Each Tuesday at noon a Vikings beat writer conducts a Live Chat. Here are excerpts from this week’s session with Chip Scoggins.
Q: With Harrison Smith out for sure, and if Jamarca Sanford and Chris Cook cannot play because of injury, then the only original starting defensive back will be Josh Robinson, statistically the worst corner in the NFL. He probably would be joined by Andrew Sendejo, Mistral Raymond and Marcus Sherels. Need we look further to explain the poor record?
A: The secondary was a major question going into the season. In today’s NFL, teams need to be solid at quarterback and in the secondary. Those are the Vikings biggest weaknesses.
Q:What are the needs to fix defensive line?
A: They need to generate more pressure from the front four. That’s a staple of the Tampa 2 defense. Coach Leslie Frazier prefers not to blitz. But if they can’t get consistent pressure with the front four, quarterbacks will continue to carve them up.
Q: If Frazier was to get fired before the end of the season, who is the most likely candidate for interim head coach?
A: I would be surprised if they made a coaching move during the season. Yes, the Wilfs did that with Brad Childress, but that situation was different because Childress had lost his locker room and there was a clear divide. That’s not the case this time. The players haven’t turned on Frazier.
Q: What did QB Matt Cassel do to fall out of favor?
A: Frazier and the organization are taking a big-picture look at the quarterback situation. The Vikings need to see what Josh Freeman can do to determine if he is a possible option after this season. I’ll be surprised if he’s not the starter against the Cowboys. Don’t see how they can go back to Christian Ponder at this point.
Q: How does an O-line go from a strength to a weakness in one offseason with the same personnel? Is there any reasonable explanation for their play this year?
A: This is the one area that has completely surprised me. I thought the offensive line would be one of their strengths but they simply haven’t performed to their capability. Linemen typically only say they have to look at tape anytime you ask about their performance. But it seems like different guys struggle each game. They haven’t clicked as one unit yet.
Q: I can’t believe Joe Webb was engaged in more offensive plays than Cordarrelle Patterson. Why is that?
A: This has become my weekly rant. Every time the coaches are asked about Patterson’s playing time, they point out that he plays the same position as Jerome Simpson, who had a good start to his season. But Patterson is clearly a playmaker. They should figure out a way to get him more involved because he makes things happen when he has the ball in his hands.
Q: So which side is easier to fix: offense or defense?
A: I’d say defense because finding an elite quarterback obviously is not easy. But the Vikings loom like they will be in complete rebuild mode on defense after this season, especially in the back seven.
Q: Who would you want more: Teddy Bridgewater, Marcus Mariota, or Johnny Football?
A: Johnny Football would be fun to cover. But I wonder if NFL teams will be willing to let him play the way he does with all the scrambling and freelancing. But the guy is a remarkable talent.
Q: Why did it take them so long to find out Ponder wasn’t the franchise QB they hoped for?
A: Teams don’t like to admit that they missed on quarterbacks taken in the first round. Plus, I think the organization was encouraged enough by Ponder’s play at the end of last season to give him a shot to see if he could build on that.
|Kansas City||12:00 PM|
|St. Louis||3:25 PM|
|NY Giants||3:25 PM|
|Dallas||12/9/13 7:40 PM|
|San Diego||12/12/13 7:25 PM|
|San Jose||5:00 PM|
|Virginia Tech||11:30 AM|
|Old Dominion||12:30 PM|
|Saint Peters||1:00 PM|
|Mount Olive||1:00 PM|
|Rhode Island||1:00 PM|
|SW Oklahoma St||1:00 PM|
|San Diego St|
|Ark-Pine Bluff||4:00 PM|
|TX-Permian Basin||4:30 PM|
|Jacksonville St||5:00 PM|
|Dallas Christian||6:00 PM|
|Boston College||6:00 PM|
|Seton Hall||7:00 PM|
|Eastern Wash||7:30 PM|
|(16) Northern Ill||27|
|(6) Oklahoma State||24|
|(11) Arizona State||14|
|(1) Florida State||45|
|(2) Ohio State||24||FINAL|
|(10) Michigan State||34|
|(24) Fresno State||24|
|Army||12/14/13 2:00 PM|
|(24) Gonzaga||11:00 AM|
|Georgia State||11:00 AM|
|(10) Penn State||1:00 PM|
|IUPU-Ft Wayne||1:00 PM|
|Stony Brook||1:00 PM|
|Central Conn St||1:00 PM|
|(12) South Carolina||1:00 PM|
|Colorado State||2:00 PM|
|Cal State Fullerton||2:00 PM|
|(20) Iowa State|
|TX-Pan American||2:00 PM|
|Stephen F Austin||2:00 PM|
|North Dakota||2:00 PM|
|Utah State||2:00 PM|
|Morgan State||3:00 PM|
|(2) Duke||3:00 PM|
|Long Beach St||3:25 PM|
|Loyola-New Orleans||4:00 PM|
|Santa Clara||4:00 PM|
|Boise State||4:00 PM|
|Aug 9 - vs. Houston||7 pm||X||27-13|
|Aug 16 - at Buffalo||6 pm||X||20-16|
|Aug 25 - at San Francisco||7 pm||X||34-14|
|Aug 29 - vs. Tennessee||7 pm||X||24-23|
|2013 regular season|
|Sep 8 - at Detroit||Noon||X||34-24|
|Sep 15 - at Chicago||Noon||X||31-30|
|Sep 22 - vs. Cleveland||Noon||X||31-27|
|Sep 29 - vs. Pittsburgh (in London)||Noon||X||34-27|
|Oct 6 - Bye|
|Oct 13 - vs. Carolina||Noon||X||35-10|
|Oct 21 - at. NY Giants||7:40 pm||X||23-7|
|Oct 27 - vs. Green Bay||7:30 pm||X||44-31|
|Nov 3 - at Dallas||Noon||X||27-23|
|Nov 7 - vs. Washington||7:25 pm||X||34-27|
|Nov 17 - at Seattle||3:25 pm||X||41-20|
|Nov. 24 - at Green Bay||Noon||26-26|
|Dec 1 - vs. Chicago||Noon||X||23-20|
|Dec 8 - at Baltimore||Noon|
|Dec 15 - vs. Philadelphia||Noon|
|Dec 22 - at Cincinnati||Noon|
|Dec 29 - vs. Detroit||Noon|