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Clippety-Clop
Rhome and Fazio
(10/12/2005)
By John Edstrom


     
Well fans, that clippety-clop we are hearing is the sound of Jerry Rhome and Foge Fazio riding to the rescue of the besieged Purple. You will note I have avoided any "thunder of hooves" metaphor, as my expectation level has not risen to any towering heights. Fazio, in particular, stirs no memory of rock-ribbed defenses during his tenure as defensive coordinator under Dennis Green in the late ‘90's. He certainly, however, put a more respectable unit on the field than Ted Cottrell has managed these past two years, and with seemingly thinner talent.

Rhome, on the other hand, may be just what the Doctor ordered for Daunte Culpepper and this inexplicably horrible offense. It is quite evident that Culpepper is going to need a major course of treatment in hand-holding, back-massaging, and murmured words of encouragement. Mike Tice and Steve Loney don't have seem to have the knack, nor certainly the time for that sort of thing, and their attentions are desperately needed elsewhere -- like, for instance, along the offensive line. The idea that they could function, essentially, without an offensive coordinator, was hatched by Red McComb's accountant in a burst of evil genius. I imagine him and Red down in San Antonio, still cackling over that one as they light up their Churchills with C-notes.

It will be interesting to see whether Fazio can have any positive effect on this bunch of confused scramblers playing defense for the Purple. Explanations for the ineptitude of the unit vary: 1.) they have suffered too many injuries; 2.) they haven't played together long enough; 3.) they are not as talented as advertised, and/or; 4.) Ted Cottrell is not a defensive genius but, rather, a bozo. The problems are surely a combination of some or all of these factors, but the real question is whether the addition of Foge Fazio will provide insight and analysis which translates into real help, or just one more cook stirring a horrid Purple soup which is beyond redemption?

Fortunately, the next two weeks provide a training wheels opportunity against our hapless counterparts in the Central Division. We shall see if the new additions can get the Vikings up and running again. 

 

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