VikingBuzz BLOG: 8/29

The VikingBuzz BLOG is your daily source for the latest news, information, commentary and analysis on the Minnesota Vikings.

Holcomb acquisition the right fit at the right time

The Vikings really played it right with their quarterback situation in training camp this summer.  They very patiently transitioned Tarvaris Jackson into the starter’s role and gave him most of the first-team reps.

They also gave backup Brooks Bollinger plenty of reps and opportunities to compete or at least establish himself.  Meanwhile 11-year veteran Kelly Holcomb was getting reps in Andy Reid’s offense with the Eagles.

Both Jackson and Bollinger received a fair and unfettered opportunity to establish their standing with the Vikings without the issue being forced by a more proven veteran looking over their shoulder.

As a result, Jackson has in fact established himself as the clear-cut starter.  Bringing in Holcomb now poses no threat to Jackson’s status as the No. 1 quarterback.

Pat Kirwan at NFL.com hits the nail on the head in this report when he says:  “The Vikings really helped themselves trading for Holcomb.  When you consider he has more career starts than all the other Vikings quarterbacks combined, the team is better for having him.  Holcomb can take the pressure off Tarvaris Jackson when need be, he can keep the team in a competitive situation should Jackson get hurt, he moves Brooks Bollinger back to the third spot where he belongs.”

“A quarterback controversy might arise, but Minnesota really got the best of both worlds,” he added.  “Jackson got the practice time he needed while Holcomb spent the summer in Philadelphia, and now the team has some position security.  Ask yourself this question:  How many teams could have used Holcomb and passed on the opportunity to get him?  The compensation (a second-day pick) wasn’t very much.”

Kirwan writes that at least 16 other teams could have also benefited from making a play for Holcomb.

Holcomb, who has worn the No. 10 throughout much of his career, has taken No. 13 with the Vikings.  No. 10 is retired (Fran Tarkenton) with the Vikings.

Why the pick in ’09?

The Kelly Holcomb trade with the Eagles was for a sixth-round pick in 2009.  Why 2009, you ask?

The Eagles reportedly wanted a fifth-round pick; the Vikings were offering a seventh-round pick.  So according to the fabled draft trade chart, a pick in a future year has less value, so in essence the value of a sixth-round pick in 2009 is considered equivalent with a seventh-round pick in 2008.

Upon further review

The Tarvaris Jackson-to-Troy Williamson incompletion at the goal line in Saturday night’s game at Seattle has been the source of much speculation.

There are various interpretations of the play.  Some suggest that Williamson was spending too much time chicken-fighting with the defender to get to the ball.  Some have suggested that he could have extended for the ball better.  Still others question whether or not he actually tracked the ball or not.

If a picture’s worth a thousand words…

Troy Williamson

It looks like a near miss.  It doesn’t speak to what he might have done before this point.  But it certainly appears he has tracked the ball and is extending himself as best he can.  It just looks like a near miss.  You can draw your own conclusions, I guess.

Wide receiver prospects available?

With the recent addition of Robert Ferguson, coupled with promising prospects like Sidney Rice and Aundrae Allison, further pursuit of a veteran wide receiver seems unlikely for the Vikings.

However, Adam Schefter of NFL Network reports that three former high draft picks are on the block for bargain prices.

In particular, he suggests that Reggie Williams (Jacksonville), Michael Clayton (Tampa Bay) and Chris Chambers (Miami) can be had for cheap and might be in danger of being released on or before Saturday.

Chambers, a second-round pick in 2001 by the Dolphins, would be the most logical for Minnesota.  Vikings Vice President of Player Personnel Rick Spielman was with the Dolphins when Chambers was drafted.

Clayton and Williams were first-round picks in 2004.  Williams was the No. 9 overall pick; Clayton was No. 15.

A right tackle prospect?

In a training camp battle for the starting right tackle spot in San Francisco, it looks like former Stanford star Kwame Harris has lost the job to this year’s No. 1 pick Joe Staley.

Harris was originally a first-round pick (No. 26 overall) by the 49ers in 2003.  He has started at left tackle for the ‘Niners with mixed results and moved to right tackle in training camp this summer.  He has also struggled with a back problem, so that could be a factor in his current status.  Nevertheless, he appears to be odd man out in San Fran.

In college, Harris played right tackle and was a good-looking prospect at the time.

This is pure speculation, but the 49ers deploy a 3-4 defense that can use anchor-type ends like the Vikings Darrion Scott, where their current starter at right end is Marques Douglas.  The Vikings might not be entirely satisfied yet with either Ryan Cook or Marcus Johnson as their right tackle.

Would a swap make sense?

Ex-Viking news

Former Vikings WR Randy Moss, who spent his first seven seasons (1998-2004) in Minnesota, has not been practicing of late with the New England Patriots as he continues to nurse a hamstring injury.

LB Chris Claiborne, who signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars earlier this week, was released yesterday.  Claiborne was fairly productive between injuries when he played for the Vikings (2003-04).

WR Ben Nelson, who spent parts of three seasons with the Vikings, was waived by Atlanta.  And WR Chris Jones, who spent a couple seasons with the Vikings, was also released by Seattle this week.

Tuesday’s practice:  1, 2, 3.

Other stories:

>Holcomb willing to teach, eager to play
>Holcomb meets the press
>Birk:  “Loney the finest person I’ve met during my football career”
>Thigpen destined for practice squad
>Sharper to do work for FOX affiliate
>Johnson returns to Metrodome as a Cowboy

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