It’s that time of year when Santa comes around, delivering good things to all those nice girls and boys... and so I thought I’d put up my wish list for the Minnesota Vikings this Christmas- even if none of them will be delivered until next year.
A Super Bowl Win At Home
It’s the be-all, end-all present this year for Vikings fans, coaches, and players alike. Gonna be tough to find though- everybody wants it.
Shurmur could be high on the list of some other teams too, but I’m hoping he stays where he is for the foreseeable future. Keeping him here may involve a little more cash, maybe an assistant head coach title, and maybe the promise to be the first in line when Zimmer retires. I think he likes being the guy on offense, rather than being the right-hand man of Andy Reid or Chip Kelly, so that is good too.
I like to think that as Shurmur has bounced around a lot in his NFL coaching tenure, he may want to settle down into a good situation- even if it isn’t a head coaching gig. Here is the speech I’d give him to stay on with the Vikings, if I were Mike Zimmer:
“Look Pat, we know there are head coaching vacancies, and nobody would be surprised if some teams are considering you as head coach. But the reality is, wherever you go, it’s gonna be a rebuilding job for at least a couple years, and who knows how things pan out. It’s a tough situation.
But here in Minnesota, we’ve got all the pieces put together already- on both sides of the ball- and we’ve got a Super Bowl window open now for the next few years most likely. We’ve got the QB, we’ve got the receivers, running backs, tight-end to really have success offensively- we’ve got a great stadium and new state-of-the-art training facility next year- and isn’t that a much better prospect going forward than trying to turn around a franchise- which may or may not work out? Look at what happened in Cleveland...
You know you’re the guy on offense- you pretty much run the show there- and look, I’m not gonna coach forever, and it would be nice to have a solid guy like you that’s had some years in the Vikings organization to take over one day...”
Shurmur is 52, so it’s not like it’s now or never to be a head coach again. He may like the stability and good situation he has now as OC, and may be happy to ride it for a few more years. I don’t really know how strong his ambition is to be a head coach again, but I bet he’s much more conscious of getting the right situation after his experience in Cleveland. And he may not be that interested after that experience too.
But reinforcing what a good situation he has now may go a long way toward keeping him where he’s at.
Case and Teddy
As I wrote earlier, I hope the Vikings sign Case Keenum to a longer-term deal after the season he’s had this year. I also hope they work a deal to keep Teddy next year too- either tolling his contract or extending it for the same money. I don’t think it would be in Teddy’s interest to go elsewhere at this point- he needs to build his resume post-recovery, and go from there. Pre-season next year may be the best opportunity to show what he’s got- either for the Vikings or some other team.
McKinnon may seem a bit superfluous once Dalvin Cook is back, but McKinnon is a really good third down back in every phase- running, catching and blocking. He has made several outstanding blocks on blitzing linebackers on key plays this year that haven’t always been noticed, but he has really improved this year in that area. I hope they are able to extend him and give him reps to spell Cook- and continue to be a good insurance policy.
I hope Terence will play another year. He continues to play well, and I like the idea of having a guy that can play anywhere in the secondary if need be, as well as being a coach on the field- and locker room- for younger players. Age is just a number Terence.
A Better Kicker
Sometimes I think Kai Forbath is okay, and then I watch other kickers like Matt Prater, Steven Gostkowski and Greg Zuerlien and think the Vikings need to get someone more reliable- and with a stronger leg.
I don’t think there is a good free-agent available, but hopefully the Vikings can pick a good college kicker who’s money in the bank.
I could go on, but I don’t want to come across as too greedy, right? I’d be pretty happy with this list.