Monday Morning Mailbag

Posted Mar 22, 2010

Do you have a comment or question? Send it to the Mailbag! Every Monday during the offseason we’ll post several comments and/or questions as part of the Monday Morning Mailbag feature. Although we can’t post every comment or question, we will reply to every question submitted.

To submit a comment or question to the mailbag, send an email to Mike Wobschall at Remember to include your name and town on the email.

It seems like every year the Vikings have 1 or 2 breakout players. Last year we saw Percy Harvin, Sidney Rice and Visanthe Shiancoe all have breakout years. Do you see any players having a breakout year in 2010? Maybe a guy like Cedric Griffin or Tyrell Johnson steps up big this year.

-- Jay V, Ames, IA

This is a good question and it’s one we’ll take a closer look at once the offseason program concludes and training camp is on the horizon.

To answer your question, I think DE Ray Edwards is a candidate for a breakout season, if you don’t consider his 2009 season a breakout campaign. Also, I think LB Chad Greenway is in a good position to have the best year of his career. Greenway has improved every year and I don’t see why that won’t continue in 2010.

I know CB Dre Bly is up there in age, but I think he still could help out our defense a lot. Question is, do you think the Vikings could have some interest in him? Or are the Vikings just going to sit this free agency out like they have been so far? Bly is still a great corner and could help teach some of our young CBs about the game.
-- Adam, Mahnomen, MN

I think it’s a little aggressive to call Bly a “great” CB, but I also think he can still contribute at the NFL level. Also, I don’t think it’s fair to characterize the Vikings as “sitting out” this year’s free agency period. They’ve re-signed some key role players (Jimmy Kennedy, Benny Sapp), they pursued RB LaDainian Tomlison and they've decided to sign a kickoff specialist (Rhys Lloyd).

It’s certainly possible that the Vikings are looking at Bly, but my guess is that he doesn’t fit the mold of the type of player the Vikings would pursue in free agency. Over the past couple of offseasons, the Vikings have pursued free agents that are coming off their rookie contracts and still have something to prove. Good examples of these types of players are Shiancoe, WR Bernard Berrian and S Madieu Williams.

With LT signing with the Jets, I think it leaves the Vikings in a poor situation. I doubt they will bring in Brian Westbrook (injury prone) and it can be scary to rely on the draft to find someone to help. However, there is a lot of talent in this year’s draft and although it may not be the team’s biggest need, would the Vikings consider drafting someone like Jahvid Best at the bottom of the 1st round to help fill Chester Taylor role?
-- Chaz

I don’t agree that the loss of Taylor puts the Vikings in a “poor situation.” It charges the Vikings with finding a capable replacement, but having to replace productive players is something all teams are forced to do every year. With that being said, I absolutely think the Vikings will consider drafting a RB in the 1st round. Whether it’s Best or not, I don’t know, but I would not be surprised to see the Vikings move up in either the 1st or 2nd round to grab a RB they like.

Since Brett Favre might be back for only 1 more season, do you think the Vikings should consider drafting a QB this year?
-- Anthony G., Hollister, CA

Yes, I think they should and will consider drafting a QB this year. But I think teams should consider every position every year. You never know when an injury will wipe out a position that was at one time thought to be in very good shape. However, remember that it’s important to take a player because you like that particular player, not just because that player plays a particular position.

With all of the speed rushers at DE across the NFL, why not switch the guard and tackle positions? Wouldn't Steve Hutchinson be a better blocker against a speedy DE than Bryant McKinnie? I know this would mess up some blocking schemes when the guard pulls.
-- John F., O’Fallon, MO

To be honest, I’ve never thought of this idea. OTs are usually longer and taller players, which allows them to contain speed rushers more effectively. OGs are usually stouter and stronger, which allows them to overpower inside defensive linemen in the run game. I think with the way offensive plays are designed and with the way QBs prefer to drop back in the pocket and step up to throw, it’s best to keep OTs on the outside and OGs on the inside.

But I like the “out of the box” idea. Remember, at one time the forward pass was an out of the box idea.

What are the Vikings plan for Ian Johnson in 2010?
-- Ruth T., Filer, ID

He’s on the Vikings roster right now and will take part in the offseason program. Given that he stays healthy and performs at the level he’s been performing in the past, he’ll also be on the training camp roster and will battle for position along the depth chart.