Tag Archive: Mike Singletary

Jan 22

QB or Not to QB: That’s The Question, Man.

Anyone who’s been a Vikings fan for more than, say, 5 minutes, knows we’ve had a bit of an issue at quarterback since, oh… Tommy Kramer was replaced. The Vikings have a long history of short-term drivers at the helm. The closest we’ve been to a franchise QB in recent memory was Daunte Culpepper. Yes, he spent 7 seasons with us, but he only started all 16 games during 3 of those seasons. And they weren’t even consecutive seasons. And still somehow he made the 50 Greatest Vikings of All-Time. That’s how you know there were a lot of younger people voting who weren’t alive during the 70’s and 80’s. But, that’s a topic for a different time.

The Vikings are at a crossroads right now as it pertains to the quarterback position. I think we all know that the Vikings need to find a long-term capable QB to man the helm – but are we willing to go through a Panthers-, Browns- or Lions-like season as we wait for our newbie QB to percolate? I guess it could be argued that we just had one of those kinds of seasons – but with a veteran QB… but I digress. The prevailing wisdom says that the Vikings are going to find a veteran QB to lead the team for 2 years or so while Joe Webb or some QB we draft this year or next “grows” under said-veteran’s tutelage.

There has been a lot of speculation as to what the Vikings might do vis à vis the temporary stop-gap at QB. Before Chilly was rightly fired, there was talk of Donovan McNabb joining the team. After Chilly was fired, there was talk that Brett Favre might come back for a third season with the Vikings since Chilly was gone. When the Vikings were interviewing Josh McDaniels for OC, there was Kyle Orton-to-the-Vikings talk. Now with the hiring of Craig Johnson as the quarterbacks coach, talk of Vince Young are heating up. I’ve even heard Alex Smith brandied about due to the Mike Singletary acquisition, which is odd given that Singletary sat Alex Smith in favor of Troy Smith. And unrelated to all of these – but maybe more salient now given Chilly’s recent dinner with Marvin Lewis – mentions of Carson Palmer to the Vikings.

Now. Let me tell you from whom the Vikings should stay FAR, FAR AWAY during this search.

Vince Young wonders why he couldn't keep his cool.

1. Vince Young. The Vikings do not need another high-maintenance head-case on the team. No, I’m not talking about Brett Favre. I am talking about Randy Moss stopping by for 3ish weeks during the 2010 season and other assorted Vikings players who have embarrassed the franchise over the last 6 or so years (yeah, Bryant McKinnie & Daunte Culpepper – I’m talking to you!). I don’t care what Vince Young’s record is. I believe him to be a locker-room cancer. That is something we don’t need. I’d rather watch Joe Webb run around like a chicken with its head cut off than introduce someone as volatile as Young to the mix.

Donovan McNabb: We shouldn't McNabb him.

2. Donovan McNabb. McNabb’s tank is about 62% full. Which is to say he can make it through about 41.5 minutes of a 60 minute game. The Vikings need a quarterback who can play all 60 minutes. There’s a reason McNabb was benched and it’s not because he’s supremely awesome or even the Donovan McNabb of 5 years ago. Let us cut our Philly ties and let McNabb walk on by. For truly it would be better to watch Aaron Rodgers throw to imaginary receivers all day long than it would be to see McNabb in the sacred Purple.

Carson Palmer has had better days.

3. Carson Palmer. Palmer spent his rookie season (2003) learning from Jon Kitna, who earned the NFL Comeback Player of the Year that season. In 2004, Palmer took over the helm and in 2005, gave the Bengals their first winning season since 1990. That all sounds great, but Palmer hasn’t posted a passer rating above 87 since 2006. In 2008 his elbow was surgically repaired. Not to mention he just doesn’t look commanding on the field. So, if I hear one more KFAN pundit or see one more Tweet saying we should go after Carson Palmer, I will scream. Carson Palmer is not the answer.

So. You may be wondering what I think we should do. Or, maybe you’re not. But you’re here reading, so I’m going to tell you. I think we should draft a QB in the 1st round of 2011 (assuming there is still a decent one to be had) and bring in <drum roll> Shaun Hill to compete with Joe Webb and the other drafted QB. That’s right. I said Shaun Hill. In 2009, he did a solid job for the 49ers and in 2010, he filled in capably for an injured Matthew Stafford, until he was injured himself, with a fracture to his left non-throwing arm. It’s worth noting that Shaun’s NFL career started with the Minnesota Vikings. He joined the team as an undrafted free-agent in 2002 and saw his first snaps at the end of the 2005 season… ok, so he took a knee twice to end a game, but still!

Shaun Hill hasn't always enjoyed his time with the Vikings.

I think Shaun Hill is seasoned enough to mentor the younger QBs and would be thankful to join a team with a receiving corps that included players like Percy Harvin, Visanthe Shiancoe and (probably) Sidney Rice. Paired with a runningback like Adrian Peterson, I think Shaun Hill could be very competitive. It also helps that he signed a 1 year contract with the Lions, which would mean that the Vikings wouldn’t have to trade draft picks they don’t have due to Chilly’s insanity.

Kyle Orton looking like a Packer fan.

The other option might be Kyle Orton. The Broncos have made coaching changes and have added John Elway to the front office and there appear to be some Tebow fans in the group, so Orton may be at risk for demotion. He is under contract with the Broncos through the 2011 season, so obtaining him might cost the Vikings a draft pick or two.

What other options do we have Vikings Nation? Leave a comment and get the discussion started. And don’t forget to vote below.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.vikesprincess.net/2011/01/qb-or-not-to-qb-thats-the-question-man/

Jan 20

Leslie Frazier: A Press Conference Recap

Leslie Frazier addressed the media today from Winter Park at 10:30 AM CT. His opening statement was dedicated to announcing the new coaching staff that has been added this week.

Jeff Davidson: Offensive Line Coach

Bill Musgrave is the new Offensive Coordinator. To find out more on Bill, you can click here for my analysis. Frazier indicated that the OC position was critical given his background on defense; he needs someone who understands the offense inside and out. Frazier also pointed to Musgrave’s time at the University of Virginia, developing Matt Schaub and his time in Atlanta working with Matt Ryan as being pivotal, given the Vikings’ situation at Quarterback.

Jeff Davidson is joining the Vikings as the Offensive Line Coach. Davidson has spent time as a coach with the Saints, Patriots and Browns but was most recently the Offensive Coordinator for the Carolina Panthers. Frazier pointed to the fact that Davidson was instrumental in coaching an offensive line that produced two 1,000+ yard runningbacks in one season for the Panthers as being key for him since the Vikings have Adrian Peterson and would like to feature Toby Gerhart more.

Craig Johnson: Quarterbacks Coach

Craig Johnson has been named the Quarterbacks coach for the Vikings. He was most recently with the Tennessee Titans. Earlier today, ProFootballTalk posted this story about how hiring Johnson may open the door for Vince Young to join the Vikings as the first team Quarterback. Um… let’s hope that’s just speculation. I, for one, do not think Vince Young would be a good add to the Vikings’ offense.

As I mentioned yesterday, Mike Priefer is indeed the new Special Teams Coordinator.

Head Coach Leslie Frazier has one more coaching spot to fill: Runningbacks Coach. It’s been reported that he’s speaking to at least 2 different candidates. It will be interesting to see where he goes with this coaching spot, given that he’s stated that he wants to be a run-first team. Whomever Frazier selects will need to be an integral part of developing the game plan, making adjustments and ensuring that both Peterson and Gerhart function at the top of their abilities.

I’ll continue to follow the runningbacks coach situation in the days to come and will update you as soon as there is some information to impart.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.vikesprincess.net/2011/01/leslie-frazier-a-press-conference-recap/

Jan 20

Leslie Frazier Addresses Coaching Changes

Leslie Frazier, Head Coach of the Minnesota Vikings

Leslie Frazier will be addressing the media live today at 10:30 AM CST. He will be covering the recent coaching changes impacting the Offensive Coordinator, Defensive Coordinator, Special Teams Coordinator and Linebackers Coach positions. He may also address the Runningbacks Coach position since he’s been interviewing for that position this week as well.

You can catch the press conference in a live streaming format on Vikings.com or check out KFAN 1130 AM – they frequently carry the press conferences as well. Vikings.com will post the press conference in its entirety within a couple of a hours after it takes place as an archival video as well.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.vikesprincess.net/2011/01/leslie-frazier-addresses-coaching-changes/

Jan 19

We Are On The Edge of a Dynasty

I have to first tell you that the title of this post came from a comment left by Titus on the Vikings.com blog. When I was reading the comments, I came across his and I laughed loudly. Because let’s face it, aside from Mike Singletary, the Vikings haven’t added anyone too spectacular to the coaching staff today.

Let’s break it down together.

Bill Musgrave - OC Genius or Uh Oh?

Long-time Minnesota Offensive Coordinator Darrell Bevell was replaced today by Bill Musgrave. Don’t worry about Bevell… he’s on his way to work with Pete Carroll and the Seattle Seahawks. Who the heck is Bill Musgrave?

He released this statement after accepting the offer: “The organization is first class all the way and Leslie Frazier is first class all the way. The players on the offensive side of the ball are very attractive to be associated with. I’m looking forward to utilizing their strengths to get fantastic results. The offensive weapons on this squad are impressive. We as a staff will look forward to utilizing each and every one of them to attack defenses. I first met Leslie about 10 years ago when he was in Philadelphia and we’ve stayed in touch over the years. I look forward to working with him here and moving forward.”

Gee… that’s an awesome statement! But before you get all excited about a new powerhouse offense, let’s consider some history. Musgrave’s first stint as OC was after being promoted from Quarterbacks Coach to OC by the Carolina Panthers in 2000. He lasted exactly 4 games before resigning. Musgrave spent the next 2 years at the University of Virginia, where he was very involved in developing Matt Schaub.

In 2003, Musgrave returned to the NFL as the OC for the Jacksonville Jaguars. After 2 seasons, he was “released”, which is apparently a kind way to say “fired”. His next NFL job was as the Quarterbacks Coach for the Washington Redskins, where he lasted for one season before heading to the Atlanta Falcons in the same role. In 2009, Musgrave was promoted to Assistant Head Coach/Quarterbacks Coach.

And now he’s the Offensive Coordinator of the Minnesota Vikings, having not been an OC since 2005. Oh yes, folks, we are on the edge of a dynasty! Honestly, I am going to give the guy a chance. Maybe he’s learned a thing or two in the last few years and will surprise us all. Maybe he will make Darrell Bevell look like a play-calling genius. We’ll find out in August.

Fred Pagac: Mastermind of the Blitzing Vikings vs the Eagles or a One Hit Wonder?

The Vikings also named Fred Pagac to the Defensive Coordinator role today. He had this to say about his new position within the Vikings’ organization: “I’m very excited for the opportunity and I think we can get on the right track quickly. I’m excited about our players and staff and think that keeping continuity is very important. It helps everyone involved, the players and coaches both. The players know us, what our expectations are and we have a staff that works well together.”

Pagac has been a defensive coach with the Vikings since 2006. When Leslie Frazier was elevated to Interim Head Coach after the Wilfs divested themselves of Chilly, Pagac was named interim Defensive Coordinator. The defense seemed to come alive after Chilly left the building. I don’t know if that’s attributable to Chilly’s actual departure or if they were responding to Pagac’s coaching. I do know the defense was impressive against the Eagles and whomever put that plan together should be running the defense every week. Let’s hope that’s Fred.

Other coaches announced today were Mike Singletary as the Linebackers Coach/Special Assistant to the Head Coach. Singletary released this statement: “The organization is first class all the way and Leslie Frazier is first class all the way. The players on the offensive side of the ball are very attractive to be associated with. I’m looking forward to utilizing their strengths to get fantastic results. The offensive weapons on this squad are impressive. We as a staff will look forward to utilizing each and every one of them to attack defenses. I first met Leslie about 10 years ago when he was in Philadelphia and we’ve stayed in touch over the years. I look forward to working with him here and moving forward.”

Mike Priefer: Special Teams Coordinator

The Vikings also filled the Special Teams Coordinator position with Mike Priefer, who said this about joining the Vikings: “I’m honored to come to the Minnesota Vikings organization and to work with Coach Frazier. I’m excited to work with the rest of the coaching staff, players and the entire organization. It is a great opportunity for me and I know my family is excited about getting up there and I’m ready to help us win a championship.”

So, Vikings Nation, those are our newest coaches. Will they bring us a championship or will they complete the desiccation of our beloved Purple People Eaters that was started by Childress? I guess we’ll wait and see.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.vikesprincess.net/2011/01/we-are-on-the-edge-of-a-dynasty/

Jan 18

Mike Singletary Officially Joins the Vikings. Kinda.

Mike Singletary

Speculation that Mike Singletary would be joining Leslie Frazier’s coaching staff has been rampant since he was fired from the 49ers in Week 16 of the 2010 season. Today, it was confirmed by his agent, Bob LaMonte, and Singletary himself confirmed it yesterday on ESPN Chicago.

Oddly, Vikings.com has no such confirmation up on the website. One would think they would at least have a confirmation of some kind posted since it’s all over the media.

While Head Coach Leslie Frazier appeared to be accessible and forthcoming during his 6 week audition for the role, since the season ended, he’s been fairly tight-lipped about his plans for his coaching staff.

I wonder how that will play out as we head into OTAs and mini-camp. I’d hate to see another coach employing subterfuge and misdirection like someone who shall remain nameless but whose name rhymes with “hilly”.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.vikesprincess.net/2011/01/mike-singletary-officially-joins-the-vikings-kinda/

Jan 16

Mike Singletary: Deal Looks Imminent

Reports have surfaced that the Vikings and Mike Singletary, former head coach of the San Francisco 49ers and former Bears linebacker, are close to reaching a deal.

It’s no secret that Singletary and Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier go way back. Like 30 years “way back”. In fact, they know each other so well, it’s been reported that Singletary didn’t even need a sit-down interview in order to secure an offer to coach the Vikings’ linebackers.

I’ve found myself wondering why Singletary would accept a position as a linebacker coach instead of pursuing a head coaching position either in the NFL or at the collegiate level. Going from an NFL head coach to a linebacker coach seems like a huge demotion. I’d find a step down to Defensive Coordinator understandable – but linebacker coach for me is a stretch. So either a DC spot has not been offered to him by another team or his relationship with Frazier is so strong that he’s willing to align himself with Frazier for future opportunities while accepting a much reduced role in the short term.

It will be interesting to see how this pans out. What do you think about Mike Singletary joining the Vikings?

Permanent link to this article: http://www.vikesprincess.net/2011/01/mike-singletary-deal-looks-imminent/

Jan 07

Mike Singletary to Interview With the Vikings

ESPN, NFL.com, ProFootballTalk and our local new pundits (@JuddZulgad and @ChipScoggins) are all reporting that Mike Singletary will be interviewing with the Vikings this week. It’s thought that he will be considered for the Linebackers coach position.

Mike Singletary was a teammate of Leslie Frazier’s when they were both on the Bears in the 1980s. Both men participated in the now-mocked Super Bowl Shuffle video – but I can tell you, at the time, it was totally cool.

Mike Singletary was fired by the San Francisco 49ers after their week 16 loss to the St. Louis Rams. He hasn’t been overly successful as the head coach of the 49ers since he assumed control during the 2008 season. Singletary’s record with the 49ers is 18-22.

So Leslie Frazier is cleaning house. He’s chucking the former coach’s cronies for cronies of his own. In the case of Singletary, I think I’m ok with that because he was, after all, a stellar linebacker for that Bears’ Super Bowl team. But is Leslie Frazier cleaning house to give the Vikings a better chance or is he purging people in order to install “Yes Men”? Therein lies the question.

What do you think?

Permanent link to this article: http://www.vikesprincess.net/2011/01/mike-singletary-to-interview-with-the-vikings/