Well we're getting closer and closer to training camp, then the preseason and then, yes finally the regular season. Looking at the current roster with so many talented players with so much potential it's hard not to be excited about the coming season and people with similar perspectives of mine are not just excited about this season, but many to come. Even looking at just the fringe players like Chase Baker, Chase Ford, LaMark Brown, Everette Dawkins, Bobby Felder, Lawrence Jackson, Anthony McCloud, D'Aundre Reed, Zach Line, Jacob Lacey, Branden Bishop, Travis Bond, DeMarcus Love, Chris Summers, Rodney Smith and Andrew Sendejo.
These are all guys that won't see much action or likely make any significant contributions this season. However, the majority of them and I would wager at least half will stick around in Minnesota for the coming years for they are some of the pieces and smaller building blocks of the future of the Purple. Now, obviously there is not enough room for all of them with all of the other talent on the team an there being only so many practice squad spots even if rotating two or three players back and forth to keep more more young players to develop through a slight loophole like in year's past.
I think Jacob Lacey, Everette Dawkins, Lawrence Jackson, Branden Bishop, Chase Baker and Rodney Smith have the strongest chances of making the team while the others battle for a place on the practice squad. I would like to see Chase Ford, Zack Line and Anthony McCloud hopefully make the practice squad with likely John Carlson and Fred Evans And maybe Guion all not being on the 2014 version of the Vikings and maybe Guion and/or Evans could be cut this year. Everyone knows; Minnesota needs help in the cap room department especially with so many good and great young players-the only problem is eventually paying them when their rookie contracts are up.
I think it is this depth of solid players that is one of the overlooked things that contributes to Minnesota being so good as they are that most in the media refuse to acknowledge and unfairly, likely because of the doubt many have in Christian Ponder. So, they don't even bother to look at the supporting cast beyond Adrian Peterson. And we have one hell of a supporting cast from Rudolph to Allen to Griffen to Kalil and Sullivan to Cook and Smith. I could go on and on as in my opinion this is one of the most well rounded teams in the league and not to mention the new guys Floyd, Rhodes, Patterson and Jennings.
Also throw in the wildcards of Joe Webb, Micheal Mauti and Greg Childs to a team that has even more experience and chemistry coming off a 10-6 season that ended in the playoffs and I believe you have one of the most underrated teams in a very long time. That's okay though, I believe being the underdog pushes this team that much more and do think Ponder will do much better and the team as a whole will too. C'mon Ponder, you have the keys to a Ferrari, although your driving instructor is Bill Musgrave. Though, I think this team still can win it all with Ponder playing well even if his driving instructor has to be replaced midseason and if not doing well at all early on; after the Steelers' game in London with the early bye week would afford the inevitable change at OC, but lets hope Musgrave will improve greatly no matter how hard it is to believe-if he does not though; the problem must be corrected swiftly, and there already should be a contingency plan in place. Frazier cannot take as long as he has in the past to correct other problems and Frazier has been getting better the whole time as a head coach so if this situation reveals itself; he must act quickly.
Now, with all the talent being grown with a lot of young players with a lot of potential that are depth and practice squad players many will be solid pieces to the puzzle as years go by and with how well Minnesota has been drafting and acquiring extra picks, which are already ahead of the game for the next draft as well with at least one extra third rounder; we are witnessing the architecture of a Minnesota Vikings team that will be a contender year in and year out for the foreseeable future. Also not to mention guys like Kalil, Smith, Walsh, Robinson, Ellison, Wright and others who are all still young, but all did well their rookie seasons and are moving forward with valuable experience and I expect all of them to be even better in helping make a 10-6 playoff team that much better.
Still, the majority will never give the Vikings their due respect and it will be the cherry on top listening to what these same Vikings haters have to say when not only does Minnesota have a great season this year, but great seasons for the following years and hopefully a championship or two along the way.