Minnesota Vikings News Roundup: O-Line Optimism

It’s News Roundup time, folks. In this iteration, we’re offering some Minnesota o-line optimism to Vikings fans. Christian Darrisaw and Wyatt Davis provide the main reasons for hope, and we’ll hear what people had to say about them this past week. From there, we turn to how Minnesota is continuing to build up the secondary. To close things off, we do our usual TVG and broader purple chatter discussion.

Minnesota O-Line Optimism

This week, Vikings.com published an article where former NFL o-lineman and current NFL analyst Brian Baldinger offered some high praise on Darrisaw: “In the run game and in the pass game, he kind of makes people disappear. He’s got good size, so if he’s cutting off inside, he gets square with them, and all of a sudden, that defensive tackle at Clemson or Miami, wherever he’s playing, he kind of disappeared.” Baldinger continues: “He stays square in the pass game, he’s got a good kick-step […] Time and time again, Darrisaw looked like he does a great job of staying between his man and the quarterback enough. In the run game, I saw him move people.”

Brian O’Neill – who deserves a big extension – spoke about Darrisaw in a midweek press conference:

Zim was similarly laudatory when discussing Minnesota’s first-round pick: “Darrisaw obviously is very talented […] he’s done a nice job, he’s worked real hard, he’s been very attentive.” Shortly thereafter, Zim brought Wyatt Davis into the fold, suggesting that “Davis is the same way” while indicating that “they’re both big guys with athleticism” and that “repetition is going to make them better and better.”

Now, it would be foolish to assume that the addition of The Triple D – The Darrisaw and Davis Duo – is instantly going to solve all of Minnesota’s offensive line woes. Nevertheless, there is good reason to have some Minnesota o-line optimism. It’s difficult to envision Davis being worse than Dozier, and the Darrisaw addition represents an intriguing replacement for Riley Reiff (who I still think we should have kept, but I digress).

Working on The Secondary

We knew the Vikings weren’t totally content with the situation in their secondary. Earlier in the week, they signed fifth-year corner Tye Smith: “Smith, a 2015 fifth-round pick by Seattle out of Towson, has played in 40 career games with seven starts over six seasons.” This is a move that’s more about stabilizing the floor than it is raising the ceiling. If Minnesota’s secondary gets back to elite, then it’ll be because Patrick Peterson has a bounce back season, Cameron Dantzler takes a step forward, and Harrison Smith continues with his usual elite self.

They previously expressed interest in veteran corner Bashaud Breeland, and they’ve now made the deal a reality. The team has announced that they’ve reached a deal with Breeland. The article on Vikings.com indicates that he has played more than 100 games. He is also a Super Bowl champion. Here is what we wrote before about Breeland: “Last year, Breeland was PFF‘s 57th-ranked corner. He played 787 snaps out wide. He only played 21 in the slot and 56 in the box. In other words, Breeland should be considered an outside corner. Minnesota’s two starters along the outside will be Cameron Dantzler and Patrick Peterson, a reality that is unlikely to change unless there is an injury. If he signed, Breeland would be the primary backup along the outside. Mack Alexander will be the starter in the slot with Jeff Gladney looking like the main backup at that spot.” In all likelihood, it’s a 1-year prove-it deal.

The Smith and Breeland additions don’t really eliminate other free agent possibilities, such as someone to help at defensive end. Minnesota will still have plenty of cap space, so there’s room to maneuver.

We’ve spent a decent amount of time over here speculating on how Minnesota might use their money. Heck, last week’s News Roundup focused on the cash infusion that arrived on June 2. It’s entirely possible, though, that a domino that needs to fall rests in the Danielle Hunter situation. If he returns on his current deal, then the Vikings have a great financial situation. If he gets a new deal, the money is going to be a little more scarce. I don’t even want to speculate on a Hunter trade. Let’s collectively hope is doesn’t come to that.

TVG and Broader Purple Chatter

A highlight of my week was getting some great insight about the Bears from Mr. Wiltfong of Windy City Gridiron. I also wrote about how Brian O’Neill deserves a sizable extension, PFF‘s lukewarm assessment of the Vikings’ secondary, the financial situation post June 1. We had AMarie and Erin Henderson of Asked & Answered on Notes from the North. We even had a breakfast sandwich recipe to help you eat good food.

Folks who are interested in forums may be inclined to check out Purple Pain Forums. Purple PTSD‘s Dustin Baker wrote about an underrated offseason move for Minnesota. The latest Vikings Report promo video includes pleasant music, lots of laughing, and a dinosaur.

The Send Off

Many thanks for stopping by to read this News Roundup, valued reader. We recognize that time is often in short supply, so we always appreciate the clicks that we get.

There’s good reason to have Minnesota o-line optimism. My only caution, though, is that you don’t get carried away. There’s also a really good reason why our Vikings are perhaps the best team to never win a Super Bowl.