OK, folks, the Vikings have a new head coach and new coordinators, although, shhh, they aren't into announcing things very promptly, so keep Norv Turner and George Edwards between us for now, OK? Now, let's roll ...
George Edwards, the linebackers coach in Miami. The Vikings aren't going to announce their coaches until all of them are in place. Why? Who knows.
1, Quarterback. 2, Quarterback. 3, Quarterback. 3B, Quarterback.
Mistakes are made in the draft when you reach for a position. If there's a great corner, take the great corner over the average quarterback. Or vice versa. I didn't blame the Vikings at the time for identifying the quarterback they wanted and drafting him. But Christian Ponder would be an example of a first-rounder you don't want to re-visit if you just want to pick a quarterback.
Not waiting until Week 11 to 13 to design something for Cordarrelle Patterson, for starters. The ball also will go down the field more often. And that probably means Norv and Ponder won't be able to coexist.
The guess in January is yes. But the draft is in May. They have a lot of evaluating to do between now and then.
If you shove a microphone into a man's face seconds after he's been in a 60-minute NFL brawl, I don't blame that man for anything he says.
Probably Stewart and Priefer. The offensive line underperformed this season. Seemed confused often by stunts and blitzes. Priefer is outstanding at his job, but I don't know if the Vikings want to deal with all the Kluwe baggage that will come with him. If Priefer is telling the truth, he might need to settle this score with Kluwe in court.
They can cut Ponder. But they'll probably try to trade him for whatever they can get. His contract isn't that big that he can't be cut. I would assume they'll tell Cassel he's the starter for 2014, but they're going to be going into the draft for their long-term starter. Whether or not it works, who knows? But someone has to play the position.
Shortly after this week's Senior Bowl. New coaches get their staffs together during the Senior Bowl week.
Yes, the offensive line's giant step backward flew under the radar because of the meltdowns at QB and secondary. The Vikings will have at least one new guard this year, and possibly two.
Failure is a strong word. Don't know that he's a complete failure. But I also don't get the impression that he might not have the patience for players who can't do what he did as a player. That's a problem when you're one of the top handful of linebackers who have ever played the game.
Stranded on an island with two coaches? I'd start swimming.
Depends on the rookie. If the rookie is like an Andrew Luck or Russell Wilson, then no. If he's like a Christian Ponder or a Jake Locker, then yeah. The game can't be looked at in black and white terms. Lot of gray to consider.
He was liked because he got results. He may have yelled and screamed and cussed. But his players got better and they played well together. Players aren't stupid. If a guy gets them results and a bigger paycheck in the process, they'll give their hearts to the guy.
He wasn't a distraction. He was basically nobody. Players and others in the building were baffled that he started after four practices with the first team. But I don't think his presence had anything to do with how the season went.
They can still get the job done. But ultimately it's players who make or break any system.
Favorite memory covering the Vikings would be Peterson setting the NFL rushing record of 296 yards. That second half -- 253 yards -- was unreal.
Would be SHOCKED if the Vikings gave up what it would take to move up to No. 2. Spielman's values draft picks too much and there are too many holes to fill. As for Manziel's intelligence, I've never met him, so he know my intelligence level about as much as I know his. I think he's a playmaker, but he may struggle early on in the NFL because he's a gambler, and defenses are infinitely better in the NFL than what he's seen.
Most new head coaches struggle at first when it comes to delegating. But Zimmer strikes me as a guy who will coach his coaches as hard as he coaches his players. He'll teach them how he wants it done. Zimmer did say he'll experiment with calling his own defenses in the preseason.
Don't know about "big" free-agent signings. And Peanut has a ton of miles on him. But I would keep my eye on Bengals defensive players who are available. When Belichick took over the Browns in 1991, we saw just about every ex-Giant there was come through the building. Zimmer will want some of "his guys" to help show that his style can work.
There better be or you're looking at double digit losses again.
The whole league had a shot at Brees. But Brees also had a say in the matter. This isn't fantasy football. Brees was coming off the major shoulder surgery. Culpepper was coming off the major knee surgery. The Dolphins chose Culpepper over Brees. Brees went to New Orleans and, from what I hear, did pretty well. The Vikings weren't in the picture.