Monday Morning Mailbag

Posted Mar 29, 2010

Do you have a comment or question? Send it to the Mailbag! Every Monday during the offseason we’ll post several comments and/or questions as part of the 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 Remember to include your name and town on the email.

It seems the Vikings have some very particular needs this offseason. One I've been hearing about is a RB, mostly for 3rd downs. But is there something wrong with Adrian Peterson to where he can't be an "every down back?" He's got speed, strength, his blocking could use some work, along with his catching. But wouldn't it just make more sense to teach him how to work on 3rd downs rather than replace him on 3rd downs? Also do you see the Vikings moving up for a QB in the draft?
-- Josh

This is a good question, Josh. If this were 10 years ago, perhaps that’s how the Vikings would approach it. But because the game is so much more violent now – players are bigger, stronger and faster than ever and are enduring collisions that are hard on their bodies – it benefits teams to have more than one RB who is a capable “every down” type of player. Instead of having one RB take 350-400 carries per season, teams would rather split those snaps up into 2 or 3 players. The Dallas Cowboys have even taken it a step further and have gone to a 3-back approach with Marion Barber III, Felix Jones and Tashard Choice. So it’s not that Peterson doesn’t have the skill set to be a true every down back, it’s that the Vikings are trying to prolong his career and increase his effectiveness and efficiency by using a 2-back approach.

As for the QB, I don’t see the Vikings moving up in the 1st round to grab a QB, but I could see them moving up in a later round to grab a QB they like.

The NFL recently altered its overtime rules. I think it is a start, but why complicate it by saying a TD wins it and that the other team only gets a possession if the original team does not score or only kicks a FG? Why not just make it that each team gets the ball at least once and then go to the sudden death rules after that?

-- Brian

Personally I don’t like the new overtime format. I think it’s silly and has too many if/or propositions. I liked the old format and the drama of a true sudden death period. The new format takes strategy away from the game at the end of regulation. Now instead of pressing at the end of the game to try and score, teams have reason to sit on the ball and rely on the overtime period because they know there’s a good chance that they’ll get at least one possession. Why risk a turnover while trying to drive for a last-second score from your own 25 when you know that if you run the clock out you’ll get another offensive possession in OT?

Football is a game with 3 phases – offense, defense and special teams. The college OT format takes away the special teams phase of the game and it basically takes away the defensive phase because the college rule automatically places the offense on the 25-yardline. It’s not real football.

A game in overtime should be played the same way a game is played in regulation. One team kicks off, the other team returns the kick, then we have offense vs. defense. While I agree that a coin flip is not the ideal way to determine possession in overtime, the true sudden death format of overtime is the best structure I’ve seen. Maybe instead of changing the overtime structure they could just change the way a team is awarded the ball. For example, why not have the team with the most net yards in the game get the ball to start overtime? Then play a sudden death period just as we have for decades.

What is the likelihood of Antoine Winfield possibly being transitioned to safety? If we were to draft a CB in the 1st round this year, and both Winfield and Cedric Griffin were to come back healthy, it seems to me we might have a lot of extra talent at CB. Do you think Winfield could be as successful as a safety?
-- Darryl I., Queensland, Australia

My impulse is to say that Winfield may not transition to safety very well because of his size; when I think of safeties I think of bigger athletes. But #26 is also an undersized CB and that certainly hasn’t stopped him from becoming one of the best players at his position. So I’m not going to doubt Winfield’s ability to become a solid NFL-caliber safety down the road in his career, especially if the move will prolong his career. But even as he comes off the foot injury from last year, I don’t believe now is the time to move him to safety, even if the Vikings draft a CB next month.

So, yes, I think Winfield could be successful as a safety and I’m all for the move if it prolongs his career as a Viking down the road. But I don’t believe now is the time to make the move.

Could you see the Vikings moving up about 10 spots in the draft and taking either Taylor Mays or Earl Thomas? Which player do you think would be a better fit?

-- Brent H.Ontario, WI

Both Mays and Thomas are safeties and both will transition nicely from a physical standpoint to the NFL level. Because of the depth on the defensive side of the ball in this draft, I tend to think moving up 10 spots to grab a safety might be a bit too aggressive for the Vikings. With that said, if there’s a guy the Vikings really want and he’s still available once we get to the 20s, perhaps the Vikings will feel inclined to go and get him.

As for which player is a better fit for the Vikings, I’m guessing it’s Mays. My guess is based the positive and negative qualities of each player and also on some decisions the Vikings have made recently on certain personnel. To me, Mays seems to fit the Vikings scheme and idea of defense a little better, although Thomas certainly is a player that will make any defense better. Thomas is more of a ball-hawk, and with the Vikings going away from Darren Sharper recently, I think they’d favor Mays’ skill set slightly over Thomas’.