Welcome back my friends, to the show that never ends, we're so glad you could attend, come inside, come inside...
It's that time of the week again, and we've hooked back up with Ted Glover over at Daily Norseman to do a little bit of a questions and answers exchange. You can find our responses to their questions right over here at DN, and join in and participate with your comments to your heart's content.
There's no doubt that Minnesota has had their fair share of troubles in the 2010 season, and we continue to appreciate Ted giving us an honest outlook at what the Vikings have faced, and will face going forward. Thanks a bundle, Ted!
WCG: It looks like Joe Webb might get the start on Monday night--tell us a little bit about him, and what tools he might bring that could be dangerous for the Bears defense to ignore.
DN: Webb fascinates Vikings fans, like many backup QB's do for all fanbases. He has been called the best natural athlete on the roster, and because of that there is a sizable amount of the fanbase that would like to see him moved to wide receiver. That seemed to be the plan when he was drafted, but after the first minicamp it was decided to keep him at QB. He is mobile, fast, and has a strong arm. He played in some limited action at home...in Detroit last week, and he showed a confidence behind center in 8 snaps that I didn't see in Tarvaris Jackson all night. He seems to have that swagger, or that 'it', that QB's need to have to succeed in the NFL. His first play after TJ was hurt was a bullet pass down the sideline to Sidney Rice. Rice dropped it, but it was a beautiful ball thrown to where only Sid could get it. he reminds me, in a lot of ways, of Daunte Culpepper in 2000, his first year starting. Now, playing a full game is different than coming in and subbing, but with the Vikes eliminated from the playoffs, we're excited to see if Webb can be the guy for next year.
WCG: Jared Allen has been getting to the quarterback more, recently, having gotten at least one sack in every game since the Arizona OT game. What has spurned this resurgence?
DN: Allen said he was tipping his moves at the line, much like a pitcher tips his pitches in baseball. His hair is a lot longer since the beginning of the season, too. Whatever it is, it's working. Allen still has been more inconsistent over the last couple of games, but there's been definite improvement. Aside from the Giants game the defensive line as a whole has been better as well. Kevin and Pat Williams have been a lot more succesful at collapsing the pocket and forcing the QB to move, and that's where Allen makes his money.
WCG: We Bears fans have a vested interest in the success of Leslie Frazier, the Vikings interim head coach. How is he doing up there, and is he doing enough to give himself a reasonable chance at making it a permanent job?
DN: So far, I think he is making a good case. he came in and was able to right the ship, but it was against two pretty mediocre teams in Washington and Buffalo. [Editor's Note: The Bears lost to Washington] With all the mitigating circumstances surrounding the Giants game, I think most fans are willing to give him a pass on that. When he was named coach, he definitively said Favre was his guy, and there was some grumbling that he should give TJ a shot. He was right to go with Favre, as Jackson failed spectacularly against New York. I think if he can go 2-1 over these last three games, considering all the crap they've had to deal with in terms of QB depth and Metrodome issues, that gives him a 4-2 record. I think it's good enough to become the permanent head coach. Well, it will be good enough to be a head coach in the NFL. Someone will hire him, and it's my hope it will be the Vikings.
WCG: I don't think it's any secret that the Vikings will target a quarterback in the offseason, be it through the draft or through free agency (or both.) It seems, though, that they might need to attempt some changes in other offensive positions. What sort of changes do you think they'll make going forward? Do you think they'll be quick changes to try to get back to "win now", or has that ship sailed?
DN: Wow, tough call. There's a core group of guys coming back on both offense and defense that I think will make the Vikings competitive. AP, Percy Harvin, I think they'll resign Sidney Rice and Chad Greenway, EJ Henderson, Antoine Winfield, Jared Allen, Kevin Williams. That said, there are issues on offensive line, secondary, and QB that need to be addressed, and I don't think there's a 'quick fix' for all of them. I would hope at QB they can draft a guy that is a long term answer, or trade for a young guy with a long future in front of him, like a Kevin Kolb. What I don't want to see is a cavalcade of guys that come in for a year or two, like Denny Green did for most of the 1990's. The Vikings have drafted really well since 2006, but not having that third rounder due to the Moss trade will hurt. The Vikings are in a weird place as we hit the off-season. There's enough talent that with a good draft and free agency they can be competitive, but they are aging at a lot of positions. It's not really rebuilding, but it is a transition, to be sure.
WCG: Now that it's all said and done--was Favre worth it?
DN: Unequivocally, yes. The run to the NFC championship doesn't happen without Favre. Was it a living, breathing soap opera in 2010? sure it was, but 2010 was more than Favre getting hurt and finally showing his age. A lot of players did all at once, like Pat Williams, Steve Hutchinson, and even Kevin Williams. It also showed that problems Favre was able to mask or move the spotlight away from in 2009 with his out of this world play was still here in 2010, like a mediocre offensive line and a terrible secondary. The San Francisco miracle, the sweep against the Packers, the curbstomping of Dallas in the playoffs; heck even the comeback against you guys that you eventually won in OT was a joy to watch. When it's said and done, Favre will go down as one of the best to ever play, and Vikings fans will be able to say that the best season in his career was when he wore the Purple and Gold. And that will make Packer fans nuts. That in and of itself makes it worth it, heh heh.
A big thanks again to Ted for his time!