The Vikings go into the off season in search of a head coach that can take more advantage of its somewhat underrated core players. Many of the players that will be returning can be argued to have been underutilized for the past few years. The team in many's opinion, would be best served with a coach that is not only smart with an understanding of today's NFL, and Minnesota's own players, but also a natural born leader. Upon deciding the right individual for the head coaching position; the Vikings and their new head coach will also need to bring in a staff its players can get behind. The next coaching staff of he Minnesota Vikings should be one that can put players in situations that they can excel in; they should also have an eye for evaluating talent. They should be able to have the team prepared for the season, and each and every game, while gameplanning and calling plays that are suitable, logical, and are well.. completely different from the previous coaching regime.
Before looking too far into the future; Minnesota must look at the current players and evaluate how they can get the most out of them. One for instance is their franchise player Adrian Peterson. I have heard ridiculous criticisms of Peterson, saying he is terrible in the passing game, and could not disagree more. I think he has been underutilized, as many players on the Vikings' roster have thought to have been by the previous staff. I, personally would like to have seen Peterson much more involved in the passing game years ago. Though, his numbers are slight; I do not so much think that is a reflection on him, as much it is a reflection on a coaching staff that did not now what to do with some of the best talent the league has to offer. There is no reason at all that at this point in Peterson's career; he shouldn't be getting 4 or 5 catches a game, and a minimum of 50 catches on the year. It has never been an issue of him not being able to catch the ball, because he can. It has been more of an issue of an offensive coordinator redundantly calling AP's number to run into the teeth of defenses that were keying in on him, and most of this past season while he was hampered with injuries. Not the smartest gameplan.
Another thing this team must get more out of-of its returning core players; is it's offensive receivers. Fans started to see more than they ever did in the last few games of the year. We saw an offensive coordinator taken out of his comfort zone with Adrian Peterson not playing as much, and a quarterback that used his audibles much more than any other QB had the entire time of Minnesota's latest OC's tenure. Though, strangely after many successful vertical plays that at least looked like they deviated from the gameplan; Minnesota fans had come to begrudgingly know since the start of the 2011 season, the next offensive series would often follow with the more than predictable runs up the middle, and especially on 2nd and long situations, as well as passing routes that often ended before the 1st down marker. This is a part of the Vikings' past that must remain in the past. The new coaching staff must build off success and not stubbornly force anything. The Vikings' receivers have numbers that look to be okay, but can be built on to the point, and with the talent available; to skyrocket.
Many in the media are saying the head coach vacancy job is one Rick Spielman will have to sell. I don't buy that one bit. This is a team that has been well underutilized for years that is loaded with talent considering their record. When looking at the returning players on offense there is a decent offensive line that with adding just a left guard could be one of the league's best, which blocks for the league's undisputed best running back Adrian Peterson. Also on offense the team has more than adequate receivers in Cordarrell Patterson, Greg Jennings, Jarius Wright, Kyle Rudolph as well as Jerome Simpson if the franchise chooses to retain him. The Vikings also have good solid core on defense with Brian Robison, Harrison Smith, Shariff Floyd, Xavior Rhodes and Chad Greenway even though having a down year can still be a force while also his mentoring is something that will be much needed in developing a young line backing corp. If a deal can be worked out, another very good talent is Everson Griffen, and with the likelihood of Jared Allen moving on, and putting him in the fast track to acquiring the full time starting defensive end position; he could be more inclined to accept a deal, as he turned down a previous offer of an unknown dollar amount.
Minnesota also has a lot of untapped potential talent in several young players whom where not given a fair amount of playing time as many Vikings' fans thought they should have gotten. In fact, Audie Cole, a fan favorite, only got his opportunity to showcase his abilities by default, as the several players ahead of him on the depth chart were injured. This, on top of the highly scrutinized moves by the previous coaching staff to limit the playing time by star rookie players Cordarrell Patterson and Xavior Rhodes, left the door wide open to question the judgement of the previous staff on several other players as well. This group of young players also includes Micheal Mauti, Chase Ford, Gerald Hodges and Shaun Prater. Also on IR; Zack Line and Greg Childs both look very promising as well.
Minnesota will also be playing outside for the next two years, and though that will be an adjustment for some; it will give the team a homefield advantage it hasn't had several decades. When the two years passes; the Minnesota Vikings will be moving into the best stadium in the league, and on top of that will be conditioned for playing outdoors as well when they have to. The Vikings will have the option to play in their new stadium with the doors open, and after playing for the next two years outdoors; it is an option that may be considered more realistically. Time will tell with how that goes, but the fact still remain the Vikings will be moving into a state of the art facility in two years, and when they do move in their new home it is not outlandish to think the Vikings could be contenders by then. And with having favorable positioning in the upcoming draft with an extra 3rd round pick with whether fans like him or not, one of the best GMs as far as drafting, and a lot more cap room than the Vikings have seen in several years with many attractive names to be available in free agency; it looks more like one of the more favorable landing spots for a quality head coach. And with Spielman obviously doing his due diligence in his search for the right guy; things should start looking up for Vikings' fans very soon.