He tweeted — then deleted — about the organization’s “toxic” leadership. He must have found Twitter too limiting because he then wrote a long, rambling post on Facebook (preserved here), and within several wistful platitudes you again find some negative themes. Wrote Riki Ellison, referring to last season.
“That bye week was tipping point, the Head Coach and GM didn’t understand what they had and broke it.”
He added that it led to the departure of Norv Turner, a “red flag indicator” from which there is still damage, he wrote. He continued:
“Added to this was mentality of physical practices that continued to hurt players on the offensive line and burn out the desire of the defense to play hard when it counted most.”
It’s interesting stuff, even if I’m not entirely sure what to make of it. We talked about it more on the Access Vikings podcast with Matt Vensel and Andrew Krammer, both of whom cover the team. They added some good context from comments Vikings coach Mike Zimmer made at the NFL Combine.
At the very least, Ellison’s comments are worth remembering. Maybe they are a weird footnote. Maybe they are indicative of something bubbling underneath the surface of the team.