How soon can the Vikings turn it around?
Face it. This is as bad as the franchise has looked possibly in its entire existence. So it begs the question how long will it take until the team gets back to where it can contend?
I am going to come out and say if they keep the same FO and coaching staff going into next year we will be picking in the top 5 again. And we actually might be WORSE next year than we are this year.
Salary cap- I believe we are still at the top of the cap space and will not have enough money to change the roster dramatically through FA.
Free Agency- I believe I counted 21 guys that will be RFA or UFA that we will need to sign or replace next season 2012 Minnesota Vikings Free Agent Trackerepth- While losing FA's can be dealt with by bringing up young players that have been drafted in prior years our depth is pretty much non existent. Those guys will need to be drafted, signed in FA or picked up in a trade. That is nothing you can do in one year.
Coaching- I am not even going to go after the HC or DC right off the bat but after the position coaches. The position coaches are IMHO what separates the elite teams from the bottom dwellers and I feel we do not have position coaches who are properly preparing the players to perform on the field. Now, it might be that they are not getting direction from those above them and only they know for sure, but a well coached team does not lose the number of close games that this team has and they don't fall apart nearly every single game like this team has.
FO-IMHO the FO is the core of the problem. The owner is involved behind the scenes but there is no face of the organization or one guy that stands up and is accountable for what happens in the organization.
So what needs fixing?
FO- We need a single, experienced GM. Not a new guy who has never built a team but a seasoned GM who has been a GM and has done it successfully. No other options are attractive to me.
Coaching- That is the GM's job to decide if everyone stays or goes.
Offense- Also the GM's job but I will give my 2 cents:
QB- I have no problem with staying with Ponder BUT we better look at a backup plan and make sure we have a backup who has the experience to step in an play at a high level if Ponder doesn't work out and we better keep an eye on the draft in the next few years for the same reason.
WR- Harvin is solid and I am actually warming to Aroma shadoo. After that we are thin and need to draft and sign a few guys with good hands that can run a good route. One high end deep threat would not hurt anything.
RB. I am fine with the top 2.
TE-Shank is gone. Sasser is gone. We need one more TE. Not sure if that guy is on the roster.
OL. Where to begin. We signed the C to a bigger contract than he is worth which usually means his production will drop but I guess they made their bed with that spot.
LT- Need one
LG- Need to look at phasing Hutch out.
RG- Maybe Johnson can play one of the guard spots.
RT Need one. Maybe Loadholt can play RG?
Depth on O line. We need to stock the roster with better Oline players.
D line. We have the talent but not the production. Could coaching fix this? It has the most potential to improve with the players we have.
LB- We need to replace the Mis and Will LB's. Greenway is locked up so he stays. Depth is bad.
CB- They need to replace every CB on the roster. Every one.
S- See CB.
Punter- We are good.
Kicker- Need to look at getting younger and stronger there.
Seems like that is a lot to fix in a year. The guys that were left over from the McCombs era were the heart and soul of the team and they are getting old and will need to be replaced but there are no talented guys that can step in and take over.