CHANGES IN MINNESOTA I WOULD LIKE TO SEE
When I look at the Minnesota Vikings overall as a team I see an above average franchise on the rise. That is of course a good thing, a lot better than the previous two years. There are quite a few other young teams on the rise as well such as Seattle, Washington, Indianapolis and Cincinnati. If I had say which closely resembled the Vikings, I would have to go with Cincinnati. I say that for the most part because I think of those teams because Christian Ponder IMO is most like Andy Dalton than any of the rest. Now, still on top as far as the NFL elite are teams like New England, San Francisco, Green Bay and also a few borderline elite teams. With that in mind, he Vikings do have to get better if Minnesota really wants to have a chance at being a true Super Bowl contender. Minnesota already is a playoff team, but they as a team and we as fans want a title.
This is just my opinion of what I think can be done this year to make going deep in the playoffs a possibility.
1. Spielman- Just keep doing what you're doing. I am pleased for the most part and have confidence in you doing a great job.
2. Frazier- He is becoming a better coach and looks like he leans from mistakes instead of being stubborn like others(Childress). There's tough decisions to be made for the better of the team and whether they're your buddy or not, you have to put the best people in place around. I'm sure he works closely with Spielman on things of this nature. Though from assistants and trainers to offensive and defensive coordinators this thing needs to be gelling going into training camp. I don't know who is going to be in place by then, but whoever it is; we need better from the OC and the DC. Make it happen, that's your job.
3. Quarter Back- Christian Ponder is the starter for the 2013 season. I think we can win with him(now without Adrian Peterson), well... He can manage the game and he can make plays, the reigns will be taken off this year. I do think we will see his best year as a pro and will know what we have with him overall. That said, there has to be a reliable veteran brought in. That presence and security needs to be put in place. McLeoud Bethel-Thompson, I think should be kept on with the opportunity to grow and develop into hopefully at least a decent quarter back. With the added veteran; that should be what is on the roster as far as QBs.
4. Joe Webb- He is going to be on the team at least one more year. He should be moved to WR, with being put into plays as a RB and KR. It has not worked out as QB. He will be here another year; give him his shot to make an impact elsewhere. This may benefit the teams need in the WR Department-I think it certainly won'y hurt. This at the very least let's everyone see if he can have success at other positions other than at QB.
5. Percy Harvin- Sign him to a contract extension; bottom lie. He has earned it and is worth it. Think of all the money that has been wasted on big names and then they underachieve. There will be no worries with Harvin there.
6. O-line- There are a couple FAs that will be out there and are some good prospects in the draft. There needs to be at least one new starter on the offensive line. Sorry Charlie, but you got to go. Between Love, Fusco and Swartz I think the RG position will be okay, but improving the LG position will only help AP as well as Ponder and connecting with his receivers that much more. This would be huge as the o-line is going to be better this season without changes; the left guard position must be upgraded though.
7. Wide Receivers- I mentioned Webb earlier, but that's not enough and still has to be seen what kind o impact he will make. I think Harvin and Wright are the only WRs with guaranteed roster spots and you build on that. Jenkins and possibly Simpson will be around through training camp, DA and Burton are out. Spielman should be able to work out a deal with a mid-level free agent wide receiver, someone like Hixon. There is no reason to spend a lot of money on any of the big names. We may end up fortunate with Childs, but cannot count on it. I'm not going to go through the list of names of the WRs in the draft, but I do have faith that Spielman is going to pull the trigger on early and mid round guys to help solidify the WR position. I like the either guys out of UT I think if go WR in the first round, we will be taking the second or third guy off the board. There is another WR named Da'rick Rodgers(I think that's how it's spelled) that may be available in the fourth or fifth round. When late spring comes around, I'm sure they will bring in a few undrafted guys to compete and might end up getting lucky.
8. Defense- There are going to have to be at least one more reliable CB, DT and LB to keep ths defense playing good in every game. Some of the starters from last year like Brinkley, Henderson and Guion should be retained but as back ups. Need better play from the defensive tackle and middle linebacker positions; this will help our DBs tremendously. We still need more depth back there though. The draft will not be enough; Spielman will have to do better this year in free agency. Cheaper deals need to worked out with Williams and Allen.
9. In house FAs- Need to retain the right guys, Loadholt and Felton should be two of the top priorities. I know there are people that want a few guys like Brinkley out of there, and I do agree we need upgrades at certain positions, but we need depth too. I also am not on board with cutting someone loose with not already having better talent in place to take over. We need at least three new starters on defense and one or two on offense, but whether it is injuries or whatever there has to be solid depth so the next guy can step in and that position doesn't become a liability.
Having an off season like that IMO will push Minnesota to the top with the other elite teams and make the Vikings true contenders next year and for years to come. With all of that in place, the only thing that could slow the team down is poor play from the QB position. Though, I do think(hope) Ponder can step up and lead this team because that is what it is going to take even with a great off season and the best running back of all time.