VikingBuzz BLOG: 10/10

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

Vikings draft class gets high marks early

The 2007 Vikings draft class is earning straight “A’s” so far, as each of the team’s top four draft picks are making an immediate impact.

Adrian Peterson is the early favorite for offensive rookie of the year honors.

Second-round pick Sidney Rice is the second-leading receiver on the team and looks like the Vikings’ most talented receiver of late.

Third-round pick Marcus McCauley has been the team’s nickel back from day one and has played well overall.

Fourth-round pick Brian Robison, who never had more than 7 sacks in a season in college, leads the Vikings with three sacks.

Scott’s career with Vikings likely to end on IR

From a business perspective, it appears the Vikings gambled and won in not signing fourth-year defensive end Darrion Scott to a long-term contract during the offseason when he was a restricted free agent.

It’s no secret that Scott was disappointed that he didn’t receive a higher contract tender that guaranteed him $850,000 this year with compensation being a third-round pick based on his original draft status.  Other possible tenders were worth, in order, $2.35 million (first- and third-round compensation), $1.85 million (first-round compensation) or $1.3 million (second-round compensation).

What Scott really wanted was the starting left end spot and a long-term contract in Minnesota.

“Obviously I’ve done what I needed to do to start – that’s being honest,” Scott told Viking Update last summer.  “In a way, I like the versatility partly because it keeps me on the field.  I can play end and then in passing situations I can move inside.  If they feel like there is a better pass rusher than me off the edge, then they put him in and I move inside because I like to be on the field.  In some situations, it’s a rhythm, football is a rhythm.  If you’re inside, you don’t really have a feel for that guy, so it can slow you down somewhat, but I don’t think that has anything to do with me starting.”

“I want to be here,” he said, choosing his words carefully.  “But I also want to be with a team that wants me here, that’s going to show me:  if you played well over the past few years and you produced well, we’re going to sign you and keep you here, instead of waiting and signing me to a low-term tender.”

But while Scott rotated with Kenechi Udeze early in training camp, he was never really able to unseat Udeze for the starting left end spot.  Through the first four games of the season, Scott saw limited duty in the rotation, with some reps and left end and some inside during pass-rush downs.

The continued development of second-year pro Jayme Mitchell and the emergence of rookie Brian Robison had also cut into Scott’s potential playing time.  The hopeful return of Erasmus James, who has been inactive thus far, also would have made for more competition for playing time.

That said, Scott is a solid football player who will likely get a solid contract offer as an unrestricted free agent following the season, and likely an opportunity to be a full-time player with someone.  He’s a solid anchor-type end.  He’s strong against the run and provides some power-type pass rush, with the versatility to also play inside.

Scott was initially drafted by the Vikings for the Ted Cottrell-style defense they were utilizing at that time.  The shift to the Mike Tomlin/Leslie Frazier front might not have played to his strengths.  There are schemes other than what the Vikings play that might suit him better, so he will get his chance next year.

Scott, who will miss the rest of the season, was officially placed on injured reserve by the Vikings on Tuesday after reportedly suffering a broken foot in practice on Monday.  The team filled his roster spot by promoting rookie guard Brian Daniels from the practice squad.

Speculation continues that Moore will be dealt

Word continues to percolate around the league that Vikings running back Mewelde Moore will be traded by the NFL trade deadline on October 16.

Childress continues to downplay any trade speculation. 

The key seems to be whether the Vikings are willing to come off their initial demands of a third-round pick for Moore, who will be an unrestricted free agent after this season.

“You're not talking about a player that somebody wants to trade for and keep with a long-term deal,” a source said in this Yahoo! Sports report.  “He's a good kid, but basically the Bucs want to bring him in, let him play it out and let him hit free agency.  That’s not worth a third-round pick.”

Meanwhile, Moore is trying not to dwell on the trade rumors, but acknowledges that he would welcome the opportunity to start.

Jackson expected back as starter

Two games on the bench (with an injured groin) and Tarvaris Jackson is once again the most popular quarterback on the team again.

After his four-interception performance against Detroit in Week #2, fans were clamoring for Kelly Holcomb.  But two more losses later, Jackson will be welcomed back as he is expected to return from injury.  On the bright side, at least it avoids any true quarterback controversy and keeps the plan to develop Jackson in place.

Jackson says he might not be 100 percent yet but insists he will be ready to play this week at Chicago.

Extra Points

The number of reps Erasmus James gets post bye week will be based on his performance on the field and no longer limited by his recovery from knee surgery, according to coach Brad Childress.

The Bears are reportedly a 7-point home favorite against the Vikings this weekend and have covered the spread in their last six home games against Minnesota.  Time to reverse the trend?

Former Vikings offensive line coach Steve Loney is 5-1 as the interim head coach at Drake University.  He said his goal it not to stay there but to move back to the NFL.  Some think Loney is the one holdover from the Mike Tice staff that Childress should have retained.

Ex-Viking running back Ciatrick Fason is reportedly among those being considered by Tampa Bay to replace the injured Michael Pittman on their roster.  But some reports out of Tampa suggest they’re bringing in FB Zack Crockett, who played for coach Jon Gruden with the Raiders.

Other stories:

>Ferguson seeks more active role in Vikings offense
>Vikings eager for another chance to stop Hester
>Bears getting ready to meet Peterson
>Rice, Williamson in attendance at alma mater
>Draft prospect 2008:  Cal receiver Jackson
>Mike McCarthy post-game PC after loss to Bears?
>Dick Jauron post-game PC after loss to Cowboys?
>One thing the Vikings did NOT do during bye week

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