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From your opinions I get a sense that you feel very positive about the youth and competition throughout the team. My question is what two positions (one offense, one defense) do you think will be the most competitive and won't have a starter decided until it comes down to the wire?
-- Hudson V.
Champaign, IL (originally Minneapolis, MN)
There’s no question that youth and competition are two aspects of this year’s training camp roster that standout to me, especially after the 9-23 record produced by an older Vikings roster the past two seasons. Vikings GM Rick Spielman, Head Coach Leslie Frazier and their staffs have done a nice job of blending veteran leadership with youth in their shaping of the roster to this point.
Two positions I see being ultra-competitive and not being decided until late in the preseason are at safety and the third running back spot. As a 1st-round pick,
What will the Vikings strengths be on defense? Do you see the improved secondary being a strength? Or the defensive line that had 50 sacks last year? Or maybe the under-the-radar linebackers?
-- Chris L.
Without question the strength of last year’s Vikings defense was the defensive line, as they led the NFL in sacks and boasted the 2012 NFL sack king (
With that being said, I also expect the Vikings secondary will make a significant step forward with the return of
I noticed the NY Jets will not be re-signing S Jim Leonhard, probably because he has displayed durability issues over the last two seasons. Given our struggles in the secondary and especially at the safety position, do you think it would be wise to sign him? If nothing else, to at least heat up competition for the starting job?
It’s never a bad idea to add a talented player to the roster and/or to beef up the competition at a position. Leonhard is certainly a talented player, and his veteran presence would help any team. I’m not sure if the Vikings are a good fit for him or not. There is already expected to be a spirited competition for playing time at safety, and that competition will feature young players such as rookies
In an interview I saw of Josh Robinson, he said that he will do anything to make the team, even if it's playing on special teams. That being said, do you think the Vikings will try him out as a return specialist this preseason?
I anticipate Special Team s Coordinator Mike Priefer incorporating Robinson into the mix at either or both the kickoff and punt return roles. Robinson’s speed is unquestioned – he was the fastest player at this year’s Combine – and he showed me tremendous burst and suddenness during his time working in the Vikings offseason program. Suffice it to say, Robinson possesses the physical traits you want out of a kick/punt returner. In addition, Robinson also has experience returning punts in college, averaging 15.2 yards per return as a sophomore at the University of Central Florida.
I love RB Toby Gerhart's work ethic. He played well when in for Adrian Peterson last year. Now, do you see him as a goal line/ third-down back, or an every-down back?