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Monday Morning Mailbag

Posted Nov 8, 2010

Do you have a comment or question? Send it to the vikings.com Mailbag! Every Monday during the season we’ll post several comments and/or questions as part of the vikings.com Monday Morning Mailbag feature. Although we can’t post every comment or question, we will reply to every question submitted.

To submit a comment or question to the mailbag, send an email to Mike Wobschall at wobschallm@vikings.nfl.net. Remember to include your name and town on the email.

 

The guys were so energized and you could feel it in your home through the TV. It’s like they just snapped out of a trance and said “We’re fed up, and we’re not gonna take this anymore!” How are they going to keep this energy going into the big Chicago game next week? Is the feeling in the locker room that we’ve finally found our niche? What’s your opinion?
-- Alex C.
vikings.com Blog commenter

I can’t speak collectively for the whole team and I don’t want to assume things are back on the right track after one win. So I don’t know that the team has found its niche, per se. But with that said, my opinion is that the win over Arizona will be this year’s version of the San Francisco win from 2009. It would not surprise me to see the Vikings come out next week against Chicago looking energized and sharp. There’s no doubt the last 2 weeks or so have been tumultuous for the team, but coming out of Sunday’s win the Vikings acted and looked like a team that was united.

The “hurry-up offense” really seemed to get the offense motivated. Is there any chance we could see the Vikings open up that way against the Bears next week, just for a series or two, to get them focused and motivated?
-- K’net
vikings.com Blog commenter

I never say there’s not a chance, so perhaps the Vikings will use this to open up the game next week. But I don’t foresee that happening. I agree the Vikings did a great job in the hurry-up, but I also thought the offense looked good when it was huddling before every play. Favre was 12 of 16 for 147 yards in the 1st half, which are solid numbers. Of course the passing offense exploded in the 2nd half, largely because of the hurry-up offense, but the point is I think the Vikings offense looked good for the entire game against Arizona, not just when they went into the hurry-up.

I agree with the commenter, though, I think the Vikings could think about using the hurry-up at varying times during the game to give the defense something else to think about as they prepare each week.

Which players were credited with sacks against the Cardinals?
-- Brandon
Chesapeake, VA

Unofficially Jared Allen was credited with 2.5, Ray Edwards had 2.0, Chad Greenway had 1.0 and Madieu Williams had .5. I say “unofficially” because our defensive coaching staff will go through the game film and make adjustments to the game statistics. But for the time being, those are the sack totals. The Vikings had 6 sacks entering the game against Arizona and then they tallied 6 against the Cardinals. Good timing!

What are the chances of the Vikings doing more rotation of the younger defensive line players into games to see if they can get some pressure on opposing QBs?  The starting front 4 just have not been bringing it at all so far this season.
-- Adrian T.
Miltona, MN

This question was submitted before the win over Arizona, but I wanted to address anyway because I think Miltona brings up a good point. I think it’s reasonable to think the Vikings will continue to insert young players such as DTs Fred Evans and Letroy Guion and DE Brian Robison into the mix to try and apply pressure to opposing QBs. It’s not that these young players are replacing the starting four because of performance issues. Rather, their inclusion in the rotation will help keep everyone’s legs fresh throughout the game.

With Bernard Berrian having a good game for us, do you think the Vikings will start trusting him more to get him the ball a lot throughout the game?
-- vikings012
vikings.com Blog commenter

It was great to see Berrian involved in the offense against Arizona. He was a key component to the victory, hauling in 9 receptions for 89 yards, including a number of important grabs in big spots. He had an 11-yard reception at the 4:32 mark to help setup Adrian Peterson’s 2nd TD of the game. Then he had a 15-yard reception to begin the drive that tied the game at 24 near the end of regulation. Finally, it was Berrian’s 22-yard grab in overtime that put the Vikings in FG range.

To answer the question, though, I think Berrian’s performance from Sunday is more of a result of how Arizona defended the Vikings and less of a concerted effort by the Vikings to use Berrian. Brett Favre’s job is to read the defense and find the receiver who is open…not to hone in on one receiver and force-feed the ball to him.

Now that CB Chris Cook is starting to gain some more experience, do you see him possibly starting next week against the Chicago Bears?
-- Spence
vikings.com Blog commenter

I’m not sure about that. To me the starting CB opposite Antoine Winfield is more about who’s healthy than it is about identifying a regular starter. Now, would you prefer to have a regular starter there every week? Yes, of course you would. But right now that’s not the case for the Vikings and it’s going to continue to be a rotation including Cook, Asher Allen and Lito Sheppard. While that might not be the answer fans are looking for, we must also remember that the Vikings have the 14th ranked pass defense in terms of yards allowed per attempt and the 10th ranked pass defense in yards allowed per game. Those are both improved numbers from last year.

We would like to voice our concerns about Joe Webb. The Vikings need to put Joe Webb in as a WR to fill for Sidney Rice until he completely recovers from his surgery and returns. He is the best option we have to replace Rice.
-- Tyson, Kyle, and Andy
Goodhue, MN

A lot of people have this opinion, but I am not one of them. I think the Vikings and Webb are better-served to have Webb focus exclusively on his role as QB and let the WRs already at the position handle those duties. On top of that, Rice appears close to returning to action. He’s participated in practice recently and I anticipate him being back in action on game day either at Chicago or the following week at home against Green Bay.

 

Coach Childress has obviously been under a lot of scrutiny recently, and I don’t want to get into any of that in this week’s mailbag. But I did want to share an email someone sent to me regarding Coach because I appreciate the sentiments of this emailer, especially in light of the Vikings Salute to the Military at Sunday’s game and more importantly in light of Veterans Day, which is coming up on November 11.

Thanks for the email, Jude.

Hello Coach Childress,

I just saw the ESPN piece about your trip to Afghanistan and the dedication of your son to his fellow soldiers.  I have been a lifelong Packer fan, but I wanted you to know that I am grateful for the wonderful young man that you and your wife have raised and I thank you for your sacrifice.  My prayers are with all of you and I hope he returns home safely.  You should be very proud of him – I know  am.
-- Jude A. Rathburn, Ph.D.

Milwaukee, WI

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