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Monday Morning Mailbag: Peterson's Impact, WR Depth and Standout Rookies

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I think it is fair to say that with Adrian Peterson in the backfield, Norv Turner is going to fully utilize him in the offense. How many throwing attempts will that translate for Teddy and how many touches for talented guys like Jerick McKinnon? --Zach C Minneapolis, MN

The run-pass play call ratio is a game-to-game proposition based on several factors. If you're playing a team with a weaker than usual pass defense, you may lean more on the passing game. If it is unusually windy at game time, you mean lean more on the running game. If you fall behind early, you are forced to throw the ball more frequently. There isn't a set ratio that a team tries to achieve every time because so many of the factors that influence play calls change so frequently. In general, though, teams want to establish the run to set a physical tone and then they want to mix the run and the pass to maintain some sense of unpredictability. I would say somewhere in the neighborhood 25-30 passing attempts per game would be a good balance for the Vikings offense and, depending on the game plan and opponent as well as the health of the other offensive players, I would say anywhere from seven-to-15 touches per game for McKinnon would be a good plan.

We seem to have a lot of quality depth at WR. It'll be a big shame when we lose one or two of them at the 53-man cut. Jarius Wright, Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs all seem hard to let go. Do you think we'd ever keep six WRs? I have a good feeling we'll make the playoffs with 11-13 wins. I can also see us as an exciting team that believes in itself and pushes far into the postseason. Skol Vikings! -- Kevin Bartman Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Yes, I can see the Vikings keeping six wide receivers heading into 2015, which would likely land all three of receivers Kevin mentioned in his question on the 53-man roster. Granted, the number could be five, as it was last season, and that would mean at least one of the three mentioned above would be in jeopardy of not making it. But this is something that will develop over time and likely go down to the last preseason game. It's one of those "good problems" teams like to have because it indicates depth and talent level are good.

I really haven't heard too much about Babatune Aiyegbusi during OTAs. I'm how he's coming along. -- David D. Sioux Falls, SD

There's not much of an update to provide on "Babs" and that's not an indictment on his development or lack thereof. Rather, it's more a function of the position he plays and how early it is in the offseason program. With the contact restrictions what they are in OTAs, it's hard to assess the performance of a lot of players, but particularly the guys who are working in the trenches because so much of what they are trying to do is about leverage and power, which are traits that become neutralized and covered up when contact is prohibited.

From our undrafted group of rookies, who's looking good at OTA's? -- Carlos Romo

The group in general has done a nice job of coming into the offseason program and competing, but the two guys I will mention are CB Justin Coleman and WR Jordan Leslie. Coleman was a clear standout in the Vikings rookie camp last month, batting down several passes and simply looking a step faster than most everyone else. Leslie stays after practice every day and works on some facet of his game with veteran WR Mike Wallace. Leslie and Wallace are literally the last two players off the field every day, and that makes Leslie stand out to me (Wallace, too).

It's 1st and goal on the 1. Who gets the ball? Adrian Peterson? McKinnon? Asiata? Teddy? What do you think Norv's thinking here? -- Jon Westberg

I know Asiata was good in this role last season, I know McKinnon is poised for an increase in touches this season and of course it's great to have a young, developing passer in Bridgewater. But let's be real – the ball is going #28 first in that situation, and I might even be inclined to give it to him on 1st down and 2nd down.

I have been looking at the roster and, if I am not mistaken, the Vikings are short one on the roster. I had assumed that they had someone in mind, but they haven't signed anyone. Can you shed some light? -- Dave Crane

The roster limit at this time is 90 players and the Vikings are indeed at 89. My guess is they are not holding that lone roster spot for anything specific, it's just that they are fairly healthy and don't need extra players anywhere and they aren't in love with any available players. So rather than sign a player with whom they have no intentions, they are keeping the spot open. One benefit to this approach is that if for some reason they need to sign a player quickly they can go ahead and do that without having to make and wait for approval on a corresponding roster move.

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