Who will be the Vikings starting QB in 2024?
This poll is closed
Since yore last open thread ...
Other Vikings News
Minnesota Vikings linebacker Jordan Hicks was hospitalized on Sunday night after their win over the New Orleans Saints when he developed compartment syndrome in his right leg, head coach Kevin O’Connell revealed on Monday.
Hicks underwent a procedure on Sunday night and remained in the hospital on Monday. It’s unclear when he will be able to leave the hospital, but the team already ruled him out for their game next Sunday night against the Denver Broncos.
Hicks’ right leg swelled up significantly after the game in the locker room, however, and the team’s medical staff opted to send him to the hospital. Doctors there recommended he undergo the procedure right away.
What kind of attention? The kind that could position Dobbs as a coveted free agent this coming offseason — and possibly the most coveted quarterback available, despite being slated to hit the market alongside veteran starters Kirk Cousins, Ryan Tannehill and Baker Mayfield. That trio will all have varying levels of interest, either because of health, age or physical limitations (or some combination of all three). But if Dobbs’ two-game showcase in Kevin O’Connell’s offense is a glimpse of what is ahead, arguably none will have the total skillset that Dobbs brings to the table with his ability to throw from the pocket, create off script and also be a designed part of a running game. Not to mention his age — he turns 29 in January — and this stint representing the best opportunity he’s had in his career to plant a flag as a starter.
“I can’t emphasize enough what the circumstances were for him in our offense last week, but what I think was really special this week, is even coming off of that performance, [was] his work, how he prepared,” O’Connell added. “He was essentially living at the facility and going through his normal process while also allowing us to show him how we do things, how we try to enhance his ability to play fast while also giving him really good plays that he can be responsible for ... ”
O’Connell reiterated that he sees considerable potential for growth ahead with Dobbs, including the return of wideout Justin Jefferson and others. But as one general manager familiar with Dobbs said Sunday night, the best currency the Vikings have to spend on him beyond the surrounding talent is time and commitment.
“He’s smart and has leadership qualities and skill, but you have to see how those all come out and blend together over a season,” the GM said. “For whatever [reasons] before this, that opportunity wasn’t there. But [the Vikings] traded for him knowing they have a good veteran group, so I’d have to think they’re seeing if he can be a longer-term solution. … At the same time, quite a few teams got a chance to look at him and it just never clicked. But a lot of people said that about Geno [Smith] until last season, too. None of us are perfect. A guy can slip through the cracks and make it down the line as a more mature player. We’ve seen it.”
But it also wasn’t complete dumb luck. We might be quickly finding out that Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell is worth a few points in each game.
When the Vikings lost Justin Jefferson, everyone thought they should trade Kirk Cousins. When the Vikings lost Cousins, they looked done. Instead, a team that has severe roster deficiencies is right in the NFC playoff race, with a quarterback who two weeks ago was traded by the Arizona Cardinals, one of the worst teams in the NFL.
Coach of the Year is a weird award sometimes, but why wouldn’t it be O’Connell?
Joshua Dobbs had a big game against the New Orleans Saints in a 27-19 win. In the first half Dobbs was 18-of-22 for 220 yards. That was without Jefferson, who should return soon from a hamstring injury, and K.J. Osborn, who was held out after suffering a concussion last week.
The Saints have more star players on the roster. That’s almost indisputable. But the Vikings had the far better coach.
Last week Dobbs had to go in the game only a few days after the Vikings shrewdly traded for him. O’Connell was explaining plays to Dobbs in his headset after he called them in the huddle. The Vikings pulled off a road win against the Atlanta Falcons. That’s a credit to Dobbs to process it all, but that’s also exactly what good coaching looks like. Having Dobbs run a full offense Sunday, less than two weeks after the Vikings traded for him, was impressive too.
O’Connell led the Vikings to 13 wins as a rookie head coach and it was mostly dismissed because everyone talked about how lucky they were. NFL Coach of the Year went to Brian Daboll and his nine wins with the New York Giants, and that decision is not aging well at all.
That might be OK. O’Connell could leave no doubt about that award this season.
“Would’ve liked to have the chance to put the football game away,” O’Connell said. “We scuffled a few drives there, and it’s totally on me. Gotta give our guys a better opportunity to move the ball offensively.”
“I think it comes down to knowing the fact that you want to be aggressive, but you also want to walk out of the stadium still winning the turnover battle,” O’Connell said. “And I was that confident in our defense, that if we didn’t give them anything and we played smart with the clock, that we could get it down to a situation where maybe we can get a third and 1 and get a touchdown on that (Chandler run). We did, and that would take us to 34 (points), and then it gets pulled back and we don’t convert and we ended up punting and try to pin them deep there.
“But I’ve got to try to find that balance where — I do believe in our guys and I do believe that I can stay aggressive for four quarters with our guys. And I’ll continue to work through that to make sure I’m giving them some premium (opportunities). We had some chances there that maybe we didn’t make the play. But there were certainly few that I’d like to have back. Knowing the situational management and milking the clock is one thing, but staying aggressive is something we’ve got to do, as well.”
Again, we all know the rules, but in case someone is new:
- No discussion of politics or religion
- No feeding of the trolls
- Leave the gender hatred at the door
- Keep the bad language to a minimum (using the spoiler tags, if you must)
- Speaking of which, if discussing a newer show or movie, please use spoiler tags
- No pictures that could get someone fired or in serious trouble with their employer
- If you can’t disagree in a civil manner, feel free to go away
- While navigating the open thread, just assume it’s sarcasm