Friday, July 6, 2012
Pre-Training Camp Questions and Storylines Q&A Session
There are many questions that haven't been answered, but let's answer our "Pre-Training Camp Questions and Storylines."
Quarterbacks: How will Christian Ponder respond in his second season? Will he improve his play with the help of OTA's and Minicamps?
Christian Ponder will be much more poised in his second season at the helm for the Vikings. Having OTA's and Minicamps this season is an advantage for Christian Ponder. Not having those his rookie season was a huge disadvantage. He will also have a grip on the life in the NFL, which isn't easy.
Running Backs: How will Adrian Peterson respond to his tore ACL? Will he ever be the same? Can Toby Gerhart fill his shoes until he returns?
Adrian Peterson is a "freak of nature" athlete. If anyone is going to come back from a serious injury, it will be Adrian. I think he will be the same athlete he was before the injury. He may lose a step or two, but he will still remain an elite running back for the Vikings. Toby Gerhart is an absolute truck. If you have seen him after this offseason, he has bulked even more. Get ready for a breakout season for Toby Gerhart.
Fullbacks: Who will make the team? Jerome Felton or Ryan D'Imperio?
I have my fingers crossed that D'Imperio makes this team. When I met him he was a great, soft spoken individual. I don't want a player like Felton on our team that has gotten into trouble. Felton may have a little more ability, but I would rather have a great attitude like D'Imperio on this roster.
Wide Receivers: Will we see a receiver step up as a vertical threat? Will Percy Harvin have all his issues resolved?
I believe that after Jerome Simpson's suspension, he will be an excellent free agent signing. Simpson has a great skill set and has the ability to be an elite wide receiver. The number one concern is that he remains out of trouble. Also, I will be interested to see what Greg Childs brings to this roster. Many Arkansas fans compare him to the 2009 Sidney Rice. Which would be a definite upgrade to this position.
Percy Harvin seems to have his "issues" resolved after minicamp. I believe that Harvin will have a big year to prove he deserves a large elite contract in this league.
Offensive Line: Will top draft pick Matt Kalil live up to expectations? Will his presence help boost the play of the offensive line.
Matt Kalil will live up to his expectations and will exceed some standards. I believe his presence will make the Offensive Line one of the strengths of this team. When you break down our Offensive Line there are really no liabilities going into this season.
Tight Ends: Will Kyle Rudolph become the next Rob Gronkowski type tight end we are hoping for? Will the addition of John Carlson help produce a nice one-two punch at tight end?
Look for Kyle Rudolph to have a monster season. He has all the skill sets to be a force in the NFL. The one-two punch of Rudolph and John Carlson will give Christian Ponder several great targets. I look for the tight end position to be very improved over past seasons.
Defensive Line: Can the defensive line show the same consistency as last season? Will Jared Allen have another career season?
The Defensive Line has been a strength of this team for many seasons. I believe that same trend will continue this season. There is one player in particular to watch and that is Trevor Guyton. We drafted Guyton in the 7th round out of California and this was an absolute steal. Mike Mayock had Guyton rated as a 3rd or 4th round pick on his big board.
Jared Allen will have another great season and I think could reach the sack record this season. He is even more determined now because he came so close to breaking the record. Jared Allen is still the best defensive end in this league and will continue to make a huge impact on this team.
Linebackers: Will the Vikings have enough experience at this position? Will Jasper Brinkley be an answer in the linebacking core?
This position yields the largest amount of concern for me because I feel we don't have much depth at this position. If someone goes down to injury, there is no real backups that are very trusted.
Jasper Brinkley is now saying his hip injury isn't where he wants it and I believe he will be the same player he was. Look at how pathetic Sidney Rice was last season after he had the same injury as Brinkley. This is a major concern to me.
Cornerbacks: Will having Chris Cook this season and adding Josh Robinson and Chris Carr help improve a terrible secondary.
I think having this depth on the roster will be an improvement. I believe it can only better then it has been the past two seasons. I really like Josh Robinson's athletic ability and Chris Cook played relatively well until he was suspended.
Safety: Who will win the position battle between Jamarca Sanford, Mistral Raymond, and Robert Blanton. Will the addition of Harrison Smith improve the backside of the secondary?
I believe that the Vikings will give Blanton a try at safety, but it is too early to tell. I like how he always seemed to be around the ball at Notre Dame. I think Harrison Smith is a legitimate option at safety and he will be a huge upgrade to the backside of the secondary. Something needed to be fixed in the backside of this secondary and I think it finally has.
Punter: Can Chris Kluwe remain consistent as a punter?
I love the humor and fun Chris Kluwe brings to this team. He is by far one of the best punters in this league and is great at knocking balls inside the twenty. Punter is the least of the Vikings offseason concerns.
Kicker: Will the Vikings regret releasing Ryan Longwell? Will Blair Walsh be extremely inconsistent?
Yes, this is a huge mistake the Vikings organization has made. Just think how many games Ryan Longwell has won this team. Now we bring in a rookie that will be very inconsistent in a season where we need consistency. If we start losing games on a last second field goal blunder, the organization will realize they made a mistake.
Thanks for reading our first "Pre-Training Camp Questions and Storylines Q&A Session," we will continue this segment after training camp ends. Skol Vikings!