Sep 16

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Vikings vs Colts: Discipline Deficiency

The Vikings go down in flames in Indianapolis.

I have been a Vikings fan since I was 5. I have never been angrier with this team than I was today. Before the game, Greg Coleman was talking with Paul Allen about the team’s “swagger” and said they were taking the field with “high energy” after last week’s win. We all know that Coleman and PA are both of a couple of homers – and we also know that I am not – but I was dumb enough to believe them before the game started. You can trust that I will not make that mistake again. It’s worth noting that it’s taken me all afternoon to write this at a glacial pace. I want to be objective – not angry – when I talk about why we lost.

I took a lot of flack on Twitter today for being “negative” and calling for Frazier to be fired. Although, I’m taking less crap than I used to about wanting Frazier gone as more people get on the bandwagon. Let’s be clear on one thing: we lost today because of coaching. Read on and I’ll tell you why.

The Good

The good news about this game is that we never have to see it again. Unless, of course, you have it on DVR and are masochistic enough to want to re-watch it. Also good about this game, for those of you watching for trends, is that it marks the 24th consecutive game that demonstrates Frazier’s inability to motivate and prepare this team prior to the game. While that in itself isn’t good, I like that it’s clearly laying down a trail that anyone can follow to come to the conclusion that Frazier cannot motivate this team.


The Secondary: where was it?

The Bad

Christian Ponder. Yeah, his stats look decent on paper. But – he inspired no urgency in the offense. Percy was open several times… and he just plain didn’t see him. He would jack-rabbit out of the pocket instead. He wasn’t going through his reads fast enough during most of the game. And he had not even one pass longer than 20 yards.

A lot of people are going to nay-say me on this because of his performance in the 4th quarters of the last 2 games – but he needs to get serious and start playing like a pro. All 60 minutes. Last week, after the game, he said he needed to come out with urgency and focus. He was right, but for the second week in a row, he did not do it. Why? Because he’s not held accountable for his performance by Leslie Frazier. And how did he explain it during the post-game presser? “That’s life in the NFL.” Way to hold yourself accountable for moseying on the field, Christian. Keep in mind that if the Vikings had played no-huddle or hurry-up offense on that last scoring drive, they likely would have had enough time to tie up the game after the Colts scored the field goal.

The front 4. Just 2 sacks on the day – but none from that front line. Robison missed tackles, Jared Allen made a bad decision along the sidelines and Kevin Williams missed several tackles, too. Jared Allen’s performance for me right now is reminiscent of his 2010 season. I don’t think he’ll be breaking any sack records this year, although I hope he proves me wrong.

Offensive coaching. Musgrave could not be more predictable if he tried. He lacks imagination and he lacks guts. 2 hideous gaps to have in an offensive coördinator.

Defensive coaching. Williams certainly lacks creativity. It’s sad that the fan-base gets excited when the defense manages one blitz in a game. What happened to the smashmouth football of yesteryear? I’m sure we all remember when we had the Williams Wall and a top 5 defense. Frazier is still there. Pagac is still there. You can’t tell me that not having Pat Williams is the difference. So, what is going on other than weak coaching and weak game planning?

This is what a person looks like when they shouldn’t be a head coach in the NFL. Confused & over-matched.

The Ugly

Lack of offensive urgency. Lack of defensive passion and focus. And, again, that speaks to Frazier’s inability to motivate this team to play. We have pro-bowlers on this team, but you can’t tell that by watching them play. Kevin Williams, Percy Harvin, Chris Kluwe, Jared Allen, Antoine Winfield, Adrian Peterson – all pro-bowlers. We can only count on AD, Percy & Kluwe to show up & play with heart. Yeah – I know Kluwe is a punter – he still averaged almost 54 yards per punt.

Horrid tackling errors abounded in the front 4, the back 3 and the secondary. At what point do you pull Jasper Brinkley and give Audie Cole a chance? Since there’s NO WAY we’re winning against the 49ers, I say next week is the time to bench a few starters and develop our young talent. If that defense can’t hit the field with a singular mind & purpose to win games, then they do not deserve to be on the field. End of story.

11 penalties for 105 yards. Due t0 65 yards in penalties, the Vikings only had 23 net yards of offense in the entire 3rd quarter! So many people were making mistakes, I’m not going to take the time to list all of the offenders out – but it was atrocious. And let’s all realize that coaching and a coach’s ability to hold people accountable plays into discipline, which in turn, affects penalties.

This team needs an iron fist – not a supportive buddy – as a coach. They need to stop, collectively, feeling entitled and they need to focus and get serious. I’m not suggesting that they need an immovable Brad Childress who would create a toxic atmosphere in the locker room. I’m saying that they need someone who will not tolerate this mediocre and inconsistent level of play, who has the guts to bench starters and who has a vision that’s more than “We hope to bring a championship to this organization”. Frazier will never lead an NFL team to a Super Bowl. It doesn’t matter if he moves on to another organization. He’s no Tony Dungy. He’s no Brian Billick. And, he’s no Tomlin. He never will be. I don’t care how long we give him to “develop”. The leadership skills are not there and neither is the vision. And those are hard skills to develop without a mentor and active development. Who’s going to develop Frazier? Spielman? The Wilfs? No.

When you think about great coaches… Bud Grant, Vince Lombardi, Bill Belichick to name a few, they did (or do) not stand along the sideline looking flat and emotionless. There was (is) animation, interaction, actual facial expressions! Now, Bud Grant was not overly emotional, but his intensity would radiate out of him. He personified “silent waters run deep”. Frazier doesn’t have intensity. He has a flat aspect that belies what I believe is doubt beneath the surface. I think he knows that he’s in over his head. And I think that’s one of the reasons he brought in his buddy Singletary. However, I don’t think Mike is doing him any favors. Just how long are we going to put up with this? Some suggest 5 years. Personally, I think that’s the wrong answer. If we go 3-13 or 4-12 this year, I think Frazier needs to go.

Lastly: The defensive secondary. If other teams don’t just start throwing downfield on us from the start of every game, they’re stupid.

What’s your take?



Permanent link to this article: http://www.vikesprincess.net/2012/09/vikings-vs-colts-discipline-deficiency/

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