Minnesota Vikings: 4 Worst Moments so Far and How to Move Forward
The Minnesota Vikings are off to a dismal 0-3 start, and many fans are now wondering how to move forward from an otherwise horrid three-game performance.
The cause of the Vikings' demise has been a collection of issues, but today I want to highlight the four worst moments so far that have led to this unmentionable season entrance.
Take a look!
Bernard Berrian in Week 3 Loss to Detroit
This is going to be a personal outlook, just so you all know.
Berrian is a waste of roster space, period!
The attack on Berrian has always been his unwillingness to "go the extra mile" to help his team, rather, he has been obviously comfortable occupying roster space as he collects a hefty paycheck that does not support his actual worth.
Last week against the Lions, when the game preservation was on the line, Donovan McNabb lofted a deep ball pass to Berrian down the sideline in the final two minutes that seemingly was overthrown and out of reach for Berrian.
I watch A LOT of football and football tape—this ball was catchable for any WR willing to dive, increase speed or just maintain his present course without slowing down.
That catch could've been the game-changing aspect the Vikings were hoping for.
Solution: Bench Berrian for good, and give Devin Aromashodu a chance to start.
Fred Pagac's Decision to Single Calvin Johnson
It doesn't matter what game I highlight, only that I highlight the worst moments thus far—and this one really takes the cake.
Again, in the closing moments of the game—a moment where the Detroit Lions were building momentum and mounting a comeback—Fred Pagac decided to leave Cedric Griffin one-on-one with Calvin freaking Johnson on a deep-ball pass without any safety help over the top.
Through three games, Pagac has already shown the inability to adjust in the second half, but leaving ANY corner one-on-one with Johnson when trying to preserve a lead makes absolutely ZERO sense.
Even if you "feel" your defensive player is doing a good job on the receiver, you don't leave the man hanging against one of the most dangerous receivers in the NFL just because you are trying to maintain the freaking lead, man.
Solution: Look, go to a base prevent, a 3-3-5 nickle or even a simple Cover-2 to cover the boy; a true outside man-to-man coverage is just about the dumbest move I have seen from a defensive coordinator in a very long time.
Or, just give Pagac an ultimatum and force him to perform the job properly.
Blitzing the Bucs in the Second Half
In the crippling loss to the Buccaneers two weeks ago, the Vikings shot themselves in the foot after continuing to bring the heat without realizing the Bucs had already anticipated and planned for it.
In the picture shown, Erin Henderson and E. J. Henderson continuously forced the issue up the middle, and while they were simply playing the assignment called, linebackers still need to adjust to the change of the play.
The Bucs didn't do anything spectacular offensively—they only made some minor adjustments to what the defense continued to do.
When you are a blitzing linebacker, you are still expected to read and react while in play, and part of that extended job is being the guy who steps up and changes the assignment after realizing it wasn't the right call from the sideline.
Football is an incredibly fast game, so this is not an easy feat to accomplish, but it's certainly not unattainable.
Solution: Allow the linebackers to play the old-fashioned "stay home" approach or blitz from the outside more in an effort to keep the flow of traffic toward the backers covering the middle, thus eliminating the larger gains the Vikings allowed on the outside in the second half.
Leslie Frazier's Unwillingness to Step in
Sometimes an ongoing problem vicariously becomes a perpetual worst moment for a football team, and Frazier's unwillingness to step in and modify what ISN'T working is a good example of that.
Part of the job of a head coach is to manage and maintain a coaching staff, and a lot of that comes with allowing said staff to "do their thing" if that's the setup the team in question has.
But when things aren't going right, the job has to change in order to reflect what isn't working.
Frazier is a defensive guy and has enough coaching skills as a DC to say to himself, "I need to step in here, if we are going to win."
I understand you have to let your coaches be coaches, but where is the line drawn here?
As a head coach, you have to step up and be that guy and show your team you mean business when it comes to winning, even if it means stepping all over someone's Wheaties.
If not, the respect just isn't going to come from the players, and those players are not going to give 110 percent for a coach who is seemingly giving just barley 100 percent.
Solution: Be like a construction worker: Cast all care away from what other people think, and earn their respect. This is done by making the hard choices that ONLY winning coaches make, no matter how "controversial" they may seem at the time.
The NFL is not a place for passive coaches; never has been, never will!