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The Minnesota Vikings Need to Shut Up and Produce

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The Minnesota Vikings enter their game against the New Orleans Saints on Monday night with a record of 1-3, but you'd never know that from the way some of their players are talking leading up to the contest.

There have been a couple of notable quotes that have, no doubt, shown up on a bulletin board at the Superdome this week.  One comes from a guy that has earned a right to talk, at least a little bit, while the other comes from a guy that has no such cache to this point in his Vikings tenure.

The former quote can be attributed to one of The Daily Norseman's favorite Vikings, that being Phat Pat Williams.  When he was asked about the Saints' offense, #94 said the following:

Besides, Williams said, that Brees has been sacked only four times, the fifth-lowest total in the league, is not necessarily a credit to a dominant offensive line. Last season, Brees was sacked a league-low 16 times.

"He's just getting rid of the ball," Williams said. "They've got an average line.

"I've seen better."

The always colorful and candid Williams wasn't impressed with the play of rookie Carl Nicks, a fifth-round draft pick who started at left guard Sunday in place of Jamar Nesbit, who was suspended four games for violating the league's steroids and related substances policy.

"They don't scare me," Williams said of the Saints' offensive line. "They put their pants on like I put my pants on.

Now, like I said, I loves me some Pat Williams.  And the run defense for the Vikings is still every bit as good as it has been for the last two seasons.  But the pass defense, while it's improved a bit, isn't really where it should be, given the investment that was made in it during this past off-season.  The Vikings only have six sacks in their first four games, and I wouldn't expect them to get a hell of a lot against Drew Brees.  Brees, like any quarterback, can be rattled if you can get some pressure on him, and Monday night sure would be a nice time for the Vikings' vaunted front four to really show up in a big way.

The other quote, on the other hand, still has me scratching my head. . .largely because it comes from WR Bernard Berrian.

Vikings receiver Bernard Berrian has faced former Green Bay Packers cornerback Mike McKenzie a few times.

His assessment: "He's going to be a smart player, but I don't think the skill is there as much as it used to be."

In addition, Berrian suggested that McKenzie hasn't fully recovered from his knee surgery late last season.

"It does take a full year and at least a half a year of playing," Berrian said, "so we're going to take advantage of a lot of things that we see."

Berrian, in his first four games as a Viking after signing a contract that made him one of the five highest-paid receivers in the NFL, has a blistering 11 catches for 195 yards, and at times has looked completely Williamson-esque in his ability to catch the football.  He dropped a sure touchdown last week against Tennessee, and has had a few other balls bounce right off of his hands through the first quarter of the season.

Now, I realize that Brad Childress' offense is where wide receivers, apparently, go to die.  (And quarterbacks.  And tight ends.  And basically any skill position player not named Adrian Peterson or Chester Taylor.)  But still. . .if Berrian is going to criticize the skills of the guy that's assigned to cover him all night on Monday, he'd better go out and completely light it up on the big stage.  Of course, AFTER he made these remarks, he was added to the injury report as "questionable" with a knee injury.  So, I guess there's an excuse now.

The bottom line remains that this team has done nothing. . .absolutely, positively nothing. . .that should give them the impression that they should be smack talking.  If the Vikings should lose to the Saints on Monday night, this team will be well on their way to one of the most disappointing seasons in franchise history.  And, as we Viking fans know all too well, one of the most disappointing seasons in the history of THIS franchise would be a real accomplishment.

Both of the quotes cited above can be found in this article from the St. Paul Pioneer Press.