The View to the West: A Look at the Minnesota Vikings
Since there has been minimal Green Bay Packers news for us to talk about or rumors to speculate about lately, we thought we’d take a look at our hated rivals to the west, the Minnesota Vikings, aka the Queens, and the idiotic moves they’ve been making this offseason.
Last week the Queens lost former Packers safety Darren Sharper when he signed with the New Orleans Saints. The Queens had no interest in bringing Sharper back. The conventional wisdom is the 33-year-old traitor was past his prime. Sharper’s interception total dropped from nine in 2005 – his first season as a Queen – to four the next two seasons, and finally down to one, last season.
On his way out of town, Sharper blamed the idiots running the Minnesota defense for his decrease in production. The Vikings play the Tampa 2 scheme, because they can’t think up their own scheme.
“You love to play for coaches who don’t just get caught up in saying, ‘This is my system and this is how it’s done,'” Sharper told the New Orleans Times-Picayune. “That’s how it was in Minnesota.”
Second-year man Tyrell Johnson will take over the SS position in Minnesota. Johnson is a former second-round draft choice, who started seven games as an injury replacement last season.
On a side note, when Sharper left, the stupid cunts over at Daily Norseman labeled him the greatest Packers safety ever. Vikings fans ignorance knows no bounds, but personally, I thought this cat named Willie Wood was pretty solid, and so did the Pro Football Hall of Fame. And if we’re talking modern era, it’s hard to ignore the guy who invented the Lambeau Leap and was the backbone of the Packers last Super Bowl team, Leroy Butler.
But I digress.
The Queens also lost center Matt Birk, a six-time Pro Bowler, when he signed a 3-year, $12 million deal with the Baltimore Ravens on March 4. Minnesota made a strong bid to retain Birk, but in the end, he apparently wanted to move on. Unlike Sharper, Birk didn’t take any shots at the douchebags who run the Minnesota organization.
“I really feel like there is something special here,” Birk said, according to the Baltimore Sun.
Which is understandable, because there is nothing special in Minnesota, other than Adrian Peterson. Second-year man John Sullivan, a sixth-round pick from Notre Dame, will look to fill Birk’s rather substantial shoes.
The Vikings weren’t all about losing this offseason, though – they save that for the playoffs. They added two mediocre free agents in the form of kick returner Glenn Holt and cornerback Karl Paymah. Paymah comes to Minnesota from Denver, who had a stellar pass defense last season (read: worst in the league), and will compete for the nickel cornerback job. Holt, who comes over from Cincinnati, is projected to be the team’s No. 1 kick returner.
Minnesota also signed cornerback Cedric Griffin to a 5-year, $28.5 million contract extension, keeping the 26-year-old off the free agent market in 2010. Griffin has recorded only three interceptions in three years in Minnesota, but totaled 91 tackles and 4 forced fumbles last season. He recorded 92 tackles the year before (which is a hell of a lot for a cornerback).
In short, Griffin gives up big plays, but can also lay a guy out, as Billy Miller learned last season.
The big news of the offseason in Minnesota is the team finally found an NFL-caliber quarterback to line up behind center. The Vikings traded for Houston Texans backup Sage Rosenfels, who, unlike Tarvaris Jackson, has demonstrated the ability to hit an open receiver.
Jackson, meanwhile, is too stupid to be fazed by the acquisition.
“I’m still going to compete, and I’ll do exactly what I normally do,” Jackson told the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
Good strategy, Tarvaris.
And finally, the best news to come out of Minnesota is that despite their aggressive courtship of prize wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh, the Vikings lost out on Housh to the mighty Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks gave Housh a 5-year deal worth $40 million. When he signed, Houshmandzadeh told the Seattle media that he never really had any intention of signing with the Vikings.
“When I came to Seattle I told Minnesota that I would come up there, and I wanted to keep my word,” Houshmandzadeh said, according to the Seattle Times. “And I guess that’s not how free agency works. You get some place, you like it, you sign. But I wanted to keep my word, and I did.”
And so, after all of this, where are the Packers hated western rivals?
They’re better at quarterback, still have no good receivers, worse along the offensive line, and, well, younger on defense. When all is said and done, the Vikings don’t scare me anymore than they did last season when I laughed at all the people who predicted they would go to the Super Bowl.
As history has proven time and again, a choker always chokes.
Monty McMahon is one of the founders of Total Packers. He is probably the most famous graduate of UW-Oshkosh next to Jim Gantner.