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John Carlson trying to move past 2012 “debacle”

John Carlson, Harrison Smith AP

Before the 2012 season, the Vikings envisioned getting a lot of production from their pair of tight ends in the passing game.

They got half of what they were looking for as Kyle Rudolph turned in a Pro Bowl season as a reliable and frequent target for Christian Ponder. His 53 catches ranked second on the team and were 45 more catches than John Carlson had after signing a five-year, $25 million contract with the Vikes as a free agent during the offseason.

Carlson missed the entire 2011 season because of a shoulder injury and dealt with a knee issue and a concussion during his dismal 2012 season, but he isn’t willing to say that injuries were the reason for his unproductive campaign. Which doesn’t mean he has a firm handle on what did go wrong.

“I don’t have an answer for you. If I knew, I would have tried … I did try to rectify the situation,” Carlson said, via Bob Sansevere of the Pioneer Press. “It never┬ácame together. Missing that time in camp wasn’t good because they didn’t get a feel for what I’m capable of doing. And I didn’t get a feel for the offense and the way Christian (Ponder) throws the ball, and how to run-block. It was a debacle. I’m thankful to be out here and be healthy and have another opportunity.”

Carlson, who took a pay cut in order to stick around for that second opportunity, is now three years removed from back-to-back 50-plus catch seasons with the Seahawks so it’s probably a stretch to expect him to match Rudolph’s production as a receiver. There’s a lot of room between that kind of output and what Carlson turned in last season, however, and something in the middle would be a welcome addition to the Vikings attack in the 2013 season.

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19 Responses to “John Carlson trying to move past 2012 “debacle””
  1. obsessedvikingfan says: Jun 19, 2013 8:54 AM

    If he is half as good as Kyle Rudolph, they will be the best TE Duo in football.

  2. floratiotime says: Jun 19, 2013 8:57 AM

    Free agents can be busts too you know.

  3. tjacks7 says: Jun 19, 2013 8:57 AM

    He should have to pay back most of that roughly $5,000,000. I’d say he was absolutely terrible and useless, except even worse than that.

  4. Rick Spielman is a Magician says: Jun 19, 2013 9:05 AM

    That was a bad move by Spielman last year. Hey, they can’t all be gems.

    Now that he’s taken a pay cut and is healthy, Carlson should be able to perform up to his contract. Still, I expect Rudolph to take another step forward to elite status this year.

  5. purplepride74 says: Jun 19, 2013 9:18 AM

    It’s a good thing he has his family’s travel agency to fall back on…

  6. filthymcnasty1 says: Jun 19, 2013 9:19 AM

    I agree with Carlson. The Viking 2012 season was a debacle, just like every other season in their history.

  7. brewdogg says: Jun 19, 2013 9:35 AM

    And given the state of the WR core, effective two-TE sets could be very helpful. I hope Carlson can get back to the type of effectiveness he displayed early in his career.

  8. painsyndicate says: Jun 19, 2013 9:42 AM

    Carlson should be able to come in under the radar and level some opportunistic damage against the Vike’s opponents this year. He should see favorable matchups whenever he is on the field. Best of luck John.

  9. kcflake says: Jun 19, 2013 9:53 AM

    I am glad the Chiefs lost out on signing John Carlson 2 years ago.

  10. GenXJay says: Jun 19, 2013 9:56 AM

    Should’ve just traded him to packers for Bishop.
    Vikes don’t NEED him.

  11. panthrobro says: Jun 19, 2013 9:57 AM

    Just another example of John Schneider owning Rick Spielman

  12. whatjusthapped says: Jun 19, 2013 10:11 AM

    Wait, hold the presses. Do you mean to tell us that the Vikings signed a FA with hopes of big production and ended up holding the bag?

    Between Berriman, Simpson and now Carlson, you would think the Vikings have learned a lesson and would avoid other team’s high priced FA’s, especially those coming off injury plagued years. Well the lesson still hasn’t been learned as evidence that they signed Jennings.

    What is missed in all this wasted time, money and roster spots is the fact that a good Qb can make his receivers look better than they really are. What the Vikings need isn’t another high priced FA, its someone that can throw the ball.

  13. purpleguy says: Jun 19, 2013 11:06 AM

    Good luck playing behind Rudolph — he better learn to block.

  14. Frazier28/7 says: Jun 19, 2013 11:07 AM

    Yea, going 10-6 after 3-13 with a 2,000 RB coming off a major knee injury sure was a debacle…

    some people are getting desperate across the river

  15. petewilburn says: Jun 19, 2013 11:27 AM

    Maybe after another year with the Vikings he can make his way back up to the Seahawks. I’m rooting for him, but he has a few things he needs to work on.

  16. gbmickey says: Jun 19, 2013 4:20 PM

    Hey Rick S. what about the quality signing of Simpson?

  17. valhalla2013 says: Jun 19, 2013 4:24 PM

    Look at the bright side… at least he didn’t shoot someone in the face and be questioned by police in a current homicide investigation.

  18. urcrap says: Jun 19, 2013 9:23 PM

    Back in the good ole days we wouldn’t know of all of this injury b s.. Sick of reading all these b s posts about every little snotty nose NFL big baby. Rub some dirt on it and step up and earn your checks or get a real JOB!

  19. bobnelsonjr says: Jun 20, 2013 2:29 AM

    Carlson was the best free agent signing last year.

    It enabled the vikings to run the 2 TE offense which was all the talk of the town as being “unstoppable” and no WR’s were needed.

    I have no idea why they wanted so many WR’s this year because they still have the same QB and the same offense.

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