Let’s start with some mad love for Christopher Gates from dailynorseman.com. The guy was SUPER quick on the draw in getting us some info on Case Keenum. Want more takes on their fanbase and their thoughts on this move? Hop on over and see what they have to say.
Now, onto the goods. For many of you (if you are like me, you didn’t follow a ton of the Vikings games), these insights should be very interesting and insightful:
1) Is Case Keenum the guy we saw in 2017 or the guy who mostly floundered with the Texans and the Rams?
I don’t know if he’s going to be able to approach what he did in 2017 again, but I think he’s closer to being that guy than he is to being the guy that we saw in St. Louis/Los Angeles and Houston. In Houston he got eight starts for a team that went 2-14 in 2013, and with the Rams he was stuck with Jeff Fisher as his head coach.
As we’ve seen from the performance of not only Keenum, but Nick Foles and Jared Goff, having Jeff Fisher as your head coach isn’t a situation that you should wish on any young quarterback.
Keenum obviously has talent, and it remains to be seen if the Broncos will be able to maximize his talent. I’m not completely knowledgeable about what the coaching situation is in Denver or how their offensive scheme is different from what the Vikings did in 2017, but hopefully their coaches will be flexible enough to do that.
2) What kind of leader is Keenum and how did he seem from a locker room perspective?
The team seemed to rally behind Keenum when he took over in Week 2. The Vikings have had so much uncertainty at the quarterback position over the past few years, and it looked to be more of the same when Sam Bradford was lost after the season opener and Keenum was thrown into the breach. I certainly don’t think his leadership ability is in question. From the reports I’ve been seeing, everyone in the locker room loved him, too. I’m sure that winning 12 of his 16 starts had something to do with that, but Keenum seems like a genuinely decent guy and is someone that his teammates certainly came to respect after a while.
3) What are his weaknesses and limitations as a QB?
His weaknesses come from his decision making. He’ll tend to have a couple of throws every game that you’ll look at and ask yourself, “What the hell was he looking at there?”
He benefited greatly, in my opinion, from having a pair of wide receivers in Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen that were both ranked in the top five by Pro Football Focus in making contested catches. Between those two guys and tight end Kyle Rudolph, the Vikings’ receivers came down with a lot of 50/50 types of passes this past season that other receivers might not have been so fortunate with.
If the Broncos can’t produce that kind of success when Keenum is throwing into tight windows, it’s going to be hard for him to replicate the success he had this past season.
4) What QB skills does he do really well?
Keenum never really seems to get flustered, no matter how things are going. Coupled with that is the fact that he was a bit of a magician this year when it came to avoiding sacks. There were several situations where it appeared that an opposing defense had Keenum caught behind the line of scrimmage, and Keenum would not only manage to escape, but keep the play going and get an accurate throw downfield to an open receiver.
Keenum’s improvisational skills are probably his greatest strength, and while it isn’t something you can really build an offense around, it’s still a nice skill for your quarterback to have.
5) If the story was different and your team didn’t have as much cap space to chase Cousins, would you have been happy for Keenum to be named your starter for the next 2 years and why or why not?
Yeah, I think I probably would have been. Again, he had established a pretty solid rapport with his receiving corps to this point, and those guys are all going to be around for a while. The Vikings will continue to upgrade on the offensive line, and it would have been interesting to see how Keenum would have developed under new Offensive Coordinator John DeFilippo in Minnesota. I would have wanted the Vikings to have a solid backup behind him in case he couldn’t quite get back to the level he showed this past season, but I think he could have remained a solid quarterback had he stayed in Minnesota rather than moving on.