“By Far the Best Combination I’ve Seen:” TVG’s Interview with The Vikings Report
Recently, I had the good fortune to interview the masterminds behind The Vikings Report with Drew and Ted. Collectively, Drew, Ted, and Toonces bring a ton of passion and knowledge to their show. I hit them with five questions about our beloved Minnesota Vikings. Unsurprisingly, they provided some great answers. Enjoy.
1) Let’s start with the Super Bowl. As Vikings fans, what should we take away from the big game? Are the Vikings able to replicate some of the things that KC and TB did to find success?
Drew: The first thing that comes to mind is Brady & Mahomes. We are not even close there. Another main thing that jumps out (and I’ve been saying this for years) is the offensive line. KC showed what can happen if your OL isn’t up to snuff. Which makes me wonder why the Vikings’ OL are still poor after 7 years with Zimmer here.
Ted: Elite QB play and good o-line play matter. Not good QB play. ELITE. Patrick Mahomes struggled behind a makeshift offensive line, but I’d argue his ability kept the Chiefs in the game longer than they should have. The Bucs offensive line gave Tom Brady time to make plays, and they opened up holes for Leonard Fournette, who seemed to get yards on the ground in chunks all night. On defense, Tampa’s front four was relentless for the entire game. That allowed the secondary to make some big plays, and they were able to contain Tyreek Hill, which I wasn’t sure was possible.
The Vikings already have a running game as good as anything we saw last night. But the offensive line has to get better in pass protection, and the defense has to get light years better, both on the line and in the secondary. As to whether or not Kirk Cousins is the guy that can be that elite player to take the Vikings where they want to go…you tell me. Can they replicate all that in one year? We’ll see.
Toonces: I defer to Ted’s answer on this one. He said it better than anyone I know could have.
2) Antoine Winfield Jr. received a taunting penalty toward the end of the SB. Imagine you’re his position coach. What do you say to him when he gets to the bench? Are you OK with him taunting Tyreek Hill?
Drew: I’m pretty sure that incident was stirring with Winfield Jr since his first meeting with Hill in week 12. Not only did Tyreek Hill taunt him, but he also went off on the Bucs secondary with 13 catches for 200+ yards and 3 scores. Knowing that… I understand it a little more. As for taunting though, I went to the Bud Grant School of Unsportsmanlike Conduct Calls. You get one you are BENCHED and suspended. Bud had zero tolerance for those kinds of actions.
Ted: If I’m his position coach I give him a high five, but tell him not to make that a habit. Yes, it was a 15 yard penalty, but it was on fourth down. It didn’t give the Chiefs a new set of downs, Tampa was already pinned deep anyway, and they had the game in hand. Normally I’m not a fan of taunting, but Hill did the exact same thing to him when they played earlier in the season, and I’m not a big fan of a guy that beats his wife and kids. Would I be happy if he cost me a taunting penalty 5-6 times a year? No, obviously not, but I can make an exception this time. And the fact he kept that receipt in the back of his head, and waited until THAT moment to pull it out?
Toonces: I am not a fan of taunting but I do understand it. His emotions were high just being in the Super Bowl. Add on to that the taunting he received from Hill in week 12. I probably don’t say anything to him when he gets to the bench then address him later in private that I don’t want to see that be a regular thing.
3) The news just emerged that Klint Kubiak – affectionately known as Lil’Kub at TVG – has been hired as the new offensive coordinator. Did Zim make the right decision?
Drew: I’m not a big fan of it. The biggest problem I had with the Kubiak scheme was it wasn’t aggressive enough. And Klint will more than likely be conservative just like his father was for his whole coaching career. He has zero experience as an OC, much like John DeFilippo had none. And you know how that turned out. So Zimmer seems to be repeating a mistake. Kind of concerning in that sense. But Zimmer got a guy that will do exactly what he wants and wont rock the boat. I guess time will tell, right?
Ted: No. People want to talk about continuity and keeping the same offense, and I get that. But Klint has never been an OC and called plays before, and word on the Twitter street is that the Vikings still want to bring in an ‘older’ offensive coach to oversee/babysit/micromanage, whatever. People are going to shake their fists at the screen reading this and retort ‘this was a top 10 offense last year’ while spitting Pringle’s onto their monitor, but I’d argue a lot of those yards were empty calories, just like the Pringle’s you need to wipe off your screen, and when the offense really needed to step up, they didn’t.
It’s not a very creative offense, which might be because they’re limited in what they can do because the line play was so putrid. And it’s run centric, which is okay because Dalvin Cook, but not okay when they’re playing from behind and it’s time to score a lot of points fast because your defense can’t get off the field. But for as good as the Vikings were at piling up yards, when the offense absolutely, positively, needed to make one drive to win a game against Tennessee, they couldn’t. When they needed to make one friggin’ yard against Seattle, they couldn’t. When they needed to make a drive against a bad Dallas team, they couldn’t. When they needed to finish drives with touchdowns and not field goal attempts against Tampa Bay, they couldn’t. When they needed a drive late to win against the Bears, they couldn’t. Flip the script in one of those games, they’re in the playoffs. Flip the script in three of those games, and they’re a ‘well, if they can do this and that, they can win the Super Bowl’ team. Flip the script in all those games, and I think they have home field advantage in the playoffs. THAT’S the difference between mediocre, good, and a team that can win the Super Bowl.
So cool, we’re going to run the same offense…but if it’s the same offense that can’t get it done when it matters…is that the offense the Vikings should be running?
Toonces: No. I agree with Drew & Ted. While the offense was top 10 last year, it was vanilla and predictive. Teams used to be afraid of Minnesota’s offense. I don’t feel like they are anymore. I am a big fan of shaking things up to get the players excited. It doesn’t seem like the players have been excited or pumped to play for their OC or QB since 2017. (I think they played their heart out for Case Keenum and the Vikes should have built up the O-line for Case instead of the massive Cousins contract). But I definitely hope Zim made the right decision. Only time will tell.
4) Recently, TVG began an article series called Gunpoint Hypotheticals. The basic premise is that you’re held at gunpoint and forced to make a brutal decision. The first scenario was this: you need to choose a team to cheer for from the NFC North. The catch is that the Vikings aren’t an option. What say you, Drew and Ted [and Toonces!], are you now Lions, Bears, or Packers fans?
Drew: I will just take a bullet. Screaming SKOL as it passes through me. I will take death over any NFC North team.
Ted: Bears. My Stepdad is a Bears fan, and my late brother Bruce was a Bears fan. They’ve had some really good teams and characters over the years, and the fact that we’ve signed almost every Bears wide receiver that hit free agency kind of makes us all Bears fans once removed anyway.
Toonces: Bears. My brother Joe was a Bears fan in the 80s. We did the Super Bowl Shuffle for our elementary school’s talent show. I was Walter Payton, lol. So the Bears will also have a secret (yet very very tiny) place in my heart.
5) What do you want TVG’s readers to know about your YouTube channel? Hit us with your elevator pitch!
Drew: The Vikings Report is trying to present a DIFFERENT kind of approach to doing a sports show. Fun and laughter along with some serious Vikings fan ship and knowledge along the way. Our main goal is to keep feeding off the viewers and to keep evolving into what THEY want. We want to keep building this show. But I know being a former musician that when you stop having fun it’s over. That is another reason Ted Glover was perfect for starting this project. Guy is funny as hell and also knows his Vikings football inside & out!
Ted: We want to inform you, we want to entertain you, but we don’t want to bore you or talk down to you. I think a lot of shows, in trying to impress you with some stats or knowledge, unintentionally end up talking at you and overwhelm you with obscure numbers, and give the feeling like you should bring a notebook because you’re in some college lecture. Or they drop a lot of info that comes off as a ‘look at what I know and you don’t’ vibe.
Drew and I are old school guys, and have been fans since we were kids in the 1970’s, watching the Purple People Eaters. That’s why we do our unique intro that pays tribute to some shows we loved growing up, and why we talk about former Vikings in our jersey segment. We also like to have fun and laugh, so that’s why we do trivia and we insert the funny video edits into the show. We think it makes for a really unique show that no one else is really doing, and at least based on the early returns, it’s resonating with people.
Through all of that our main focus is the present day Vikings and the NFL, and trying to figure out how Minnesota can finally win the damn Super Bowl, which is all any of us truly cares about. Sometimes we’re right, sometimes we’re wrong, and sometimes Toonces kicks our ass in trivia. When you watch our show, we want you to enjoy it, obviously, but most importantly, we hope we make you feel like you’re part of the show, as if we’re all sitting in a bar together having a beer.
Because sometimes, you need alcohol to be able to talk about this team, am I right? [Editor’s Note: Ted’s theory has some merit]. So, grab a beer and join us!
Toonces: I’ve watched Drew & Ted do different podcasts over the years. Having them together, just the two of them, is by far the best combination I’ve seen. They both have wicked good knowledge of the Vikings and their sense of humor is top notch. When we record on Mondays, my sides hurt from laughing so much. With other pods that Drew did in the past, he often felt like it was a chore. With VR, he gets excited days in advance and spends hours and hours on the edits that Liz (my daughter) puts together. This podcast is old school but fresh. It’s funny but also brings great knowledge and insight. And with all the crazy stuff going on in the world today, who doesn’t need 45 minutes of good fun each week?
Editor’s Note: All of us here at TVG extend our sincere thanks to Drew, Ted, and Toonces for the great insight. Vikings fans (and, more generally, people who like to have fun) should hop over to YouTube and check out The Vikings Report. If social media is your thing, you can also find them on Twitter.