Preseason Week 1: Vikings Stock Report
By Jon Merckle
So that’s one game in the books of the preseason. We try not to jump to conclusions. Preseason is great viewing for most mediocre sports fans if they’re trying to fall asleep. But then there are those of us who blog and read blogs and consider throwing the baby out with the bathwater right away. Believe it or not, some angry fan called into Jacksonville radio wanting Jack Del Rio fired after the Jaguars lost their first preseason game to the Patriots. That’s passion baby. Since we’re more in-line with the angry caller, lets give a stock report…
Dan did an excellent job of mentioning McNabb earlier, so no need to repeat what the best Vikings blogger on web already said. McNabb showed command in the huddle (shocking for a 13-year vet, I know), still has a lively arm and demonstrated abilities to escape pressure more like his early Eagle days than his Redskin ones. Much was said in preseason that McNabb enjoyed his Chunky Soup this past offseason, however his weight appeared to be in check. Great to have him onboard.
With Adrian Peterson only getting one carry (which is debatably one too many) and Toby Gerhart three, Booker shined for being a “feature” back in a preseason game. He displayed shiftiness, ability to receive the ball out of the backfield and looked like someone (sans his fumble) that wants to stay in the NFL for a while.
With Ben Leber now a St Louis Ram the weakside linebacker is up for grabs with Chad Greenway and EJ Henderson locked into the other two spots. Erin was the most active player on defense totaling 10 tackles, 7 of which solo and 2 for loss. His tackling angles were great and players seemed to rally around him.
It’s nice to have Griffen incorporated into this blog without him getting arrested. Lets hope he continues to stay out of trouble as he’s committed to. With Jared Allen sitting out, Griffen played with the first team defense lining up on the right end and lead the team with 2 quarterback hits.
Just after the game Leslie Frazier said that Ponder will now work with the 2nd team and Joe Webb the 3rd. Still the early results on Ponder are not spectacular. He looked shorter than his listed height of 6’2” and possessed an arm that is mediocre at best. That’s a problem for a quarterback taken 12th overall. For those who argue and say that height has never been a problem for Drew Brees… well we knew Brees was short going into the NFL and his downfield vision was never question. Getting back to Ponder he did go 8/13 for 84 yards going against a 2nd and 3rd team defense, but for now lets be grateful that McNabb is in purple.
We hate to keep harping on Berrian. This is a guy who leaving camp said he was looking forward to putting the 2010 season behind him while also restructuring his contract. Still it’s a problem when you’re asked to be in the mix for a teams top WR spot, you’re targeted 4 times tonight and only come down with 2 receptions for a measly 12 yards. Didn’t Berrian average 20 yards a reception his first season as a Viking and only 9 last year? Which version was he hoping to be more like? If that’s to happen he’s going to he needs to do a much better job not being tied up at the line by DBs and play better outside if he’s to return to the 2008 version.
Maybe this was a bad game for Aromashodu or we’ve already seen reasons he never clicked with offensive guru Mike Martz. Aromashodu was targeted 5 times and only had one reception for 9 yards. This would have easily gone unnoticed had Aromashodu caught Ponder’s pass close to the goal line, however it was a drop. Lets hope Aromashodu rebounds from this. He has superior size and acceleration to many of the Vikings receivers; but with Percy Harvin, Michael Jenkins & Berrian locked into roster spots at WR – Aromashodu didn’t exactly help his cause.
Then again… It’s one preseason game.
Jon Merckle may be followed on Twitter @thevikingpig