Column: Vikings need to find a quarterbackMinnesota Vikings fans had trouble selling out the Metrodome for Sunday’s playoff game against Philadelphia. Gee, I wonder why?
By: Chris Aarhus, The Dickinson Press
Minnesota Vikings fans had trouble selling out the Metrodome for Sunday’s playoff game against Philadelphia.
Gee, I wonder why?
I was pleasantly surprised that Minnesota kept it as close as it did against a team like Philadelphia, which has a capable quarterback in Donovan McNabb.
Capable quarterback? What is that?
As a Vikings fan, I assumed it was the quarterback’s job to throw game-costing interceptions. Oh, how Tarvaris Jackson failed to reach his dream of making the ultimate throw – the coveted “out” pattern. On his luckiest day in which he would walk down the side of the road and find a $100 bill, use that money to buy lottery tickets, win $250 million in the lottery and then pay Joe Montana and Brett Favre to teach him how to appropriately throw an “out” pass … on that day, he might be able to throw an out pattern.
I know what you’re thinking “that’s a lot of stuff for one day and it’s not realistic.” No, it’s not realistic and neither is Tarvaris Jackson’s chance of ever being good enough to play in the National Football League.
Some people have preached to me over the past year of how bad he is. I listened, but I didn’t necessarily agree. I didn’t feel I should agree. A quarterback needs time to develop and not every quarterback develops quickly like Joe Flacco, Matt Ryan, Ben Roethlisberger or Dan Marino. Many take time, just look at Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees. Both are good quarterbacks that took a few years to develop. Say what you want about the Packers’ collapse, but without Rodgers, I’m not sure they would have won half of the games they did.
But Tarvaris had his time and it’s time to go shopping for a new signal-caller.
Where do the Vikings go from here? A question my uncles and I asked ourselves after the loss to Philly. Well, the Vikes won a division title for the first time since 2000, so that’s something.
Next up: The NFL Draft. Who should the Vikings draft?
If you can’t get Matt Stafford or Sam Bradford, in my opinion, Minnesota should not draft a quarterback. I’ve seen a few mock drafts and one of them had the Vikings picking Tim Tebow in the first round. I think the lesson was learned about drafting a Tim Tebow when the Detroit Lions took Andre Ware out of the University of Houston in 1990.
Besides, mock drafts are always big on certain college players until the combine exposes their weaknesses … and that’s what it will do to Tebow.
Look for the Vikings to go after free agents like Kurt Warner in Arizona, Jeff Garcia in Tampa Bay and even give a look to David Carr, who’s with the Giants. Warner’s not an excellent fit, but he’s very capable. Personally, I like Jeff Garcia because he’s mobile and he’s still got an arm.
True Vikings fans know what we really need – offensive linemen and cornerbacks.
The only starting O-lineman who was any good this year was left guard Steve Hutchinson. Matt Birk had another bad season and is probably going to be let go, making way for underrated prospect John Sullivan, who’s very smart and is very much like a young Matt Birk. Adrian Peterson rushed for 1700 yards not because of this line; he did it despite them.
Bryant McKinnie is awful. He’s slow and he doesn’t move his feet. Anthony Herrera is actually a decent guard on the right side, especially for the price tag, but they could do better. The biggest help is needed at right tackle where Ryan Cook just isn’t getting it done. Artis Hicks wants another shot, but I don’t think he’ll get it without some competition.
I’d love to see Minnesota draft a bookend left tackle and move McKinnie to the right side where he doesn’t have to protect the blind side.
Also, the Vikings need to look at their secondary, most notably the lack of depth. Antoine Winfield is a good cornerback, but after that? Cedric Griffin actually played well at times this season, but I’m not convinced he’s a starting cornerback in this league. Benny Sapp is about average while Marcus McCauley has failed miserably in a career that showed a lot of promise when he was drafted.
Teams will continue to pass it around on the Vikings until they address help in the secondary. Darren Sharper will probably be released as his age certainly looks to be a factor in his playing, though the Packers thought he was old and he signed with Minnesota and made a few Pro Bowls.
Does head coach Brad Childress deserve another chance? Probably.
It’s hard to justify firing a coach who just won the division for the first time in eight years. His in-game management skills are still lacking and I’m not a big fan of the Mister Dad mustache.
However, it looks like he is going to get another year at the least. Let’s hope he gets a quarterback who can thrown an “out” pattern.
is Aarhus is a sports writer for The Dickinson Press. He can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com.