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Start Bollinger next week...provided his shoulder still hurts (12/27/2006)
By John Edstrom

Well fans, somewhere at home there is a sheet of paper with copious notes from last Thursday's disgusting spectacle of Viking impotence. This piece will be written without the benefit of any reference thereto. Also, somewhere, Brad Johnson is smirking broadly, but privately, gentleman that he is. It must now be acknowledged that Tarvaris Johnson is not magic, and that Brad Childress' offense is a worse than useless thing, laughed to scorn by the very least of NFL defenses. And it appears that the league has Mike Tomlin's defense pretty well translated also.

I do not like the prospect of the next few years, with Mr. Wilf holding forth in the press as to his undying loyalty and unshaken commitment to the Childress regime. The offense has regressed since the Seattle game. If any fan of the Purple can predict what unimaginative, ineffective play Childress will call next, what challenge is there for an NFL defensive coordinator? How is the man going to get the best out of his players when he handles them as shabbily as he did Brad Johnson and Marcus Robinson, the latter his most effective receiver in a passing offense that wouldn't pass muster at the college level?

I fear next year will be a slow- motion cavalcade of disappointments, defeats, humiliations, repeated, (but each less convincing than the last), declarations of faith, and then another regime change as the 2007/8 season comes down like a house collapsing in flames. And then the question: has Zygmunt Wilf learned anything from all this, as he goes about his reconstruction project?

This is too awful to think about. Let us put a positive spin on it, that Brad Childress is wilier than anyone thinks, and realizes that, with the season shot in the pants anyhow, his best course is to angle for the highest draft choice possible. Purple playoff hopes have disintegrated so rapidly that many of the faithful have not yet realized how near the bottom of the league their record stands. The only teams sure to draft ahead of Minnesota are Detroit, Tampa Bay, Cleveland, and Oakland. Surely there has got to be a blue chip receiver available at this rarified position.

I therefore look forward to Tarvaris Johnson starting against the Rams next week. Or how about Brooks Bollinger, provided his shoulder has not healed yet? 


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