Hey, My name is Austin but you can call me TheNorseman. I've been a regular on this site for 3 years, but this is my first time posting on the DN, but I hope to write regularly. In fact I'd really like to pursue a career as a sports writer! Anyways, just wanted to introduce myself. So Training Camp is still a while away, but to keep yourself busy, here's a few things to consider before it all goes down.
- The QB Situation
No longer a carousel but now an equal competition with no clear victor in sight. To me this one will be exciting to watch. Cassel fighting for his starting position, Teddy trying to impress enough to get the nod as starter, and Ponder trying to save his career. In Norv turner's new scheme it seems like it could definitely give all of the QB's an equal shot to succeed as there will be plenty of screens and short passes, so even Noodle Arm could possibly be successful. This position battle looks to be one of the most intense going into camp, and should excite every Vikings fan out there.
- Importance of Linebackers?
With Zimmer's new defense the linebackers are going to be less important in coverage, but more so in pass rushing. Which is good thing because it can give guys like Anthony Barr more time to develop into what Zimmer wants as a starting LB. With Barr developing, the D-Line hopefully dominates, and the DB's can take some pressure off of the linebackers in general as well. I feel like Mike Zimmer is going to be able to get plenty out of guys like Gerald Hodges, Mike Mauti, Audie Cole and he may even be able to help Jasper Brinkley become much better than he is after 3 ACL tears.
- Can The Vikings Have Better Defense Against The Pass?
Short answer: Yes. With new additions to the secondary (Captain Munnerlyn, Antoine Exum, Kurt Coleman to name a few) and a revamped defensive line with potentially great pass rushers in Robison and Griffen, but also the depth that gives Zimmer the ability to rotate linemen in and out at will. All of this can only help out our pass defense immensely. In the type of defense that Zimmer seems to be creating, it will be more of a take down the QB defense, rather than one with shutdown corners. So the opposing QB can throw the ball, but we'll have guys (hopefully) there to force him to make a quick decision or get hit.
- Will Playing Outside Affect The Team?
It's definitely possible that the weather could have an affect on the games in late season, but early on I doubt it will make much of a difference. It's exciting that we're going to be back outside for a few seasons and in a stadium that's smaller, but much nicer than the Dome.
- How Forgiving Will The Fans Be of Zimmer and Bridgewater?
This one right here could make for some interesting discussion if the season goes south. We have a rough start to the schedule, so if the Vikes start out 0-3 or 0-4, how much will the exciting offseason protect Zimmer? And if Bridgewater does manage to beat out Cassel for the starting job, how much time will the fans give him if he goes through some growing pains? I honestly couldn't give a rat's ass about what some of these fans that jump ship so easily think, but I'd personally be okay with a 7-9 or an 8-8 season. As long as our team looks improved and united under the new coaching staff, which I think will be the case.
So those are just a few of the many things to consider as we wait for Training Camp. Hope you enjoyed my first piece. Leave a comment if you have another storyline to add or feel so inclined!