Since NFL free agency began, there are two words I've never strung together to assess offseason moves by the Vikings. Here, for the first time, are those words I'm impressed.
New coach Brad Childress is constructing a West Coast offense that could have defensive coordinators chain-popping antacids.
The defense, well, that still needs work, but the offense is coming together nicely.
Fans pouting over the trade of Daunte Culpepper should consider the acquisitions of guard Steve Hutchinson, running back Chester Taylor and fullback Tony Richardson as salves for the offense. Hutchinson is the best guard in the game. Richardson is one of the league's best blocking backs. Taylor was one of the league's best backup RBs.
Need a tough yard? Just call a play for Taylor, who follows Richardson into the left side of the line, where Hutchinson and former Pro Bowl center Matt Birk clear a wide swath.
Need second-and-short? The aforementioned players have the talent to make that happen, too.
"I'm ecstatic about Hutchinson,' Birk said. "And we're bringing in fullbacks and running backs. It looks like we're going to pound the ball. As an offensive lineman, that's what you like."
And if the running game is moving the chains, life becomes that much easier for Brad Johnson and the passing game.
"The more balance you can get, the more success you can have," Birk said. "And the more dangerous you can become."
Now, if the Vikings ever get around to improving the defense, I'll string together these three words for the first time I'm really impressed.
Bob Sansevere can be reached at [email protected]