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Harrison Hitman Smith’s Future? Retirement? Hall of Fame?

On this episode of “Two Old Bloggers”, we unpack the potential retirement of Viking Harrison Smith and his Hall of Fame prospects. We also critically evaluate the 2023 performance of the Vikings’ coaching staff and delve into the team’s quarterback quandaries. Join us as we explore these pivotal issues shaping the Vikings’ future. SKOL!

In “Two Old Bloggers”, Darren Campbell and Dave Stefano discuss Harrison ‘Hitman’ Smith’s future and potential Hall of Fame eligibility. They evaluate head coach Kevin O’Connell and coordinators Wes Phillips, Brian Flores, and Matt Daniels. They question Kirk Cousins’ return and suggest drafting a new quarterback. The hosts also consider potential interim quarterbacks and the future of the Vikings, highlighting the importance of successful drafting.

Hitman - A Brief Overview

In the most recent installment of the highly regarded podcast, Two Old Bloggers, we find Darren Campbell and Dave Stefano, two widely respected figures in the football commentary landscape, diving deep into an engaging discussion about the future prospects of Harrison ‘Hitman’ Smith. This dynamic duo, known for their insightful analysis on Vikings First And SKOL, bring to the table their seasoned perspective on Smith’s looming retirement possibilities and his potential candidacy for the esteemed Hall of Fame.

Contemplating Smith’s Retirement Possibilities

Both Darren and Dave, with their years of experience, give serious consideration to a question that has been heavily weighing on the hearts of numerous dedicated Vikings fans: Could it be that Harrison Smith has already played his final game? Despite Smith’s outstanding performance statistics and his palpable commitment to the sport, Darren puts forth his belief that Smith might indeed be contemplating leaving the NFL for good. He draws attention to Smith’s comments in a recent post-game interview, where Smith hinted at a diminishing enthusiasm for the game, as a possible sign of his impending retirement.

Evaluating Smith’s Eligibility for the Hall of Fame

The stimulating discussion then transitions into the topic of the Hall of Fame, with Darren and Dave deliberating whether Smith’s illustrious career has earned him a place amongst the pantheon of football legends. While there’s no denying that Smith’s raw stats are praiseworthy, our seasoned commentators take into account other elements that could potentially influence his eligibility for the Hall of Fame. These factors range from the lack of Super Bowl rings in his portfolio, his less frequent appearances on national television, to his lower profile compared to other notable players such as Troy Polamalu.

Smith versus Polamalu: A Comparative Analysis

As the conversation pivots to draw comparisons between Smith and Troy Polamalu, both Darren and Dave underscore that these two players have had extraordinary careers in their own rights. However, they also point out the significant disparities that might sway Smith’s chances of securing a coveted spot in the Hall of Fame. Polamalu, with his pair of Super Bowl rings, greater name recognition, and a more flamboyant and attention-grabbing style of play, may have set a benchmark that Smith, despite his formidable stats, has not quite managed to surpass.

Wrapping Up the Smith to the HOF Discussion

In concluding their engaging dialogue, Dave and Darren find common ground in their belief that Harrison Smith is deserving of recognition from the Hall of Fame. However, they also acknowledge that factors beyond his control may pose challenges to his eligibility. They end the conversation by acknowledging the cloud of uncertainty that hangs over Smith’s future, both concerning his possible retirement and his prospects for a spot in the Hall of Fame.

An In-depth Look at the Head Coach: Kevin O’Connell

Despite a season that was filled with turbulent ups and downs, the unanimous consensus among Darren and Dave was that Kevin O’Connell, in his second year as head coach, did an impressive job. This is particularly noteworthy given the significant injuries the team had to contend with throughout the season. Both Darren and Dave were full of praise for O’Connell’s ability to keep the team competitive in challenging circumstances and his calm demeanor, which seemed to positively resonate with the players and inspire them.

A Detailed Evaluation of the Coordinators

Wes Phillips: An Enigma to Unravel

When it came to evaluating offensive coordinator Wes Phillips, the duo found it challenging due to the fact that he doesn’t call the plays. However, they reached a consensus that he does bear some responsibility for the Vikings’ extremely pass-heavy offense and a running game that was less than effective.

Brian Flores: The Masterful Maestro

Despite coming up against some of the most potent offenses in the league, the defense under the guidance of Brian Flores was met with high praise for its noticeable improvement from previous seasons. Darren and Dave commended Flores for his ability to bring out the best in his players and for creating a more aggressive, attack-minded system.

Matt Daniels: The Players’ Choice

While the Vikings’ special teams had their struggles, most notably with Greg Joseph’s low field goal percentage, special teams coordinator Matt Daniels was held in high regard by the players, with many ranking him among their top five coordinators in the league.

A Closer Look at Player Performances

The podcast episode also gave considerable attention to the performances of certain players. They emphasized the exceptional play of Josh Metellus, Cam Bynum, D.J. Wonnum, and Jonathan Bullard who exceeded expectations under Brian Flores’ defensive system. Additionally, the emergence of Ivan Pace, an undrafted free agent, as one of the standout linebackers in the league was another notable highlight of the conversation.

A Glimpse into the Future

Despite a season that was filled with trials and tribulations, Darren and Dave expressed optimism about what the future holds for the Vikings under this coaching staff. They emphasized the need for the team to recruit more talent on the defensive side and to improve the efficiency of its play calls. Wrapping up their discussion, the duo expressed their anticipation for the upcoming season, expressing hope that with the right adjustments, the Vikings could make significant strides and improve their performance.

The Kirk Cousins Quandary: Uncertain Future or Inevitable Departure?

Darren and Dave, openly express their skepticism about the prospect of Kirk Cousins returning to the Vikings. Despite Cousins’ undeniable popularity among his teammates and his professed affection for Minnesota, our hosts foresee his departure. They base this prediction on a number of factors, including his hefty contract demands and advancing age. Darren makes his stance clear when he says, “I don’t think Cousins is coming back here,” thereby suggesting that the time has finally come for the Vikings to search actively for their quarterback of the future.

Drafting the Franchise Quarterback: An Imperative Task for the Vikings

Both Darren and Dave firmly believe that the Vikings should utilize the 2022 draft as an opportunity to secure their future franchise quarterback. They underscore the critical importance of this strategic move, with Darren emphasizing, “You got to draft the rookie. You got to draft the franchise quarterback this year. It’s got to happen now.” His words underline the urgency and necessity of this decision. Even with Quinn Ewers going back for his senior season in Texas, there are some enticing college prospects. They include Caleb Williams, Drake Maye, Jayden Daniels, Bo Nix, Michael Penix, Cam Ward, Jordan Travis, and maybe JJ McCarthy, with Darren expressing that there is some talent there.

Potential Bridge Quarterbacks: Identifying the Ideal Candidate

In light of Cousins’ potential departure, the hosts delve into the discussion of a suitable bridge quarterback if desired. They mention Gardner Minshew as a plausible candidate, acknowledging that his acquisition would not be without competition from other interested teams.

Evaluating the Current Roster: Opportunities for Jaren Hall and Nick Mullens

In their comprehensive analysis, the hosts also explore the opportunities that might present themselves for Jaren Hall and Nick Mullens within the Vikings’ current setup. While they commend Mullens’ tenacity, they express their belief that the Vikings are unlikely to bring him back. However, they do foresee the potential return and further development of Jaren Hall, given his rookie contract and the fact that the team had initially drafted him for developmental purposes.

The Future of the Vikings: A Balanced Outlook

The hosts further delve into the numerous challenges that the team needs to address, emphasizing the critical role of successful draft decisions. They caution that a single draft won’t resolve all the team’s issues, but judicious choices can significantly enhance the team’s overall performance.

In conclusion, the hosts strongly advocate for the Vikings to secure their quarterback of the future in the forthcoming draft, reiterating the paramount importance of this move for the team’s ongoing development. The resolution of the quarterback question is of vital importance to the Vikings’ future, and the outcome of this issue will undoubtedly shape the team’s prospects in the coming seasons.

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