Well we all now the QB position has really hurt this team, but what has hurt this tea more? The coaches, plain and simple. I do not believe Ponder plays well enough to be a starting QB in this league. When you have a QB that does not look past his first read ever; he is not your starter. Now, I am not saying he can or will not get better because I do think he can and will do better under the supervision of different coaches. I think Ponder would have already been a better QB if he had a better offensive coordinator and QB coach. How much he will get better is another question, but I think he can be at least a good back up, but will never be starting material, and not even close as long as he cannot see open receivers and look beyond his first, which time after time he will stare down signaling to the defense where he is going with the ball. Now, I do not think the future QB of this team is on the roster right now, but think it would be best for Cassel to finish the season, and as far as Josh Freeman; he should have never been signed in my opinion. If Freeman is put out there, it will only guarantee a loss-he should not be on the team next season. Though, with the terrible decision making by the Vikings' coaching staff; there is no telling what will happen moving forward, as more times than not; the wrong choice is made by the Vikings' coaches, and that is why in my opinion this team's record is as bad as it is. I honestly believe with different approaches and decisions by Frazier and company this team would be at least .500 if not have a winning record.
When I look at how well Audie Cole is doing finally being given his opportunity; I cant help but think these coaches have been watching him and all the other players this whole time and really thought the best thing was to keep him on the bench and would have kept doing so if not for Erin Henderson taking time off. Hell, if Henderson didn't take time off; Audie would likely have been off the team for good. I look at all kinds of other decisions they have made like the game plans and play calls and can only shake my head. When the first game of the season against the Lions happened; we could all clearly see this team had not been properly prepared, as there were obvious signs of this in the preseason. I strongly believe the poor preparations a play calls on both sides of the ballcost Minnesota their first 3 games. I could go on and on all day about how much I disagree with the play calls of the Vikings' coordinators, but I think to most it is pretty obvious, as we see it every week.
When I see and hear of the coaches philosophies of refusing to start rookies,(which they had 3 rookies starting last year and contradicts their views this season) I think that alone should put one's job in jeopardy, as the best player should start no matter how long they have been playing. I thought especially with how much decline Minnesota has had in their rushing defense that the two starting tackles would be Kevin Williams and Shariff Floyd even though they both played the same position because they are the best two tackles on the team, and players are gong to be rotated out anyway. Bottom line is Floyd is better than Guion and in my opinion better than Evans, while also giving Williams a run for his money and should have been getting a lot more playing time and starting.
Xavior Rhodes stepped onto this team was arguable the best corner, and yet the coaches wouldn't start him. Another big mistake, I would feel a lot more comfortable with him out there than any one of our other corners. Again the bottom line is Rhodes should have been on the field starting from day one. Same thing with Patterson, but at least they let him return kicks the whole time, but he should have been a lot bigger part of the offense from the first game. Offensive coordinator sparingly used Patterson in his first few games amounting only to a small handful of plays each game and is now of recent only being given the opportunities he should have been given the entire time. Though, with Rhodes and Patterson both, they are only seeing more of the field because of players the coaches had above them on the depth chart not seeing the field because of injury or being reprimanded because of an arrest in Simpson's case. When I see how poorly Mitchell has done most of the year; I can't help but think it is yet another mistake by the coaches not giving Mauti or Hodges more chances and opportunities. I think Mitchel is a guy who can fill in here and there and is a solid back up, but is not a starter and I also am inclined to think that he is not the best player that could be starting in his spot. I also think part of the reason Greenway is having a down year is because of some of the players around him like the other two LBs that have started most of the year in Mitchel and Henderson. I think the decision to pull Mitchell should have already been made a long time ago and even more so when Cole took Henderson's job. Now I do not think Henderson is an all pro but do think his more natural position is on the outside and is better than Mitchell. The only thing I am not sure of is if Mauti or Hodges wouldn't do better than both of them on the outside or maybe even in the middle. The whole LB situation has been mismanaged terribly and should have been sorted out long ago, and by not playing the better players it has caused bigger problems that have the Vikings' line backers a laughing stock where they could and should have been at least decent this season, but the coaches prove once again to be unable to properly evaluate or even recognize talent.
There is a fairly strong rift among a lot of the fans who want the team to tank and of them and of the fans that do not believe in intentionally losing games. And I think the majority of the people are very much so underrating the talent of this franchise. There have been several games this year the Vikings lost by less than one score and could have easily had won those games if the team were properly managed. Now, like I said I do not think the team's future QB is on the roster right now, but how management has handled the QBs on the roster this year is absolutely terriuble in my opinion. I personally would have never signed Freeman. And then Minnesota would have and should have held on to Bethe-Thompson. Not that I think he is the answer either, but signing Freeman did nothing for the team and tied their hands financially even more. Ponder started out the year terrible went down with an injury and Cassel played a good game and the Vikings picked up their first win, but then played a bad game and was benched . Now the bad game should not have been too surprising, as he had not been getting the first team snaps very much at all so far in the year by then. But then for the coaches to dump Freeman out there in a Monday night game and refuse to bench him while all the fans watched the worst performance by a QB in Minnesota's history, and that is saying a lot, as we have seen some very bad ones especially ever since Frazier had the bright idea to bring in Bill Musgrave, who has become the very worst OC by a very large margin in Minnesota's history, and very possibly the entire NFL's as well. I remember seeing Ponder putting up his first sub 100 yard game and thinking-I don't remember a QB ever having that few passing yards in a game, oh wait McNabb's first game in purple. Though, when I saw Ponder do it in a couple more games and knew he was not the guy. Though thought it was interesting the common denominator of the lowest QB passing yards in a game were by QBs under the same OC Bill Musgrave, and he was the only reason I still held out any hope for Ponder, as I thought and still do that Musgrave is one of the reasons Ponder is so bad. Though, I do think if Ponder were our guy he would have already have risen up n spite of Musgrave. Now after the coaches moved back to Ponder,(which Idk if they weren't ordered to bench Freeman from above, just like they had to be ordered from above to leave the playmakers on the field when in the redzone). Ponder did not look great at all, then after a couple of bad games; he had a good game(for him) that resulted in a tie. Next game, Ponder turns back into Ponder and yields a whopping 14 passing yards in the first half before he goes down and leaves the game with a concussion. Cassel comes in and play well enough to give the Vikings another win, the second at Cassl's hands.
Now, what I know of this coaching staff is they will not put players in to give them a chance even when the starters are struggling. They will only make changes if a players gets injured. Of all of the bad performances Ponder has put up; he has only been benches once in going on three years. When I look at the QBs on the Vikings though, apparently I can see things these coaches cannot, because Matt Cassel can throw the ball much better and fast than Ponder can. And I don't think Cassel is anything but average on a good day, but he actually can read the field and see receivers past his first read, and releases the ball much quicker. I also think when Cassel plays; he is handicapped in the same way Ponder is by the ridiculous play calls. The overall problem is the coaches of the Minnesota Vikings make terrible choices over and over. I honestly think if the Vikings would have done the opposite of what the coaches have had the team do; this team would have a winning record. It must beyond frustrating for the players to be put into vulnerable situations that exploit their weaknesses on a regular basis. I could literally write a book of the things I see wrong with the decision making of this team, but if the coaches would have just went with logical assessments and played the better players, gameplanning to target team's weaknesses and build on what works , as well as putting players in situations to showcase their skills we all would have a much different perspective of this team. The management has failed the players more than anyone. The coaches have prove over and over to not be capable of running an organization that has some of the very best players in the league on their roster. I'm sure many will strongly disagree, but I think this team should be at least a .500 team even with the questions at QB and the hole on defense, and no doubt this franchise must target a QB and get it right, but this team is nowhere near as bad as most think. There are a lot of players that have shown they are more than capable of of being reliable contributors if put into the proper position, whether it is John Carlson, Jarius Wright, Audie Cole and so on. If those players were not any good to begin with and it was more their fault for the disappointing season than the coaches; none of them would have put up the good performances we will see from time to time that we do. It is nice to enjoy a win, but watching this team win; it is obvious to me that that the Vikings should have won a lot more games this season, but were lost due to the coaches decisions, and not just the Giants game, but that game sums up a lot of the backward thinking that has cost this team several wins. What go you think, is this team's players really better than their record, or is it just as much on the players as it is on the coaches for this abysmal year?