Monday Morning Mailbag


Monday Morning Mailbag: Barr's Role, Super Bowl Bid, Defensive Scheme + More

Posted May 26, 2014

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

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Are there any financial projections out that estimate what the Super Bowl will bring in terms of revenue to Minneapolis?
Zack P.

The estimates vary on this one, and I don’t know the exact figure. But in a January 2014 press release from Governor Mark Dayton’s office, a study by Rockport Analytics showed that Super Bowl XLVI had an economic impact of $324 million dollars on the Indianapolis metropolitan area. I’m sure the actual impact varies from year-to-year and I know there are many factors that go into it, with some unique to the market in which the game is hosted. The bottom line is it’s a gain of some kind, and much of the gain may be invaluable because of it’s hard to quantitatively measure some things, such as the fact that an audience of more than 100 million people will tune in for the actual game. That audience will be exposed to the sights and brands of Minnesota and the Twin Cities area.

Anthony Barr will miss some of the offseason program because of returning to school. Do you think this will hurt his development, or from what you've seen so far, will he hop back in with minimal catching up to do?
-- Don W.

From watching rookie minicamp, it’s clear to see Barr fits the bill of a Top 10 draft pick from a physical perspective. His combination of size and speed is rare, and he gives the Vikings the type of athlete on the edge of the defense that not every team has. Just as important, though, early indications from head coach Mike Zimmer are that Barr is off to a good start in terms of learning the Vikings defensive system. I expect the Vikings will do everything they can, while being complicit with the Collective Bargaining Agreement, to keep him on track from a mental perspective until he’s able to return to Winter Park.

Everyone seems to think Norv Turner is going to run an offense with big emphasis on a vertical passing attack. Jon Gruden (Gruden’s QB Camp) has said that he loves watching Bridgewater because he runs all the same west coast plays that he is familiar with and that Joe Montana ran in San Francisco. In an early interview, however, Zimmer has said he likes to fit the scheme to the players.  Do you think it follows that Turner will be running more of a west coast scheme to fit with Bridgewater’s attributes?
-- Steve T.
Superior, WI

Turner has been coaching in the NFL for 30 years, which means two things. First, his methods and philosophies have stood the test of time. Secondly, he’s been able to adequately adjust to the ever-changing game. All of this leads me to believe that Turner will coordinate an offense comprised of the principles and strategies that have worked for him over time and that will maximize the strengths of the individual players on the field at any given time.

I hesitate to categorize the offense Turner will run in Minnesota as any one thing (i.e. west coast, run ‘n shoot, etc.). Let’s also remember that tailoring the offense right now to suit Bridgewater is selling short the fact that both Matt Cassel and Christian Ponder are on this roster to compete for playing time, too.

Is it ok to consider Anthony Bar our best blitzer already? Or who do you see as our other best blitzer? Do you think we will remain a 4-3 defense or will we have some 3-4 also?
-- Robert L.
Irvine, CA

It’s fair to project Barr as the Vikings best blitzer in 2014, but at this point it’s only an opinion because we haven’t seen Barr step on the field for a game and we also don’t know how other new Vikings, such as Captain Munnerlyn, are going to fit in the defensive scheme. Also, I expect many returning Vikings to see more opportunities to blitz/pressure, including Chad Greenway and Harrison Smith.

As for the scheme itself, at this point I’m expecting the Vikings base defense will remain a 4-3 look. But I can also see the Vikings utilizing other fronts in certain situations and I wouldn’t rule out a switch to an odd-man front as the base defense at some down the road. The bottom line is it’s less important to pigeon-hole

Do you think Christian Ponder will get another crack at being our starter this season? Now that Norv Turner is in the mix, I feel like Ponder could be a good quarterback under Turner's coaching. I am a big Ponder fan, going back to his days at FSU.
-- Ian S.
Strasburg, VA

If he’s on the roster, he has an opportunity to be the starter. That doesn’t apply to just Ponder – it applies to every player on the roster. It may be cliché, but it’s also true, particularly with regard to a quarterback position in Minnesota that hasn’t had a steady hand in place for several seasons. I don’t believe the Viking are in a position to rule anyone out of the starting job.