First off I want to apologize for accidently erasing my fanpost on this subject, because with that also was erased the comments from my fellow Viking fans. I had forgotten to write about Darius Raynuad and when I went to edit to enter him in, I instead erased the whole thing. So if you'll forgive me I would like to atleast summarize what I had posted.
Back in the late 90's and early this decade our Minnesota Vikings had the best receiving core in the NFL ( sorry "greatest show on turf" you were a close second), but age, attitudes, contracts expiring, off the field troubles and Coach Childress new standard of accountability depleted that core. By Chilly's 2nd season the cupboard was now empty and the rebuilding process had begun.
The Vikings started off by signing free agent Bobby Wade, and then selecting 3 WRs in the draft: Sidney Rice (2nd rd.), Andre Allison (5th rd.), and Charlie williams (7th rd., who would not make the team).The Vikings also brought in free agent TE Vishante Shancoe from the Giants. The following year the Vikings signed away Bernard Berrian from our hated rivals dabears, and then select Jarmar Johnson (6th rd.) in the draft. Undrafted Darius Raynuad made the practice squad and would later be signed to the active roster. This years offseason would see the Vikings bring in free agent Glen Holt, and to much a surprise the first round pick of Percy Harvin.
As we look ahead to this upcoming season, we have a lot forward to in our passing offense and the KOA finally coming to life; here's why...
After giving Randy Moss away a few years ago, our passing game finally has a #1 WR in Bernard Berrian. To be honest, he surprised me with his route running skills and elusiveness in the open field. Berrian led the league in yards per catch (20+) and made many big plays for us last season. With a year of experiance in this offense under his belt; we should expect even bigger things from him this year, even with defenses aware of him now, they will be reluctant to double him with AD in the backfield and the added talent lining up across from him.
Bobby Wade: What more can you say about this guy? He's undersized, not fast, but yet all he has done is lead the Vikings in receptions since he has suited up in Purple and Gold. What he lacks athletically, he makes up for in hustle and heart. He is an excellent blocker and a consumate team player, and a great role model for the younger receivers.
Sidney Rice: After teasing us his rookie year with some amazing catches, his progress was hampered last year with a knee injury in week two and he never fully recovered. Now with time to heal and working hard this offseason, we expect Rice to take that next step to be the player he was drafted to be.
Now our Wildcard: Percy Harvin. I was a little shocked when I heard his name called on draft day, because he was considered a risk, but I was also elated because this young man has some skills on the football field. He is explosive and brings playmaking ability that defenses are going to have to account for him every time he is on the field. He may take playing time away from Wade but because of his speed he will spread defenses out when he is on the field or they will pay.
The follwing WRs are fighting for the last active roster spot and this is a good thing, the Vikings had not had legitimate competition at WR in sometime and this is a welcomed "problem".
Glen Holt is the most experienced of the bunch but he was bruoght in solely for STs purposes, mainly kick and punt return duties.
Andre Allison had a great rookie year on STs and follow up with a great training camp last year but none of that translated onto the field and he saw hi playing time reduced significately. He has potential and can be a real good player for our Vikings but can he step up and do it on a consistant basis?
My Darkhorse of the group is Jarmar Johnson. After being drafted last year, he spent the whole year on the practice squad. He has been a man on a mission ever since gaining 18 lbs of muscle to his the thin frame. He came into the league as one of the fastest players and he now has explosiveness with that added strength. He is not only fast but he can catch and from early reports it looks like he may win the punt return job.
Darius Raynaud: After going undrafted, he made the practice squad and eventually beat out free agent Maurice Hicks for kick return duties and replaced him on the active roster. He is shifty and has moves to make people miss but is there room for him to make the team?
I personally am excited about this coming year because of the improvement of talent in our passing offense, which had been lacking and with the new wrinkles from the Loki being thrown in there it finally looks like the KOA is going to be in high gear! Now if we can get a certain someone to put away his farm tools to toss the pigskin for us...
Note to the NFL: The Vikings are coming! Que viva los Vikings!!!