Feb 24, 2009
First up, on a personal note, today is the 29th anniversary of me severely breaking my leg while riding my bike like a lunatic and crashing into a car. It was 2/24/80, the day we beat Finland to win the Gold medal for Hockey in the ’80 Olympics. In fact, the guy setting my leg was watching the end of the game while he did it and messed it up. The injury was so severe that I wasn’t right for a full year. The year before I went 4-for-4 in the final little league game of the season and couldn’t wait for the next year. Well I missed that season. The next year, I was 1 day too old to play LL, so I had to move up to Babe Ruth. I had to play against 15 year old’s throwing 75+ MPH, with my last season being played as a 10-year old, and it was a struggle. By the time I was ready to kick ass, I was again 1 day too old to play. So this accident that happened 29 years ago today, as well as a horrific 7/31 birthday, destroyed my baseball career. I wasn’t great, but I would have been solid in HS, yet I had no chance. Back then, they didn’t have all these off-season travel teams and special coaching. OK, had to get that off me chest.
I’m spending this week in Tax Hell, so with our free agency preview posted on Friday, we won’t be doing too much the rest of the week until Friday, when we will begin to track and analyze the free agent signings. If you’re interested, check back with the site periodically these next 2-3 weeks, as we’ll cover all signings.
I’ve also finally completed our search for two new full-time writers and contributors. As you can imagine, in this economy, we received a ton of resumes, 250+ in fact. I was trying to move fast, but it still took 6-7 weeks. But I believe I found two excellent candidates who both have strong writing and media experience, plus they have very good NFL backgrounds compared to even a hardcore NFL fan. We’ll have more on them later, but one hire worked for an NFL team site, while they other for NFL Films and his father is also an NFL official. I’m excited about what these guys will be bringing to the table this year. I say it all the time, yet I do think it always ends up being the case, but this year I think you will once again see a much better product, thanks in part to these two new hires. I prefer to have a smaller staff, so we’re all on the same page, and we’re all “with the program” so to speak. I think we’ll all be more “with the program” this year than ever before.
We also have a few computer programmers hard at work on two MAJOR technical additions to the site, a mock draft engine for subscribers and a stand-alone draft tool program. These are incredibly intense programs that take months to develop, so hopefully we’re started soon enough in advance to get them running smoothly for the season. But don’t expect to see anything until mid-to-late June or early July.
On to today’s topic.
This time of the year, I like to look at players who are likely switching teams and project them to other teams. The fits rarely happen for a variety of reasons, but it’s interesting to me to try to fit players in certain situations.
Like QB Derek Anderson and the Vikings. As previously posted, I don’t have any delusions when it comes to Anderson, but while he’s not perfect, I felt he was good enough of a player to give the Vikes some real hope for the future, and on this particular team, with a great defense and running game, a legitimate chance to make a run deep into the playoffs. That fit apparently won’t happen, as the Browns seem content to keep Anderson around, thus creating a QB controversy in Cleveland, which probably isn’t wise because they have a lot of needs elsewhere. So now, if Anderson sticks and Brady Quinn struggles, it will be Anderson who is the darling, not Quinn.
As for the Vikings, they appear poised to acquire veteran Sage Rosenfels, presumably as their starter. Rosenfels is an upgrade over Tarvaris Jackson – barely. But he doesn’t have the upside to improve that Jackson does. Rosenfels has a good arm, but Jackson’s is better. Rosenfels has mobility, but not nearly as much as Jackson, who is also much younger. While Rosenfels can throw the ball pretty well, he’s still very erratic, and I don’t think he throws the ball with good timing and anticipation. We’ll see, but if I was a Viking fan (they have been “my team” since I was 6, but I don’t consider myself much of a fan anymore), I would not be happy if they do get Sage.
Yeah, Rosenfels had some success the last two years in Houston, but keep in mind that’s a damn good offense, one that features the most talented wideout in the league, plus some other very good weapons. That’s not the case in Minnesota. If Rosenfels goes back to pass and Bernard Berrian is covered, he doesn’t have many other options, plus the Viking OL isn’t very good. He’ll turn the ball over. I’m not sure he can severely test defenses down the field; I didn’t see too much of that from him in Houston with Andre Johnson at his disposal. And who’s to say Jackson doesn’t outshine him in practice and in the preseason, and then we have another QB controversy. The Vikings need a guy who is their clear starter, and I don’t think Rosenfels is. Basically, Sage Rosenfels is a younger version of Gus Frerotte.
The Vikings will not make a run deep in the playoffs with Sage, no way. I have zero faith in this guy in a big spot, since he’s proven to be mistake-prone in addition to being erratic. He’s been a backup for almost a decade, and he should be a backup. If they get him, the Vikes will be 9-7 and if they make the playoffs they’ll be one-and-done, once again. And this time next year, they’ll still be looking for their QB of the future.