by Matt Soltysiak
By winning their final regular season game of the 2008 season, the Minnesota Vikings captured the NFC North title. In fact the Vikings won five of their final six games to finish 10-6, but would lose in the Wildcard game. There aren’t very many notable changes for Minnesota, at least not yet. Gus Frerotte is gone as back-up quarterback, that job now belongs to Sage Rosenfells. The Vikings re-signed tight end Jim Kleinsasser. Of course their biggest move this off-season still involves a game of wait-and-see. We’re talking about possibly bringing in Brett Favre to start at quarterback. Will he or won’t he? It should be sorted out soon enough.
In the draft Minnesota decided one of the best ways to help Tarvaris Jackson improve is to provide him with another target. In the first round the Vikes grabbed receiver Percy Harvin from Florida. In the second round the team took offensive lineman Phil Loadholt. The former Oklahoma Sooner could help keep Jackson (or Brett Favre) on his feet a little more this season.
What to watch for in training camp
First watch to see is Favre decides to show up. If so, this team is no doubt a Super Bowl contender. They have all the pieces in place, something the Jets didn’t have last year. If there is no Favre, it’s Jackson’s job to lose, though that doesn’t means his job is safe. He needs to show he’s progressing after it looked like he was starting to get it in ‘08 having finished with a 95 QB rating and a 9-2 TD to INT ration.
The running game is pretty much cemented. Adrian Peterson is the number one man and Chester Taylor is a solid back up. If I draft Peterson, I handcuff him with Taylor, just in case.
The receiving corps on this team is intriguing. Bernard Berrian led the team in yards and touchdowns even though Bobby Wade had five more catches. Berrian is the number one guy on the team, but he needs to have about thirty more catches to be a good fantasy receiver. Bobby Wade, Sidney Rice and Percy Harvin will all be trying to make impressions. Harvin has the most upside with his versatility. Tight end Visanthe Shiancoe should be another good weapon sd he was a great red zone target last season catching seven touchdowns. Of course each of these ball catchers need consistency and production out of the quarterback position to have a successful season.
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