Weaknesses Exposed, Evaluated
News and notes on the Vikings, from what we've been told:
Personnel evaluations over the past month have led to the personnel department and coaching staff to seek talent at the outside linebacker, cornerback, defensive end, and wide receiver positions. It is citing either athleticism or scheme responsibility as a serious deficiency on the defensive side of the ball at the defensive end and outside linebacker positions. Questions about the level of consistent play coming from the middle linebacker position is also an issue the team will look to address.
Evaluated weaknesses on the defensive side of the ball have been determined to be: Starting outside linebacker Henri Crockett, middle linebacker Greg Biekert, cornerback Denard Walker, defensive end Kenny Mixon, and number two receivers D'Wayne Bates/Nate Burleson.
Much of the blame for the offensive inconsistency of the Vikings during their recent losing skid has been attributed to the team's predictability and inability to get the ball to wide receiver Randy Moss. Early in the season, rookie wide receiver Nate Burleson and Kelly Campbell were threats in the passing game and complimented Moss and D'Wayne Bates. When Bates went down with a foot injury, both young receivers were elevated in the rotation and have cooled significantly in the passing game. The team is not sold on Bates for the 2004 season and is leaning towards bringing in a wide receiver to complement Moss, one who is more dynamic and explosive than Bates and Burleson.
Offensive coordinator Scott Linehan has been mentioned as one of the "hot commodity" coaches in the league this season. Linehan is in his first full season as Vikings offensive coordinator has played a significant role in getting quarterback Daunte Culpepper back on track, as well as the Minnesota offense. Another successful year in 2004 will place Lineham as a serious head-coaching candidate around the league.
The Minnesota to Los Angeles talk in league circles has not died down, as Vikings owner Red McCombs continues to push for a serious financial payoff to sell the team, move the team or have the state build him a stadium full of revenue enhanced entities to pad his wallet.
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