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Monday Morning Mailbag: Treadwell's Role on Offense

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With just two weeks to go until the regular season, what areas of the team do you think showed the most improvement, and which areas seem to need more work in the next couple weeks so we're ready to go on the road and get our first win of the season? -- Jeff Sanders Kirkwood, MO

Bridgewater and the passing demonstrated great improvement during Sunday's game from what we saw last season. The three consecutive throws Bridgewater had to Charles Johnson, Stefon Diggs and Kyle Rudolph, culminating in the 27-yard strike to Rudolph for the touchdown, were as impressive as we've seen from him as a Viking. I also think the pass protection has improved from last year and CB Trae Waynes has clearly taken a big step forward in his development. As for things that need work, I'd point to red zone offense. The Vikings made five trips to the red zone on Sunday and converted just one of them to a touchdown.

Last year there was a lot of talk about Adrian Peterson not being great out of the shotgun, but Teddy playing better in the shotgun. Have they been running any pistol formation in practice to sort of meet halfway? -- Jeff Rosevear Port Sunlight, United Kingdom

The Vikings ran a play from the pistol formation in the game yesterday, so clearly it's something they've installed this year and I'm sure they'll give that look to defenses with Peterson in the regular season, too. More importantly, though, is they have worked a lot during the offseason and training camp to get Peterson more comfortable in the gun and to get Teddy more comfortable operating from under center.

With one game left in the preseason, what does Laquon Treadwell have to do to earn a starting spot on the team? -- Pablo Amaya Riverside, CA

At this point I don't know that he will earn a starting role before the preseason concludes because both Stefon Diggs and Charles Johnson have a good handle on the top two spots, but we all know by now that teams need more than two receivers in the regular rotation. There can be as many as 55 or 60 offensive snaps in a game, and over a 16-game season you're going to have at least three-to-four regular members of a rotation, regardless of is out there for the first snap of the game and carries that "starter" tag. Even if he's not out there for the first snap, I anticipate Treadwell will be one of those regular contributors for much of the season.

What I don't understand is why Laquon Treadwell isn't playing more with the first-team offense. Twice we were in the red zone and he wasn't in the game. I thought he was supposed to be a 3rd down and red zone threat? -- Kyle Alexander Texas

Treadwell is a quality target on 3rd down and in the red zone. A team can only use three or four receivers at a time, and right now Diggs, Johnson and Adam Thielen are getting reps with the first-team offense. That's to be expected at this point because those three have more experience in the League and in this offense, while Treadwell is still learning how to play the position at this level and is still learning the offense. Later in the game, Treadwell came in and made a great play on the 2-point conversion and then had a nice 15-yard reception in the red zone, displaying abilities Kyle mentioned in his question. Don't worry, it was only Treadwell's third game. He'll get there, just give him some time.

What is your opinion of Justin Trattou? Every time I watch this guy, he makes big-time splash plays – sacks, interceptions, etc. Do you think he will make the 53-man roster? I wish this guy nothing but the best. Love our depth at defensive line. -- Ian Henley

You're right – the Vikings continue to get great bang for their buck with Trattou. He is a lot like Marcus Sherels and Adam Thielen in that he helps the team in a variety of ways, including on special teams where he's a multi-phase contributor. He's also a quality reserve along the defensive line as well as being a great team-first guy and a positive influence in the locker room. Head coach Mike Zimmer had some positive things to say about him in the postgame press conference yesterday, citing Trattou as a "success story" who continues to take advantage of his opportunities. It's easy to make a case for him being on the 53-man roster as the fourth defensive end and a core special teams player, but that's up to the coaches and scouts and only time will tell if he makes the cut.

It seems like this year the team is really pulling together with a team-fist attitude. That is great to see. The veteran players are willing to help out not only the rookies but also the free agents who could end up starting at their position. To hear the rookies and free agents talk about doing it the "Viking way" and the older players willing to help out the new ones, only great things can happen. -- John McGuire Lone Pine, CA

I don't know if I've been around a better locker room in my time with the Vikings. This is a dynamic mix of veteran leaders and a young, talented corps of players and it's clear the veterans don't feel threatened by the young players while the young players are tuned in to the veterans who are willing to offer guidance. I give a lot of credit to coach Zimmer for fostering the right kind of environment in his two-plus seasons leading the team.

Is the public address announcer at U.S. Bank Stadium a real person or is it a text-and-speak computer? -- Dan Jones

He's a real person, and his name is Alan Roach. You may be familiar with his voice because he's worked in and around sports for a couple decades, including in Denver for the Avalanche, Broncos and Rockies as well as for the NFL at Super Bowls, the Pro Bowl and Pro Football Hall of Fame festivities. Roach has also worked the Olympics and done voiceovers for GMC. Our own Craig Peters wrote this piece on Roach back in late June, a good read that explains Roach's childhood growing up in Minnesota and his path to becoming a Vikings fans and a distinguishable voice in the NFL.

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