Friday, March 24, 2006

And Fortinbras strides in...

At the end of Hamlet, every important character is dead. Denmark is so diseased, corrupt, and rotten, that all the sickness needs to be purged with blood. And so, the sickness killed, a healthy, strong leader can come in and allow for rebirth and renewal. The catharsis of tragedy.

I think this is similar to what happens when a sports franchise decides to cut from the past and go in a new direction. At this point, Zygi Wilf has almost completely replaced the Viking management (Brezinski remains, like Horatio). The entire coaching staff has been changed (and with this new coaching staff comes a new offensive and defensive system). And in this purging, many players will stay, but many more need to be removed.

The Vikes have signed a whopping number of free agents. If they let Nate Burleson go to Seattle, they will have 5 first day draft picks. 5! The sheer number of new players that could be on the team, a team that went 9-7 last season, is staggering.

Let's look at the impact of these new players.

Steve Hutchinson, G: one of the best guards in the league, filling a clear need.

Jason Whittle, G: I don't know that he's particularly good, but again, interior blocking is a serious need.

Chester Taylor, RB: I consider him an upgrade over Michael Bennett. Seems like your floor is a solid running back, your ceiling is completely unknown.

Ryan Longwell, K: uuuuuughhh, ya need a kicker!

Ben Leber, LB: Linebacker has been a weakness for the Purple for years. I have to think there's more to be done in the draft at this position, too.

Mike McMahon, QB: Mike McMahon sucks. I don't have anything else to say about this disturbing signing.

Tank Williams, S: a 25 year old safety who has started 50+ regular season games and played in 4 playoff games replaces the likeable but aging Corey Chavous. I consider this an upgrade.

DeQuincy Scott, DL: he was signed for the veteran minimum, so he can't be that great. But defensive line depth is important, and the Vikes are implementing a new defense.

Tony Richardson, FB: a position that has rarely been used by the Vikings in the past 14 years. If you're going to essentially create a new position on your team, why not get a Pro Bowler?

And what's left? A first round pick, two second round picks, and probably two third round picks?

I think the Vikes need to consider just a few more things in the upcoming draft.

1. QB of the future. BJ turns 38 sometime next year. Mike McMahon sucks. There better be something in mind.

2. Upgrade at Linebacker. Childress says he has an in-house candidate to play MLB. I hope he's right. But this is a position that still needs work.

3. Offensive line depth and improvement. I'm excited about the offensive line for this year, as it features McKinnie, Birk, and Hutchinson. But overall, either guys like Marcus Johnson need to improve, or the Vikes need to fine a few more linemen.

And this is in addition to a team that has the following strengths.

1. A versatile, deep, young WR corp.

2. A young and potentially devestating defensive line.

3. A secondary comprised of talented, intelligent veterans.

So Fortinbras comes in to bring renewed life to Denmark. The old, corrupt, failing regime is gone (plus, Hamlet may have been fucking his ma). Let the Renaissance begin.

1 comment:

  1. Scott could be nice. Fran Foley, one third of the holy and infallible Purple Trinity, must know something.