Do you have a comment or question? Send it to the vikings.com Mailbag! Every Monday 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Remember to include your name and town on the email.
I know Teddy Bridgewater is more of a pocket passer, but do you think he has the speed to run once in a while? -- Reed P. Big Stone, SD
Yes, Bridgewater has both the speed and vision to be a threat running with the football. This can be a valuable skill set for a quarterback to have because it can be back-breaking to a defense when they do an excellent job of rushing and covering but the quarterback is still able to extend the drive on third down by picking up a first down with his legs. But it's also important that quarterbacks refrain from using their mobility as a crutch or as their first response in a "fight or flight" moment. It's more important for quarterbacks to make plays from the pocket than from outside the pocket, but escapability and running ability are still valuable traits.
I read that Chad Greenway is being groomed to play middle linebacker this season. Is this true or was it just speculation? -- Mary L.
My sense is that Greenway and the rest of the Vikings linebackers are all training at multiple positions. As for Greenway, he is learning a new defense for the first time in his NFL career. Perhaps the Vikings coaching staff is using this as an opportunity to broaden his skill set and his knowledge of the game by having him train at his usual spot as well as in the middle. There is nothing wrong with having a player, even if he's a starter, learn another spot within his position group. Ultimately, I think it's too early to say for certain which linebacker position Greenway will line up in once the 2014 season gets rolling.
If Anthony Barr starts on the strong side and Chad Greenway steps into the MIKE linebacker role, who do you see playing on the weak side? I personally think Audie Cole can be the guy for the job. -- Kyle O. Washington, NJ
If that is the scenario that unfolds, I do believe Cole would be a leading candidate to play the other outside spot. But I also believe Gerald Hodges would be in that mix and could ultimately win that job, particularly given how he performed on special teams all of last regular season and the flashes he produced on defense during the preseason last year. Other candidates to fight for that starting spot include Larry Dean and Brandon Watts.
I am pulling for Mike Mauti to get a shot this year. Do you see him as a Zimmer type of player? How is his health so far during OTAs? -- Mark S. Missouri
Oh yes, Mauti is definitely a Zimmer type of player. He has battled through adversity, he is tough, he is a leader, and he cares about the game and playing the game the right way. This doesn't make Mauti a starter, but it gives him a shot. There is a lot to like about Mauti, and whether it's as a starter or reserve on defense, or as a multi-phase special teams contributor, I expect Mauti will make an impact on the 2014 Vikings.
If you had to make one bold prediction heading into the season, what would it be? -- Andy P. @Pothen_vikes
Double-digit wins for the Vikings in 2014. I am not in the business of making predictions for the most part, but right away that is what came to mind for this question. The excitement of a new coaching staff, a tremendous influx of talent on defense, and a mostly young offense gaining another year of maturity in addition to a couple key additions…it has me excited for what this year's Vikings team could do to surprise people. It was just two seasons ago when the Vikings made the greatest single-season win improvement in franchise history, going from three wins in 2011 to 10 wins in 2012. I believe this year's Vikings have improved their talent level more than that year's team did during the offseason, and I believe the new coaching staff this year will have an immediate and profound impact on those talented players.
Do you think Cordarrelle Patterson will appear on the NFL's "Top 100 Players of 2014" list? I personally believe he will, but I don't know if it's just because I'm a diehard Vikings fan. -- Pablo A.
No, I don't think Patterson will be named to this year's list but I do think he is one of the NFL's top 100 players. He was the best kickoff returner in the NFL last season and he projects to be so once again this season, and given how strongly he came on as a receiver at the end of 2013 I also believe he'll be an impact player on offense in 2014, too. I predict it'll be difficult for Patterson's fellow NFL players to keep him off this list next year.