#1 QB Carousel Settles On Bollinger – For Now
Brad Childress asked for this mess when he went into the season with Jackson, Holcomb and Bollinger as his QBs – now he’s got to deal with it.
Actually, it’s sort of already been dealt with for him – cause Tarvaris has a hurt finger and Kelly Holcomb has a hurt neck that left him looking like a punch-drunk boxer on the sidelines yesterday. So that means it’s going to be Brooks Bollinger this weekend against San Diego. Barring a recovery by T-Jack or the sudden appearance of Superman or The Flash.
Bollinger was halfway decent in his time yesterday, going 7-10 for 95 yards, and generally looking snappier and more accurate than either Jackson or Holcomb. Halfway decent wins you the starting job on this team.
#2 The Importance Of Locating The Sideline On Kick-Off Returns
Adrian Peterson killed any shot we might’ve had of establishing second-half momentum when he fielded the post-halftime kick-off on the half-yard line then stepped out-of-bounds. And Brad Childress compounded the situation by throwing a challenge flag in a situation where there was nothing to challenge, hence robbing us of what would prove to be a precious time-out. It was one of the more inexplicable sequences you’re ever going to see – something so head-scratchingly weird and lame and yet somehow typical that it even outdid the all-too-predictable inanities of the Mike Tice era.
It all got stranger and more impossible to understand after the game, when Brad Childress explained that Peterson was actually trying to make that play as it was taught to him. Said Chilly:
It’s a little-known rule, particularly by you guys here, but if you put your foot out of bounds when you’re worried about a ball that’s going out of bounds and you’re not sure, “Is it staying in? Is it going through the end line? Do I sit and watch it?” — the minute you put your foot out of bounds and possess the football, the football is out of bounds. We coach our guys quite often on that fact.
There’s a reason that rule is “little-known” Chilly – it’s because the circumstances you’re describing almost never happen. Most of the time, on a kick-off, if the ball is drifting toward the sideline, it just makes more sense to let the damn thing go out-of-bounds and then take it on the 40. There was no one anywhere near Peterson when he was fielding that ball – therefore he should not have been worried about it somehow staying in bounds and bouncing to one of the Eagles, hence giving them the ball. It looked to me like Peterson was trying to figure out what to do with the ball coming toward him – perhaps because he had been over-drilled on the situation and got confused?
And none of this explains why, Chilly, you would then throw the challenge flag and try to insist that Peterson actually caught the ball out-of-bounds when that was clearly not the case. Seems to me that you either have an idiot in the booth watching those things for you, or you just don’t listen to what the booth-guy tells you. Either way, there’s no excuse for what happened – either for Adrian or you (but I’m sure you’ll think of one anyway).
#3 I Guess Marcus McCauley Wasn’t The Problem After All
The Vikings demoted Marcus McCauley from nickelback to bench-warmer, installing Charles Gordon in his stead. The result? Donovan McNabb threw for 333 yards on 23/36 passing with a TD. Yeah, that fixed it.
Antoine Winfield, a guy known for opening his yap, sometimes intelligently, says it’s all his and the other corners’ faults:
At the corner position, we’re just giving up too many balls. I take the blame for that. I need to play better. I definitely need to play better to give us a chance to win.
Everyone needs to play better Antoine – but yeah, it would be nice to see you, Cedric and whoever ends up with the nickel job actually make a play on a ball occasionally. Receivers always seem so damn open against this team, and you can never figure out if it’s scheme, lack of pass-rush allowing QBs too much time, inability of linebackers to get back in coverage, or just plain-old everyday crappy secondary work. Or all of the above, in which case we’re screwed.