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The Front Row of NFL History 101

 
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ArcticNorseman


Joined: 06 Mar 2005
Posts: 2171
Location: Fairbanks, Alaska
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 11:48 am    Post subject: The Front Row of NFL History 101 Reply with quote

After a wickedly fun couple months, the Vikes finally finished the draft with a GM calling the shots with the HC, coaching staff and scouting department standing behind the picks. So, I wondered, "why did Spielman and Fraizer do what they did?" None of us has that exact answer, but I theorize the following . . .

As I dug through Fraizers history, I thought maybe Tony Dungy was the leading character to how he's building the team? . . . I didn't find much in way of similarities there -- but one could agree they carry themselves similarly, low-key but fairly intense.

So, I dug back a little further and found Fraizer and Spielman are emmulating a team re-building . . .

Back in '82, a great team owner had an established, premier running back on his squad, a couple of young defensive stars in-the-making, drafted in '79 - ' 81, and very few other pieces resembling a team.

So, the owner brought in a new Head Coach to rebuild his team. The coach and general manager worked through the draft to pick guys they thought could be great starters.

In '82 they picked a QB in the 1st Rd and a couple other players.

In '83, they picked guys who became starters for LT (1st Rd), LG(8th Rd), RG (4th Rd), WR (1st Rd), SS (3rd Rd), CB (2nd Rd) and DE (6th Rd) and even added two undrafted free agents that would become starters.

Yes, this team was the Chicago Bears as run by Papa Bear and Da Head Coach himself, Mike Ditka -- one of the '83 undrafted FAs, yes, Leslie Fraizer.

So, do the Vikes parallel the '82 and '83 Bears drafts in '10 and '11, I'd say the teams mirror each other. We know the destiny of the '85 Bears . . . it's waaaaay to early to tell if the Vikes are on that yellow brick road, but the similarities of the teams structure and draft paths may be the ticket to getting back to being respectable.

Maybe Leslie did sit in the front row of Professor Halas' class back then . . . Very Happy
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vike daddy


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Joined: 12 Mar 2005
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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 11:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

well written scenario.

i like Frazier, but he does seem rather limited. so it makes sense he would draw from his own experiences instead of going outside of a box he already knows.

for your parallel to hold up, was the Bears offense back then similar to what Musgrave would try to implement? i can't remember.
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milanb


Joined: 04 Jan 2008
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Location: Ottawa, Ontario
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 12:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The famous 46 Defence that Buddy Ryan ran had very little in common with the Tampa 2.

Even though it utilized four down linemen, the 46 was a two-gap scheme that had way more in common with what e.g. the Jets, Steelers and Packers are running nowadays.
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Virginia Viking


Joined: 27 Dec 2007
Posts: 2809
Location: Winchester, VA
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 2:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting research Arctic! If Frazier/Spielman can build a team with the philospophy of the Mid-80's Bears, and add the winning consistency of the Dungy era Bucs/Colts, then I can see the Vikings becoming Super Bowl contenders again.

I think it will take patience among the fans, as well as the front office. I don't care about immediate results. It won't bother me to have a losing season in 2012 and 2013...as long as I see growth and progress. I want this team by 2014 to produce a decade or more of sustained excellence that would rival the Patriots of 2001 - 2011, or even better, the 49'ers of 1981-1995.
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milanb


Joined: 04 Jan 2008
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Location: Ottawa, Ontario
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 2:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also worth noting is that the man who deserves much of the credit for putting together the great Bears teams of the 80s is Jim Finks, who also put together the great Vikings teams of the 70's.
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ArcticNorseman


Joined: 06 Mar 2005
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Location: Fairbanks, Alaska
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 3:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The game has evolved thoughout the years, but if one looks at the type of game the bears played back then it was a 2-back, 1 or 2 TE, 1 or 2 WR set . . . Payton carried the ball a lot . . . 325+ times a year.

What more can you say about that Bears defense?

Musgrave's offense will employ a good percentage of 2-back, 2-WR, 1-TE sets as well as 1 back, 2-TE, 2-WR sets. The running game will have Adrian and Toby carrying 350+ times through the season.

The Vikes D may be a year or two from "intimidating" -- at least the talent and depth is starting to stack up.

The key to the original post is "look at what Ditka inherited and his 2nd draft" and look at what Frazier inherited and what he did this year. Lots of similarities -- face of the franchises at RB, good-young core players on D, first draft = starting QB, second draft = OTs, WRs, D etc.

Ditka kept a bunch of players from that '83 draft and many became pro-bowlers -- after two years together, the chemistry with the veterans from pre-'82 was there . . . they became confident and dominant.

Nice cred to Finks . . . he was key to the Vikes growth as a franchise and he cut his teeth on a former GM job in the CFL . . . kinda like Spielman in Miami Laughing Finks was at Chicago as GM running drafts of Players like Payton, McMichael, Van Horne, Hampton and Singletary who were great players. But he left as Ditka came in as HC, so he didn't have the impact of "finishing" that team.

Given the perceived "rate of return" in today's NFL, what do you think Frazier and Spielman's window of opportunity is?

Looking back, I think had Tice had an owner like the Wilf's at the start of his tenure, he may have been far more successful. 4 years.

Childress did well, but crashed hard. And now, Frazier's going into his full 2nd year as HC. 4 years.

Like many, I'm not sure he's turned the corner with this franchise, but if he doesn't get wins . . . the ownership will make major changes and bannish the Vikes fans to futility on par with the 80's bucs and the 90's browns and bengals.

I'd like to see Fraizer get more than 4 years . . . otherwise, one would be suspicious if he was asleep in the front row . . .
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ArcticNorseman


Joined: 06 Mar 2005
Posts: 2171
Location: Fairbanks, Alaska
PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 6:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmmmm, I'll wait 8 more games to really wonder if this OP was close to accurate . . . lol.
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