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Takeception: /take ˈsepSH(ə)n/ – noun- Joe J’s take, on someone else’s take. Synonym: Lazy content.

Sometimes I feel a bit like the Jay Leno of the Minnesota Vikings media landscape. The content I create doesn’t take a ton of per article research, I rarely come up with article ideas that are super unique, etc. When compared to the work of guys on my team who create new algorithms to define success at a certain position, or a play-by-play film breakdown? 

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I feel pretty mediocre. However, the stuff I write tends to outperform most articles on our site and that’s a testament to the emotion people inject into their favorite sport, myself included. I tend to cover things from MY point of view, which, can be summed up by a story from one of our meetings from the last week.

Dustin Baker, our senior writer, is amazing. He churns out sometimes three articles a day, despite the fact that he writes stuff that is usually completely unique in scope, and researched well. 

Because of his talent, work ethic and vision he and I are rolling out a general NFL site that he will be the editor-in-chief for; Baker has already put together a really great team of writers, and we were discussing the site this week when Dustin asked me where I stand on using ‘I/Me/My’ in articles for TZ (as the no one calls it). 

At first, I was confused. Wait, you can write without injecting your opinion into it? What sort of witchcraft? 

Baker and I actually went to the same college (University of Minnesota), at the same time (2002-2006), and pursued the same major (Political Science (Baker has a second degree in Economics, where as my second degree is Sociology of Law)). 

When Baker said “That’s the way they taught us at the U”, I remembered that I somehow graduated on time with two writing intensive majors and never went to class or retained a single thing. 

Huge surprise, I know. 

I bring this up because I am cognizant of the whole “He’s just copying other people’s takes!”, but at the same time feel that most people in the industry hit up Google News each morning, type in Minnesota Vikings, hit enter and then see news or takes from other sites. 

The difference here is that I want to make it painfully clear where the topic came from, as to give credit where credit is due (because I’ve seen a unique take get copied with no attribution either on my or our stuff and that always kinda sucks). 

That’s the idea behind ‘Takeception’, a new frequent series where I opine on a topic or the topics of the day/week. 

Today’s first Takeception? The offensive coordinator position. Jake White of Vikings Wire wrote the following about the replacement candidates the Vikings will give “looks” to should Gary Kubiak retire. 

Now, this isn’t so much White’s subjective opinion on WHO should get looks as much as a report on who the team WILL consider, so it isn’t by definition really a takeception. It’s more of a… Newseption (which sounds like an antiquity era Portuguese province). 

Speaking of subjective opinions on WHO… The Vikings really only have one option for offensive coordinator should the Kubes retire. That’s, the other Kubes (or offensive line coach Rick Dennison, if he’d want it). That’s not because I necessarily think the younger Kubiak is the best option. 

As I lay out above, no one who isn’t from the old school era of the NFL wants the Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator gig. That’s saying a lot, because on paper this offense seems like a VERY enticing group for any up-and-coming new school offensive coordinator candidate. 

I can’t think of another gig in the league (that’ll be available this off-season) that would be more enticing. Despite the restrictions that Zimmer placed on Kubiak and this offense? They were still one of the most dangerous, explosive, exciting offenses in the league. Cousins had another great year, Justin Jefferson had the best modern rookie year ever, Adam Thielen is nigh uncoverable in the red-zone, and Irv Smith and Tyler Conklin look like the future of the TE spot. 

Throw in Dalvin Cook and you’ve got a team that you’d think would have the right of first refusal for any OC candidate. But that isn’t the case, because of two words. You guessed it, Frank Stallone. 

Actually, I’ll give you a hint what those words are. They rhyme with John DeFilippo. Now, when DeFilippo agreed to take over as the Minnesota Vikings’ offensive coordinator after helping the Eagles win their first ever Super Bowl, the main/sole complaint in Vikingsland was that he would be here a season tops.

Which ended up being too generous a time-table, but not for the reason people thought. He was so sought after, it was thought that he’d have his pick of head coaching gigs after the 2018 season. 

In 2020? He is the quarterbacks coach for the Chicago Bears. Now, part of the reason he isn’t a head coach is due to his bad year as the Jaguars’ offensive coordinator in 2019. But the with the way things went down between Zimmer and DeFilippo, where Zimmer couldn’t get his offensive coordinator to do his bidding and DeFilippo only relenting and running the ball more when it was almost sarcastic. 

Those are things that just don’t happen in the NFL. Have you EVER heard of that happening elsewhere? A head coach and offensive coordinator are openly fighting about scheme/philosophy? Either that’s a gigantic recruitment error (you’d think that they’d have finalized those types of things right away) or DeFilippo went rogue.

Both are possible, however I think that considering that DeFilippo isn’t the only OC to get fired mid-season after disagreeing on scheme with Zimmer, as Norv Turner “resigned” during the 2016 season. 

Hue Jackson isn’t a young up-and-comer. He’s been around the league and has been a head coach before. This would be a huge boost for Jackson, who Zimmer is familiar with due to Jackson’s multiple stints with the Bengals. 

Jackson isn’t currently employed by the NFL, and has only had his name in the news whenever there’s mention of another Colin Kaepernick working out. But that’s not why I’m against Jackson getting the gig. 

I’m actually against it for one reason/word. I’ll give you a hint, it rhymes with John DeFilippo. Wait, no it doesn’t, the word is ‘continuity’. 

One thing that his detractors often completely overlook (one of the many things, alongside things like reality, history, how football works, how his salary stacks up against other QBs, his stats, etc.) is that Cousins has had a different offensive coordinator each season he’s been here. 

The transition from… Ugh… the probable NFL Coach of the Year (because of course he is) Kevin Stefanski wasn’t thought to be that jarring as Gary Kubiak was already an offensive advisor and his team was already in place. 

That means that Kubiak and Dennison’s Shanahan-ian zone blocking scheme was put in place in 2019, which helps. That’s also another reason as to why Jackson would be a disaster and Kubiak Jr. would be the better fit…

This article, from our friends at Bleacher Report, titled ‘Was Hue Jackson to blame for Raiders struggling offensive line?’ Has the following:

“Reality is Hue Jackson was responsible for the struggles on the o-line and in turn responsible for high sack count and injuries to the QBs. As offensive coordinator, Hue Jackson was not only responsible for the offense as a whole, but it was his decision to make the transition from a zone-blocking scheme to a man or power-blocking scheme.”

At this point, with the Vikings’ line already a scatter-shot mess, do you really think this offense can handle a transition to a power-blocking scheme? That they have the personnel to do so? That the offense can learn another entirely new scheme and waste another large and expensive section of Cousins’ remaining contract on any of that?

So, like a gun fighter in a zombie apocalypse with one bullet left and a bleeding teeth mark wound on his forearm, I’m basically resigned to the circumstances and will exert what remaining control I have even if the outcome isn’t something I’d wish on the Green Bay Packers.

Speaking of the Packers? Look what (and how long) it took for their new, young, offensive minded head coach to turn them back into a legitimate Super Bowl contender. You’ll say it’s easy and thus different because they have Aaron Rodgers, but, this Vikings offense has MORE position-by-position talent than the Packers do. 

It’s just that the Packers have Lafleur, and a good offensive line. Lafleur is actually a KUBIAK acolyte, so, perhaps the younger Kubiak will be the young/O-minded/blah blah that we need?

When he’s venting during his car ride home from TCO Performance Center, I mean, as there’s no way Zimmer will allow any sort of:

  • Innovation
  • Risk taking
  • Passes on 2nd-and-long
  • Nic Fury jokes

But it’s fun to dream, right?

Who knows, if the team actually lands Wyatt Davis in the 2021 NFL Draft, and the line finally gels and finds a way to create a pocket, while the defense gets it’s core guys like Kendricks, Hunter, and Barr back? 

Perhaps we’ll be looking for ANOTHER offensive coordinator this time next year. This time, though, it’ll be for the good reason. 

Like Joe’s stuff? Follow him on Twitter for all of his articles/takes!

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I am the owner/founder of and owner of, as well as I've been working in the Vikings media industry since 2015 and have an extensive history working in the internet/website monetization industry, particularly with start-ups.
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