Darren "Doogie" Wolfson

Darren "Doogie" Wolfson has a passion for sports, but not a consistent forum in which he's allowed to spew his thoughts. Well, now he has one. Darren spent 12-plus years with KFAN Radio, wearing multiple hats - from producing and technically directing, to reporting and hosting. He spent a majority of his time working with Sid Hartman's son, Chad on the 'Chad Hartman Show.' Read more about Darren Wolfson.

Posts about Vikings fans

Hey, Zygi, hire a General Manager

Posted by: Darren "Doogie" Wolfson Updated: November 15, 2011 - 10:25 PM
Maybe it was the worst loss by the Vikings in their storied rivalry with the Packers.

Maybe it's a second consecutive sweep of the season series by the Packers.

Maybe it was the second-worst regular season loss in Vikings history.

Maybe it was the failings against the Packers' 31st-ranked passing defense.

Maybe it's the Vikings' 2-9 record in their last 11 prime-time games.

Maybe it's just five starters among 26 players drafted from 2007 to 2010.

Maybe it's second round picks Toby Gerhart, Chris Cook, and Phil Loadholt not meeting expectations.
 
Maybe it was the combination of the hatchet job the Packers and Badgers did on the Vikings and Gophers, respectively, on the same weekend.
 
Maybe it's Viktor the Viking.

Maybe it's a combination of all of the above.

But enough is enough.

Vikings owner Zygi Wilf needs to find a full-fledged general manager/president of football operations. Whether it's Packers Director of Pro Personnel Reggie McKenzie, Packers College Scouting Director John Dorsey, or any number of other external candidates, give someone full authority.

All of the model franchises except for New England -- where Bill Belichick is God -- have that singular voice in the front office. When a tough decision has to be made, like whether to trade a draft pick for quarterback Donovan McNabb, someone can tell the coach no. There is no excuse why a strong football brain didn't have a say in the choosing of a head coach after Brad Childress was fired, or even when Childress was hired, for that matter. Or when Mike Tice was hired and fired. Or when Leslie Frazier was hired.

Whether it's Green Bay, or any other successful NFL franchise, the structure is in place where final authority in hiring a head coach, the 53-man roster, trades, and in the draft room belongs to one individual. In other organizations, that person can then spread around different duties. There is no way Ted Thompson has made all those genius mid-round draft choices alone. That's where Dorsey plays a significant role. But the hierarchy with the Packers is clear. With the Vikings, it is not.

Frazier is incredibly likable, but what has he done to earn the right to make the call on the McNabb trade? He thought with a couple tweaks, this team would make the playoffs. While Frazier was the key to the McNabb deal, was it him, vice president of player personnel Rick Spielman, or vice president of football operations Rob Brzezinski who finalized the long-term big money deal for linebacker Chad Greenway? Who made the call on signing free-agent defensive tackle Remi Ayodele? That's the problem. We have no idea. The Vikings have too many vice presidents. What they need is a president. It's hard to believe that Frazier, Spielman, and Brzezinski agree on all fronts. So, who gets to overrule the others? Who can be held accountable by a restless fan base?

In terms of players, this offseason the Vikings need to find two cornerbacks, two safeties, two linebackers, possibly a defensive tackle depending on rookie Christian Ballard's maturation, two wide receivers, another tight end if Visanthe Shiancoe leaves as a free agent, a backup/3rd down running back, a left tackle, a center if John Sullivan signs elsewhere in March, a right guard, and maybe a right tackle.

But before finding all of these new players, they first must find a general manager.

The not-so-curious case of the Vikings

Posted by: Darren "Doogie" Wolfson Updated: November 17, 2010 - 12:04 PM

Breaking news: this entry will not fawn over Don Shelby. Although, since he's an expert on everything -- just ask him -- I bet he has some ideas on why the Vikings are underperforming beyond anyone's expectations this year. 

The answer is pretty simple: many players are performing way below expectations.

If you believe that this team would be 6-3, instead of 3-6, with a different head coach, then I would like to sell you some left-handed microphones.

That doesn't mean that coach Brad Childress is blameless. But I get the sense that many fans would rather go through the body scanner at the airport and have those images posted on YouTube than watch another game with Childress in charge.

The Vikings had 10 legitimate Pro-Bowl players last year. Of those, only two, running back Adrian Peterson and wide receiver Percy Harvin, are anywhere near a repeat performance. And even Peterson has failed in some key situations, most notably against Miami and New England at the goal-line.

A few different play calls or personnel groups do not make up for the Vikings trailing for long periods in eight of their nine games. Only against Detroit in Week 3 have the Vikings led for an extended stretch . Because of that, the pass rush has been non-existent. They are last in the NFL in turnover margin at minus-11. Their 23 turnovers to date are five more than all of 2009. Quarterback Brett Favre's interception rate of 5.5% is on pace to be the highest of his career.

 

The Vikings have the 25th-ranked red zone offense. Their special teams have shown warts. The defense can't come up with third-down stops. Linebacker E.J. Henderson should win Comeback Player of the Year, but clearly isn't the same player he was before his injury. Linebacker Chad Greenway is the only starter among the front-seven playing better than his 2009 form.

At what point can we say that the execution is just as bad as the coaching? On Sunday, Chicago won easily despite committing 11 penalties for 116 yards, throwing a red-zone interception, and missing an easy field goal. How is any of that Childress' fault? Childress is the same coach who won 12 games last year, and was one Favre interception from the Super Bowl. 


No reason to pick Shelby's brain on this one. The reality is that the Vikings just aren't that good, and the players are to blame too.

 

Super Bowl, homeboy?

Posted by: Darren "Doogie" Wolfson Updated: October 6, 2010 - 8:18 AM

 "I did want to retire as a Viking." -- Randy Moss in Jan. '08

The happiest member of the Vikings' organization this morning might not be quarterback Brett Favre or wide receiver Percy Harvin. It could be No. 84, Logan Payne, who's stuck on the practice squad. If Randy Moss wants his old number back, Payne will make a lot of money. But what if Moss wants No. 81? Will Vistanthe Shiancoe give-in?

This trade is a fan's dream. It's also a reporter's dream. Judd Zulgad may not take off his Chicago Blackhawks hoodie until February. He won't have time.

Only the acquisition of Moss could shift my wife's Vikings' tentacles away from wondering if Kendra has officially moved to Eden Prairie to be closer to her husband, Hank Baskett. 

Any move that upsets Packers and Bears fans is a good one. This is a "wow" trade. There are no guarantees attached. But this is monumentally impressive. Moss will have a chance to have a big-time impact starting Monday night against the Jets. He really only has to run a few routes.

We can now add Moss to a long list of Vikings' free agents after this season. Favre, Sidney Rice, Chad Greenway, Ben Leber, Ray Edwards, Pat Williams, Ryan Longwell, and Husain Abdullah are among the players only signed through this season.

The Vikings are all-in on this year, which is fine. The NFC appears to be the weaker of the two conferences. In other words, it's eminently winnable. 

To quote Moss from years ago, "Super Bowl, homeboy!" It's a better possibility now. This much is known: the Vikings are a lot better on-the-field today.

Do the Wild really start their season on Thursday? Are we really just days before the 120th meeting between the Gophers and Badgers? Oh, by the way, the Twins are good enough to win the World Series. But does anything else matter on the local sports landscape today?

      

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