Jul 29, 2009
You may recall a post I did way back in February in which I was somewhat critical of the Vikings for settling on Sage Rosenfels as their QB answer this year. Granted, I didn’t blame them too much, since the pickings were slim, but that doesn’t mean Sage wasn’t an average choice. At the time, I thought they should look at Derek Anderson, who I believe is a better player than Rosenfels. They also might have had a chance at Jay Cutler, and Matt Cassel was also available, so I do think they had some options.
And my basic point then was proven credible by the team’s inclination to sign Brett Favre. Actually, “inclination” may be a mild term. You may even say “obsession.” In the end, the Vikes apparently damn near begged Favre, and they even reportedly gave his number out to some of their star players, hoping they could talk the veteran out of retirement.
I’m a little disappointed Favre’s not coming back, not exactly because I’m a Viking fan (I’m used to being disappointed), but because it was going to create high drama in the NFC North, and more intrigue than usual in the NFL. I also liked it for fantasy, since I thought Favre running the show would be better for their players than Rosenfels or Tarvaris Jackson.
So where does this leave the Vikings?
I think it leaves them in a bind. The Viking organization has a way of screwing up a good thing (they were a damn good team, for example, when they made the Herschel Walker trade). The Favre stuff got so powerful, and now the entire team has to do a 180, and they have to refocus on the task at hand (the upcoming season), with only 6-7 weeks to do so. These guys are professionals, but who knows how this is going to affect their team chemistry. Some guys may be Jackson guys, and some guys may be Rosenfels guys. Rosenfels I’m sure is pleased he’ll get a great chance to win the job, but given the Favre stuff he certainly can’t feel good about himself, and neither can Jackson, who reportedly was going to ask for a trade if Favre came on board. It’s been a long rollercoaster ride, and it’s not going to be easy for the team to come off of it, no matter how professional their players seem to be handling the situation.
Of course, the bigger issue is how neither Rosenfels nor Jackson is as good as Favre. The biggest buzz kill is TE Visanthe Shiancoe, of course. Favre loved to throw to the TE, and at this point of his career he looks more comfortable throwing inside the hash marks, which really boded well for Shiancoe. Now, if Rosenfels is the guy, I don’t see how anyone can be giddy about Shiancoe. He’s a pretty good player with good movement skills, but Rosenfels may not have great timing, touch, and anticipation, which can be a key for throwing to the TE. A close look at TE Owen Daniels’ numbers the last two years with Rosenfels in the lineup clearly shows that he didn’t do as well.
Here are his stats from the last two years:
11/133 (ok, that was a big game)
That’s 3.2 catches for 34.7 yards per game on average for those 13 games, with 2 TDs total.
Take out that monster 11/133 game, and Daniels stats were downright pathetic with Rosenfels. I’ll give it a few days, but we’ll be downgrading Visanthe a little.
I do still think Rosenfels is better than Tarvaris Jackson, however, and he is a little bit of a gunslinger, so he might be making some big plays to WR Bernard Berrian, and the offense as a whole should be better off with Rosenfels under center. He’s erratic, but not as erratic as Jackson, and I think he tilts the field a little more given how he’s a little more consistent than Jackson and how he does have a pretty strong arm.
Of course, I’m probably an idiot for spending this much time breaking down the Favre-less Vikings. Just how I was hesitant to discuss Favre on the Vikings, I’m hesitant to discuss Favre not on the Vikings, even though he’s said he won’t be playing in purple this year. And I’m not going to even bother addressing Mike Vick in Minnesota because it’s not going to happen.
My basic point is this: I’m big on good vibes and bad vibes in the preseason, and given this Favre fiasco, I think the Vibes aren’t very good in Minnesota right now. They need to get good in a hurry.