First off, in the spirit of transperency, I am a life-long Packer fan. (pauses waiting for the masses to head for the exits). So I understand that to many of you, my opinion matters very little . Nevertheless....... here is my forcast for the Vikings season and the near future.
Offseason - While it has become fashionable to downgrade the Vikings off-season, I find myself in great disagreement with the unwashed masses. My supporting evidence is as follows....
- Christian Ponder - It always amazes me that every year so many teams over think the draft. While it is always a crap-shoot, taking a QB, I do think there are ways to minimize the risk. Christian Ponder was accurate, intelligent as hell, a competitor that played through injuries and also a leader. But because he didn't have a huge cannon he is considered a reach. I think this pick showed the intelligence and discipline from the Viking organization and foreshadows a bright future.
- 2011 draft in general - I thought they did an excellent job of not "settling" for potential, but rather got football players. Besides Ponder, thought Rudolph was a great pick and also a safe solid pick. The Tackle/guard they selected out of Arkansas (Demarcus love?) , i think could really be an excellent pick.
- Coaching staff - thought the hiring of Musgrave was such a brilliant move. Guys who can develop Qbs are rare, and although they may have other short-comings as a coach, the benefits completely outweigh the negatives. Guys like Norv Turner, Mike McCarthy, Sean Payton. and Bill Musgrave just have that special touch when it comes to developing QBs. Couple his track record with an intelligent and coachable student in Ponder and I think the ceiling is quite high..and maybe more importantly, the bust factor is also low.
- New Age of accountability - This always gets over-looked every year on every good team and yet it is vital. Bryant Mckinnie shows up overweight....cut him. Yes in the short term, it is a donwgrade, but I believe it will have a strong, positive effect on the locker-room.
- Various observations - Love getting McNabb as a vet until Ponder is ready. Defense will still be disruptive and I look for a good/very good year from Chris Cook. Offense, still has Percy and AP, which is more than enough. Overall, while I think this is a transition year, I could see the Vikings having a very good year. I think 8-8 is the more realistic end result, but I also wouldn't be surprised at a 10-6 record and a trip to playoffs. I also think that future is very, very bright for the Viking organization as long as the coach and GM stay on same page. I think both Spielmen and Frazier are very talented and look forward to many more years of best rivalry in sports (Packers-Vikings) . Hope you guys and gals enjoy the game tonight and the rest of the year.