If there is a season. Ha Ha. Not funny. I know.
When looking at our team and trying to figure out who and what positions we should draft there is one glaring truth. That is the fact that there are a lot of positions that we need to fill because of the inevitable losses in Free Agency(whenever that happens), retirement, or guys that just plain suck. Now, judging by the title of this post, you may all be a little thrown off by the already negative tone I'm setting here because there's plenty of people out there that believe we are doomed in '11. Fear not. We're only at the parade right now, playing with sparklers. The ridiculous fireworks and grand finale are coming shortly so keep your pants on or at least off the ground(c'mon Brett)
I'm going to try to keep this as clear as possible. We'll dive into some specifics, but I'll be writing mostly my general viewpoint of our team.
Here's a few reasons why we should be better than our 2010 campaign.
1) HELLO!!! Brad Childress and Darrel Bevell are not here. Sure, it's only been a few months since they've been bounced by our FO, but c'mon people. How can we not feel better about our future when we acquire an ACTUAL offensive coordinator instead of tweedle dee and tweedle dumberererer?! Not trying to place too much blame on Bevell here because I don't know exactly how much of a hand our previous offensive coordinator had in our offense. I placed them together because collectively, our offensive system was rather pathetic. There wasn't one point in the entire season where I saw an offensive play ran and it looked like we actually fooled the defense. It's hard enough to win in this league when you've got the most predictive gameplan in the NFL and guess what? All those teams we beat up on last year.....they uh...you know...GOT IT FIGURED OUT!! Despite our disgusting committment to the same old same old gameplan, we still nearly pulled out a handful of games that we should not have even been in. That's talent trying to shine through the monotony.
1b) Leslie Frazier is our HCOTF(head coach of the future). Musgrave is our OCOTF(offensive coord....well you get it). What is not to like about the fresh blood we have leading our team! Although Frazier is new to NFL head coaching, I have the utmost respect for him and he has my attention. I revert back to what Winfield said on the nationally televised game vs the Eagles. I don't have the exact quote but something like this: "we love having Frazier as our coach and we(the players) think he deserves a shot." Bottom line: Those players respect Frazier. Those players will play their hearts out for Frazier. That's something we haven't seen in a long time here in Minnesota. You have got to have a guy at the top of your team that the players believe in because otherwise they're not going to work as hard. They're not going to be as motivated. They're not going to spill their blood, guts and tears like they need to to take this great organization to the big show. Musgrave....what can I say? Ran basically the same offense in Atlanta that we'll run here(and ran it pretty well). Seems to be open to adapting to our team's talents and running an offense that allows those talents to flourish.
1c) The top of the top top dogs - The Zigster. Yeah, when he's not rockin the most badass mustache of all time, he's shelling out massive coin to put the best team out on the field. Red McCombs anyone? Yeah, didn't think so. We've had some pretty pathetic ownership before and this is something that I think a lot of us take for granted. He's made it abundantly clear that he wants to DUH, WIN! His knowledge of picking a HC could be questioned with Childress, but he(chilli-fries) was a fairly hot commodity when we got him. Ziggy's since learned his lesson and has appointed a new sherrif. One that is honest and upfront and won't play headgames with his team the entire season.
2) Hells yeah, we got the best RB in the league. Adrian Freaking Peterson is a manchild and is as fast, as quick, and as powerful as ever. He is still THE force to be reckoned with in the NFL. While the days of "tandem" RBs are here in the NFL. It's certainly not in the Vikings clubhouse. No offense to Toby, but he's not AD and they are certainly miles apart talent-wise. That's ok because Peterson is certainly the one RB in this league that can put his team on his back and go out and steal the will and the win from another team.
3) We still have one of the best damn defenses in the NFL. Yeah, I said it. For those of you who believe that we just magically got too old and couldn't play anymore are onto something, but I don't believe that's entirely true. I'm ok with almost all of our positions on the defensive side. Yes, we need to make some updates in the safety positions. CB is a big concern but we have some experience there now and hopefully some health. I'm not completely sold on Asher, but I saw a guy make some big plays down the stretch. Maybe he's showing that he's starting to shed that "freshman 15" (# of times you need to get burned in the NFL before you understand you're more successful if you keep the WR in front of you). Griff and Cook are question marks, but if they're healthy(and we haven't heard anything stating they're having any setbacks), it sounds like talent-wise mixed with the best damn CB, SS, FS, LB, DE-wherever-the-hell-you-want-to-play-him-he's-going-to-make-a-play 'Toine 'Toine Winfield, we're rounded out nicely on the back end. I'm not going to get into Madieu because he's put on the Senior-60. We still have the most underrated LB corp in the Biz,. They're just as solid as they come. We'll see how Robison works with more PT, but he's always been a guy I felt deserves more time. Allen(how long does it take to grow that mullet back?) and K.Will.i.ams are still premiere against the run and pass.
4) Playmakers Sid the kid Rice(for an entire season) and Percy just let him smoke so the migraines will go away Harvin(again, hopefully for an entire season) are the best 1-2 punch in the NFL. Size, athleticism, speed, quickness alongside The Shank eating up the middle of the field are a threat to go the distance every time. Sure, we can sulk over potentially losing Sid, but I don't think he's going anywhere. The CBA is helping us out more than ever to keep him on our team. Can't lose him if there's no free agency. Also, I truly believe our FO wants him back and I think they'd be willing to give up a lot in order to retain his services. Also, it would be stupid to let him just walk because we know what his celing is, or at least almost where it is. You know what you get with him. He catches almost anything close and makes some amazingly acrobatic catches. He's not a burner or anything, but he's deadly in the red zone. He's a must-have. Pay him whatever he wants.
5) Karma ----- HAHAHAHHAHA .......After 50 years of ups and downs, we're due big time for the huge belt slap we took across the chops in Oh-10.
5b) No Mo Distractions - I think Ziggy and the rest of the team have figured out there's a way to build a team without having the drama. From Chilli-dog to Moss to that tractor guy, we've learned our lesson. It takes a toll on players throughout the season when we are losing and answering questions about people actions the whole year. Maybe we should ask newly acquired LBCOTF, Mike
Tyson Singletary how easy it is for a team to play when they don't believe in their head coach. Overall, we weren't that far off in 2010. Think about it. We weren't getting blown out in all our losses. For those that think we go from being a legitimate SB team to a bottom feeder in one year are ridiculous. So, like the Metrodome, we will re-inflate this team with new determination and a new mindset and be focused more than ever at that one elusive goal.
So I ask you fellow DNers to not give up on the 2011 Vikings!