Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Gambler

"Ev'ry gambler knows that the secret to survivin'
Is knowin' what to throw away and knowing what to keep." -- Kenny Rogers

Now that Brad Childress has seemingly made the unilateral decision to cut his losses in the "Randy Moss Experiment," I think it is time to take stock of the cards the Vikes are left with. 

I think it is safe to assume the following:
  • Favre is done.  Whether or not he plays again this year, Brett's days in purple are numbered.  Other players not returning next year likely include: Pat Williams, Ben Leber, Ray Edwards and Lito Sheppard (I hardly knew you). 
  • There is no labor deal for next year, and we're likely looking at a lockout. 
  • No stadium deal will get done in the next legislative session.
The team needs to find a way to re-sign Adrian Peterson, Chad Greenway and Sidney Rice, asssuming he fully recovers from hip surgery in order to avoid a major step backward for the next few years.  We're also out a 3rd rounder for next year (donated to the Patriots for 26 days of Randy). 

Here are two things I'd like to see happen today:
  1. Fire Brad Childress: I was willing to give "Chilly" a chance as long as he was winning games, but it is clear that he has completely lost control over this team.  He seems confused and desperate, and it is time to cut him loose.  The release of Randy Moss just underlines this point.  Promote Lezlie Frazier to head coach and let him show what he can do for 1/2 a season.  If he does great, let him try again next year.  If not, he should get an opportunity somewhere else, and the Vikes can go after a big name coach in the off-season.  Maybe we can get a 2 for 1 deal with the Gophers?  As for Frazier, he is likely to get a head coaching offer somewhere, so we may at well see if he's up to the job.  Remember Mike Tomlin?  What's he up to these days?
  2. Give T-Jack a chance:  Engineer an exit strategy for Favre so we can find out what (if anything) Tavaris has learned.  I may be one of the only people in this state that actually believes that T-Jack can be a starting NFL QB.  When he was drafted out of Alabama State, he was a called “raw” and a “project.”  Even polished quarterback prospects take 3-4 years on average to develop into solid starters in the league.  In Jackson’s case, he was thrown into a bad situation in year #2, and did a respectable job for a raw prospect that shouldn’t have been on the field in the first place.  The following year he was given the job, only to lose it to Gus Ferrotte and then grab it back after Gus got hurt.  For a few games, he did a good job running the team before getting killed by the Eagles’ blitz-happy defense in the playoffs.  The next game, the Eagles absolutely destroyed a “polished” Eli Manning as well, although nobody wrote him off.  Since then, Tavaris has sat quietly in Favre’s shadow taking reps in practice and learning from Grandpa Brett. At the same time, he has been the consummate professional throughout Favre’s yearly offseason drama.  He’s also playing without a contract going into a likely labor dispute, and yet he showed up at the off-season training programs and worked his ass off.   I honestly don’t know if T-Jack has what it takes to be an effective quarterback in this league, but then again, very few people do.  What I do know is that he is a big, strong, mobile athlete with a strong arm that has spent 1.5 years on the sidelines studying a football legend in action.  If it were my call, I’d give T-Jack the reigns for the rest of the year and give him a real chance to show what he’s got.  We could at least put the debate to rest, and make it clear whether or not we need to go get a QB next year or not. 

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