would never, ever have been on the table, but still seems true:

- KOC takes over the team, is the soul of the team, dictates its culture, has a great relationship with Kirk, runs the offense .... and
- Zimmer is DC, with his same defensive staff, doing the same things they had always been doing, players know the system, he's not in charge of the team, stays away from Kirk and the offense, doesn't go on TV, just does his defensive guru thing

= who knows. Maybe Super Bowl this year.

DAMN
 

Gophers_4life

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I haven't forgotten that either, especially in 2020 & 2021 after Hunter went down. If the Hoodie himself ran the D with the same players, how much improved would they be? Mid 20s, maybe.
Vs 31 or 32. You don't think that gets us a couple more wins, and beats the Giants?

That's the point!
 

Gophers_4life

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PFF has Darisaw the #2 ranked OT and O'Neill 6 or 7th. Shows you how awful the 3 interior OL were. Give me a C, OG, DT, S, in the first round.
Cleveland is just fine. Ingram was literally a rookie.

Bradbury can walk if he thinks his career performance to date will earn him $$$ elsewhere. We played just as well with Schlottmann, and I'd be fine riding with him at Center next year.


Absolutely won't be wasting a high draft pick on an interior OL.

You can go ahead and put that L in pen for howeda7. Sorry!
 

Ope3

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Vs 31 or 32. You don't think that gets us a couple more wins, and beats the Giants?

That's the point!
Tough to say in an alternate universe. In 2022 given how they were beaten by more than 2 scores in all 4 defeats, I don't think it's likely their seed would have improved. Also would have still had to win all their 1 score games, no sure thing.

A win over the Giants would have been slightly more likely, but the Vikings still would be heavy underdogs vs San Fran (with the same players).

If they do improve to say 25th next year, chances are their win total will still drop from 13.
 

GophersInIowa

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I expect Ingram to get a lot, LOT better. He was banged up in camp, and OL that are banged up in camp are HISTORICALLY behind for most of the season, just can't seem to fully catch up to speed. I think Ingram is going to be a really good one, I'm not worried about him.
I think he'll get a lot better too. He really shouldn't have been a starter this past season though.
 

Gophers_4life

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Tough to say in an alternate universe. In 2022 given how they were beaten by more than 2 scores in all 4 defeats, I don't think it's likely their seed would have improved. Also would have still had to win all their 1 score games, no sure thing.

A win over the Giants would have been slightly more likely, but the Vikings still would be heavy underdogs vs San Fran (with the same players).
We beat the Lions and that gets us the #2 seed. We beat the Seahawks at home and host the 9ers. Decent chance.

If they do improve to say 25th next year, chances are their win total will still drop from 13.
True, but that's not relevant to this year. Tough to believe the offense will do as well as it did this year, next year. That did not happen at all from 2017 to 2018, I assume at least -- something certainly went sour.
 

Ope3

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We beat the Lions and that gets us the #2 seed. We beat the Seahawks at home and host the 9ers. Decent chance.
I don't think a different coordinator gets the Vikings a win over the Lions.

Also the "butterfly effect" I don't assume they would have been 11-0 in 1 score games with a different coordinator.

In this alternate universe, if they were playing the 49ers at home, sure they would have a chance but would still be underdogs. Kittle, Samuel & McCaffrey on a fast track. Tall order.
 

Gophers_4life

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I don't think a different coordinator gets the Vikings a win over the Lions.
Different scheme, one that the players are already familiar with.

Also the "butterfly effect" I don't assume they would have been 11-0 in 1 score games with a different coordinator.
We were 11-0 in those games because of the offense. The offense doesn't change.

In this alternate universe, if they were playing the 49ers at home, sure they would have a chance but would still be underdogs. Kittle, Samuel & McCaffrey on a fast track. Tall order.
Maybe.

We'll never know
 

Ope3

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Different scheme, one that the players are already familiar with.
Yes, but the Defense was not very good in 2020 or 2021 either, when Zimmer was still here and gave up lots of leads late in several games.

We were 11-0 in those games because of the offense. The offense doesn't change.
The defense did play a significant role in many of those games.

- Late turnover vs the Bears
- Recovered fumble for a TD and OT pick vs the Bills
- Late turnover vs the Jets
- Held the Colts out of the end zone the entire 2nd half & OT (it was largely the offense/special teams as to why they were down 33 pts to begin with)
 

Gophers_4life

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Yes, but the Defense was not very good in 2020 or 2021 either, when Zimmer was still here and gave up lots of leads late in several games.
But they didn't do bizarre, completely broken/unsound things like have Hunter covering people. Having a DT cover people. Leaving areas of the field wide open ... and then never fixing that, all season. Having success blitzing on occasion, and never attempting to do that more often.

The defense did play a significant role in many of those games.

- Late turnover vs the Bears
- Recovered fumble for a TD and OT pick vs the Bills
- Late turnover vs the Jets
- Held the Colts out of the end zone the entire 2nd half & OT (it was largely the offense/special teams as to why they were down 33 pts to begin with)
A team fumbling and one of your defenders falling on it, is because of a scheme? Come on.

The rest: nothing about the Fangio scheme specially caused any of that. I didn't say the defense wasn't capable of playing well at times.

None of them disprove that playing in Zimmer's scheme, with him calling plays, wouldn't have been a minor improvement.
 
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Gophers_4life

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Looks like we're rapidly headed towards agree to disagree. Just fine.

It's an untestable hypothetical, so I'll likely believe what I want to.
 

Ope3

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A team fumbling and one of your defenders falling on it, is because of a scheme? Come on.
I didn't point out the fumble because of scheme but to illustrate how unlikely it would be they would replicate going 11-0 in 1 score games under a different coordinator. I just don't assume everything would be the same.
Looks like we're rapidly headed towards agree to disagree. Just fine.

It's an untestable hypothetical, so I'll likely believe what I want to.
Agreed.

This is as far as I would go: Under a different coordinator the Vikings would have had a better chance at playing this weekend and advancing.

Of course better chance could mean as small as 1% (or less). I would go with 15-20%.
 

Gophers_4life

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SO ANYWAY, back in our reality ....

not actual names, but: should KOC just try to bring in some other "Fangio DC", or should he switch back to a more tried-and-true 4-3 DC?
 




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