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  1. #1
    Muggsy is offline Asst. Coach
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    ESPN Scouts Inc. article on Viking needs

    Minnesota Vikings

    Although the Vikings clearly need to show more discipline, they are still very talented. In fact, this is the team most ready to challenge the Bears for supremacy in the NFC North. In addition, Minnesota has run a version of the West Coast offense since the end of the Dennis Green era. As a result, the team won't have to make a ton of offensive adjustments with Brad Childress taking over as head coach.

    That won't be the case on defense. New defensive coordinator Mike Tomlin will install his version of the Cover 2, and the potential for a rocky transition is high because Minnesota's linebackers aren't good fits for the system. In addition, the Vikings need a few high-character players committed to righting the ship on and off the field.

    Running back: Michael Bennett is an unrestricted free agent who the Vikings are not likely to re-sign. Bennett has made plays in spurts but the team is looking for more consistency out of the position. Although Onterrio Smith will return from his one-year drug suspension, he cannot be counted on after missing an entire season. Mewelde Moore should be a nice fit for Childress' system and provide good depth. However, Minnesota needs a franchise back who has the speed and receiving skills to excel in this offense.

    Outside linebacker: The Vikings have a lot of bodies here but not enough talent. Napoleon Harris was sitting on the bench by season's end, and former second-round pick Raonall Smith is an unrestricted free agent who has basically been a bust. E.J. Henderson and Dontarrious Thomas need to mature and are extremely inconsistent. Making matters worse, Keith Newman is coming off a knee surgery.

    Middle linebacker: There isn't an inside linebacker on the roster who is a good fit for the Cover 2 scheme Tomlin will employ. Sam Cowart is a solid run defender and veteran leader, but he lacks ideal range and isn't fast enough to run down the middle of the field with tight ends.

    Quarterback: Daunte Culpepper has been squawking about wanting a new deal even though he is coming off a disappointing season that ended with a major knee injury. In all likelihood, he will not be ready to start until midseason. Veteran Brad Johnson played well in his place, but he is on the downside of his career and might not be able to produce at the same level. With Culpepper coming off a serious injury and Johnson aging, Minnesota needs to improve its depth here.

    Safety: Darren Sharper played very well once he got accustomed to the new system but he is not getting any younger. Corey Chavous, an unrestricted free agent who has been unhappy about not getting a new deal prior to the start of last season, likely will be moving on. There is not much quality depth here either.

    Big things were expected from Minnesota before a slow start, injuries and off-the-field incidents derailed its season. In addition, there is no question that there are concerns about the backfield, and changes have to be made on defense.

    However, these problems are fixable, and the Vikings still have enough talent to make a run deep into the playoffs. Keeping that in mind, the Vikings must do two things well this offseason. The first is adding the right players to fill important voids, and the second is adding high-character players who will help the team buy into Childress' philosophies and long-term vision.

    Scouts, Inc. watches games, breaks down film and studies football from all angles for ESPN
    "From the fury of the Northmen, O Lord, save us!"
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  2. #2
    VikesfaninWis's Avatar
    VikesfaninWis is offline Jersey Retired
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    Re: ESPN Scouts Inc. article on Viking needs

    Good post! I like alot of what they said. I also disagree with alot of what they said. I mean didn't everyone say last season that Sharper had lost a stepor two? Look at what he did, led the NFC in Picks, and went to the Pro-Bowl as a starter..

    We need better LB's, and will most certainly need a SS. We need a proven RB, and additions to OL. All in all it was a great article.. Thanks for the post.

  3. #3
    DarrinNelsonguy's Avatar
    DarrinNelsonguy is offline Team Alumni
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    Re: ESPN Scouts Inc. article on Viking needs

    I am shocked the did not mention depth and consistency in the OL and I think that is our biggest need followed in a close second by the LB core just like they had mentioned above. Good find.
    "Hard work beats talent, when talent doesn t work hard."

  4. #4
    umaguma1979's Avatar
    umaguma1979 is offline Asst. Coach
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    Re: ESPN Scouts Inc. article on Viking needs

    Yes we need more speed at the linebacker position. It will be interesting to see if the Vikes resign Raonall Smith, who would be a good fit and add depth. However, the Vikes need some additional help at this position.

    As for SS, Willy Offord was looking good before he got hurt. The Vikes will probably be able to resign the former #2 pick inexpensively. Assuming Chavous has packed it in for good and Dustin Fox is nothing better than a backup & special teamer, Adam Archuletta would be a viable pickup.

  5. #5
    gregair13's Avatar
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    Re: ESPN Scouts Inc. article on Viking needs

    "VikesfaninWis" wrote:
    We need better LB's. period.
    "umaguma1979" wrote:
    Yes we need more speed at the linebacker position. However, the Vikes need some additional help at this position.
    we dont need speed. ej, newman, and thomas can run. we need guy who can tackle. simply. thats why i wanted DJ last year in the draft. thats why this year trading up for hawk isnt that bad of an idea. i like cowart, but he's not quiet right for the cover 2 we plan to run.
    We're bringing purple back.

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