4 biggest offseason needs for the Minnesota Vikings

Eric Eager identifies the biggest offseason needs for the Vikings after their heartbreaking Wild Card round exit.

| 1 year ago
(Jeff Haynes/AP Images for Panini)

(Jeff Haynes/AP Images for Panini)

4 biggest offseason needs for the Minnesota Vikings

Despite finishing the season with a heartbreaking 10-9 loss at home to the defending NFC champion Seattle Seahawks, the Vikings’ 2015 season was one of progress and promise. Coach Mike Zimmer’s club finished with PFF’s eight-highest graded defense and 10th-highest graded offense, with a roster comprised of legitimate superstar talent at many positions.

For example, center Joe Berger (88.7 season grade), defensive tackle Linval Joseph (94.2), linebacker Anthony Barr (93.0) and safety Harrison Smith (94.2) all finished with a top-three PFF grade at their respective positions, with defensive end Everson Griffen (83.4), slot cornerback Captain Munnerlyn (83.3), wide receiver Stefon Diggs (82.5), and running back Adrian Peterson (81.9 run grade) all managing impressive campaigns, as well. With the hopes to compete for NFC supremacy in 2016 and beyond, the Vikings will look to build upon these strengths and tighten up some of their weak spots. In this article, we discuss how Minnesota can improve upon a roster that finished the season with the 10th-highest overall PFF grade.

Weaknesses along the offensive line

Offensive line is a big, complicated question mark heading into the offseason. While the Vikings were the only team to have all five starters along their offensive line start all 16 games, it was only after John Sullivan and Phil Loadholt were lost for the season before Week 1. And while the Vikings ranked 10th in the league in PFF’s run blocking grades as a unit, they finished 31st in the league in pass blocking efficiency (71.7).

While the aforementioned Berger played exceptionally well in Sullivan’s spot at center, Loadholt’s replacement, T.J. Clemmings (37.4), ranked 67th among tackles in 2015—posting the fourth-worst pass blocking efficiency (92.4). Drafted in the fourth round out of Pitt, Clemmings was PFF College’s second-highest graded tackle in 2014, so his rough rookie year alone shouldn’t be enough to exclude him entirely from the Minnesota’s long-term plans, especially given Loadholt’s age (29), price ($7.75 million cap hit) and injury history (22 missed games in 2014 and 2015). Loadholt was PFF’s second-highest graded right tackle in 2013, and was grading positively before his injury in 2014, so if he can recoup some of his previous form, the Vikings can both regain competence at right tackle and develop Clemmings in a more palpable role.

Holdovers Brandon Fusco (61.6) and Mike Harris (77.8) both switched positions for 2016, with Fusco moving from right guard to left guard, and Harris moving from right tackle to right guard. The pending UFA Harris was a pleasant surprise, finishing with the 22nd-best grade among guards, with relatively equal effectiveness as a pass blocker (78.6) and run blocker (75.3). Fusco went from the 11th-highest graded guard in 2013 to the 43rd in 2015 (he missed all but three games in 2014). He allowed 54 total pressures in pass protection this season, which was tied for the most among guards.

Left tackle Matt Kalil (47.1) has been largely a disappointment since his wonderful rookie year of 2012, bottoming out in 2014, where his 55 pressures allowed were the second-most in the league among tackles. He improved slightly in 2015, where his 44 pressures allowed were just 18th in the league. Nonetheless, the Vikings are getting below-average production from their former top-five draft pick at a very important position in the development of quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (77.4).

This leaves the Vikings with question marks at at least four positions along the offensive line. Assuming Sullivan and Loadholt return, the Vikings have to decide what to do with Berger, who has earned a starting position somewhere along the line with his play at center in 2015. If Fusco’s struggles are at least partially due to the switch to left guard, Berger could replace him there—with Fusco moving back to right guard and Harris (if he returns) moving to a utility position, for which he’d be very valuable. Possible contingency plans at tackle will remain if the struggles of Kalil and Clemmings, or the injuries to Loadholt, continue.

Some offseason targets for the Vikings could be Joe Barksdale (79.3) of the Chargers in free agency and/or Jack Conklin of Michigan State in the draft, whose strength as a run blocker would be suitable for the Vikings’ current offensive philosophy. Trade acquisitions Nick Easton and Jeremiah Sirles did not play any snaps for the Vikings in 2015, but may be a part of the team’s long-term depth in 2016 and beyond.

Productivity at wide receiver

The Vikings used a fifth-round pick to trade for Mike Wallace (55.7) in the offseason. Wallace responded by catching just 39-of-68 targets for 473 yards and two touchdowns, while dropping four passes and failing to catch a pass over 35 yards all season. He never appeared to strike the right chemistry with Bridgewater, and if for not the emergence of the fifth-round rookie Diggs and fourth-year pro Jarius Wright (70.3), the Vikings would have had practically nothing in terms of production at the receiver position, due to failures of Wallace, former first-round pick Cordarrelle Patterson (61.5 in 61 snaps), and preseason darling Charles Johnson (66.1 in 218 snaps). Wallace and his $11.5 million cap hit are most likely gone season, and Patterson is likely going to be shown the door as well. The late-season benching of Johnson was a curious one, and he should be in the team’s future plans, but he lacks the ability to make contested catches downfield that would best compliment the underneath work of Diggs and Wright.

Adding a wide receiver in the draft seems like the most likely option to complete the group, with PFF’s initial mock draft having the Vikings taking Leonte Carroo (4.11 yards per route run) out of Rutgers in the first round.

Second safety spot

While Smith is the highest-graded safety in the league, the other safety position has been a revolving door during all of Smith’s four seasons in the league. Predominantly a special teams player since 2012, Andrew Sendejo (50.9) beat out 2014 starter Robert Blanton (58.8) in the preseason to start alongside Smith in 2015. While Sendejo (844 snaps) did post the best run stop percentage (14.3) within 8 yards of the LOS among safeties, he struggled mightily in pass coverage (48.7 PFF pass defense grade), failing to break up a pass all season, and sometimes failing to wrap when coming over to help on deep passes.

A solid, versatile, second safety to go along with Smith would free him up to make even more of the plays that have catapulted him amongst the league’s best safety. Potentially-expensive options exist in free agency, such as Eric Berry (87.9) of Kansas City, Eric Weddle (77.9) of San Diego, and Reggie Nelson (84.2) of Cincinnati. Also don’t forget undrafted free agent Anthony Harris (87.0) played well in his two starts in place of the injured Smith earlier in the year.

Less-expensive, but proven options may make more sense, however. For example, UFA George Iloka (82.6) of Cincinnati is well-rounded (81.2 in pass coverage and 79.2 in run defense), and has experience in Zimmer’s system. Another option is 37-year old CB Terence Newman (75.5 in 16 starts), who played well at times at both cornerback and safety, despite being initially considered as simply an insurance policy for Bengals rookie first-rounder Trae Waynes (69.9).


Since being drafted in the fifth round of the 2013 draft, Jeff Locke has been the worst, worst, and second-worst graded punter in the league in his three seasons. His 41.6 gross average and 37.8 net average were the second- and fifth-worst in the league in 2015, and his 26 punts downed inside the 20 were just the 22nd-best in the league. Adding a solid punter, either through the draft or free agency, would compliment the team’s emerging defense in a nontrivial way moving forward.

The Vikings are moving in the right direction. Their punishing all-around defense, solid running game, and promising young quarterback give coach Zimmer some of the ingredients necessary to compete year-in and year-out for the NFC North, and the NFC in general. The act of addressing the concerns above has the potential to accelerate this process, trading in the heartbreak of the end of the 2015 season for the payoff agonizingly anticipated by Vikings fans for over five decades.

| Analyst

Eric Eager joined Pro Football Focus in 2015. He is currently working on a number of analytics projects, primarily focused on the NFL.

  • enai D

    Pairing Weddle with Hitman Harry would be pretty insane, even if Weddle is getting a bit long in the tooth- Weddle was the best safety in the NFL for years, until Harrison Smith took over that role.

    • codered5

      Hold your horses eric berry is every bit as versatile but he’s also the best man coverage safety in the game and coverings slots and te’s is the most difficult part of that position.

      • enai D

        I didn’t say there were no other good or even great safeties, but Weddle has been, and Harrison Smith currently is, a bit better than Berry.

        • Faris

          Only a Vikings fan would call Harrison Smith a better safety than Earl Thomas. And I’d have to think even most Vikings fans aren’t that delusional.

          • enai D

            Only a Vikings fan, or PFF, you mean (or any of the national analysts who actually follow the NFL)? Harrison Smith accumulated a better PFF rating than Earl Thomas (or any other safety in the league) despite missing several games this year. He graded out as the 2nd best safety last year.

            Ironically, we could flip your statement around and it would be more accurate- only a Seahawks fan would call Earl Thomas a better safety than Harrison Smith (or someone who’s stuck in a time-warp and is still living in 2012)

          • Dante

            ET is younger and has a ring for Harrison to kiss.

          • enai D

            Ok, and? If that were a relevant argument, then Trent Dilfer would have to be a better QB than Dan Marino. Having a ring isn’t even a serious argument.

            The only people who think that Earl Thomas is the best safety in the league are Seahawks fans. He’s good, great even, but definitely not the best (what has made the Seahawks secondary so good isn’t that any one of them is the best in the NFL at their position- they’re not- its that their the only team that has THREE top-10 position players in the same secondary) .

          • HeWhoKnowsAll

            Don’t let these idiots annoy you.

          • HeWhoKnowsAll

            now you’re just being a dick.

          • zac

            Both will be 27 for the 2016 season ET is younger by like 3 months dude

          • Carl A Brodin

            EItcan kiss my butt

          • HeWhoKnowsAll

            PFF is god.

          • HeWhoKnowsAll

            PFF graded Smith as the best safety this year (over 94) so, THIS YEAR, Harrison Smith is the best safety. Other reputable sources confirm.

          • SKOL

            Smith is better
            He plays in a different defense but Harrison is better

    • TrillyMadison

      Weddle won’t leave the state of California. Oakland will make an offer and he will gladly accept.

      • enai D

        Mmmkay. Amateur psychic predictions aside, Weddle to MN would be a great fit and is a tantalizing possibility. Shore up the other safety spot and this is a top-3 defense.

        • HeWhoKnowsAll

          He would be a good addition.

    • CDinCalgary

      I fully agree that Weddle would be a great pickup – but I predict that Zimmer will push for one of the safeties out of Cincinatti. If Cincy pays to keep Reggie Nelson, they will target Iloka (or vice versa). As long as they extend Harry, I’d be happy with any upgrade they make at SS. Anthony Harris and Antone Exum are alright as backups and ST contributors, but we need another real playmaker, SKOL.

  • Eric

    I think if money and age weren’t concerns, a Weddle/Smith combo would be very appealing. Remember that the Vikings have to pay Smith like a top-5 safety in his next contract, which would presumably come at the expense of the other safety spot.

    • Str8cash

      Vikings have a fee options.
      1- Let Blanton walk. This opens the door for Exum/Harris to compete with Sendejo.
      2 – Let Blanton & Sendejo walk. Sign Newman for another year, this provides depth at CB and will compete with Harris & Exum.
      Vikings have fewer holes than last year, due to player development. Free Agency is over rated when you have a great program in the makings…

      • Eric

        I generally agree that free agency is overrated (for example, only five of the players on our Pro Bowl team were free agent acquisitions), but it’s there to supplement good drafting and player development. As long as they don’t overspend for Smith’s partner at safety, I think it’s a good idea.

        • Str8cash

          Absolutely. I think Zimmer and Spielman compliment in each other. I think the culture is different now and players want to play for Zimmer. Smith will get paid, but he won’t be the highest paid.

        • Gabriel Barrera

          With john Sullivan and Phil loadholt coming back and berger at left guard and fusco back to his original spot we will have a badass offensive line next year

      • Gabriel Barrera

        First off CUT Matt Kahlil,.mike Wallace and Jeff Locke!

        • Gabriel Barrera

          Then sign Shane lechler George iloka and any left tackle better then matt which shouldn’t b to hard

          • NAJ

            Guy from the Bills would be ideal at LT….at Incognito for LG for that matter!

        • HeWhoKnowsAll

          No. First sign a new left tackle, THEN cut Matt Kalil. You know how hard it is to find an even serviceable LT?… The others can go, I agree.

      • HeWhoKnowsAll

        Harris is a player.

  • cka2nd

    Assuming that Sullivan and Loadholt both return healthy, some contracts are adjusted (Sullivan, Loadholt and Fusco) if necessary, and Harris is re-signed, which might not be easy, I believe that:

    * Between Sullivan, Berger, Fusco and Harris, the Vikings should be able to find three starters in the appropriate positions on the inside of the line.

    * Between Loadholt, Clemmings and Harris, again, RT should be in at least pretty good hands.

    * Easton, Serles, Zac Kerin and Austin Shepard – but probably not David Yankey – offer youth and upside potential.

    * Kalil’s PFF score for the season should make Rick Spielman bite the bullet and go after a legitimate starting left tackle in either free agency or the draft. I would not be averse to including Kalil in a trade package that improved our draft position or got us an extra pick in one of the first three rounds.

    I have no problem with parting ways with Mike Wallace – although I thought he and Bridewater showed some chemistry early in the season – but I don’t see why Patterson shouldn’t be allowed to play out the last year of his rookie contract as, arguably, the best kickoff returner in the league. Johnson and Adam Thielin are potentially nice options off the bench, but a legit big man at wide receiver to “just catch touchdowns” is badly needed.

    George Iloka would be great but will the Bengals allow a young but established starter to walk? I assume Blanton will be allowed to walk as he doesn’t seem to have won over Zimmer and the rest of the coaches, so I’d like to see Harris given every opportunity to start with Sendejo, Newman, a mid-round draft pick and, although he seems to be fading, too, Antone Exum waiting in the wings.

    Yes to a new punter. Most of the people who cheered cutting Chris Kluwe should, but won’t, admit that it was doing so was a mistake, but it’s time to rectify the error.

    Setting aside any big moves in free agency, I’d argue for using our first two picks on a wide receiver – preferably one who is NFL-ready coming out of school – and a LT. With the third round pick, I’d go after a nose tackle since Joseph is the only proven interior run-stopper on the roster. After that, I’d fill out depth at safety, linebacker, cornerback and I’d look for a blocking tight end in case Rhett Ellison’s recovery delays his return. Rudolph (finally) and Pruitt look like they can handle the receiving duties but Rudolph can’t handle all of the blocking needs by himself.

    • Eric

      Thanks for the reply, and I agree with your conclusione at the end. Ellison is a FA, so that complicates that. If I had more space I would have discussed depth at DL and LB, since they were exposed a bit during the mid-season injury phase. CB depth is an issue, too.

      If the OL guys come back it will be nice for them to have options. In some ways they were very fortunate that all 5 played almost every snap (even if 3 of them didn’t play well most of the time), since any alternative would have been a big disaster.

      I have a hard time envisioning a team playing ball in a trade involving Kalil, but it wouldn’t hurt to look.

      My thought with Iloka is that CIN would probably also like to resign Nelson, who is a slightly better player and has better stats. Shawn Williams is someone they like as their third S, so there’s a chance they’ll let Iloka or Nelson explore.

      The problem with Patterson is that he plays literally zero snaps aside from KOR. No offensive snaps since WK 12, and none on other ST all year. Some weeks they dressed six WR and he played ~ 3 total plays.

      • cka2nd

        I can imagine a team being interested in Kalil, but only as part of a package, and not the preeminent part, at that.

        Iloka’s youth is his big advantage over Nelson, and I believe that Cincinnati, like Spielman, has a reputation for trying to lock in their own proven young starters.

        As for Patterson, let the bitterness of the wasted first round draft pick go, Eric, let it go. You’ve got the most dangerous kickoff returner in the league playing out the last year of his relatively cheap rookie contract. I wouldn’t ignore any offers for him, including package deals, of course, but I sure as hell wouldn’t toss him aside, either. He’s just too good at what he DOES.

        • CDinCalgary

          re: Patterson – he’s definitely the best KR going right now. I’ll give you that. He did have the most KO’s returned for TD’s in the NFL. However, he won with a total of 2. Not 6. Not 4. One more return TD than guys like Lockett in SEA or Abdullah in DET. Both of those guys contributed something to their team’s offense. How valuable were those 2 TD’s to Minnesota’s season? Granted, there’s been multiple changes in OC terminology during his time, but now he’s going into his 2nd year with Norv’s playbook. If he can’t figure out the offense before next season – no one will be able to deny he’s a total bust as a first round pick.

          • justjoseph

            Should have had 3, but he got stripped by Mason Freaking Crosby, making a game of what was to be a blowout of the waning Packers at Lambeau for the divison title.

  • moe

    Too easy

  • crosseyedlemon

    Maybe the Vikings should make Walsh the punter and let Locke attempt the game winning FGs.

    • justjoseph

      Jeff Locke should never see the field in the NFL again. He is one of the leagues worst punters.

  • Tariq Y

    5. No games against Seattle; who outscored them by 32 points over two games.

    • enai D

      Lol mmkay… as you saw on Sunday, we’re fine playing Seattle as long as we don’t have to play our backup defense.. Oh, and as long as Blair Walsh remembers how to kick 17 yard fg’s (doh). You’re welcome for the win, BTW.

      • TrillyMadison

        Both games were aberrations. But Seattle is the better team in every facet except – oddly enough – special teams.

        • NAJ

          Pretty sure Lockett and Hauschka are right up there for special teams players and Ryan is a pretty good punter too. We’re on the right path though and if we get a LB who can actually run instead of Greenway and a competent safety, we’ll be beastly on D.

        • Sam Doohan

          Seattle is a better team right this second but that’s because they’ve hugely improved down the stretch. For much of this season they looked lost and it’s really only been because Wilson is just an incredible talent that they’ve come back.

          Not so long ago the Vikes were the better team and it wasn’t close. Things change really quickly in this league and the Vikes should be really proud of their campaign. They have flaws but they also have great pieces to build on. Even with a meh offense that doesn’t suit Teddy they ended 11-5. Next year they’ll do the same again.

        • enai D

          The first game was certainly an aberration- missing your 3 best players, all on defense, and giving up 20 more points than your season average is nothing if not an aberration- but Sunday’s game was only an aberration in the sense that the (weather) conditions were unusual. The result was closer to what you would expect to see if these teams played each other with healthy rosters, and far more representative of the (fairly negligible) difference in talent between the two teams- these teams really are THAT close.

        • CDinCalgary

          One Seahawk was better than his Vikings counterpart, on one play. Russell Wilson connecting on the deep pass after the ball snapped over his head – that’s it. That’s the game right there. You don’t get a trophy for losing to Carolina the next week either.

    • Craig W

      Typical Seattle arrogance. You get lucky a kicker chokes and you act like Seattle dominated.

      • enai D

        Hammer meet nail, Craig

    • HeWhoKnowsAll

      When we had 3 pro bowl quality players missing on defense.

  • WorkingStiff

    football outsiders has punter 17th, 9th and 17th last three years…

    • HeWhoKnowsAll

      Meh, I’m not a fan.

    • NAJ

      That’s definitely rubbish. Watching the games, i can tell he’s poor just based on how many times he fails to put the ball inside the 10 when punting from near the half way line. When it does land in the 10, it’s usually because of a lucky bounce or roll. He either leaves it well short, near the 20 or in fact into the end zone. Time and time again, he’s let us down not pinning the other team back.

  • Sid Heartburn

    A lot of ifs for the Vikings o-line. I like the idea of moving Fusco back to right guard where he was previously successful. With Loadholt coming back, and hopefully remaining injury free, they could return to be a solid right side. They can then bring Clemmings along slower as the article suggested. I like the suggestion of moving Berger to left guard. Hopefully, Sullivan comes back and is healthy. I think they want to develop Easton at center. I was surprised to read how poorly Kalil did in terms of pressures. I think he’s got one year remaining on his contract. While it’s doubtful they’ll sign him in the off season and probably defer a decision on that for later, either during or after the season, I don’t think they’ll draft a tackle in the first round. I think they’ll give Kalil one more shot and maybe a more cerebral player like Berger, playing next to him might help a little. I think the Vikings will draft a guard in the third round. And I don’t think they will draft a receiver in the first round as much as everyone seems to think this will be the case. I think they will try to find someone in the fourth or fifth where they’ve been successful finding WRs. I, also, think Wallace will come back and they will try to develop him as a vertical option. I think the Vikings will draft defense in the first two rounds, giving themselves another LB to groom as Greenway is probably coming back, but maybe in a decreased role. In the second round, I agree with the article in that they might try to get a safety to compliment Harrison Smith. Is it possible that Jeremy Cash could fall to them at pick 53? I don’t know. Maybe Spielman would trade up. If the right player is there, I think they could go that route.

  • Sid Heartburn

    Yankey was terrible. And I wouldn’t be surprised if he was part of the reason Davidson was let go. He was a big disappointment. Even though he was a fifth rounder (and maybe he landed in the 5th round and not in the second where some had suggested because scouts questioned his toughness and commitment), I think the Vikings really had high hopes for him as a possible starter. Maybe their left guard of the future. And I know Davidson liked him and may have been responsible for that pick. But Yankey seemed spent most of his time on their practice squad and never seized the opportunities that were there for him. I think toughness might have been an issue. He seemed soft and also forgot to run out and take his position during a preseason game which really called into question his focus and mental ability.

  • Science

    Clemmings was drafted to play guard. He was playing tackle out of necessity. I hope he can excel at guard given the opportunity.
    Hopefully fusco is better when he moves back to the other side, but I never saw much potential with him. Both guard spots are huge question marks and need to be addressed.
    Berger is a center, he has range to play the rest, but he’ll only play effectively at center. I don’t see him as better than sullivan, and I see him going back to his utility position next year.
    The vikes need to get a guard from FA and a 1st or 2nd round guard in the draft and from there hope for the best

    • cka2nd

      Berger was effective blocking for the run in the LG spot in 2014. Harris was solid at RG this year. Fusco was a revelation at RG in 2013. If Sullivan does come back in good health and Harris is re-signed, I think the interior of the line will work itself out.

      Clemmings may have been drafted to play guard but he played tackle in college. I wouldn’t be surprised if he goes back to the bench next year but is slotted in as the RT of the future.

      I still maintain that the real problem is at LT, where Kalil is our only current starting option and I just no longer have any confidence in his long-term viability.

  • Brian

    I was really disappointed in not only bridgewater, but the coaching staff as well. Turner has long been a great coordinator and Zimmer needs to let him open up the offense. Strong defense and the run game will only get u so far. U have to have a qb that is clutch and can make a few plays to win a super bowl. They need to find out if teddy can be that guy.

    • CDinCalgary

      They’ll only get you so far; like one blown kick away from a Championship game? That kind of far? How did the Broncos do with an elderly under-performing Peyton Manning at QB? Yeah TB can be more productive – but look at some facts before saying he’s a disappointment. 1) Vikes were going to be a run first team, it wouldn’t matter who was under center. 2) Vikes O-line was piss poor at pass protection, you couldn’t even say they were okay, they were bad. 3) Teddy’s best receiving option was a rookie 5th rounder – and almost nobody else (I’m guessing Rudolph spend last year at the North Pole, because he was MIA for the Vikings almost all season). 4) It was Teddy’s 2nd year in the NFL, in those first two seasons all he did was be the most accurate passer to start an NFL career. 5) Zimmer and Turner asked him to be conservative and selective with his throws, which makes his season a “job well done”. 6)He’s going to be moving indoors this upcoming season, and he’ll be in year 3 of the Turner offense – despite any uncontrollable factors (like injuries or w/e) Teddy’s passing yardage will increase next season. If you watched the Pro Bowl (who actually does?) or saw the highlights – you saw Teddy air it out and connect on deep passes. It’s up to Spielman to find someone who can get open and catch them.

      • Brian

        The Broncos are more an anomaly than the norm. First of all, denver benefited from the perfect storm of opponents. They played the steelers missing their 2 best weapons, bell and brown. Then they played NE at home bc NE treated their last 2 regular season games as preseason games. And NE of course was devastates by injury this season, having more players on ir than any other team. Not to mention NE had a terrible offensive line & had to hit Brady an unprecedented amount of times to barely beat ne. Despite all this ne still almost won. Denver also has one of the best pass rushes of this generation and overall was a top 10 defense all time. Minnesota, as well as any other team, should not bank on having a all time great defense to deliver them a championship. If Bridgewater & the offense wasn’t such a dissapointment this year, the Seattle game wouldn’t have even been close, thus negating the importance of the kick. And I am looking at facts, it is u who has no idea what u are talking about. How often does a team win a championship without an at minimum above average qb. It RARELY happens! Point being, they need to take the training wheels off Bridgwater. Turner is a great coordinator, always has been, but Zimmer has publicly stated in the past they will not take as many chances as past turner offenses which is a mistake. They have to give Bridgewater experience. U have to have a qb that can be clutch more often than not and Bridgwater has not shown much in that area. And u can not blame the weapons for a qbs shortcomings. Look at russell wilson. He’s had very little at wr for his entire career but is now probably a top 6 or 7 qb in the league. Tom Brady is even a better example. He had prime randy moss for a season & he’s had gronk in his twilight. Hes had Welker and Edelman but their success is as much about Brady & the offense as it is themselves. Brady has consistently had bad weapons but still makes the conference championship every year. Obviously it’s not fair to compare anyone to Brady and belichick, let alone guys like Zimmer and bridgewater, but wilson helps to show that an elite qb will have success regardless how poor their weapons. The truth is, any year that doesn’t end in a win is a failure. U don’t play to lose or have a decent year. And it’s especially troubling when the lack of a passing game helps contribute to that failure. But when someone says it doesn’t matter who’s under center, it tells me I’m dealing with someone that doesn’t understand the game of football, more specifically the NFL, so I’m sure I’m wasting my time. U can make excuses all u want, but the season is still a failure and if their offense doesn’t improve the results probably won’t change.

  • Joseph Paul

    Two thoughts:

    The comments about Matt Kalil needing to be traded or cut are stupid. Anyone making those comments is clearly NOT watching the same games as the coaching staff; because he did a good job this season. Last season he played through significant injuries. He’ll be given the 5th year option and then eventually re-signed to a longterm deal on par with the top LTs in the game. Accept that fact.

    Secondly, the thing is with Patterson is that maybe he’s not a receiver, and that’s okay. He’s still the best return man in the game; and that warrants a roster spot. Maybe this offseason the light turns on. If that happens, then the wait was worth it. If it doesn’t, and he is “merely” a kickoff returner, he still gives value to this football team. He won’t be cut, and he won’t be traded. Accept that fact.

    • Keith Demarest

      Kalil is not a lock to be resigned. Zimmer will not hand out starters positions particularly on the offensive line. Kalil must pick up his game if he wants to remain on the team. If you think that Zimmer will accept mediocrity then you must have been thinking of Frazier or Childress.

  • sarah marshall

    Matt Kalil blows dogs for quarters

  • Enricopallazzo

    Can’t they bring in someone like Brett Favre to teach Patterson how to run routes