We've made it to the end of the 30 Day Challenge, with 30 different topics of discussion over 30 days. Hopefully some of these posts gave folks the opportunity to let their minds work a little bit and give us something to talk about concerning the Minnesota Vikings during what is, generally, the longest and most boring month of the NFL offseason.
With the 2015 NFL season just around the corner, it's time we start looking forward to it a little more, and that's where we're going with our final topic.
Of all the things there are to look forward to about the Minnesota Vikings' 2015 season, which one are you looking forward to the most?
The Vikings have to be considered one of the NFL's more intriguing teams in 2015, with the continued development of quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and the return of running back Adrian Peterson to the offense. But, for me, I'm focused on the other side of the football. The thing I'm looking forward to the most is how this team's defense continues to develop under Mike Zimmer's eye.
Just a couple of weeks ago, wludford took a look at what, exactly, a "Mike Zimmer defense" is. And we've discussed before how Zimmer's defenses have improved dramatically from his first year with a team to the second year. The Vikings' defense really came together nicely over the course of last season, and after a couple of years to sort of weed out some of the proverbial dead weight, the Vikings have one of the younger and more exciting defenses in recent memory.
The Minnesota secondary has generally ranged from "average" to "dumpster fire" for most of the past couple of decades, but now it might be as much of a strength as the defensive line. Harrison Smith and Xavier Rhodes are on the fast track to being on the short list of the NFL's best at their positions, and the team really like rookie Trae Waynes and the host of safeties they have competing for the spot next to Smith. The defensive front, with young stars like Everson Griffen and Sharrif Floyd, made great strides last season, and should continue to do so this year as well. Even the linebacking corps, which has elicited numerous four-letter words from fans of the purple over the past few years, appears to be coming around, with Eric Kendricks joining his former UCLA teammate Anthony Barr at the second level.
Even though it appears the Vikings have an outstanding young quarterback to lead their team in Bridgewater, the old adage still holds true. . .defense wins championships. And it's been a very, very long time since the Minnesota Vikings had a defense that could really be counted among the league's best. But the current unit appears to be headed in that direction in a pretty rapid manner, and that's why that's the aspect of this football team that I'm looking forward to the most in 2015.
What part of the 2015 Minnesota Vikings are you looking forward to the most?