Tuesday, May 28, 2013

10 Areas to Address During OTA's

With the launch of OTA's coming today, the Vikings are embarking on the 2013 season for the first time. With the additions in the offseason and the success carried over from last season, it is sure to be an exciting season. 

Daniel House gives you the top 10 things to look for heading into the 2013 season.

1. Middle of the Defense- A big question this offseason was whether the Vikings would address middle linebacker with the departure of Jasper Brinkley. The Vikings decided to go with status quo in an effort to get younger at the position. Can Erin Henderson step up and fill the void at middle linebacker, or will the Vikings have to turn to Michael Mauti or Audie Cole to take care off business?

2. Joe Webb makes move to wide receiver- We have now heard Joe Webb will change position groups and become a part of the wide receiving corps. During OTA's, we will get our first look at Webb and how he has transitioned to a different position group.

3. Is Cordarrelle Patterson polished? Has he gotten a chance to work on the playbook and learn the formations? He has many question marks, but has all the athletic ability needed to be successful. The classroom aspect will make for an important part of Patterson's career. 

4. Who will attend voluntary OTA's? Will players like Jared Allen and Adrian Peterson attend OTA's, or will they wait until voluntary practices? I could see both of them attending and working towards the team's ultimate goal of winning a championship this season. 

5. Greg Jennings is in purple and gold for the first time- Jennings was signed to a contract in March and is expected to bring a vertical receiving threat, along with veteran leadership, that should pay dividends for the team's moral. 

6. Will Adrian Peterson contribute at the same quantity as last season, or will the coaches monitor the amount of carries he receives? I think he will participate in the same role as usual, but it will be dependent on the style of the passing game, which I will elude to later.

7. Can Greg Childs make an impact in 2013? Childs is fresh off a patella tear in both of his legs and has spent extensive time recovering. He will be a dictator of whether he is ready to participate at this stage. In a recent interview, he mentioned that he wants to be 100% and doesn't want to rush into the potential of another injury occurring. Look for him to be ready for training camp in Mankato. 

8. Matt Cassel was signed in March to solidify the backup quarterback position and to add depth behind Christian Ponder. Many wonder if Ponder stuggles early, how long it will take before Cassel is placed in the starting role. Cassel has had extensive experience in the league as a quarterback and filled in for Tom Brady when he injured his knee in 2011. Cassel provides a sense of reliability to the position group and brings a veteran presence to the position group.

9. Will the Vikings change the passing scheme? With Percy Harvin gone and Greg Jennings in the mix, will we see a change in the way the Vikings orchestrate the passing game? We could see more vertical passing and short intermediate routes that ultimately will open up running lanes for Adrian Peterson.

10. Who will step up as the leader on the defensive side of the ball? With Antoine Winfield gone, players like Jared Allen and Kevin Williams will need to assume leadership of the group and need to keep young players on the path to success.

Overall, there will be many more storylines that appear in the coming weeks and many of these questions will be answered. We will keep you posted and provide you with the latest information leading up to the 2013 season. 

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