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Monday Morning Mailbag

Posted May 10, 2010

Do you have a comment or question? Send it to the vikings.com Mailbag! Every Monday during the offseason 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.

Is there any chance the Vikings will look to take a chance on QB JaMarcus Russell? They should be able to get him at a reasonable price, he has a strong arm and give the kid a break, he was stuck in Oakland.
-- Dave, vikings.com Blog commenter

You never want to say never, but the Vikings signing Russell has only the smallest of small chances of happening, in my view. Even with Brett Favre’s pending status, the Vikings still have 2 QBs (Tarvaris Jackson and Sage Rosenfels) on the roster who will compete for position on the depth chart and both of those players represent superior alternatives to signing Russell.

I agree that Russell deserves another shot, but he wouldn’t be a good fit in Minnesota because he wouldn’t see a lot of reps during practice and that’s what he needs (among other things) to improve.

With Albert Haynesworth expressing an interest to join the Vikings, is there any chance that the Vikings look to add him to the squad? He would be a good replacement for Pat Williams when he retires.
-- Chris, Eden Prairie, MN

This was easily the most popular question submitted to the vikings.com Mailbag this week and often times John Henderson’s name was also in the mix. Also, many of the Haynesworth/Henderson questions referenced the potential Williams Wall suspension.

I think both players have a lot left to offer. Henderson is an athletic DT who can play on all 3 downs and would be a quality starter for the Vikings. Haynesworth has been a dominant force at DT over the past several years and he, too, can play all 3 downs. He is good against the run and can also rush the passer.

But I also have my reservations about adding both players. Cost is certainly one factor, from what the trade compensation would be for Haynesworth to what kind of guaranteed money Henderson would command. Can the Vikings afford those price tags? Also, any team that acquires Haynesworth is going to have to seriously examine his attitude. He’s currently refusing to participate in some of the Redskins offseason activities because he’s reportedly not happy with the new scheme that head coach Mike Shanahan is going to employ. That kind of attitude is concerning and it’s something a team who wants to acquire Haynesworth is going have to be sure is addressed before the player is added.

Ultimately, I think both players would be good fits in Minnesota from a talent and schematic standpoint, especially if the Williams Wall is going to be suspended (we don’t know that they will be suspended). But some of the issues we addressed in the paragraph above this one have to be addressed and assuaged before the Vikings could acquire them.

Since we signed K Rhys Lloyd, are we seriously thinking about having 2 kickers for the 2010 NFL season? Or are we going to have competition between Rhys and Longwell for the job?
-- Miko. Palmdale, CA

I don’t envision Lloyd challenging Longwell for a roster spot, rather, I see the Vikings using Lloyd as the kickoff specialist and Longwell as the FG and PAT kicker. The Vikings saw last year in the playoffs against Dallas and New Orleans what having a kickoff specialist can do. Percy Harvin and his ability to shift field position with productive kick returns were taken out of the game completely because the Cowboys and Saints had kickers who could boot the ball through the endzone.

I know that special teams coordinator Brian Murphy has done a lot of studies on the value of a kickoff specialist and I think he’s willing to give it a try in 2010. Having a player with a strong leg for kickoffs will be even more important for the Vikings this year because of the potential bad-weather games the team could have at New England, at Chicago, at Washington and at Philadelphia – all of those games are in Week 8 and beyond.

Toby Gerhart is a great RB. How do the Vikings plan on using him this year? He is basically the same type of RB as Adrian Peterson, so will they just use him on 3rd downs or if Peterson gets hurt? Or will he even get the RB2 spot?
-- Jacob from Dayton

We’ll find out how the Vikings plan on using Gerhart once training camp gets here and then the season gets underway. I imagine they’re going to use him a lot of different ways, from short-yardage carries to catching passes out of the backfield to giving Peterson some relief throughout the course of the game.

But one part of your question I want to address is the idea that Gerhart and Peterson are “basically the same type of RB.” I don’t quite agree. Peterson, though very powerful when he puts his shoulders forward, is an elusive and speedy back with excellent home run potential – he was 2nd in the NFL last year in runs of 25+ yards. Gerhart, on the other hand, will likely excel more in the NFL by going straight ahead and running between the tackles to use his brute strength and powerful legs. I think Gerhart and Peterson are nice complementary backs and I don’t see them as having the same style.

I am from Kansas City and would like to know what fans from other cities can do to help in the process to get a new stadium. How can our voice be heard? My finances are not deep, but I do try to get to Minnesota at least once a year to see my favorite team - the Vikings - play.
-- Danny, vikings.com Blog commenter

One of the best things you can do is simply be engaged in this issue. You can do that by visiting vikings.com frequently and also by visiting www.minnesotamomentum.com. This is our grassroots website and it serves as a great resource for stadium supporters to educate themselves and also “recruit” other supporters to join in on the momentum. Check out the site because it will have more ideas on how you can become active in helping Minnesota find a long-term stadium solution.