That’s a Super Bowl guarantee without actually being a guarantee and it warrants a follow up. Fortunately, Peterson was willing to expound on the topic.
The running back told Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio — in rather lengthy fashion — he sees a lot of ways the Vikings organization has put themselves in good position to succeed over the long haul.
Peterson initially cited the job GM Rick Spielman and coach Mike Zimmer have done building the roster, “core system” and the “guys in the right place.”
Peterson also digs the “young group” of players on the roster, a quality mix of veterans and youth “that can really play some good ball” — especially on the defensive side of the ball. AP is spot on calling the Vikes defense a young, dangerous unit that will be talented again in 2016.
It’s the offense that’s got to improve. And Peterson knows it.
“Offensively just going off of what we were able to accomplish this year and we really weren’t the type of offense that we wanted to be,” Peterson said. “But you look at that and we were right there in the mix of really going on to play Arizona and end up in the NFC Championship game with what we had offensively.”
Of course, AP might not be calling himself out here. He did lead the league in rushing yards (1,485) while averaging 4.5 yards per carry.
The passing game was the primary problem. Teddy Bridgewater didn’t take the leap everyone expected and there weren’t any real weapons in the passing game outside of rookie Stephon Diggs. Minnesota finished 16th in points per game (22.8) and 29th in yards per game (291.2).
The Vikings added Alex Boone and Andre Smith to the offensive line in free agency and picked up Laquon Treadwell in the first round of the draft. The Vikings won 11 games last year and are right there in terms of contenders for the NFC North along with the Packers, especially if Peterson can meet his own expectations.
But when you break it down, these are exceptional players at their respective positions, and Ingram and Cooks were hard to pass up at No. 24 and 25 overall given how this draft unfolded. Now that I had two stud receivers and a top-10 running back, I wanted more depth in the backfield, so I took Matt Jones and Jay Ajayi at No. 48 and 49 overall, and I’m happy with that start.
This is where things potentially could have gone differently. I want Fleener whenever possible now that he’s in New Orleans. He’s been good at times with the Colts, especially when Dwayne Allen has been out, and he’s now in one of the best tight end offenses in the NFL with Sean Payton and Brees. A breakout season is on the table, and I consider him a top-five option in all formats. He was my target at No. 72 overall.
Cowboys fans are, by and large, just the best. Not so much in a “they are smart football fans” kind of way as a “mercy, they are nuts” kind of way.
And that’s a good thing, because it creates things like the video below, in which a Cowboys fan takes his Tony Romo jersey, hangs it on a washing machine that he has filled with explosives, and shoots a rifle at it.
He began to bash and berate Cutler and his game to the tune of a verbal flogging neither had ever witnessed. The expletive-laden diatribe went on for a few minutes, after which Cook stood up and told Cutler they were leaving. As they walked down the long hallway past Bowlen’s office, Cutler turned to Bus and said, “Get me out of here. I don’t care how you do it.”
Long story short, the Bears traded for Cutler and continue to employ him today.McDaniels lasted less than two seasons as a head coach. Now, he’s back in New England as the Patriots’ offensive mind and Tom Brady’s “babe.”
Since that trade transpired, Cutler and McDaniels have actually shared the field together, as recently as 2014 when the Bears played in Foxborough, but postgame meetings are easy to avoid. Sharing a practice field for two full days might be a bit different. Hopefully the reunion takes place and hopefully a camera catches it, but even if it does happen, don’t expect fireworks. Cutler, for his part, seems to be over the drama.