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Weekend Discussion: What Are You Going To Be Watching?

As much as a preseason game can matter, tomorrow’s matchup against the Seahawks matters most because the Vikings starting team will reportedly play the entire first half, and probably one series into the second half.

This offseason has featured an onslaught of Vikings-related storylines to follow and I am wondering which one you will be paying the most attention to during tomorrow’s game.

Here are a few to choose from, but I am all ears if you have an alternate, just mention it in the comments section.

QUARTERBACK CONUNDRUM

Nothing is certain in the NFL.  That includes the health of Brett Favre, despite the fact that he has started like eight gazillion consecutive games.  Plus, it is certain that the Vikings quarterback position in 2011 and beyond is nothing short of uncertain.

The Vikings will likely have to part ways with either Tarvaris Jackson, Sage Rosenfels, or rookie Joe Webb prior to the start of the season.  With Favre expected to play for over half of the game, there will be limited reps to split amongst these other guys, and how those reps get split could tell us a lot about how the Vikings are leaning when it comes to roster decisions.

BACKUP BACK

From what I have seen out of the Vikings backup running backs, I refuse to even call the winner of the #2 spot an all-out “third down back.”  I think that this is the year when Adrian Peterson will become, by force, a true every down guy.

With that being said, the Vikes have some decisions to make here, as well.  Toby Gerhart, Albert Young, and Darius Reynaud are surely in direct competition to fill only one or maybe two remaining roster spots.  Who will it be that gets sent packing?

FRIED RICE

In the wake of Sidney Rice’s hip surgery, the Vikings have begun preparations to keep alive a passing game that was one of the NFL’s best in ’09.  They signed what they hope will be a healthy and productive Javon Walker and also traded for the solid but unspectacular utility receiver in Greg Camirillo.  They also have players like Greg Lewis, Logan Payne, and Marko Mitchell hoping to become a member of the final roster.

Walker and Camirillo are two brand new weapons that none of us have ever seen take a snap in purple.  It will be interesting to see how they fare when the real bullets are flying, particularly the ones that Brett Favre will be throwing.

OFFENSIVE OFFENSIVE LINE PLAY

The Vikings offensive line has looked downright awful in their first two games.  This storyline is a simple one:  Can they improve?

Oh, and John Sullivan might be able to play this week, so here’s your secondary storyline:  Has he improved?

COOKIE MONSTER GETS HIS CHANCE AT FAME

The real Cookie Monster is super duper famous.  The rookie cornerback Chris Cook (recently dubbed “Cookie Monster” by one of our favorite VG posters) is not… yet.

Reports this week indicate that Chris Cook will start at the right cornerback spot after exceeding all expectations by a huge margin throughout training camp and the preseason.  It appears that the job is his to lose provided that Cedric Griffin is still expected to miss significant time to injury.

SAFETY FIRST

The most intense battle for a starting position this offseason has been between Tyrell Johnson and Jamarca Sanford at strong safety. 

Last week, the Vikings gave Sanford the start and he was fairly invisible.  When Tyrell Johnson entered the game, he made a statement by taking out his frustration on some poor backup Forty-Niner and laid him out flat.

This week, Johnson is thought to be getting the start but that doesn’t mean this competition is over.  And just to stoke the fire even more, Husain Abdullah has been coming on strong this year in his own right.

It will be interesting to see how the Vikes handle this situation.

AND HERE IS THE KICKER

One of the most intriguing offseason questions to some of us Vikings fans that think way too much about the Vikings, has been whether or not the Vikings will seriously keep two kickers on the roster.

Ryan Longwell has been Mister Dependable over the years when it comes to kicking field goals.  He struggles with getting good distance on kickoffs, however, so the Vikings signed kickoff specialist Rhys Lloyd who is known for booting balls so far that they can’t be returned.

Longwell has complained that having kickoff duty taken away from him would negatively impact his ability to judge on-field conditions and be as reliable on field goals, Lloyd has not had any real opportunities to shine in the preseason, and his presence means the Vikings are devoting yet another roster spot to special-teams only players.  So, the question is the same as it was when they signed the guy:

Will they really keep two kickers?


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17 Responses to “Weekend Discussion: What Are You Going To Be Watching?”

  1. CalVkg says:

    both lines, first the O guys, then the D. not too worried about the D-line. it’s the O-line that needs to bring it

    then all the other stuff

  2. Fragile Freds says:

    With the need to fill an additional reciever spot to cover for cheech , no way can they waste another on a speciality kicker Llord is gone. It wi be fun to see the new recievers. It’s hard for freds to believe coach brad will cut tjizzle

  3. Fran the Man says:

    I’m going to have my eye on the O-line.
    Hopefully Sulivan plays and we can get a good look at him.
    But I’m also going to be keeping an eye on our rookie corner, Chris Cook too.

    Well at least if I wasn’t up here on the tundra, picking blueberries (About 12 pounds tonight on a recon) and trying to scare Ptarmigan, with NO TV to see the game tomorrow!

  4. Purple Charlie says:

    Chris Cook sounds like he will get the green light tonight if he has a good game…

    Once the season starts, And he starts getting everything thrown at him, That will be the true test…
    Go Cook !!!

  5. B. Grant says:

    Well, since the powers to be scheduled our fantasy draft for tonight (duh!) I won’t be watching the game live. But if I were, I would as always be watching the O-line, because, as everyone knows, if they play poorly, the rest of what goes on is pointless. If Favre and AP immediately have defenders in their face, their skills don’t mean a whole lot.

  6. c.carterhof says:

    Don’t know if it’s on live here, sure I could find it online somewhere.
    But I might just wait for the replay at ten on NFLN.
    I will try to stop by for the chat tho, missed last weeks.

    The all important 3rd preseason game. Yeah, but it’s still preseason.
    Just 12 days from the real thing. Yep, its true, 12 Percy Harvin days!

  7. JMANN612 says:

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  8. stashacolin says:

    Do you love your Vikings? Do you love your money? Of course you do! Make sure to stay tuned to NBC Tuesday & Wednesday 9/7 and 9/8 at 8/7c to see the NFC North Champion Minnesota Vikings’ very own Bernard Berrian, Visanthe Shiancoe, and Anthony Herrera go for a chance to win $1 MILLION DOLLARS for some of their favorite charities! Go Vikings!

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