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Two Intriguing Vikings For 2011 And A Moment Of Truth

Leslie Frazier reacts to the Frerotte to Berrian 99 yard TD against the Bears in 2008.  Leslie Frazier makes Bud Grant seem like Jim Cramer.
Leslie Frazier reacts to the Frerotte to Berrian 99 yard TD against the Bears in 2008. Leslie Frazier makes Bud Grant seem like Jim Cramer.

Well hi there, boys and girls.  If it seems like I haven't been around for the better part of two days, it's because I haven't.  My computer got a virus and I had to do a factory restore.  I need to do a better job of listening to avoid this in the future, because I could've sworn Eric said that website was "the best Asian Corn site I've ever been to".

Let's just say it wasn't corn, and it was where I picked up the virus.

And left my soul.

Anyhow, now that I have the 21st century available to me again (and holy Mother of God, not having a computer connected to high speed Internet is like living in the Little House On The Prairie...scary, never want to have that happen again) and I'm able to peruse through the Webs about our Beloved Purple And Gold, a couple of things caught my eye...besides the, uh, Asian corn.

The first one...and I admit it nearly floored me...was Don Banks--and hold on to your hat here--Don Banks is saying something positive about the Vikings.  Maybe it's me, but I've thought Banks was a big time Packers homer before he went to SI.  Even when he was the Vikings beat guy for the Pioneer Press several years back.

Anyways, Banks had this to say about our new permanent Head Coach, Leslie Frazier:

Minnesota's elevation of the soft-spoken but well-respected Frazier from defensive coordinator to head coach is the move that most intrigues me. After all, once upon a time, Tony Dungy was the Vikings defensive coordinator, and so too was Mike Tomlin. Both of those guys got away from Minnesota, landed their first NFL head coaching jobs, and made the Vikings regret not knowing they had Super Bowl-winning head coaches beneath their noses. When Brad Childress floundered and was eventually fired last season, Minnesota made sure not to let history repeat itself.

Overall, it's a very good article about Frazier.  I mention this because I think the last time Banks had anything positive to say about the Vikings, it was in 1977 or so.  I mean, we already know about this, and we're pretty fired up as a fanbase to have Frazier, but it's nice to see him get some recognition from a national guy that probably wears Green Bay foot jammies to bed every night.


The other one is...well, you'll have to jump to read the rest.  Oh, quit griping.  It's not like this the Vikings site, where you have to pay for their crap.

Our crap is free.

*Not even really alleged.  More like hoped for, or maybe surmised on my part, based on his ridiculously homerific Packer articles.  What's that?  'Homerific' isn't a word?  I'm sorry, English 101 is down the hall.  Get out.

The other guy, who is actually a player, is TE Kyle Rudolph.  I don't know if you've been keeping track, but before I went off the grid, I did read the TE Visanthe Shiancoe will not play in what is essentially the dress rehearsal for the Vikings against Dallas this week.  He suffered a hamstring injury early in camp, was held out of the first two pre-season games, and then re-aggravated it again, which means he probably won't play at all in the pre-season.

This might mean that the elevation of Kyle Rudolph will be sooner rather than later.  I have to say Rudolph definitely passed the eye test in Mankato--he's big, fast for his size, and has soft hands--as was evidenced by his impressive 'catch-the-ball-behind-you-and-at-the-knees' grab against Seattle on that impressive 80 yard drive.

Don't get me wrong, I don' think that Rudolph is going to 'Wally Pipp' Shiancoe (and they will always have to walk three steps behind and to the left of The People's Champion in my book) but I am saying that I liked the Rudolph pick on draft day, and I'm enjoying it even more now.  He had durability issues coming out of Notre Dame, but so far, he's been as advertised, and I think by the end of the year, he's going to put up numbers that are better than projected.  He seems like a guy that's taken advantage of Shiancoe's misfortune, and it will be hard to keep him off the field once Shiancoe is healthy.

And that's good for the entire offensive unit.

Our moment of truth comes for Anthony Herrera, who will reportedly play against the Cowboys, and play with the first team.  If you've been following The Holy Trinity this week, Herrera has really struggled in practice coming off his ACL surgery, and it seems like he's gone from presumed starter to one of those guys that might be a surprise roster casualty that happens on every team on roster cutdown day.  It might not be that cut and dried, though, since Scott Kooistra was put on the DL after the Seattle game. 

A good Herrera only makes the team better, and if he can get back to his 2008 form, or close to it, it just makes one of the most unsettled units better.  If Herrera can't get it done, now the Vikes have to worry about depth as well as starting quality, which is something you don't want to be doing with a unit like this this far down the pre-season road.

So, those are two players I'll be looking at really hard on Saturday.  What about you guys?