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It's The DN Mailbag, Pre-Training Camp Edition

Our last mailbag before Mankato, so let's hear your questions!

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The last of the off-season activities are over, and we are now inside 30 days until training camp begins in Mankato? Can you believe it? I mean, we're almost there, we've just about made it. So I thought it would be a good idea to do one last mailbag before the 2016 season officially kicks off. As always, we'll take questions from Twitter, or just email me anytime at I'll try to answer them all, even if they don't make the cut in the post.

Oh, before we get going, a little announcement, for those of you who didn't see the announcement on Twitter. Di Murphy and I will be re-launching our Roughing The Podcast show in the near future. Yeah, in retrospect, starting a Vikings podcast at the END of the football season with a lot of things going on for both of us in the real world probably wasn't the smartest call. So look for the re-launch soon, sometime during training camp, with weekly shows throughout the season. If you like you can follow the show on Twitter at @roughthepodcast, and if you're new to the site or don't remember, you can go back into the archives and track down one of the four episodes we did. We'll have iTunes and Sticher info once we get up and running again, and we're both pretty excited to be giving this another shot.

Anyway, with that out of the way, on to your questions. The first one is from our own Skol Girl, who properly chided me for not answering any of her questions before:

Although I like both players a lot and think they have bright futures, I'm leaning towards Kendricks. And that's more because I think he'll be on the field more, just based on talent at the respective positions. Hunter, who I think is going to see the field more, is still behind Brian Robison at DE. And even if he were to start, the Vikings still rotate a lot of guys in and out of the line. That's not as much the case with the linebackers, and Kendricks, along with Anthony Barr, are my bets to be the two every down LB's, regardless of the formation the Vikings defense sets up with prior to the snap.

That said, I think they're both going to have very good seasons.

Speaking of Danielle Hunter and whether he starts or not...

That's a really good question. With as well as Hunter played last year, and with Brian Robison another year older, I wouldn't consider it an upset if Hunter won the starting job in training camp. Robison is still the incumbent, though, and will be tough to unseat. Starter or not, I think he'll see a lot more playing time regardless, just because the Vikings like to rotate guys in and out regularly, so whether he's a starter or not could be more of a technicality than anything.

Nathan is up next:

Yes, I believe he can. Will he? That's obviously up to Patterson. I'm a big believer in Mike Zimmer's saying 'don't tell me about the labor, show me the baby'. We've heard a lot about Patterson's labor this off season; heck we've heard about it for two off seasons now. It's time to give birth to a wide receiver that can be an integral part of the passing game. His rookie season proved he could do it, so the talent is undeniable. We'll see what happens.

Adam West...not the Batman up next.

Ahh, my two favorite things, Vikings and cooking out. Well, let's start with Harrison Smith. He's about the most expensive cut of filet mignon the butcher shop has to offer. He's the best of the best, and if that's what you want, then you want a filet mignon. Xavier Rhodes is a nice ribeye steak, bone in. Quality cut of meat, especially bone in, and if you don't want to fork over filet mignon prices, you'll be completely satisfied with a bone in ribeye. Terrence Newman, he's an ageless classic, and what's more classic than a T-bone steak, am I right? Now, with Newman getting long in the tooth, you might want to marinade that cut of meat to maybe mask the age, but at the end of the day, another really good cut. Andrew Sendejo? He's ground beef, and it's your run of the mill ground beef; we're not talking angus beef here, and it's in the 'must sell' section, with a use by date of like Sunday. Which is cool and all, because you're cooking out on Saturday. Now, if you play to the strength of ground beef you can make yourself a respectable burger, but it can't be a stand alone dish on a plate. You gotta mask its weaknesses with a bun, some condiments, maybe a nice dill pickle and some potato chips.

Oh hey, another grilling question, this time from James:

Fat side down or GTFO. Seriously, I've done it both ways, and there's not a whole lot of difference in flavor to me. I know there's a level of heresy in that statement, but yeah, seriously, no difference in taste for me. Now, keep in mind I'm talking about a pork butt, and smoking it. If you're doing something in the oven, we usually wrap it in foil, which kind of makes fat up/fat down kind of moot.

Up next Chef Mike asks a question that doesn't involve grilling, ironically (since he's a chef):

If you're asking in a roundabout way if Zimmer will fire Norv Turner, or demote him and hand over play calling duties to Tony Sparano or Pat Shurmur, no he won't, unless the offense is historically bad. I do think that bringing in these two guys was a subtle shot across the bow, and I expect the Vikings offense to be more dynamic. Norv's a good OC, and with Sparano and Surmur advising, I expect to see some new wrinkles in the offense this year. But no, this is Norv's offense, and unless there's something catastrophically wrong, Norv will be the OC for the full season.

Finally, we wrap things up with Judd Zulgad's Hoodie*

*Not really a hoodie. Not owned by Judd Zulgad. Probably

Well, these are serious allegations, one we take at DN very seriously. PED's have no place in the sports world, whether you participate in the sport or write about it. If you'll recall, we suspended Arif Hasan for four weeks back in 2014 when he tested positive for a powdered Dolphin eyelid, a known writing and statistical stimulant. After a thorough investigation, we determined that we had done the right thing, and took appropriate action. I mean seriously, who uses catch radius per meter all the way back to the 8th grade unless you're on something?

As to Eric, we have noticed he's not as doughy as your typical blogger, but there's been no serious uptick in sarcasm or jackassery, tell tale signs of someone who's juicing. But we thank you for your concern, and we will coordinate with the blogger's union to ensure that our testing program remains fair, impartial, and accurate.