Welcome to the next series on the CSC interview path! We will now be moving on to the Vikings and the NFC North. Please welcome Ted Glover from the Daily Norseman, who answered all my Vikings related questions.
Jon: In a nutshell, what caused the collapse of the Vikings between 2009 and 2010?
Ted: A couple of things. For one, the drop-off in play by Brett Favre was significant, but the defense, which had kept the Vikings in so many games over the last three or four years, got old and injured all at once, and the secondary was a mess almost from day one. CB Cedric Griffin, who tore his ACL in overtime of the NFC Championship game...which will not be mentioned again, lol...tore his other one just as he was really starting to come along. Pat Williams became just a guy as opposed to a force that needed two blockers on him on every snap, and the safeties...well, the Vikings safety play was 33rd in the NFL. What's that? there's 32 teams? My assessment still stands. 33rd. Just terrible all year long.
Jon: From your perspective, what was (were) the cause(s) of the Childress drama early in the season?
Ted: The Favre drama somewhat, but it was the losing more than anything else. Winning masks a lot of things, and guys can overlook odd behavior when you're on a roll. In 2009, there was arguably more Favre drama than there was in 2010 during training camp, but once the team started winning, no one cared.
But when you start to lose, especially when you think you have a Super Bowl-caliber team, odd behavior becomes a distraction, and Chilly didn't have what would be considered a strong relationship with the players. He never had a large base of support with the fans, but what little support he did have was lost with the release of Randy Moss and the pissing away of the third round draft pick it cost to have Moss in Minnesota for a month.
Jon: What are your feelings on Leslie Frazier as head coach?
Ted: I like him, and I think he earned this shot. He took a team that was in complete disarray and righted the ship. Then he had to navigate through some really unusual circumstances, and although the Vikings didn't always look good, they competed for him, which is more than you can say at the end of the Childress era. He has a quiet demeanor, but a confident one, and he has a distinct vision and idea on how to run this football team. What you won't see with Leslie Frazier is the dispatching of three players to try and bring a fourth along for the ride. Those days are over.
Jon: How did the Vikings draft picks do in the 2010 season?
Ted: Eh, so so at best. RB Toby Gerhart started out really slow, but by the end of the season was really starting to look the part of a third down running back. CB Chris Cook looked good very early in the season, but then had a meniscus tear, then another injury, and was pretty ineffective before the VIkings shut him down towards the end of the season. Chris DeGeare has the potential to be a decent lineman, and Eversen Griffen, well, he likes to host Super Bowl parties in Vegas.
Finally, QB Joe Webb is a guy that a lot of Vikings fans are really excited about. Yeah, he struggled at times, but he also looked tantalizingly good, too. Still too early to grade the class, but if Webb pans out and Chris Cook can stay healthy, in two years it'll be a very good class.
Jon: Is QB the biggest need for the Vikings in 2010? If it is, what is the next biggest need? If it isn’t, what is the biggest need?
Ted: Yeah, without question QB is the Vikes biggest need. After that, they need secondary help, but I wouldn't be surprised to see them go after an offensive lineman. Injuries have hit the o-line hard the last couple of years, and Steve Hutchinson only has a couple of years left.
Jon: Name an MVP and LVP of the Vikings for the 2010 season. One of each for the offense and defense.