Dec 23, 2012; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers wide receiver Greg Jennings (85) during warmups prior to the game against the Tennessee Titans at Lambeau Field. The Packers won 55-7. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

5 Ways the Vikings Have Improved Themselves This Offseason


The Vikings may not be big players in free agency this offseason. But they’ve made a couple of splashy moves – one of course being a fairly big trade you may have heard about – and some smaller ones that have helped shore up the roster. Let’s run down five ways the Vikings have improved themselves thus far.

5. They got better by standing pat.

Sometimes the best way to improve is just to stand pat. Stick with players who have shown improvement and will presumably continue to grow. The Vikings kept a couple guys who arguably fit under this heading. Phil Loadholt still has some developing to do at right tackle and will be around to continue learning. Jamarca Sanford showed marked improvement last season and will still be in the mix at safety. And Erin Henderson arguably could become a better linebacker with some more seasoning. If those three guys continue on an upward track, the team will only get better.

4. They signed a legit backup QB.

Matt Cassel is a major upgrade from Joe Webb. There is just no arguing that. Webb is not a legit NFL backup and Cassel is. Hopefully this one won’t matter much though. Hopefully Christian Ponder will play well and stay healthy, keeping Cassel on the bench. But if Cassel has to come in, at least he gives the offense a fighting chance. You couldn’t say that with Webb.

3. They moved on from Jasper Brinkley.

Brinkley got a chance to start all last season and only seemed to regress. His tackling went from poor to woeful and his coverage was just brutal. He is simply not a good player and the Vikings were right to let him walk. Addition by subtraction. And they can use a draft pick on a middle linebacker now and maybe get some more playmaking ability into that defense. Brinkley at his best was only serviceable.

2. They rescued Christian Ponder from Percy Harvin.

You can have a pretty spirited argument about whether it helps or hurts the team to move on from Percy Harvin. From an on-field point-of-view I don’t know how you can argue that it helps. It’s never good to lose a player of that caliber. But from a chemistry point-of-view I think it probably helps. It certainly will help Christian Ponder’s psyche. I don’t think he and Percy were a good mix temperamentally. Percy likes challenging people and needs a QB who will put him in his place. Ponder I don’t think has the personality for that kind of thing. It was never going to work with those two.

1. They got a true outside receiving threat.

Yes they lose quite a bit by trading away Percy Harvin. They lose that amazing playmaking ability and versatility and just flat-out excitement factor. But by signing Greg Jennings I think they gain something arguably just as important. They gain a guy who does the one thing Percy Harvin really didn’t do. That’s work outside the numbers. Jennings is not a pure downfield guy but he’s a true craftsman at receiver who runs his routes precisely and knows how to work the outside. Ponder needed a receiver who knows how to get separation on the outside where it’s tougher to deliver the ball accurately. So yes they lose that home run threat in Harvin but they gain a guy who will probably help out Ponder a lot more. Maybe he’ll even work with Ponder on the back shoulder throw. Goodness knows Jennings caught enough of those from Aaron Rodgers. He must know a few things about throwing them.

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Tags: Minnesota Vikings

  • The Truth

    The writers is formerly a rabid Wisconsin badger fan and therefore
    probably a Packer fan. If you don’t believe me, google his name (Dan
    Zinski) and you will see his Wisconsin Badger blog that he left. Can’t
    we get an actual Viking Fan or at least someone who is neutral to write
    this? Go read his article on Vikings are “Mickey Mouse”. Not only is it poorly thought out, it is almost trolling or smack.

    They did not stand pat. They signed Cassel and Jennings. Now the packers they stood pat and swung and missed at Steven Jackson. Ouch, that’s gotta hurt :)

    • http://twitter.com/rovibe71 Rob

      That’s a bogus complaint. Anyone with a 3rd grade level reading comprehension could understand that he was referring to ‘standing pat’ on the specific players he highlighted – Loadholt, Sanford and Henderson – as opposed to going crazy in fee agency trying to buy new starters at those positions.

      • Jake

        Actually it’s not a bogus complaint because they didn’t stand pat in free agency. Standing pat means holding what you’ve got and making a move for more. In fact this is not what they have done. They let a bunch of players go including Winfield; they resigned a bunch of free agents like Loadholt, Simpson, Sanford, Felton and Henderson. They went out and got Cassel and Jennings to fill key needs and they were rumored to have been in pursuit of a few other players like Urlacher and Wallace. So in fact they haven’t been standing pat throughout free agency. Anyone with a third grade education who has been following the team the last few weeks would know that.

        • http://twitter.com/rovibe71 Rob

          They ‘stood pat’ on the 3 specific positions/players that he NAMED in the article, you dope. Henderson, Sanford, and Loadholt. Keeping those players instead of trying to upgrade at those positions is standing pat. He made that clear. You’d have to be a complete jackass to not understand that.

          • Jake

            Are you Dan’s husband? Is that why you’re so upset about this?

          • http://twitter.com/rovibe71 Rob

            Are you is ex-girlfriend? Is that why you’re so upset about what he wrote? Anyone who trolls the internet complaining about free content is a loser. Congratulations, loser.

          • Jake

            I’m complaining about it because it sucks. These stories are posted for fans of the team to read, which is why I read them. As a consumer of this product I am allowed to remark on the quality of the product. As it happens this product is terrible and I am saying such. Free or not makes no difference you piece of human shit. These guys are doing a job, they’re not doing it well, and because of that we the readers are suffering. When someone does a job and produces a product for consumption it should be a quality product; if it isn’t a quality product the consumer will complain. This is how business works idiot!

      • The Truth

        Standing pat was the wrong wording clearly. Anyone with a third grade education knows that :) Dan or is it rob now? Or should i just call you Bucky the Badger.
        Where is the insight and inside information? There is none. You can find better and more informed posts on your run of the mill message board. Go and read his Vikings are a Mickey Mouse organization and see some more poorly thought out writing and possibly a packers smack post. This is an embarrassment to SI and they should clan this clown.

  • Jake

    5 Ways this blog could improve:

    1. Stop writing obvious stories about things that have been beaten to death already. Try some original ideas that don’t involve rehashing or recapping previous stories (i.e. this story).

    2. Fire half the staff and bring in people who can actually write and have fresh ideas, and can make proper use of spelling, grammar, and sentence structure.

    3. Make sure the writers are actually Viking fans that truly care about the team yet still maintain the ability to write objectively.

    4. Write stories that are relevant to the current status of the team; also avoid wild speculation and fantasy stories about things you wish would happen.

    5. Try some actual insider reporting, go to team headquarters, attend training camps and OTA’s, talk to team officials and players (at the very least talk to other insider reporters), post videos from camps and practices.

    I don’t know if you guys get paid but I imagine you probably do; Fansided makes money through ads so I’m sure you guys get paid. If you do get paid then please put some actual effort into this. These Fansided stories have taken over SI.com and they’re basically all we have to read anymore. The least you could do is make them interesting and insightful, and above all accurate. Put some work into this, do some investigative reporting, do some research, come up with original things to talk about. I know that isn’t always easy but you chose to do this so at least try to do it well.

    • http://twitter.com/rovibe71 Rob

      If you don’t like someone else’s work on a blog they offer to you for FREE, you should just go read something else. Who complains about something being offered to them for free?

      • Jake

        I do, so get lost. Just because something is free doesn’t mean it can be shit quality. We’re all just supposed to be happy with half-assed work? That’s not how business works.

        • http://twitter.com/mrsamk Mandie Kranig

          This may be free, but it is written under the guise as a fan blog. Just admit it, Dan is a Packer Homer and my 5 year old son not only knows more about Vikings football, but probably could put together a more coherent fan blog than this anti-Viking blogger.

          • http://twitter.com/rovibe71 Rob

            Then your 5 year old son should put your money where your mouth is and just do it. Otherwise, you sound like a whiny bitch.

          • Jake

            What is your deal? Are you one of the terrible writers at this blog? Why are you so adamantly defending this garbage work?

          • http://twitter.com/mrsamk Mandie Kranig

            That is a good idea “Rob”, it would be HILARIOUS to see packer homer danny boy SCHOOLED by a 5 year old. I think I might take you up on that, but I think I’ll keep it free, that way EVERYBODY will get to see how pathetic of a fan blog this is, free or not.

          • http://twitter.com/rovibe71 Rob

            Whatever. You’re a whiny bitch. Why don’t you go loiter at Cub Foods and complain about the free samples? Fucking troll.

          • the truth

            You are calling him a troll when so far in this comment section you have used the F-bomb on a poster, the b-word, insulted a 5 year old, and described others comprehension equal to that of a 3rd grader? I don’t think you understand or comprehend what a troll really is but if have a mirror handy…

            I will tell you a secret. Most of the content of the internet is free. However, the quality varies widely. That doesn’t mean because it is free, posters can’t point this out or critique the quality of the content we read.

            Dan Zinski stinks as a Viking blogger. His articles should not be linked to Sports Illustrated. Though, the quality is falling dramatically at SI that maybe it is appropriate. This is very sad for the great magazine SI used to be.

            You seem to have some skin in this game. Dan, is that you?

          • http://twitter.com/rovibe71 Rob

            It’s no more absurd for me to defend than it is for you to complain and moan like a bitchy little girl on the rag about something that is fucking FREE. You’re a tool. It’s FREE! Only a loser complains that he (‘she’ in your case) doesn’t like something that no one is forcing them to read and that is totally free. If you don’t like it, go somewhere else. Quit clogging the board whining about free shit that doesn’t meet your standards. You sound like a total bitch.

          • Jake

            Every story on all of SI’s website is free but most of those are pretty good. So why is this story allowed to suck simply because it’s free? All the rest of the stories are free also you dumbass! Just because something is free doesn’t mean it’s ok for it to suck, your logic is nonexistent, you’re fucking retarded!.

          • Jake

            http://www.dailynorseman.com/2013/3/24/4141370/2013-vikings-draft-matching-players-to-the-biggest-needs-of-the This is story from Daily Norseman, which is also FREE. Amazingly it doesn’t suck! It’s a good story with actual insight into the draft. See moron, this is a great example of a free product still being a quality product. So why is this site allowed to suck simply because it’s free when other free sites are actually good? The answer is because you are a retard!!

        • http://twitter.com/rovibe71 Rob

          It isn’t ‘business’ if they’re giving it to you for FREE, you dumbass. Grow up.

          • Jake

            It is a business moron, they write for a website that makes money. You’re an idiot dude, get out of here.

          • http://twitter.com/rovibe71 Rob

            That’s THEIR business. Not YOUR business. It is NOT business for you unless YOU are paying for it. Stupid fuck.

          • Jake

            Dude you truly are stupid. They put forth a product, their stories. That product sucks, which is what we’re all complaining about. So it is fact you who is a stupid fuck. You’re the only one who seems to think these stories are any good.

      • the Truth

        Trust us, most of us read other articles that writers have put more thought into or actually done some of this thing called reporting (It is a mysterious thing that Dan Zinski has yet to discover). For example, read Tom Pelissero of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities He used to cover the Packers and is able to be objective and insightful. These articles are just embarrassing. Unfortunately, they are under the offical Vikings team page. So,by checking out that page we end up seeing some of these garbabe pieces listed there.
        Dan Zinski lacks insight and his Buckey The Badger is showing.

    • http://twitter.com/mrsamk Mandie Kranig

      Amen! These writers claim to be Viking fans, but they know LESS about the vikings than the stupid talking heads on espn. It is a shame that these “fans” can’t put more effort, originality, and passion when writing about their team.

  • CarterMossReed

    Hope they grab hopkins

  • CarterMossReed

    Hopkins should be there at 25 at 23 if ogletree is available he should be picked

  • CarterMossReed

    I would like to see hopkins land as a viking also grab and kevin minter

  • CarterMossReed

    Vikes are missing that nasty, edgy, thumper middle linebacker, kevin minter would be a solid addition.

  • Dave

    just draft Deandre Hopkins 23 and believe it or not they should draft Manti Te´o 25