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Quarterback Christian Ponder got tight end Visanthe Shiancoe involved with the offense in Week 7. Shiancoe had four catches for 45 yards.
I feel like a broken record with this statement, but, given the lack of talent from the wide receiver position, the Vikings need to look to their tight ends more.
Don't just line them up in the tight end spot. But spread them out wide. Both players have good speed for tight ends.
Minnesota did that in Week 7, and Visanthe Shiancoe responded with arguably his best performance of 2011: four catches for 45 yards and a touchdown.
He helped Christian Ponder through his first NFL start at quarterback, and the two showed a solid connection.
Shiancoe and rookie tight end Kyle Rudolph are two of Minnesota’s four best receivers. Find a way to get them the ball.
Whenever a ball is thrown Rudolph’s way and hits him in the hands, then it has been caught. The man does not drop passes. On the year he has nine receptions for 118 yards (13.1 yards per catch). Not too shabby for a rookie.
His nine receptions are fifth most on the team. Shiancoe has 20 receptions for 204 yards and two touchdowns on the year—he’s third on the roster in receptions.
Those numbers should be higher for both receivers. Part of the problem was the poor play of Donovan McNabb through the first six weeks of the season. It’s mighty difficult to catch a ball bounced to or thrown nowhere near a receiver, as was often the case with McNabb.
Ponder showed zip on his passes and an ability to be precise with the ball. It should help get Rudolph and Shiancoe more involved.