Okay, so a lot has happened over this offseason. Let’s see if we can do a quick review to get all caught up.
The Biggest News: Jared Allen
In my opinion, the biggest news for Vikings fans during the off-season was the acquisition of defensive end Jared Allen from the Kansas City Chiefs. Last year our pass defense was terrible, but I really don’t think it was because of the defensive backs. Winfield was a solid defender, Cedric Griffin was coming into his own, and Darren Sharper is still one of the best there is. I think the biggest problem for the Vikings pass defense last year is that they put absolutely no pressure on opposing quarterbacks. QBs had forever and a day in the pocket against the Vikes, and no matter how good your DBs are, they can not cover recievers for 10+ seconds. On the other hand, Allen was over in Kansas City racking up boat loads of sacks. Despite playing in only 14 games, he had as many sacks as the top 3 guys on the Vikings COMBINED. He should add instant pass rushing to the Vikings defense. What I’m interested in seeing is how opposing O-lines handle Minnesota. When you’re facing a defensive line with Pat Williams, Kevin Williams, and Jared Allen (3 Pro-Bowlers), who do you decide not to double? I have a hunch that no only will Allen get his fair share of sacks this year, but Ray Edwards on the other end will benefit from the attention that Allen gets.
The Other Big News: Bernard Berrian
The Vikings did not have explosive receivers last year. Okay, let me rephrase that… The Vikings did not have explosive receivers that could catch last year. The free agency market was a little thin when it came to WRs (well, except for Randy Moss who everyone expected to stay put), but everyone seemed to agree that Bernard Berrian from the Chicago Bears was a potential game-breaker. He has great speed and has the ability to get down the field fast, which is exactly what the Vikings need. If Minnesota shows a threat of being able to go deep at any given time, the defenders will not be able to stack 8 or 9 in the box, which means that Adrian Peterson should be able to do amazing things once again. I really think he’ll compliment Sidney Rice in a great way, and I really expect those two to become quite the receiving duo.
The Other Acquisitions
Tapeh will have big shoes to fill as he takes over for the departing Tony Richardson, who is quite possibly one of the all time greats at the fullback position. As long as he can lead block for AD and Chester Taylor, though, I’ll be a happy man.
Williams adds some speed to the safety position as he takes over for Dwight Smith. To be honest I don’t know much about Williams, but I’ve read that he’s a very solid cover man, and I’m looking forward to watching him to see what he can do
The Vikings sign all of their draft picks as camp starts
Oh yeah, there’s also that Brett Favre stuff… maybe we’ll talk about that tomorrow.
The Jazzy One