The good news for Minnesota Viking fans is that the Vikes had a first round bye in the playoffs last weekend. The bad news is that Minnesota has a second, third, and fourth round bye too. Not making the playoffs was not in the forecast for the Vikings this year, but it certainly was the reality. There are plenty of reasons the Vikings had such a difficult year and during the second half of the season it seemed like some sort of cosmic forces were aligned against the guys in purple. Here are some of those forces, a few key personalities that shaped the season, and a look at the issues concerning the future success of the Minnesota Vikings.
BRAD CHILDRESS- Goodbye and good riddance might be a bit to harsh for some, but this man, who was supposed to be an offensive mind when he got the head coaching position five years ago, did more to hold back the Vikings O than any defense could ever hope to. Shortly after Childress took the Minnesota job he traded QB Daunte Culpepper to Miami. A trade that worked out badly for all parties involved. Then he drafted Tarvaris Jackson and proceeded to impede his development for the better part of 4 1/2 years. Throw in a little Brad Johnson, a pinch of Gus Frerotte, and a heavy dose of Brett Favre, and you have both the twin cities episode of “Grumpy Old Men” along with a recipe for long-term failure. To top it all off, he brought back Viking icon and future Hall of Fame receiver Randy Moss, only to release him weeks later because he knew he couldn’t control him.
BRETT FAVRE- As weird as it was to see Favre in purple, it was definitely a better fit than the Jets in 2008. Unfortunately, the only way the marriage of Favre and the Vikings would have been a complete success is if Minnesota would have made it to the Super Bowl with Brett at the controls. During the past thirty years the Vikings have gone to NFC Championship games with the likes of Wade Wilson, Randall Cunningham, Daunte Culpepper, and Favre, but they have not been to the big game since Fran Tarkenton retired in 1978. Fans are hungry.
LESLIE FRAZIER- Probably the best news to come out of the 2010 season is that Frazier is now the head coach with no interim tag attached. Nobody wants to say that losing is a good thing, but if going 3-7 during the first ten games of the season means Childress is out and Frazier is in, that is a very good thing. This man was going to get a position as an NFL head coach, so why shouldn’t it be the Vikings. In addition, it should be noted that after Frazier took over, this team appeared completely united. That includes something I never thought I would see; Favre on the sidelines in street clothes giving advice to QB’s Jackson and Joe Webb.
THE STADIUM- Or lack of it. The Vikings were forced to be a circus show the last few weeks of the season. The team had the roof collapse on the stadium they are trying to leave, played one home game in a rival city, and another home game outside for the first time since Tommy Kramer was the quarterback. Owner Zygi Wilf and a lot of Minnesota fans are hopeful that the stadium problems this season will spearhead the movement to get a new stadium.
In addition to these items, the Vikings have a lot more to consider as they move forward to 2011 and beyond. Who will be the QB next year? Brett is done(heard that before?), Tarvaris is a question mark at best, and the only guy they have under contract is Joe Webb. What will they do with OLB Chad Greenway? This guy has been improving every year, but he is a free agent now. They should definitely try to keep him. Finally, can they improve the offensive line? The unit this year was one of the worst in the league. They had some injuries, but that is no excuse for going from one of the best units in the NFL, to one of the worst. This should be an exciting and very eventful offseason. As usual, the questions will pop up early and often, while the answers will be a little tougher to come by.
About the Author
Written by Sean Eckhardt
Univ of Alabama alumni. Born and raised outside Chicago, IL. Currently live in Florida. Some of my favorite teams include the Chicago Cubs, Minnesota Vikings, Miami Heat, and the Florida Panthers. My interests outside of sports include music, outdoor activities, and anything with a motor(cars, bikes, boats, etc...).