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-- YC Lindsay
The fifth receiver plays more than most people think, and it’s largely because of special teams. From an offensive standpoint, the number of plays for which the fifth receiver is on the field will vary depending on the game plan for the week. It could be as little as 10-15 offensive plays or as many as 20-25. But when you add in special teams snaps to offensive snaps, the fifth receiver could be on the field for as many as 30-40 or more. Webb was a preseason standout on special teams this season and in fact threw a key block on
I have not been totally absorbed with the preseason games, but from what I have seen, not only with Vikings games but games across the League, this new "leading with the crown of the helmet rule" that we thought would impact running backs has been a non-factor. Do you foresee this becoming more prevalent in the regular season? Did everyone just get all hyped up over this new rule for nothing? That being said, the MVP has not had a chance to bulldoze over some linebackers yet.
-- Brad M.
My initial reaction to this rule was that it would be over-blown before the season and that ultimately it wouldn't matter much because it would be called so infrequently. I still believe that to be the case. To my knowledge, it was not called one time in the preseason. There will be times in the regular season where the rule is broken and it is flagged, but I believe those instances will be few and far between.
I noticed Seattle released Antoine Winfield. What do think the chances are we extend the proverbial olive branch and sign him back? Thanks and Skol Vikings!
-- Kyle B.
I’m unclear on whether Winfield was ever released from Seattle or whether he voluntarily left the team, but the bottom line is it sounds as if he is going to retire. FOX’s Jay Glazer reported it and Seattle Head Coach Peter Carroll also referenced a Winfield retirement via Twitter. That makes it sound to me as if a Vikings-Winfield reunion won’t happen. If Winfield does indeed retire, what a great career. He was probably underrated for much of his career, but I can honestly say I’ve never been around a better-tackling defensive player in my nine seasons with the Vikings.
I was really surprised seeing Stephen Burton get cut. He has made huge strides this offseason, and it sounds like he's got a great work ethic. To me, he just seems like a better choice for the team right now than Joe Webb, who's still very raw at wide receiver. Your thoughts?
-- Steffan L.
It’s true that Burton has made big-time strides this offseason. After a couple of years of hard work, he started to make some plays and we finally saw that improvement translate into preseason games. Previously, the knock on him was that he made plays in practice but disappeared in games. Burton certainly erased those concerns because he had a quality preseason. I wish Burton could've made the roster. It's never fun to see guys get cut, and every year there are good players who get cut because teams can only keep 53 guys. Personally, I agree with the Vikings decision to keep Webb, for a couple reasons. First, I think Webb is a better contributor on special teams, and that’s an important role for a fifth receiver. Secondly, Webb's upside is higher than Burton's. Yes, Burton is a more polished receiver right now, but the spot is the fifth receiver spot and I'd rather have a guy with a higher upside even if he's not quite as polished.
How do you think we will start the season this year? By a dominating running game led by the beast –
-- Miah H.
Sioux City, IA
It’s tough to predict how the game will unfold and what the Vikings offense will do in response to what Detroit’s defense tries to do. But it’s not tough to predict that, despite the personnel upgrades the Vikings made in the passing game, this is still a team that starts and stops with the NFL MVP – Adrian Peterson. The Vikings offensive identity is smash mouth, run-it-down-your-throat, physical football, and that’s not going to change with Leslie Frazier calling the shots. With that said, an area where the Vikings must show improvement is the ability to be explosive in the passing game to counteract what defenses are doing to try and slow down Peterson and the ground game.
Do you know if and when the Vikings plan to recognize Cris Carter at halftime of one of their home games for his introduction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this year?
-- Todd C.
Yes, the Vikings will hold a ceremony for Carter to honor his enshrinement into the Pro Football Hall of Fame at halftime of the November 7 home game against the Washington Redskins. That game is a Thursday night game that will be televised by NFL Network.
After having our official roster set, what is your win-loss prediction for the Vikings? And who do you think will shine a little bit more than everyone else besides Adrian Peterson?
-- Pablo A.
I don't make predictions on the Vikings record because I believe they can win every game on the schedule and it doesn’t do anyone any good to see me predict a 16-0 record. So I will reserve comment on a record prediction. But there are several players on the roster who I think will shine this season for the Vikings, including linebacker