I started this offseason hoping the Vikings would make some serious FA signings, and hoped for a great draft (which we seem to be getting accustomed to for the past 5 years). As free agency went through, I began to become disheartened watching many of the larger named free agents go past us without our Front Office take a look as they went by. I was then farther let down as the Seahawks lured away Rice with an offer we could never have matched. I started to believe what I was reading, that our Beloved Purple could have fallen to the bottom of the NFL.
But then I started reading more up on our draft selections, and the more I read the more I liked our picks. Also the more I read of Ponder the more I found I loved the pick, even though the "experts" hammered us for the supposed value of it. An all SEC lineman that can play guard and tackle and could pass Herrera almost off the start for guard. A large Center (305 lbs) that received the Gene Upshaw award as best lineman in Division II football. The supposed best tight end in all of college ball this year, and we announce that we will be going to use many 2 TE sets.
I found a good step back and reflection helped me. I looked back on our defense of last year. Yes, we did allow a lot of yards, but when we got into the redzone our defense normally only allowed teams fieldgoals.
How when Chilly was fired and especially in the Philly game, our defense shut down the hottest QB in the league, and kept a lid on the fastest WR in the league.
We have only lost 3 starters off our defense last year. Madieu Williams, who has had a terrible time the past couple years to put it modestly. Leber, who was solid, but we may get a young guy to step up and fill his shoes. And Pat Williams, who was dominant, but couldn't stay on the field for the entire defensive series and for the past few years, has been struggling with weight issues every time he enters camp.
I am optimistic our young corners can rebound and stay healthy and hopefully Asher Allen will not be covering anyone this year (which disappoints me we traded Benny Sapp last year, I was really high on that kid). Also Hussain Abdullah had flashes throughout the year that had me intrigued on his upside.
Our linebacker corp will be stout, due to the return of E.J. Henderson, who imo was robbed of comeback player of the year, and Chad Greenway.
Then a look at the offense made me even more optimistic for the year to come.
Starting with a new Offensive Coordinator who states we will run the offense through Adrian Peterson. Thank god for a man with common sense! I cannot tell you how irritated I was every game I watched go by without more playfakes to the man. He is the most dominant runner in the league, even if you don't plan on giving him the ball, at least act like it and make the defense respect the fact he's there! His backup is not to be scoffed at either, and now Gerhart is a year more seasoned and experienced.
Next, Christian Ponder and Joe Webb. I'm not excited for Donovan Mcnabb, but I am excited for Ponder and Webb to compete, because I believe that given Donovan's age and history, one of those two guys will be starting by Week 6(I don't wish him ill will, but I can't get excited for him. He was raised in the WCO, an offense made up of short passes for YAC and he has a career completion rating of less than 60%, and that worries me). Also, I don't believe the Vikings are in such dire need of a WR that everyone has been making it out to be. Yes Bernard Berrian has had issues with a)staying on the field without hammy issues and b)playing up to the contract we gave him, but if we can have the 2009 NFC Championship Game BB playing this year(in that game he was targeted 12 times, caught 9 of them and had 102 receiving yards. I know he fumbled in that game but who didn't, lol). Also, I remembered if you want a guy in free agency you have to overpay in this league.
Jenkins is not a complete answer as Rice's replacement, but I feel he can be good asset, and Aromashadu can bring in the qualities as Rice's replacement that Jenkins doesn't. Also hopefully we can actually see Camarillo's abilities on the field beyond punt returner; because I think he has the ability to help us a lot on offense. We have been hearing of this great upside of Jaymar Johnson and there’s some buzz around this Arceneaux kid. Then there's also this one guy, called Percy Harvin, the most electrifying guy on our roster. Shiancoe cannot be forgotten, due to his versatility to be either split out wide or play in tight and be a matchup nightmare, and paired with Rudolph, who I hope Shiancoe takes under his wing, could spell fits for defenses.
With a new Offensive Coordinator, a new offense which he says will be tailored to the talent of our players, and also with a new offensive blocking scheme (which was bemoaned all last year here) and possibly some youth injected into that line, our offense could look stellar. I am downright excited to see what Musgrave cooks up, as he has had success with rookie quarterbacks in this league (see Matt Ryan) and making their step into the league very manageable.
I have been reading Daily Norseman for going on 3 years now, and this is my first fanpost, and I hope you enjoy it. I realize I got longwinded, but I want people to see the upside and potential of this year, and why I’m excited about our team.