I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and are rested and ready for another exciting weekend of NFL football. This week, however, instead of running out that rag tag group that led the Vikings to their current 2-8 record they should run out the Minnesota Twins, dressed in pads. These guys are more than capable of the “Suck for Luck” style of play currently being taught over at Winter Park.
And here they are, your 2011 Minnesota Vikewins:
Quarterback: The current version of the Minnesota Vikings is deploying a rookie QB from Florida State. Since we’re already living in an alternate reality for this exercise, it’s safe to assume that another potential QB from Florida State would lead the Vikewins. I’m talking about Joe Mauer, who prior to being drafted by the Minnesota Twins was scheduled to head to Tallahassee to suit up at quarterback for the Seminoles. Mauer’s knees could be a liability as he scrambles around the pocket, but he still has a rocket arm and pin point accuracy after spending the last 10 years throwing out runners at second base.
Running Back: I never thought I’d say this, but it sure would be nice to have Delmon Young back! His size and strength would have been a great asset to this Vikewins team. With Young out of the picture, the next best candidate for running back is Jason Kubel. I think the Twins will eventually sign Kubel to a 3-5 year deal to remain in Minnesota and the size and strength he has demonstrated in right field will serve him well in the Vikewins’ backfield. He isn’t going to run away from anyone, but he will fight for yards up the middle and help wear opposing defenses down.
Tight End: The Twins’ newest ultra utility man Ryan Doumit is a perfect fit at Tight End. He’s got good size, he can catch a little bit, and he has decent power. As a tight end his pass catching and blocking versatility will be important to help keep the offense balanced.
Wide Receivers: Denard Span and the speedy Joe Benson will be the primary pass catchers for the Vikewins. Span has great range in the outfield that will translate well to the gridiron, and he runs great routes which will help him be open more often than not. Joe Benson is a straight burner. He’s going to be the primary deep threat against any defense and in man to man situations he’ll be running wild against slower defensive backs. Combined with Ryan Doumit’s catching ability this team will have plenty of options through the air.
Offensive Line: Jose Mijares, Matt Capps, Alex Burnett. Assuming the Twins can get Capps back at a reduced rate, these three guys will really clog up the middle of the field. They’re all big guys with strong legs that will help them push defenders back. They won’t have much use for a fastball or slider, but let’s be honest, they weren’t particularly effective for the Twins either.
Defensive Line: They aren’t on the 40 man roster, but Phil Dumatrait and Brian Dinkelman would be great on the defensive line. Neither of these guys possess a ton of skill and project as fringe major leaguers, but each guy was called into service in 2011 and were able to make the most of their appearances with the big league club. Look for more of the same here with Dumatrait and Dinkelman each using an offspeed rush to get after the quarterback.
Linebacker: Glen Perkins and Brian Duensing are going to anchor the defensive unit. Both guys have plenty of major league experience playing a variety of roles. Their ability to transition between starting and relieving will help them switch between pass and run coverage for the Vikewins defense.
Cornerback: Ben Revere was made to play cornerback. A little undersize as a wide receiver, Revere’s speed and jumping ability will help him cover even the biggest receiver. Move over Darrelle Revis, Ben Revere just became the best cover man in the NFL. The Vikewins will also run out Alexi Casilla at cornerback, but they don’t expect he’ll be a long term solution there.
Safety: The best safetys always seem to be older veterans who have tons of experience but maybe have lost a step or two and are not quite quick enough to keep playing corner. Their knowledge of the game and wisdom helps them read offenses and they always seem to be in the right position to help make a key defensive stop. For the Vikewins that guy is Carl Pavano. This wily wold veteran knows how to keep his team in games and, despite battling injuries early in his career, he has been a dependable guy week in and week out for the last couple of years.
Kicker: Joe Nathan would have been a no brainer here a week ago. His ability to be at his best under the most pressure would have made him exceptional in late game situations when the team turned to him to help seal a victory. In his absence the Vikewins will need to look outside the organization for someone with the right combination of skills and experience to take over this role.
That’s it. There you have it, a team guaranteed to be no worse than the current version of the Minnesota Vikings and just as entertaining.
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Topics: Alex Burnett, Alexi Casilla, Ben Revere, Brian Dinkelman, Brian Duensing, Carl Pavano, Delmon Young, Denard Span, Glen Perkins, Jason Kubel, Joe Benson, Joe Mauer, Joe Nathan, Jose Mijares, Matt Capps, Phil Dumatrait, Ryan Doumit