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Monday Morning Mailbag

Posted Sep 10, 2012

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.

 

Hey Mike! Great start to the season with a tense win. My question is this: Although it is only the first game, are you as excited as I am by the prospect of this new passing offense? I was expecting improvement from QB Christian Ponder, but a 270-yard performance with what I think seemed like a relatively weak receiving corps (outside of Percy Harvin of course) is a good achievement and far beyond what I expected. Do you think that WR Jerome Simpson’s return could make the Vikings passing offense spark even more? It’s been a while, but this win has me excited. I’m hoping that I don't jinx it, and this carries over to the Colts game next week. Skol Vikes!
-- Sam J.
Glasgow, Scotland

I would use the word encouraged rather than excited to describe how I feel about the Vikings passing offense. Of course we’ve only had one regular season game, so I don’t want to hyper-analyze this aspect of the offense, but at the same time you have to come away encouraged by what you saw from Ponder and Co. in the 2nd half. Devin Aromashodu made a couple of big-time catches late in regulation and in overtime, and Michael Jenkins was solid during the game as well.

There’s no question that Simpson’s return will add a valuable element to the passing game – deep speed. Aromashodu, Stephen Burton and Jenkins are capable of holding things down over this three-game stretch without Simpson, but the speed that Simpson brings will undoubtedly be another factor opposing defenses will have to respect when they game plan for the Vikings.

Because of living in Iowa (Cedar Rapids), I was unable to watch the game. Could you tell me how LB Jasper Brinkley and our other linebackers looked in our first game? Are there any concerns?
-- Dustin
Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Given all the scrutiny this group has faced during the offseason and preseason, it was great to see how the Vikings linebackers performed. Chad Greenway led all defenders in tackles with 13 and fellow outside linebacker Erin Henderson added 10 tackles and a sack as well. I thought Brinkley flashed several times, including during a goal line on Jacksonville’s first possession. While the defense will certainly find lots of flaws to correct for next week – with the linebackers being no exception – I also feel they’ll see some things on tape that they did well.

Was it encouraging to see QB Christian Ponder come back in the 2nd half to perform well after a less than impressive 1st half?
-- Paul S.

There’s no question this was an encouraging development. We hear coaches across  the League talk all the time about how important it is for a quarterback to be resilient and have a short memory. That’s exactly what Ponder had on Sunday against the Jaguars, bouncing back from a lackluster 1st half and coming out much sharper in the 2nd half. Consider the numbers: Ponder was 7 of 11  for 78 yards in the 1st half, and in the 2nd half he was 13 of 16 for 192 yards.

I was wondering if any of the two receivers on the practice squad – Chris Summers and Tori Gurley – have a chance of winning a spot on the active roster, or are they just going to stay on the practice squad? What are your thoughts on the two receivers? By the way, great job to the Vikings for a great comeback win!
-- David T.

The outlook all players on the practice squad should have is that they have the ability to make a 53-man roster. If a team didn’t think a player had that capability, they would not spend the resources to keep them around on the practice squad. With that being said, I do believe Summers and Gurley could one day find their way on the Vikings – or any other team’s – 53-man roster. They both possess traits that are required of NFL receivers, and I’m looking forward to learning more about them as I observe them in practice.

My snapshot opinion so far is that Gurley has an intriguing size/speed combination. He almost looks like a tight end, but when he moves it’s clear he’s a wide receiver. Summers is a touch taller than Gurley, and while I haven’t yet seen him open up down the field, I’m sure he can stretch the field because of his athleticism and long strides. Both seem to have a future in the NFL.

What a game. The Vikings defeated a pretty good team in a fantastic game! Defense complimented the offence and Ponder, Harvin, Peterson and virtually every player was magnificent. They answered a lot of question marks right there. Ponder looked just like Tony Romo from last Wednesday’s opener – throwing against his body, on the run, keeping drives going. Yeah, I think he improved. Skol Vikings!
-- robb
vikings.com Blog commenter

I agree. I saw improvement in many areas of the offense, from the way Ponder performed to the way the Vikings offensive staff found ways to utilize Harvin. The Vikings threw screens to Harvin, they handed the ball off to him, and they had him run routes; and he lined up as a kickoff returner. And you just can’t say enough about Peterson coming back the way he has. It was fun to watch.

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