Vikings Offensive Coordinator Norv Turner is entering his third season with Minnesota and 32nd of NFL coaching. On Turner's rather deep resume is his time spent in Dallas, during which he coached wide receiver Michael Irvin, now in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
In 2016, Turner will be working with first-round draft pick Laquon Treadwell. The Star Tribune's Matt Vensel wrote Monday about the potential for Treadwell to stretch Turner's options on offense and also Irvin's take on the rookie receiver.
Vensel believes the addition of Treadwell could add a "physical, chain-moving split end who can make catches in traffic," an element that Vensel said is yet to be fully realized.
Treadwell seems capable of filling the void. At 6-2 and 220 pounds, he has the necessary size. During spring workouts, Turner raved about his instincts and fluidity running routes. And Treadwell isn't afraid to go over the middle, having done much of his damage at Mississippi on short and intermediate targets.
Vensel said that Treadwell pushes back against player comparisons because he wants to stand on his own. According to Vensel, Irvin pushed back against the comparison, too, but for an entirely different reason: he sees even more in Treadwell.
"Laquon's more physically gifted than I was. And he looks to be a real competitor," Irvin told Vensel. "Norv will take that and turn it into something great.
"[Adding Treadwell] is going to put Minnesota on another level," he added.
And Irvin believes that with Turner calling the plays, Bridgewater slinging the ball and Treadwell running his signature route, the young Vikings are ready to take a big leap forward in 2016, just like his Cowboys did back in 1992.
More turnovers in 2016 will make Vikings defense unstoppable
A number of factors play a role in NFL teams winning games, as Viking Update's John Holler pointed out in a recent article: points scored, penalties, turnovers committed and turnovers caused, to name a handful. Holler said the ratio of the latter two is crucial in a team's success.
In 2015, the Vikings were plus-5 in turnover margin en route to their 11-5 record, NFC North title and playoff appearance. Of the 14 teams with a plus-5 or higher in that category, 12 of them had winning records. Holler wrote:
What could make things scary for Vikings opponents is that they [weren't] the biggest ball hawks in the league on defense. Their 22 takeaways last year were more memorable than numerous. Of the teams in the plus-5-or-better club last year, only the Patriots had fewer takeaways.
If the Vikings offense can keep [giveaway] numbers down, Minnesota may only be scratching the surface as the core defenders enter a third season in [Vikings Head Coach] Mike Zimmer's system.
A look at the Vikings RB corps
With Vikings training camp just around the corner, Andrew Krammer took a look Monday at the running back corps for ESPN 1500. He wrote the following about starting running back Adrian Peterson, entering his 10th season:
Adrian Peterson last season proved he's still as dominant as anyone in the NFL with the ball in his hands.
He can still top 20 miles per hour on the field, and a physical style has yet to erode entering his age 31 season. There's still little question of Peterson's durability after he shouldered one of his heaviest workloads with a league-high 327 carries.
Krammer also homed in specifically on third-down options and the passing game:
*There aren't a ton of touches to go around behind Peterson, but questions revolve around the division of labor on third downs. [Jerick] McKinnon figures to be in line for a larger role, but Peterson also wishes for more. Available opportunities will likely come in the passing game. That's where competition will heat up in camp as Peterson looks to prove he's more than one of the game's best runners and McKinnon tries to break out. *
Krammer also identified Matt Asiata as the backfield's most effective blocker, saying that he "could remain involved should protection call for it."