Minnesota Vikings vs Steelers: Hall of Fame Game review

3 of 5

The Bad

Aug 9, 2015; Canton, OH, USA; Minnesota Vikings cornerback Trae Waynes (26) looks on during the 2015 Hall of Fame game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

  1. Trae Waynes looked like a bit of a lost puppy.  Well, only if that puppy grabs things and doesn’t let go.  Waynes looked like a true rookie during his first preseason action, being picked apart and burned on a regular basis while accumulating several penalties for being too physical with wide receivers.  But before we go labeling him as a “bust” we have to remember that we saw similar things during Xavier Rhodes‘ rookie year.  Still, it’s a bit frustrating to see a first round pick struggle this badly in a prime time exhibition.  (3 tackles, 0 passes defended)
  2. The longsnapper battle.  Both Cullen Loeffler and Kevin McDermott had bad snaps during the game.  When you add in that the team had poor outings on both punting and field goal kicking, it’s not a good sign for the chemistry that is supposed to exist between these players on special teams.  Neither player made a good impression in a battle that is still a draw.
  3. Speaking of poor punting.  Ouch.  Jeff Locke talked about using weather forecasts and flags to improve his punting, but that didn’t seem to come into play at all.  Locke was a major disappointment, punting 6 times and only landing two of those inside the 20 yard line.  Kicks that should have been short went long…and ones that were supposed to be long went short.  Hopefully, he gets it figured out.
  4. Backup offensive line play.  Particularly disappointing was the play of 6th round draft pick Tyrus Thompson.  I was hopeful to see him prove that he could contend for a starting job against current right guard Mike Harris, but Harris’ good play and Thompson’s disappointing effort makes that gap larger in my mind.
  5. Some of the play call decisions.  I don’t think I’ll ever understand why the Vikings ran the ball on 4th and short with Jerick McKinnon having Blake Reynaud as his fullback didn’t make much sense, but it was a good test for the young fullback.  Sure, it was a test that he failed badly at, but it’s also the preseason, which is when you try things like this.

Next: The Confusing