Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
With Toby Gerhart and Adrian Peterson, Minnesota should be able to utilize the halfback screen more often and possess a stronger play-action passing atack.
Many things were baffling about Minnesota's offense in 2012.
First, why didn't it involve the halfback screen more frequently?
The offense's best player is a running back. Adrian Peterson isn't the best receiver by running back standards, but he can catch a simple dump-off pass and take it to the house.
The backup, Toby Gerhart, has shown the ability to turn screens into big gainers.
And Minnesota's two best offensive linemen, John Sullivan and Matt Kalil, are very good in the open field.
Gerhart, Peterson, Kalil and Sullivan should be back in 2013. It should play a bigger role next season.
Second, the play-action pass needs to be better utilized. Again, Minnesota's best player is a running back, and it is known as a running team. Defenses consistently stacked the box with eight defenders. All of that should have enabled the play-action pass to be a deadly tool in the offense's tool box. But it wasn't.
Better incorporating the play-action pass will make the offense and Christian Ponder more successful.
Third, unleash Percy Harvin. Harvin is Minnesota's No. 2 offensive weapon. Minnesota kept him around the line of scrimmage in 2012, but he should be allowed to go deep. He has the skills to be a versatile receiver. He's not the tallest receiver (5'11") but plenty of players under 6'0" can be deep threats.
In the first four seasons of his career he demonstrated the ability to dominate the flats and middle of the field. Now let him explore and dominate that last frontier. He can do it.