Monday Morning Mailbag

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Monday Morning Mailbag

Posted Jul 22, 2013

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.

 

I was wondering how hard Adrian Peterson has been training this offseason. He's said that his goal was 2,500 yards this season so is he training just like if not harder than last year?
-- Sergio M.
Moreno Valley, CA

Peterson doesn’t really have an “off” switch, so I can assure you he’s trained as hard as ever to get ready for the 2013 season. In fact, we have him quoted in the 2013 Vikings Yearbook feature story as saying this when asked how his offseason went: “It’s been great. I had some time to relax, get away and enjoy my family. But you know me. I was back to work pretty quickly.”

After seeing the success of various teams running the ball using the read option, do you think we could see the Vikings implement some form of read option into their offense? Do you think Christian Ponder is capable of doing this? I would think so, after seeing some of his runs, especially the one against the San Francisco 49ers. Thoughts?
-- Max
Omaha, NE

While I believe Ponder is capable of running the read-option and while I don’t like to rule anything out, I would be surprised if the Vikings used this as one of their primary offensive strategies. Yes, we’ve seen some teams use it and find success recently, but we’ve also see teams have their quarterbacks injured while running the read-option. Also, I don’t believe the read-option is what’s best when you have such an effective power running game, which the Vikings have. I’d rather just give the ball to Peterson and have that offensive line work in front of him than have Peterson and Ponder stand back there and spend a bunch of time with fancy footwork and fake handoffs. Again, I’m not opposed to experimenting with different ideas (such as the read-option), but I don’t believe they should turn into a primary offensive option.

Is Cordarrelle Patterson going to be a starting wide receiver or is he only going to be a punt and kick returner?
-- Justus B.
New Ulm, MN

Because he was taken with a first-round pick it’s safe to assume the team is confident he will develop into a starting-caliber receiver. But we have to remember that wide receiver is one of the most difficult positions for a rookie to learn, so it could take some time. We also have to remember that A) the Vikings have other candidates to be starting receivers in addition to Patterson, and B) there is typically such a liberal rotation at receiver that it doesn’t matter who starts because they all see a lot of snaps.

Do you think Jarius Wright will see plenty of playing time this year? He really stepped up in Percy Harvin's absence last year and I think he can be a vital piece of the offense.
-- Derek S.

Most certainly. Derek is correct that Wright was one who stepped it up when Harvin went down for the season with his ankle injury, and that along with his strong offseason has a lot of people around Winter Park excited to see what he can do in 2013. Even with the additions of Greg Jennings in free agency and Patterson in the draft, Wright still figures to play an important role in the passing game. I actually like Wright as either an outside or a slot receiver, and I think that versatility will ensure he sees a lot of the field this season.

It seems to me that one who gets lost in conversation is defensive tackle Christian Ballard. How is he doing, and do you believe he will be able to play a bigger role for us this season?
-- Chris L.

I do believe he’ll play a bigger role for the Vikings this season than he has in seasons past. In fact, Ballard was one of five Vikings I identified back in April at the start of the offseason program as being poised for a breakout season. He’s going into his third season, is maturing from a physical perspective and figures to be a prominent part of the rotation at defensive tackle. It all seems to be coming together for him and I’m anxious to see what he can do with the opportunity.