An Unofficial Minnesota Vikings Blog

ESPN's Ultimate Depth Chart
By Gonzo
Posted on Tue Jul 11, 2006 at 09:05:14 PM EST

First thing's first. . .see the poll over there on the right about who's going to be the Vikings' leading receiver this year in terms of yardage?  I realize that there's an option for "other" and everything. . .but, just out of complete curiosity, who are you couple of people that have actually voted for "Other" voting for?  Jim Kleinsasser?  Aaron Hosack?  Ahmad Rashad?

Shoot, I thought including Billy McMullen in the poll was a stretch. . .I didn't think there were any legitimate candidates that I had actually forgotten. Sadly, more people have voted for "Other" than have voted for ol' Wilbur. Maybe we should have kept Hank Baskett after all.

Anyway, speaking of receivers (and every other position), ESPN has spent the last couple of weeks doing their "Ultimate Depth Chart," which ranks all 32 NFL teams in 5 different categories to determine a sort of pre-season power ranking.  Here's how the Vikings rated in each category, as well as how our NFC North competition was rated.

Quarterbacks

15. Packers
20. Vikings
23. Bears
24. Lions

Running Backs

16. Vikings
17. Bears
29. Lions
30. Packers

Pass Catchers

19. Vikings
24. Lions
26. Packers
29. Bears

Pass Defense

3. Bears
17. Vikings
25. Packers
30. Lions

Run Defense

5. Bears
17. Vikings
26. Packers
30. Lions

Overall

17. Bears
20. Vikings
27. Packers
31. Lions

Yes, the folks at ESPN believe that, literally, half of the teams in the entire National Football League are better than ANY team from the NFC North.  I mean, it's like we're not even there.

I can't really disagree with many of their rankings, as far as the Vikings are concerned.  Should Brad Johnson happen to go down, our QB ranking will drop to about #33, because at that point I believe the University of Southern California will have a more intimidating QB depth chart than we do.  Mike McMahon was the best we could do as a backup?  Seriously?  I'm guessing that the Vikings will be the main target of Len Pasquarelli's first "Jeff George is still available" article of the 2006 season.

Running back?  Still unproven. . .we don't know if Chester Taylor can handle the load for an entire season.  We DO know that Mewelde Moore's ankles are made entirely of Jell-o pudding, and we DO know that Ciatrick Fason is NOT a goal-line back.

Pass catchers?  If K-Rob is finally focused 100% on football, then this group can be better as well.  Wiggins is really underrated, even if he hardly reached the end zone last year.

I think both parts of the defense have the potential to be light years better than they were in '05 if they can grasp the scheme quickly enough.  I wish we knew who the heck was going to play MLB.  Personally, I think Nap Harris is going to end up getting the job, with Greenway and either Leber or Henderson on the outside.

I'm surprised they didn't rank offensive lines in this whole thing.  That's one category I know the Vikings would have ranked highly in.

What do you think of ESPN's Ultimate Depth Charts and/or the Vikings' placement on it?  Let your voice be heard!

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Rehab: Not Just for Quitters Anymore
By Gonzo
Posted on Tue Jul 11, 2006 at 08:44:06 AM EST

First off, thanks for the kind words from my fellow bloggers.  As soon as I can get to my GMail account, I'll be sure to register at all of your sites as well so that I can leave comments.  (The network admin folks here on base have determined that GMail is evil or something, so it's blocked.)

So, I'm surfing around this weekend, and head over to the Purple Thoughts board (linked there on the right), and see a thread with the title "ROBINSON BACK IN REHAB."  I was surprised, to say the least.  I clicked on it, and sure enough, a site no less credible than ProFootballTalk.com (that may or may not be sarcasm. . .I'll let you decide) was reporting that K-Rob's agent said he had checked himself back into rehab.

But wait!

That night, Robinson himself called into KFAN to deny that he was back in rehab.  His agent, Alvin Keels, who PFT had cited as their source, said that the visit was voluntary and that K-Rob hadn't violated the league's substance abuse policy.  Robinson's explanation?

"I'm not in rehab; it's nothing like that," Robinson said. "I'm taking prevention classes so I won't have to go back to rehab or won't have a situation. I just wanted to get away, make sure I'm bulletproof. So I'm just trying to be proactive. When did it become not cool to be proactive?"

So, after having actually gone for a significant length of time without any real drama, we got a few days of fun out of the K-Rob story.  I've long said that there's no team that gives their fans more value for their entertainment dollar than the Minnesota Vikings. . .and while this turned out to be relatively minor (in my opinion, anyway), it's just more proof of that.

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Please Allow Myself to Introduce. . .Myself
By Gonzo
Posted on Mon Jul 10, 2006 at 08:45:06 PM EST

Hello, fellow Viking fans, as well as football fans of any other stripe that have happened by our little corner of SportsBlogs Nation!  I'm Gonzo, and I'll be skippering this ship for the foreseeable future.

(Note to self:  Cut down on boat references.)

I would like to thank the proprietors of SBNation.com for allowing me this opportunity.  I will effort to bring all you Vikings fans out there the same level of coverage that you've become accustomed to from the other blogs that comprise this site.

Now that the formalities are out of the way, let me better introduce myself.

My name isn't really "Gonzo."  That just happens to be the nickname I was given by my old T-ball coach when I was 4 years old. . .and it's managed to stick for 25 years.  I've spent the last 8+ years as an Air Force weather nerd. . .er, meteorologist. . .currently stationed at Keesler AFB in Biloxi, MS, but I was born and raised in the Great White North.

I've been a passionate follower of the Vikings for almost the same amount of time.  The first season of Vikings' football I can clearly remember was the Les Steckel disaster year of 1984.  The Vikings went 3-13 that year, and to this day are the worst football team I think I've ever seen.  And yet, something drew me to this team.  Maybe it's because they were the closest team to my North Dakota home. . .maybe it's because Anthony Carter ruled the world on Tecmo Bowl, I don't know.

Whatever it was, there's no team I feel the connection with that I do to the Vikings.  Like so many of you, I endured Darrin Nelson dropping the pass at the goal line against Washington.  I endured the 1998 NFC Championship Game.  I endured the 2000 NFC Championship Game.  I endured Josh McCown to Nate Poole.  And I endured so many of the other moments that, sadly, have become the hallmark of the Minnesota Vikings.

And, like so many of you, I'll be there when this team finally breaks through and wins that big game.  It might not be this year, it might not be next year. . .I don't know when it's going to be.  But it's going to happen.  And it's going to make all the down times seem like a distant memory.

Thanks for coming aboard, folks!

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