The 08 Vikings had an outstanding D, solid O line, the best RB in the league but no quality WRs and not much at QB. The result was an good season including winning the NFC North title ended without success in the playoffs. Now Favre steps into the huddle. But having Favre at QB doesn’t answer all the questions, it just creates others. The QB question is will Favre last the whole season? Probably. Is he an upgrade over what they had? Definitely.
Favre can do what the Vikes want to—pass just enough to keep the D honest. Will he? Probably not. Favre wants to put the ball down the field. But he will do what he is asked to do most of the time because even more than long TDs, he wants to stick it to the Packers.
Another question is does Coach Brad Childress lose credibility with the locker room? That depends on what he told the team vs. what he said publicly. If he was honest with the team, he will be fine. If he wasn’t honest with his team there will be a problem.
Favre has some nice weapons in his quiver. WRs Bernard Berrian and Sidney Rice will start despite what you have read about Bobby Wade. Favre loves the occasional deep ball and both can go deep. Rookie Percy Harvin will challenge Wade for the slot receiver. But if Wade doesn’t win a job to start or be the 3rd WR, he my not make the team. The TE is Visanthe Shiancoe. After a year and half struggle, he finally came on at the end of 08 and has the potential to be outstanding.
There is no doubt about the running game. Adrian Peterson is the best back in the league and will get even better if Favre can complete enough passes to keep 47 guys out of the box. AP should be the first draft in most Fantasy drafts this season. RB Chester Taylor is starting quality and gives AP a blow. You won’t hear his name much because the announcers can’t pronounce it but Naufahu Tahi is solid at FB.
The line of LT Bryant McKinnie, LG Steve Hutchinson, C John Sullivan, RG Anthony Herrera and RT Phil Loadholt is outstanding. Rookie Loadholt and C Sullivan are the new comers. Loadholt has potential and looked good in the first preseason game. Sullivan replaced the aged Matt Birk who went on to Baltimore. Hutch is all pro and plays like it. McKinnie seems to have gotten the message after being suspended last season for substance abuse and played well. Last year T Ryan Cook started most of the season and is the backup plan if Loadhold faulters. G/T Artis Hicks provides versatility as a backup as well.
The league tried to suspend DTs Pat Williams and Kevin Williams but they went to a state court and got the suspension put on hold. The issue is still not fully decided. The Williams boys are the best pair of DTs in the league. They join DEs Ray Edwards and Jared Allen, although Allen was injured recently and his status is undetermined. The line when healthy provides an excellent pass rush and stuff the run with authority. DE’s Brian Robison and Kenechi Udeze (assuming he is healthy) provide depth and Robinson will challenge Edwards to start.
SLB Chad Greenway and MLB E.J. Henderson are athletic and fast. They are a perfect complement to the D line. The team missed Henderson who lost the last 12 games of the regular season to injury. WLB Ben Leber is solid against the run and above average vs. the pass. Heath Farwell is back from injury to provide depth and rookie Jasper Brinkley has speed and potential.
The D backfield has some issues. CB Antoine Winfield was all pro last year and wanted a new deal but at 32, the team was slow to offer it. They got it done and Windfield is happy and richer. CB Cedric Griffin came on nicely last year. S Tyrell Johnson is a first time starter and is unproven but has potential. S Madieu Williams is coming off an injury. The nickel back is undetermined. CBs Marcus McCauley, Asher Allen, Karl Paymah, and Benny Sapp will battle for the spot and the bench positions.
OVERALL: The Vikings are now a real threat to win the NFC and the Super Bowl. They have all the parts and less holes than most of the other teams. The big question is Favre and the DBs. Favre should be at least better than the rest of the QBs. The DBs will have to hold up under a lot of passing attacks. The Vikes will score a lot of points and teams will have to pass to try and catch up.
That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.
Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .