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Monday Morning Mailbag

Posted Jul 12, 2010

Do you have a comment or question? Send it to the vikings.com Mailbag! Every Monday during the offseason we’ll post several comments and/or questions as part of the vikings.com 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 wobschallm@vikings.nfl.net. Remember to include your name and town on the email.

 

What do you think the chances are that the Vikings make a move to get RB Brian Westbrook? His receiving skills would fill the void left by Chester Taylor. The Vikings are loaded at RB and drafted Toby Gerhart. However, I personally think Westbrook would greatly contribute to the Vikings offense.
-- Chris M.
Billings, MT

Fans have been asking about Westbrook for much of the offseason and the RBs name has resurfaced with the Vikings recently because of TE Visanthe Shiancoe’s comments a few days ago. Shiancoe has been working out with several NFL players this offseason – including Westbrook – and he stated during a live chat on NFL.com that he believes the former Eagles RB still has what it takes to contribute in the league.

Westbrook in his prime would be a great fit in the Vikings offense. But he’s not in his prime anymore and it seems his advancing age and health issues are scaring teams away from him. Lower leg injuries have hampered Westbrook during his career and then last season he dealt with concussions, an issue the NFL and its teams don’t take lightly. In his 8-year career, Westbrook has never played all 16 games in a season and last year he appeared in just 8 games because of injuries.

With all of that said, I’d be surprised if the Vikings acquired Westbrook. I think he’ll remain on the market as teams go to training camp and then someone will give him another shot once they lose a RB to injury.

I was just wondering if the Vikings have given Brett Favre a deadline as to when he needs to decide if he is going to return?
-- Mike C.
vikings.com Blog commenter

I can’t be certain one way or the other on this one. But I’d guess that Favre hasn’t been given an exact deadline to declare his intentions. Rather, I think the Vikings told Favre to take his time making his decision but that at some point before the season the team needs to know one way or the other so it can adequately prepare and adjust. Either way, I don’t think a delayed decision by Favre will negatively impact the team’s preparations for the 2010 season.

I like the depth the Vikings now have at DB, but how do you see the position battle panning out once CBs Cedric Griffin and Antoine Winfield are both at 100%? With Lito Sheppard being brought in during free agency, Chris Cook being drafted and Asher Allen and Benny Sapp both showing they can make plays last year, I think it makes for an interesting battle in training camp.
-- Brandon F.
Wayne, NE

That’s just it – this question can’t be answered until we see these players battle during training camp. Operating under the premise that both Griffin and Winfield are healthy, I think Sheppard is the 3rd CB and when he’s on the field he’ll play on the outside and Winfield will slide inside the guard a slot WR. That leaves Allen, Cook and Sapp battling for position beneath the top 3 and I think Sapp has the edge among those 3 players, with Allen and Cook providing depth at the position and also being core contributors to the special teams unit(s).

Do you think this year we will use the wildcat more to help give Brett Favre a few plays off and then we can use Joe Webb instead of our 2nd string QB?
-- Jason B.
Winona, MN

I don’t see the wildcat being a constant factor in the Vikings offense with Favre back and under center because it doesn’t make a ton of sense to take a player of Favre’s caliber off the field. He’s arguably the best offensive player on the team, but he can’t make a difference standing on the sidelines. With that said, though, I do anticipate the Vikings using creative formations – such as the wildcat – on occasion during the 2010 season in an effort to utilize the talent and versatility that several players possess.

Who are the Vikings more likely to acquire, Chester Pitts or Logan Mankins? And, how many WRs do we have besides our major 3 and Greg Lewis? And what ones have the best chance of making the team?
-- Rogerthevikefan
vikings.com Blog commenter

Though nothing is imminent regarding either player at this point, I’d say the Vikings are more likely to acquire Pitts. Independent of which player the Vikings like more, it’s important to note that Pitts is already on the open market and Mankins is still property of the Patriots, making it more difficult and more costly to acquire Mankins.

Apart from the 4 WRs mentioned in the question, the Vikings have 6 other WRs on the roster. They are: Taye Biddle, Marquis Hamilton, Jaymar Johnson, Marko Mitchell, Logan Payne and Ray Small. In terms of which player(s) have the best chance of making the roster, I’d point to either Johnson (because of his experience with the club already), Mitchell (because of his size and the fact the Vikings put in a waiver claim for him), or Small (because of his chances of winning a kick/punt return job).

Where is Chris DeGeare going to be on the depth chart and what position will he play – G or T?
-- Michael R. (a.k.a.) MGR4FUN
Wayzata, MN

This is another question that will be answered during training camp. I’ve actually heard a lot of good things about DeGeare and I think he’ll end up being a key reserve at G for the Vikings this season and he’ll also give the Vikings an option as a reserve at T.

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