Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. Offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave is looking forward to having Jerome Simpson in the fold because he thinks Simpson can beat single coverage and allow the Vikings to exploit defenses that are stacking up to stop the run. “We need to be able to count on somebody from our split end position winning consistently versus man coverage,” Musgrave said. “With the way I think we can run the football, defenses are going to try to take away the run. And we want to make them pay for that through the air.”
Gosh what an original and brilliant offensive approach. I see only two problems with it. One, we don’t know if we have a quarterback who can consistently deliver the ball even if the receiver beats man coverage. Two, we don’t know if our running back will ever be the same again, so we don’t know if defenses will even try to stack the box thereby creating those vital one-on-one situations outside.
It’s funny how simple that “let them try to stop our run and we’ll burn them deep” plan sounds coming out of people’s mouths. And it’s even funnier how seldom it has actually worked out the way it was supposed to. The only time in recent years I remember that plan consistently resulting in offensive yardage and points was when we had a dude named Brett Favre on one end and a dude named Sidney Rice on the other end.
Now we’ve got Christian Ponder and, when his suspension is over, Jerome Simpson. I’m sure that combo will make us forget all about Favre-to-Rice. Hell, I’ll be happy if it becomes Frerotte-to-Berrian. At least that would be some improvement.