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The chemistry and respect this team has for the coaches and each other is special. I believe Coach Zimmer mentioned it in his postgame speech to the team last Sunday. I know it's hard to compare two different teams, but have you gotten a sense from Chad Greenway, Adrian Peterson or Brian Robison on how the chemistry with this team is different from what the team had in 2009? -- Cullen Reisner
No, I haven't gotten that sense from them nor have I really asked them. But I was with the team in 2009, so I have a few thoughts on that topic. To me, the main difference between those two teams is that the 2009 team was a veteran team looking to put all the pieces together for that one season, whereas this year's team is younger and is ascending. In terms of style of play, the 2009 team was defined by a high-flying offense being guided by the best running back in the NFL and a future Hall of Famer as well as a suffocating run defense. This year's team has a well-rounded defense and on offense is featuring an efficient attack that is relying more on the pass than the run. Both the 2009 and 2016 teams had/have great performances on special teams, but this year's group is a touch better, in my view.
Can you discuss a little bit about the noise level in U.S. Bank Stadium in comparison to the Metrodome? Is louder, quieter, or about the same? -- Ryan Santa Rosa, CA
It's hard to have a water-tight opinion on that right now after spending nine seasons in the Metrodome and having been to only three regular season games at U.S. Bank Stadium. With that being said, the noise level so far inside the Vikings new building has been every bit as high, if not higher, than it was at the Metrodome. I don't know if U.S. Bank Stadium is the loudest building in the NFL, but it's definitely in the conversation through the first three games in the building's history. The crowds have been great so far and they have helped the Vikings establish a true home-field advantage. It's early for sure, but so far so good.
What impact does Sam Bradford have with supplying information to the defense about his prior team, the Eagles, and do you think it helps his offense since he was practicing against them. -- Dave Johnson Glendale, Arizona
I do think there are some things Bradford can bring to the table both for the defense and offense as they prepare for the Eagles this week. In the grand scheme, though, it's minor because the Eagles coaching staff is obviously aware of this facet of the matchup so they will do what they have to do in terms of adjustments to protect against Bradford giving the Vikings tips. Plus, I think the Vikings coaches are going to rely more upon what they've seen from the Eagles on tape over their first five games than what Bradford can tell them about how things were handled and operated over a month ago.
Do you think the team will start working Hillman into the fold at running back as they come off the bye week? He contributed mightily to the Broncos last year. With McKinnon's size and skill set, I still like him as the complementary back rather than the go-to. Asiata has found his niche as the short yardage guy, but I'd still like to see Hillman pounding the ball on 1st and 2nd down. Your thoughts? -- Dean K. Hershey, PA
I don't know that the bye week would do anything to speed up or help Hillman's chances of being put into action because practice reps are likely the best thing to get him up to speed with the offense. Asiata and McKinnon have been in Norv Turner's offense for two-plus seasons now, so I'm still more comfortable with those two shouldering the load. But there's no question Hillman is talented and a proven producer, so in time I'm sure he'll be asked to step in and contribute for the Vikings. With how the NFL is such a war of attrition, I'm sure Hillman's number will be called many times before the season is through.
With the bye week here, will we see some people back from injury and maybe some that haven't seen the field much? -- Blake Dufner
The bye week should do the trick for a number of players, but there may still be some others who miss some time. Heading into last Sunday's game against Houston, the following players were listed on the injury report: Anthony Barr, Alex Boone, Stefon Diggs, Rhett Ellison, Sharrif Floyd, David Morgan, Xavier Rhodes, Jeremiah Sirles and Kyle Rudolph. We won't have a good idea on who was helped by the bye until the first injury report is released on Wednesday, and then we won't know for sure until the Vikings disclose their inactive list 90 minutes before kickoff on Sunday. But I'm optimistic about several of the players on that list being able to play on Sunday, so that is good news.
With the signing of Jake Long, does this mean he will be the left tackle and TJ Clemmings will be the right tackle? -- Chris Ladd
No, there's no way to be certain of that right now. Jeremiah Sirles has played well enough to remain in the lineup and it wouldn't surprise me if he remains the right tackle for the time being. At this point, we know that the Vikings now have three offensive tackles with significant playing experience, which is good news. Who lines up where remains to be seen, but I'm sure we'll learn more about that during the week of practice and press conferences.