Tag:Visanthe Shiancoe
Posted on: October 6, 2010 10:20 am
 

How Moss trade will affect Minnesota

P. Harvin will get more help when R. Moss joins Minnesota this week (AP). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

If this wasn’t the surest indication that the Vikings want to win the Super Bowl RIGHT THIS VERY SECOND, today’s trade for Randy Moss – without a new contract deal in place mind you, meaning Minnesota could have traded its third-round pick in 2011 (and maybe more, say some reports) for a 13-game rental – is the latest confirmation.

Of course, you could have said the same thing each time coach Brad Childress – or any of his players – flew to Minnesota basically to beg Favre to return for his 20th season.

But the fact Moss will be in a Vikings uniform, that will certainly help a Vikings offense that ranks 24th in the NFL in the passing game (and 16th in offense overall).

Even with Favre returning, the Minnesota pass game has been very unimpressive. Sidney Rice, Favre’s favorite target last year when Favre had one of the best seasons of his career, is out until at least midway through the season (and maybe longer) while recovering from hip surgery.

Percy Harvin – who’s struggled with migraine headaches all season – hasn’t done much, and Bernard Berrian has been even worse. In all, the only receiver Favre seems to trust is TE Visanthe Shiancoe.

Plus, Favre is playing like a 40-year-old man.

But because Moss can stretch the field vertically – similar to what Rice can do – that should help Harvin in running his underneath routes.

A deep threat in Moss also should serve to help the running game and Adrian Peterson. The running game has been good so far – it ranks fifth in the league – but with Moss on the field, the opposing safeties will have to worry about him and Peterson, and since they can’t play the pass and play the rush at the same time, that only will help Minnesota’s offense.

One unknown in this scenario is whether the Vikings can give Moss the contract extension he wants – some reports say he wants as much as $10 million a season. But since it seems they’re going for it all right now, that might not matter. It’s Super Bowl or bust for the Vikings, and Moss' performance and attitude could make or break that movement.

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Posted on: September 23, 2010 10:48 pm
 

Favre knows this: Vikings offense is struggling

B. Favre said today he'd be lying if he knew exactly what was going on with Minnesota's offense (AP). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Brett Favre has pretty good self-awareness. At least as it relates to today’s weekly news conference with the Twin Cities media.

Entirely appropriate for the starting quarterback of a heavily-hyped squad that so far hasn’t won a game and has led an offense that’s been crappy thus far, Favre said the Vikings offense wasn’t exactly clicking on the field. In fact, he painted a pretty bad picture.

"If I sat here and told you that I knew exactly what we're doing right now I'd be lying," Favre said in remarks transcribed by the Minneapolis Star Tribune. "A lot of work is left and it will be an ongoing process until we have our unit how we want to go about things and we’re not there yet.”

That first statement has got to be brutal if you’re a Minnesota fan, and there are a couple of reasons it appears Favre doesn’t seem to know what’s going on.

No. 1, this is what happens sometimes when you miss large portions of training camp. He’s gotten away with it in years past, because he’s such a good freakin’ quarterback. But he’s 40 years old now, and maybe he’s lost a little bit of that magic.

No. 2, the fact Sidney Rice, his favorite target last year, isn’t around is killing him. Plus, Percy Harvin hasn’t been healthy, and Bernard Berrian has been a ghost. For some reason, Greg Camarillo isn’t seeing passes thrown his way, and the only receiver Favre seems to trust at this point is TE Visanthe Shiancoe.
 
So, does Favre have any words that will soothe the wounds of the Vikings supporters? Can he be optimistic, throw a little of that Favre gumption out there to make everybody feel a little better?

Um, not really.

"It’s hard to be patient and try to get this puzzle pieced together, because we’re doing it as we play," said Favre, who was limited in practice today. "Next week, it could be different. The following week, it could be different. Who knows?"

See, Vikings fans, everything is going to be OK. Or not. Who knows, indeed.

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Posted on: September 20, 2010 12:13 am
 

Vincent Jackson, Vikings still in rumor mill

B. Favre clearly misses the contributions of S. Rice, who's out for at least half the year after hip surgery (Getty). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Without Sidney Rice, the Vikings WR corps is worse than I could have imagined. Percy Harvin is playing with a hip injury and has had minimal impact the first two games of the season. Bernard Berrian has been invisible. Greg Camarillo has two catches in two games.

In fact, the only receiver QB Brett Favre seems to trust is TE Visanthe Shiancoe.

Which is why the Vincent-Jackson-to-the-Vikings rumors live on.

As Will pointed out Saturday , San Diego trading Jackson to Minnesota would make sense, even if San Diego doesn’t really want to trade him (I guess, then, it wouldn’t make that much sense for everybody).

But with another mediocre performance by the Vikings receivers during the team’s 14-10 loss to Miami that dropped them to 0-2 on the season, the possibility of acquiring Jackson is looking like a pretty good idea. Especially since Jackson’s six-game suspension would be cut to four games if he’s traded by 3 p.m. Wednesday.

"It's not for me to decide," Favre told the media after the game, including the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. "I've heard the talk just like everyone else. I'll tell you the same thing I tell everyone else: you know as much as I know. All I know is we got to get better with the guys we have in the room. I can't speak for other guys that are not here."

But playing without the 6-4 Rice, that makes life a little more difficult for Minnesota.

"We're running basically the same plays," Harvin said. "It's just sometimes when you have a 6-5 receiver you can just throw it up to him – whether he's covered or not – and he can make a play. From that standpoint, we won't be able to fix that or find another receiver to replace him. We just have to come up with different schemes to try and get people open."

Funny, 6-5 is exactly how tall Jackson is. Hmm.

Expect a decision from the Vikings front office to be made in the next few days. It’ll depend on money concerns and on character, and it’ll depend if team management thinks it can wait for Rice to return at mid-season before the offense (maybe) kicks into gear.

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Posted on: August 18, 2010 10:24 am
 

How much more $ will Favre make this year?

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

We haven’t posted anything on Brett Favre in, oh, about 17 hours. Which is a blatant violation of the Facts & Rumors mission statement (the punishment, of course, is having to wear Wranglers out in public for two hours). So, that’s our bad. And to make up for it, here’s a new Favre post even though he hasn’t done anything new since Tuesday.

There’s been some talk about how much more money Favre will receive from the Vikings to play this season. Originally, that number was a $7 million raise from $13 million to $20 million. Now, says Judd Zulgad of the Minneapolis Star Tribune , that number might be closer to a $16.5 million base (and another possibility for $3.5 million of incentives thrown into the mix to reach, you guessed it, $20 million).

Of course, Favre says it’s not about the money, and maybe that’s true for him. But it’s not for the rest of his teammates. Kevin Seifert of ESPN.com makes a good point when he writes there are plenty of other Vikings who want a pay increase as well.

(It’s) a team that has three starters entering the final years of their contracts: linebackers Chad Greenway and Ben Leber, along with defensive end Ray Edwards. No known discussions are underway with any of those players, nor do the Vikings appear close to deals with another trio of players who have made noise about a possible extension, including running back Adrian Peterson, receiver Sidney Rice and tight end Visanthe Shiancoe.

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Posted on: August 4, 2010 2:12 pm
Edited on: August 4, 2010 2:35 pm
 

Favre says he's still undecided

B. Favre's ankle seems to be fine as he jumps during an Oak Grove High School practice in Mississippi on Wednesday morning (AP). Vikings QB Brett Favre took to the field at Oak Grove High School in Hattiesburg, Miss., on Wednesday morning to throw to high school receivers and to continue working out on his surgically-repaired ankle.

A day after the universe nearly crashed – and the Minneapolis Star-Tribune’s Web site actually did – when it was reported that Favre had sent text messages to teammates telling them he planned to retire, the 40-year-old told reporters, including the Star-Trib , he still hasn’t decided what he’ll do.

He said the money he could make (the Vikings have offered a $20 million deal, $16 million guaranteed) wouldn’t be a factor in his decision. He also said he hadn’t texted his teammates any news, though TE Visanthe Shiancoe already had disputed Favre’s claim.

Responded Favre: “That’s Shank. That’s why I love him.”

According to reports, Favre briefly threw on the practice field but spent most of his day tutoring the Oak Grove players. He didn’t run on his own.
B. Favre while talking to reporters on Wednesday (AP).
Favre’s agent, Bus Cook, spoke to the NFL Network and said, "As far as Brett is concerned, in spite of reports to the contrary, Brett's situation has nothing to do with his contract, but everything to do with his health and ability to contribute to that team and play at a level that he has been accustomed to playing over the years.”

So, basically nobody knows anything yet. Which with Favre, shouldn’t come as a shock.

  And if you’re tired of all this will-he-or-won’t-he-play Favre news, we have a change of piece for you, albeit news that should be labeled NSFW for language and sexual connotation. According to deadspin.com , Favre sent lewd text messages to Jenn Sterger, who you probably know best for pictures like these (these are relatively safe for work).

I’ll say this about the story. It doesn’t reflect real well on the married Favre.

--Josh Katzowitz

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Posted on: August 4, 2010 9:57 am
 

Vikings offer Favre even more money

We’ll go ahead and get this Brett Favre update out of the way, as well. Which I’m sure will be just fine with you.

According to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune , the Vikings have put together a compensation package that would give Favre $20 million to play this season – a significant raise from the $13 million he already was scheduled to make. Apparently, $16 million would be guaranteed and the other $4 million would come in the form of incentives.

Though Minnesota coach Brad Childress pled ignorance during his Tuesday news conference, Judd Zulgad writes “Vikings tight end Visanthe Shiancoe admitted Favre had ‘told a couple of guys on the team that he was going to retire,’ but the Biloxi (Miss.) Sun Herald reported an unnamed person close to Favre's family said he hadn't made a decision whether to play a second season with the Vikings.”

I know this is easy to say from the outside, but at some point, shouldn’t the Vikings say, “Screw it. Enough is enough. Thirteen million dollars is plenty. If you’re going to continue to jerk us around, forget it. We’ll go with Tarvaris Jackson. You stay retired, Brett.”

OK, that won’t happen, but would anybody blame Minnesota if it took that tact?

--Josh Katzowitz

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Posted on: July 15, 2010 12:26 pm
Edited on: July 15, 2010 3:29 pm
 

Position rankings: tight ends

A. Gates makes a TD catch against Cincinnati last year (Getty). Josh Katzowitz and Andy Benoit resume their debate, with today’s focus on tight ends.

Josh Katzowitz's top five

5. Vernon Davis, 49ers

4. Dallas Clark, Colts

3. Jason Witten, Cowboys

2. Antonio Gates, Chargers

1. Tony Gonzalez, Falcons

To pick a top-five list of tight ends, you can go the easy route or you can get it right. It’d be easy to sit back, click on last year’s receiving stats and pick the tight ends who had the most catches and/or touchdowns. But it’s not just about pass-catching ability. You also have to block the defensive end, linebacker or blitzing safety. Duality is important. You can make a lot of money catching passes as a TE, but that doesn’t mean you’re necessarily top-five in my eyes.

Gonzalez isn’t only top-five currently; he’s top-five all time. Heck, he might be No. 1 all-time, and even though he’s 34, he’s found new life with the Falcons. He’s been catching and blocking well since 1997.

Gates has grown into his TE role. He’s 6-foot-4 and 260 pounds – who can defend him? Not a linebacker – he’s too fast for him. Not a safety – he’s too big for him. Who then? Defenders have to hope that maybe the plantar fasciitis from which Gates is suffering will slow him.

I really like Witten. He blocks well in the run game, he catches a higher percentage of the passes that are thrown to him than just about any other tight end and he’s made the Pro Bowl six years running.  Dallas Clark had 100 receptions last year. That’s just impressive. Vernon Davis has great blocking skills to go with his ’09 78-catch, 13-touchdown season. The No. 5 spot was between him and Kellen Winslow, but ultimately, I like Davis’ consistency just a little more.

Andy Benoit's top five

5. Dallas Clark, Colts

4. Owen Daniels, Texans

3. Vernon Davis, 49ers

2. Tony Gonzalez, Falcons

1. Antonio Gates, Chargers


Tight end is one of the most difficult positions to rank. We’re basically in agreement on Gates and Gonzalez. Gates might be the greatest mismatch exploiter in the NFL. And you’re right about Gonzalez’s blocking. Vernon Davis is a monster athlete. He’s not the most natural all-around receiver – changing direction as a route runner and tracking off-target passes can challenge him at times – but he is far and away the best seams weapon in the sport. Mike Singletary has called Davis the best blocking tight end he’s seen. That’s a little hyperbolized, but only a little.

Most people will think I’m a joke for leaving Witten off. To be honest, I feel like a joke. But Clark is a lynchpin in arguably the best offense in football, and I can’t have a top five list without Daniels. He has become the best pass-catching tight end in football. Privately, I’ve heard a few well-known, universally-respected NFL analysts say he is THE best tight end – period. He is coming off major knee surgery, though.

I’m going to give you a prediction: by this time next year, every intelligent football observer will have Packers tight end Jermichael Finley No. 1 on their list. Finley is Gates with more size and athleticism.

Josh’s rebuttal

So, you’ll see my Bobbie Williams, my Jon Stinchcomb and my Manny Lawson, and you’ll raise me a Jason Witten. A bold move, my friend. Obviously, I don’t agree with you excluding Witten – at the very, very least, I’d pick him over Clark – but I don’t think you’re a joke. Maybe a pun that isn’t very funny, but not a joke. Honestly, I think Daniels is a sturdy pass-catcher, but his blocking is too much of a factor (or a non-factor) for me to consider him a top-five guy.

Andy’s final word

I’m fine with criticism of Daniels’s blocking, but in Houston’s system, it really doesn’t matter. Since we’re on the topic, I’ll take this opportunity to give props to Broncos veteran Daniel Graham, who is far and away the best blocking tight end in the NFL. And Kellen Winslow, who Josh mentioned earlier, is the league’s best route-running tight end.

To anyone out there who feels the urge to say “Hey! What about Brent Celek?!” or “Hey! Aren’t you forgetting Visanthe Shiancoe!?”, save it. Both players are classic examples of guys who benefit from having stars around them. Celek gets to operate against linebackers on just about every snap, and Shiancoe is primarily Brett Favre’s dumpoff option.

I’ve also noticed that Steeler fans are particularly sensitive about Heath Miller. Yes, Miller has soft hands and he’s incredibly sound fundamentally, but he’s also the fourth option in Pittsburgh’s offense. Just to finish things off, don’t try to sell Chris Cooley, either. Josh and I both put a better version of Cooley on our list, called Dallas Clark.

--Josh Katzowitz and Andy Benoit

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Posted on: June 28, 2010 8:13 pm
 

Shiancoe Wants a New Contract in Minnesota

Pro Football Weekly says that Vikings tight end Visanthe Shiancoe wants a new contract. The eighth-year pro wants to be paid Top Five tight end money. Shiancoe has two years remaining on the contract that agent Tony Agnone got him, but he has since replaced Agnone with Drew Rosenhaus. Rosenhaus is notorious for seeking new deals for players who have multiple years remaining on their current deals.

A new contract for Shiancoe is not believed to be imminent, but Rosenhaus and the Vikings are talking. Undoubtedly, the Vikings will at some point tell Rosenhaus that his client is not a top five player at his position. Rosenhaus already knows this; it’s his job to spin the facts and make the Vikings realize that, in their system, Shiancoe IS a Top Five tight end because he’s the movable chess piece that creates mismatches in the passing game. Stay tuned.

--Andy Benoit

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