It is the most exciting time of the 2011 season for Vikings fans -- it's 2012 and the hurt is over. Except for our injuried players (too many to list them all) but obviously on the list we've got Adrian Peterson, Toby Gerhart, Christian Ponder, and many, many more.
It is time to put up a new calendar, and with it a new year full of promise and hope. To review, we have ownership that loves and believes in the team, a good head coach who is learning and getting better and getting his men to believe in him and play hard, and lots of talent and players and staff that other team would die for.
So let's list some New Year's resolutions, really just a list of to-do items for the Vikings.
1. Take the next step toward solving the stadium crisis. Offer to rent the Metrodome for a another year, resolving the potential legal fight over the contract language, and demonstrating to Minnesota that the Vikings are in their last year in Minnesota without a new stadium deal. Get it done.
2. Hire a GM. Some would say promote Rick Spielman while keeping Rob Brzezinski. Another possibility would be promoting Rob Brzezinski, elevating Scott Studwell to personnel director, and letting Spielman go. In any case, it is time for a GM.
3. The new GM obviously needs to keep Coach Frazier. This isn't even a discussion.
4. The Rams are going to fire Steve Spagnuolo, and he's a great defensive coordinator who did great work with the Giants 4-3 defense, so the Vikings should hire him as our defensive coordinator. Keep the 4-3 as our best defensive players, Jared Allen, Kevin Williams, and Chad Greenway are 4-3 players and we aren't far away from returning to a great defense. Obviously the Vikings will work in more man coverage techniques in the secondary, as they already have been doing.
5. Move DC Pagac back to linebackers coach, or let him go.
6. Let LB coach Singletary go. Sad, but our linebackers were a lot worse this year.
7. It is time to let DB coach Joe Woods go. It is just time.
8. Keep the entire offensive staff and special teams coach.
9. Sign a deep threat WR in free agency. Bring back all our veterans who are under contract and all our young players who were with the team this year and bring everyone into camp. It is time to sadly let Shiancoe and Hutchinson go, however. Keep Ponder and Webb, and start whoever proves better in training camp.
9. Draft the best LT in the country in the first round.
10. Bring in a punter to challenge Kluwe.
11. Install the offensive philosophy of a balanced attack on offense, running and passing. We need some deep threats in the receiver corps and more protection from the offensive line so that we can add more vertical passes. Install the defensive philosophy of do not give any inch of ground willingly. Dial "bend but don't break" way down. Everybody is responsible for doing their job, and if they don't do it, they keep working at it until they get it right. All for one, and one for all. Never give up! Never surrender!
12. Work with the whole team to install the new systems for offense and defense. It will seem like a luxury compared to last offseason, but the Vikings have eight whole months to finish installing the new systems. Most importantly, get all our players healed up and back to 100%. We'll all be thinking of Adrian Peterson because let's face it in a league of special players and athletes he is special himself. The main thing though is to get AD back to 100% and not worry about pushing it before then. Remember the amazing recovery of Terry Allen, and how Cedric Griffin is doing the same thing now! Nice interception, Griff! We've got Gerhart to carry the load until Peterson. can return. Let's not forget all of our injured and hurt Vikings. Guys from Percy Harvin to Husain Abdullah to Jasper Brinkley to Cullen Loeffler to Antoine Winfield. Thanks to all our Vikings for your service and to Vikings on the mend we wish you all a speedy and full recovery. You are all in our thoughts and prayers.
Here's to great football! Here's to a great 2012! Here's to the Vikings!