Questions Answered: OC Carousel, Jayron Kearse, No Respect for Hunter and Kendricks
The following questions are about current Minnesota Vikings topics, answered by PurplePTSD. Today is the July 10th edition, addressed in a from-the-hip fashion. If you have questions, please email them to DustinBakerNFL@gmail.com.
Also, please note: These are opinion-based responses. Some answers will be incorrect from time to time. But we’ll try to keep that to a minimum.
Q: Do you foresee the Vikings offensive coordinator carousel continuing even with Mike Zimmer gone?
A: Yes, and you should want the offensive coordinator carousel to continue.
Why? Well, that will have meant that the Vikings offense is ticking. And in an O’Connellian way, Wes Phillips or the guy after him would be plucked for head coaching duty. Usually, offenses have to make noise for a coordinator to take the big job. So, if that happens with O’Connell’s Vikings, it will mean the offense is cooking.
If another team taps Phillips, offensive continuity shouldn’t fall by the wayside because O’Connell will remain Minnesota’s head coach. You should perceive his control of the offense like Mike Zimmer’s control over the defense. It really doesn’t matter anymore if the OCs fly out the door. That’s the perk of employing an offensive-minded head coach in an offense-first league.
Q: Why did the Vikings make little to no effort toward retaining Jayron Kearse a couple of years ago?
A: Kearse was beset by legal turmoil while with the Vikings, and accordingly, the team didn’t seem hellbent on retaining him after 2019.
Thankfully, Kearse nestled in with the Dallas Cowboys and is a very productive starter. Looking back, it was probably a mistake to let Kearse walk. He’s a damn good football player, although a little volatile.
Q: Should Danielle Hunter and Eric Kendricks really have landed outside the Top 10 of ESPN’s EDGE and linebacker rankings?
A: No, it is fair that they landed outside the Top 10.
Hunter has missed 79% of all games since the start of 2020. Non-Vikings fans have moved on to healthier EDGE rushers for such rankings.
And Kendricks quietly had a down season in 2021. His grade from Pro Football Focus was a career-low of 59.9. The entire Vikings defense struggled at key moments of games, and Kendricks’ quiet season was overshadowed.
Both men can regain form, though, in 2022. It’s as easy as that. Kendricks is 30 years old, and Hunter will be 28 this fall. Neither is old enough to signify the beginning of a performance downturn.
Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).