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Just curious on your thoughts of the first team offense. Don't you think they need more playing time in these games? I understand the team needs to evaluate the other guys, but obviously our offense is not close to ready and they are the ones who play the whole game in three weeks for the rest of the year.
-- Justin H.
I understand the frustration many fans have with how the first team offense has performed through two preseason games. While I agree with Justin and many of you who’ve written in that the offense is in need of showing improvement, I don’t agree with the idea that they should’ve played more than they have so far. Typically, starters play into the 3rd quarter of the third preseason game, and I anticipate just that for the Vikings first team offense. Perhaps more importantly, though,
I’m not trying to make excuses for the offense’s lack of production to this point – they should be held accountable with or without Peterson. But we also have to be fair and realize it’s going to be harder for the offense to move the ball without the threat and ability of Peterson, which they haven’t had in the first two games.
I'm surprised by the mistakes between the center and the quarterback early in the game at Buffalo. Not only
-- Ian S.
I was surprised by this, too. At this level of the game and at this point in the preseason, there isn’t much tolerance by players or coaches for center-quarterback exchange issues. The very first thing the Vikings work at practice is center-quarterback exchange – the centers and quarterbacks are typically the first on the field and it’s precisely for this reason.
Without talking to coaches or players about what happened in Buffalo with the exchange issues I can only guess at the reason for them. It’s not common for me to wager this kind of guess on a topic, but here it goes. I think it had something to do with some of the blitzes Buffalo was bringing. In the first two preseason games, offenses don’t typically study film and then chart blitzes so they can then design protections and establish rules for every possible blitz an opponent may bring. Instead, offenses are more focused on executing basic principles of their own scheme. So when Buffalo blitzed as much as they did, it may have forced the center and quarterback to adjust more on the fly, thus resulting in miscommunication and mishandled exchanges. Again, just my guess based on no conversations with anyone who knows what did happen.
We saw Christian Ponder running a little bit of the no-huddle offense early on against Buffalo. That's something the Vikings didn't do a lot of last season. Do you think they will implement the no-huddle more this season?
-- YC Lindsay
Whether or not a team intends to use the no-huddle with any regularity during the regular season, it’s important for the offense to be capable of doing so because there is sure to be a time over 16 games in which it’s necessary to run the no-huddle. I’m not sure if the no-huddle offense is something the Vikings will lean on this season, but I wouldn’t read into them running it against Buffalo as a sign that it’s going to be something they feature with much frequency. It’s likely more a matter of the team wanting to practice it during these exhibition games so that when the time comes to use it in the regular season they have some experience with it.
Also keep in mind, the no-huddle is not necessarily a hurry-up offense. An offense can go no-huddle but still not technically hurry-up because they can still use most of the play clock before snapping the ball. This is something Peyton Manning-led offenses do quite frequently, with the objective being to exploit mismatches created by not allowing the defense to substitute.
You guys at vikings.com showed
-- Dan J.
The 60-yarder Dan referenced happened during the team’s night practice at training camp in Mankato a couple weeks ago. Last year’s Walsh’s long was a 56-yarder, and Vikings Special Teams Coordinator Mike Priefer actually said earlier in camp that he believes Walsh’s leg has gotten stronger since the end of last season. All of that on top of the fact that Walsh made a 64-yarder on the second-to-last day of camp this year leads me to believe that he will at some point convert on a field goal try of 60 yards at some point, maybe even this season.
More than just the ability to connect on a field goal of that distance, though, a kicker needs the opportunity. There are risks involved in a team trying a field goal of this distance because a miss from that distance gives the opposing team the ball at the point where the ball was spotted, which on a 60-yard try would be midfield. Coaches are going to be hesitant to put their defense in that position, so circumstances and conditions are going to have to be near-perfect before Frazier is going to allow a try from that distance.
I know that our defense relies a lot on linemen getting pressure on the quarterback while allowing the defensive backs and linebackers to cover. Given this fact and also the fact that
-- Carlos C.
I don't know that moving Allen from the right side to the left from time-to-time would make it more difficult for other teams. They would just take note pre-snap of where Allen lines up and then adjust their protection scheme based on his alignment. I'd rather see Allen stay right where he's most comfortable and let him continue to pile up the sacks and quarterback pressures.