We are inside a month until training camp opens, and although the Vikings enter 2010 as one of the NFC's favorites to go to the Super Bowl, there are a list of questions that need to be answered. Well, first they need to be asked. So, let's ask them, and then we'll answer them!!
I've got five for today, and then five for tomorrow. And hey, if there's a question that isn't on the list, ask it, and let the members of DN answer it. Or, you can do like me and answer it yourself.
1. Can Favre repeat his 2009 performance?
It’s July, so let’s get out the tired storylines: He’s too old, he’s going to get hurt, he can’t keep producing, and he’s going to throw a lot of picks. We all heard it, we all said it, and until he came to Minnesota, most of us hoped for it. Don’t lie, you know you did. I’m done doubting him. The guy can flat out play, and if he can’t be knocked out of the NFC Championship after the beating he was taking, it’s just not going to happen. He knows the offense cold, he has the best running back in the game, and talented receivers four deep. The schedule is tougher, and the TD:Int ratio probably won’t stay at 33:9, but Favre is the least of the Vikings problems entering 2010.
2. Is the o-line healthy?
The interior of the Vikings offensive line was in flux all season. Steve Hutchinson had a shoulder injury that he played through, but it affected his performance. John Sullivan was trying to fill the enormous shoes of Matt Birk, rookie Phil Loadholt was starting at right tackle, and scrapper Anthony Herrera was dealing with nagging injuries as well. The play of the offensive line suffered, which caused the Vikings rushing attack to falter at times, and exposed Favre to some hard hits. Hutch and Herrera are healthy, and Sullivan and Loadholt are no longer rookies. The line will be better, and it will make the offense better, mark my words.
Let me say a couple of things here. First, (and I’ve said this before) if one of the biggest question marks from an offensive standpoint is whether or not your new backup running back can play as well as your old backup running back, you’re in pretty good shape offensively. Chester Taylor was a great role player for the Vikings, and I expect Toby Gerhart will be the same. Gerhart is a different type of player than Taylor, and I think we will see him in more than third down situations. I like the potential he brings to the offense, and will make an explosive unit even better.
4. Is Ray Edwards going to sign an extension?
Yeah, he probably will. I think what most people overlook in this whole deal isn’t Ray’s beef with the Vikings, it was his beef with the situation he found himself in. He went from an unrestricted free agent to a restricted free agent, and probably lost money in the process. After his post-season performance, someone would’ve given him a good contract. He’s still making great money, almost a 100% pay raise, but he needs to play one more season until a big contract or contract extension. Unless, of courser, there’s no football in 2011. Or Everson Griffen beats himn out of a job.
5. Will the WIlliams Wall stand for 2010?
Reports of the demise of the Vikings defensive line have been greatly exaggerated. Kevin and Pat Williams journey through the legal system continues, and based on certain rulings, they will most likely get to play the entire 2010 season. That’s a good thing, because as good as Jared Allen is, they are the heart and soul of the defense, and without their ability to take away the run, the Vikings defense isn’t nearly as imposing. But they'll be playing, and they'll be dominating---for all 16 games.