Okay, we're always talking about our better players & new additions & sometimes; what players we would like to see added to the roster. Right now, it seems like we're at Urlacher, especially with sudden new release of an undrafted lineman named Jackson from a small school that maybe wasn't making the cut.
So, who else would Vikings fans like to see get the boot? There are actually a few I would like to see replaced, though that is the thing; having an at least equal, but preferably better replacement. In opinion, it id Charlie Johnson at the top of the list. I start to feel bad for the guy as so many are not exactly fans of him, but then I remember how much money he has made and is set to make even with taking a $500,000 pay cut for this year and many may see that as an obvious indication of Charlie should be feeling safe about his job, but I don't.
With as good as this team is continuing to get; I still think there needs to be a small house cleaning. Though, gradual change is always ongoing and people can still do their job very well, but with too much of a change at once; that could be too much of a jolt at once and could have a negative effect on the overall team. I think most of this house cleaning I speak of will or should take place next off season. Though, I still think there will be one or two guys from last year's roster released before the start of the this year's season.
Players and coaches I think are in the hot seat:
Charlie Johnson (We could get better play from one of our younger lineman for a fraction of the price, this is a move I think could and should be made before the season and think it will not hurt the offensive line. In fact, may make it slightly better. As poor as Johnson was in a lot of games last year, if he is still out there this year; it's going to get worse while being overpaid for doing so).
Tyrone McKenzie, Larry Dean and Audie Cole They all are back ups and likely one or two will be cut this summer and the others; next off season. Cole has the best chances of being on the team in 2014. Although, he will need to bulk up and continue getting more football smart. If he is to make it; he has to have great instincts and bulk up to make up for not being a fast guy. The only back ups I like are Marvin Mitchell, Gerald Hodges, which we'll have to see, but I see him as a guy that was drafted purely as a solid depth guy that will never be a starter unless by default. Micheal Mauti is a guy that if he can overcome his injuries, can in fact be not just a starter, but a good one. If so, how's that for value in the 7th round.
Two guys were added this year already into the LB core this and likely another stop gap vet LB will be also. This is one of the main parts of the team that needs the house cleaning and next off season, I think there will be at least two more LBs added as well.
Marcus Sherals It's a scary thought if Sherals steps on the field. I wish it were more scary when he returns punt, which he does do well, as there aren't that many in the league that are good at returning punts. Though, if it's to step on the field as a DB; oh no, we are in a very bad situation. I like the kid, but he has to go and this year too. What he's good at; we have Patterson and Webb that both could potentially do better and I don't like saying this about a player I like, but he's taking up a valuable roster spot. I truly hope Sherals gets signed to a team that has room solely for a return guy and maybe he will get better at returning kicks as well.
Fred Evans Letroy Guion Both are under performing and with the addition of Floyd and who knows we may see something out of Chase Baker and Everette Dawkins. While we also have the other Christian on board in Christian Ballard; who imo is a decent player who should make a significant step forward this year. I think one or both will be released before the season and if one remains will be let go next off season. Though, imho Guion is the better of the two, but think that is Chase Baker or Dawkins impress enough in camp; both Evans and Guion should be released, especially with each of them making around 2 or 3 million a year. That also be some much needed cap relief.
The Burtons; Stephen and Brandon Both looked to have a lot of potential and Stephen may be the best WR blocker on the team, but as far as his primary job and it is receiver; he is not good. To keep him because he is a good blocker makes no sense, especially since we have Ellison, Felton and others that can help out with blocking and they would be just as obvious indicators that it is a run as Burton is. After all every time we saw Burton come on the field last year, we knew it was going to be a run. Brandon completely dropped ff the map last year and with the addition of Jefferson last year and Rhodes this year; his chances are slim even if he does pick up the pace. I'm not sure either of them even makes it to next off season.
Matt Cassle I know he fits the system and hasn't even played a down, but I see his signing as a one year deal only and would rather for the year he is here to be the #3 QB. Goes against everything sensible I know, but he will be the #2. I do not see him on the roster after this season. Lets hope he never takes the field. If that is the case; that means Ponder is doing good and did not get injured.
Mike Singletary, Bill Musgrave Singletary imo could be replaced today and it would not hurt the team. He was a hell of a player, but struggles at every coaching position he has had. Musgrave isn't going anywhere for the time being. He really needs to improve and not by just a little; by a lot. He needs to learn from his mistakes, stop forcing things and work on the timing of when to call plays and arguably most importantly adjusting as the game goes on. Most games last year; there were no half time adjusts at all when it was obvious the opposing defenses were all over Minnesota's game plan. If we were to see no improvement at all or if it has gotten worse; by our early bye week he must be replaced. At that point the season would still be able to be salvaged. many feel that he has Ponder playing scared and the reason for a lot of the not so confident play stems from Musgrave. Ponder is the QB, you gotta let him play and when the defense is all over it; you gotta let him use audibles. Without giving Ponder the freedom succeed or fail; he and the team are going to remain kind of stuck in limbo. Ponder is the QB, it's time the reins are taken off and let him play the position because he hasn't been allowed to so far.
Some changes for the better have been made, but imo some minor tweeking still needs to be done and even the little things can go a long way. And cutting lose excess baggage, while giving other players their due shot could at least even out or even work out better and also put the Vikings in a more flexible financial standpoint, but also might find themselves with better players and personnel if the slight changes are put into motion.