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  Monday January 26th, 2015    

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Things were looking bleak...
and then Mike Tomlin left
By John Edstrom

Well fans, things were looking bleak and then Pittsburgh went and hired away Mike Tomlin. Now what? Tomlin showed a great deal of promise, but his defense had a long way to go. Who will the Purple get, and what reason is there for optimism, given the of creativity and imagination shown by Brad Childress in designing and running his offense this year? Childress will have to be given at least another year to prove himself, but nothing I have seen gives me any hope that next year will be any different than this year, except that it will be difficult to hire a new defensive coordinator who shows as much promise as Tomlin.

The next one will probably come from the Vikings organization, based on what I am reading, either defensive line coach Karl Dunbar, or linebacker coach Fred Pagac. I'm can't imagine why Dunbar, whose defensive line was incapable of mounting any kind of pass rush, despite being stocked with high first round draft picks, would be chosen over Pagac. The latter took the linebacking corps, a perennial weakness, and turned it into a strength, getting strong performances from Napoleon Harris and E.J. Henderson, both of whom had underperformed the year before. He is the logical choice, and so, will probably be passed over. We shall see.

The next big test will be the 2007 draft. I didn't think the Vikes did at all well last year, but we have yet to see what Chad Greenway, Ryan Cook, and Tarvaris Jackson can do. If they pan out, together with the success of Cedric Griffin, Greg Blue, and Ray Edwards, 2006 will deserve to be rated an excellent draft. There is plenty of room for it to go either way. This April, the Purple brain trust will almost have to go for a wideout in the first round, and there should be good ones available. It will be interesting to see how they do.

It is hard not to bet on Tony Dungy and the Colts in the Super Bowl. Destiny would appear to be on Dungy's side, and Lovey Smith can always say, "ain't no disaster to be beaten by your master." On the other hand, a team with as good a defense as the Bears have will always have a chance to beat a good offense, particularly with Peyton Manning exhibiting a streaky tendency of late. 


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