Monday, July 23, 2012

10 Things to Analyze: Pre-Training Camp Edition

As Training Camp quickly approaches we have several position groups and players we will have to watch when training camp begins.

1. How will Christian Ponder respond in his second season? With Christian Ponder in his second season he should be more poised than in his rookie season. It will be interesting to see if Ponder will be able to withstand hits after bulking up this season.

2. Will Blair Walsh be inconsistent for the Vikings? The Vikings released Ryan Longwell before this season and spent a draft pick on Walsh. Will he pan out or will the Vikings have made a major mistake? The Vikings will need him to come up clutch in several games this season. This is a major concern for me and I hope he can knock down field goals.

3. Will the secondary improve after the additions of Josh Robinson, Harrison Smith, and Robert Blanton? If the Vikings are going to be successful they need to be able to stop the "pass happy" NFL and NFC North. I feel through the additions of these three excellent athletes, the Vikings will improve the ends and backsides of their defense. All of these players possess nice physical and mental traits that will be a nice addition to the roster.

4. Will someone emerge at defensive tackle next to Kevin Williams? After Kevin's partner Pat left the Vikings and Remi Ayodele was released, Williams hasn't had a stable partner to his left. I hope that someone like Letroy Guion or Christian Ballard can step up and fill a position that has been a concern over the past few seasons.

5. Will the Vikings address poor linebacker depth by adding a veteran? With Jasper Brinkley coming off a hip injury and E.J. Henderson not returning, the Vikings have little linebacker depth. Which bares the question of whether or not the Vikings will look to bring in an established veteran to be a nice backup option. I hope they do sign an established veteran after training camp. The Vikings need experience to be insurance if a linebacker goes down to injury.

6. How many wide receivers will make this team? Will 6 or 7 players make the 53 man roster? Unlike last season, we actually have depth at the wide receiver position. With the additions of Jarius Wright and Greg Childs through the draft and Jerome Simpson during free agency, the Vikings are much improved at this position. I believe six wide receivers will make the roster, but there is a slight chance an additional receiver could make the team if they are impressive during training camp.

7. Will the Rudolph/Carlson duo be a big improvement to the tight end position group? I absolutely loved the signing of John Carlson for an improved pairing for Kyle Rudolph. All the elite NFL teams have an excellent "one-two" tight end punch. It is essential because it opens up the long passing routes and the rushing lanes for Adrian Peterson.

8. Will Matt Kalil live up to his high expectations? This will be the most fun player to watch at Mankato this year. The Vikings will have a centerpiece on the offensive line for the next 10 seasons. He is agile, quick, built and has all the traits to be one of the best offensive tackles in this league. Matt Kalil will get signed before camp and will make an immediate impact for this team.

9. Will Adrian Peterson recover from the torn ACL quickly? The key to the Vikings success this season will be how quickly Adrian Peterson can recover from his serious injury. I feel like he will recover fast and will pick up where he left off last season. He is a freak of nature athlete and will recover very quickly.

10. Will Toby Gerhart continue his steadfast improvement at running back? Toby Gerhart will need to continue his progress he established last season. He has gotten even bigger than he was last season and is an absolute train on the football field. I like the power running game he brings to this roster.

We will look at all the headlines and storylines we need to analyze after training camp is completed. Thanks for reading!

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