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Let the record reflect that Denny Green might not have neglected defense after all

  • Blog Post by: Michael Rand
  • October 11, 2011 - 2:59 PM

Randy, RandBall is wrong. The Vikings under my watch did not always draft offensive players such as yourself.

Randy, RandBall is wrong. The Vikings under my watch did not always draft offensive players such as yourself.

A follow-up post after our Robert Tate rant, sent in by reader Charles K., who sadly is not Chuck Klosterman but does make some compelling points about Denny Green and the Vikings under his watch from 1992 (when he took over) to 1999 (when Robert Tate started playing cornerback). Per CK:

Mr. Rand: just a minor quibble I thought I’d point out regarding your item today on the Robert Tate position switch. While I can appreciate some good old-fashioned Dennis Green ridicule as much as the next guy, and I understand that you write lighter, humorous pieces that sometimes favor a certain, um, creativity over slavish adherence to historical fact, I’m not sure it’s entirely fair to hang the “ignored the defense” charge against Denny. The Vikings' draft history from ’92-’98:

’92: first three picks were a DE, DT, and LB (these were 2nd, 4th, and 5th round picks – thank you, Mike Lynn/Herschel Walker).
’93: first three picks were offensive players, which is understandable since the Vikings ’92 defense ranked first in the league.
’94: DB with one of two first round picks, DE with one of two second round picks
’95: DE in first round, S and CB in second round
’96: DE in first round, DT in second round
’97: defensive players in rounds 1-5
’98: after Moss, defensive players picked in rounds 2-5.

Now, many of these picks were busts, but that certainly doesn’t look like a team ignoring the defensive side of the ball, even though that does conflict with the accepted historical narrative. Really, I see no shortage of other things to make fun of Dennis Green about that are painfully supported by what actually happened.

Again, I realize the spirit in which you wrote the item, and don’t mean to make too much of this; I just thought you’d find it interesting. Please keep up your enjoyable work (although I have to admit that other than perhaps as a hidden Big Lebowski reference, I really don’t get the use of the royal “we”).

CK is correct. We even did a smidgen of research to confirm the Vikings did, indeed, draft the defensive positions he suggested. You learn new things every day, even when you might prefer your version of history. CK is also correct that many of the defensive players chosen did not pan out, which might explain why Robert Tate, Wasswa Serwanga and others were playing key roles in huge games for an offensive juggernaut.

Also, per history: there was a brief time waaaaay back when this blog started (almost five years ago, save a date in early December for a massive Redactular) when we attempted to switch from "we" to "I." The executive council rose up and said no. That was that.
 

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