VikingBuzz BLOG: 9/16

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

Tahi’s versatility helps him make roster

One of the most surprising players to make the Vikings roster this season was second-year fullback/tailback/special teamer Naufahu Tahi.  But VU’s own Tim Yotter called this one way back in mini-camp saying, “He could find a roster spot again in 2007.”

The 6-foot, 254-pound undrafted free agent found a role with the Vikings because of his versatility.  His unique blend of size, quick feet, power, pass-catching ability and toughness have made him a nice fit as a “slash” guy in the team’s West Coast Offense.

He can provide depth behind Tony Richardson and Jeff Dugan at fullback.  He can give the running back position a short-yardage, power-type look behind Adrian Peterson, Chester Taylor and Mewelde Moore.  He is also a pretty nifty receiver for his size and can work as a move tight end if needed.  Plus, he has shown that he will contribute on special teams.

If you’re an Insider, here’s our Scout’s Notebook on Tahi from before training camp.

Extra Points

The Vikings have three young, talented players to build their offense for the next several years around – Tarvaris Jackson, Adrian Peterson and Sidney Rice.  Here’s a short YouTube clip from the preseason.

Some have noticed that in rookie Adrian Peterson’s 19-carry, 103-yard debut last week that he had nearly as much success running the ball to the right (5.0 yards per carry in the opener), which has been considered the weaker side of the offensive line, as he did running to the left (6.0 yards per carry).

The NFL Players Association is quite irritated with agent Angelo Wright for agreeing to an incentive in defensive tackle Pat Williams' contract that allows the Minnesota Vikings to use $13.2 million in salary cap space this season, according to Yahoo! Sports.  However, the union may not be able to do much about it.  “What you don't want is all that money taken out of the pool for other players who might get contract extensions during the season,” a union source said in the article.  “Now, if it was December and the Vikings had already done a bunch of other deals, that's fine.  That allows them to carry over the money to next year.”

The reality with the Williams contract is that Rob Brezezinski & Co. have done such a good job managing the Vikings salary cap that they had that kind of room to work with.  It only creates an even larger cushion for them next season.  At this point of the cycle, they weren’t going to spend the nearly $20 million in salary cap space they had for this season anyway.

According to Pro Football Weekly, the Vikings are quietly happy that linebacker David Herron, the player the Patriots signed after Minnesota had picked up former New England TE Garrett Mills on waivers, has been released and has returned to the Vikings’ practice squad.  The Patriots’ move to sign Herron was seen by some around the league as a petty revenge move by Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, who had hoped to sneak Mills through waivers.

Brad Childress started out his tenure in Minnesota being pretty smart.  In fact, according to the ongoing NFL Coach Ranker from, he began last season with a 91% approval rating that peaked at 94% following their regular-season opener a year ago.  Unfortunately, Childress bottomed out at 15% by season’s end.  However, he’s back above 80% again now.

One list of Power Rankings had the Vikings ranked No. 28 to open the season.  Then after one game and an impressive victory against the Falcons last week, they had already skyrocketed up to No. 20.  Another had them as high as No. 14.  If they beat Detroit today, one has to wonder how much farther they will climb.  If they lose, how far back will they quickly fall?

One ex-Viking, cornerback Fred Smoot, has been downgraded to questionable this week for the Redskins because of hamstring injury.  That was pretty much the story his entire time with the Vikings, as well – one injury after another.

Second-year safety Greg Blue, who was waived by the Vikings on the final roster cut, has not been picked up by any other team at this point.

Other stories:

>They’re big, they’re bad and they know it
>Henderson is the man in the middle
>Taylor likely to sit
>Don’t expect letup from Robison
>Vikings will stress their run game
>Gameday:  Vikings at Detroit
>5 things to watch in Vikings game
>Lions game plan:  Beware of screen pass
>Vikings a tough test for Lions
>Novacek picks Vikings
>4-of-6 Strib writers pick Lions
>Jackson gets through radio trouble
>Time to step up for ex-Vike Burleson

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