As the season slowly and more painfully crawls along, the primary focus of the Vikings' fans is the upcoming off season much more than the remaining 2013 season. Many are starved for the upcoming inevitable organization changes. Though, they will have to wait just a few more games, and support their favorite team as the best way they see fit, as it is their choice. All this talk lately of 'you're only a true fan if root for the Vikings to lose the rest of their games', or 'only a true fan if you root for the Vikings to win every single game, no matter how important, or not the game,' is a moot point in correlation to the reasoning, as the fans really do not have any control over the short, or even less long term success of the franchise. Though, in my own opinion; I will say I am a fan of the Minnesota Vikings and I root for them to win, and I also root for them to become as successful as possible in the future. That is just my take, and it is not the only perspective every fan must have in order to be a fan, as other fans thinking they somehow carry the authority to deem others as true fans or not is laughable at best. I know the higher the draft position; the better the chances of being successful in selections. Although, it is absurd to think a team with the next pick or twenty or thirty picks later cannot turn out to be more successful. The draft is arguably the most important part of a team's progression, and to progress a team better have an excellent team in place with an exceptional eye for talent, as well as being pretty fortunate, or lucky as they say.
With that said, we are a long way from the draft, and we are a long way from free agency as well. Before both of those time come; Minnesota will likely have already selected a new head coach. The staff the HC surrounds himself with will be arguably as important decisions as the decision to hire him. Who Minnesota turns to is already an intriguing conversation. Whether it is some of the likes of Jon or Jay Gruden or Mike Zimmer or several other options; the man put in place will not only have a huge influence on the next quarterback brought into Minnesota, but also the rest of the draft and free agency as well. And it is still not clear if even Rick Spielman will be retained even with a lot of support behind in spite of the terrible season fans are witnessing.
As interesting as a conversation it is discussing who will be selected in the draft, and who the new head coach will be, and also throwing in free agency; there are too many ways to count how this off season could end up. And whether the Vikings bring in a big name or under the radar head coach, or draft Johnny Manziel or Teddy Bridgewater; The new coaching staff and new or existing GM must closely evaluate the existing Vikings' roster.
A strong core of players under contract for next season will be the easiest job for management here. Some of the names on that list are: Adrian Peterson, Kyle Rudolph, Matt Kalil, Harrison Smith, John Sullivan, Brian Robison, Xavior Rhodes, Gregg Jennings, Cordarrell Patterson, Shariff Floyd, Jarious Wright, Phil Loadholt, Blair Walsh, Rhett Ellison. Some of the players up and coming and borderline players that certainly have the potential are: Chase Ford, Greg Childs, Zack Line, Chase Ford, Micheal Mauti, Gerald Hodges, Audie Cole, Brandon Fusco, Erin Henderson, Josh Robinson. Now in my opinion; I think a lot of these players even the bigger names like AP and Kyle Rudolph cando a lot better used in different situations as far as scheme, play calls and in other cases just be given opportunity to get off the bench. Now, players that are at risk to signing elsewhere, or asked to sign with the Vikings or just flat out cut: Jared Allen, Kevin Willams, Everson Griffen, John Carlson, Charlie Johnson, Christian Ponder, Matt Cassel, Josh Freeman, Chad Greenway, Letroy Guion, Joe Webb, Jerome Felton, Jerome Simpson.
So, whoever the Vikings name, and I hope they do not settle on as the head coach; there is a long list of internal work in the organization that must be addressed before even looking forward to free agency and then to the draft. There are a lot of players on all three lists that I would like to see return to the Vikings next season, but know that there will be at least a few players I like that will not return to Minnesota. I do think there is well enough talent already in place that will return that also in my opinion has been underutilized the past few years, and will potentially make for a fast turn around. I think Minnesota is in a good position to lure good players and a good head coach with the pieces already in place, and a new stadium in the horizon. Many will disagree and see Minnesota several years away from legitimate contention, but see it differently.
And whether we end up with the first overall pick in the draft, or the seventh; I will not only be rooting for Minnesota to win every game, but also to draft the best quarterback for this franchise moving forward, and the best possible players with the remainder of the picks as well. We are a long way out from what looks to be the most interesting off season in Minnesota in a very long time,but I am still going to be rooting for the Vikings to win every game, and actually think the Vikings beat the Bears this weekend. I know there is no play off hope, but this sure would be an overdue time to look at some more of the talent that has been riding the bench to get a closer look at what we have moving forward. For what it's worth SKOL VIKINGS!