Matt Birk will still be wearing purple, but it will be purple and black, not purple yellow.
So, who will be the starting center for the Minnesota Vikings?
The early front runner is John Sullivan, a second-year player out of Notre Dame. He had limited playing time in his first year with the Vikings, but impressed the coaching staff enough to let Birk sign elsewhere.
Here are a few questions I would ask Sullivan in a interview to get his story.
No. 1: What type of blocker do you consider yourself? It would be interesting to see if he thinks he is better in the run or pass game.
No. 2: You are expected to replace a former Pro Bowler and native of St. Paul in Matt Birk. What are you doing to prepare for training camp and the pressure of replacing a player like Birk? I would like to know if he is doing anything different this year than he did last, since he is entering his second training camp and season.
No. 3: Were you surprised when the Vikings took you in the sixth round with the 187th pick overall? I'm sure he heard from the Vikings leading into the draft, but there wasn't any talk about him prior to it.
No. 4: What was it like playing for Notre Dame? This could get some great stories about the tradition and grandeur of the program.
No. 5: Was there any pressure to perform as a player at Notre Dame, like we hear about with the coaching staff? We hear all the time about current Irish coach Charlie Weis being on the hot seat, even after winning a bowl game. It would be interesting to hear if that pressure is felt by the players as well.
No. 6: While playing for the Irish you had several teammates, including Ryan Harris and Trevor Laws, that grew up in the Twin Cities. Did those guys give you advice about living in the Twin Cities, good restaurants or nightlife hot-spots to visit? It would be interesting to find out what displaced Minnesotans have to say about the cities.
No. 7: Have you been able to try any local cuisines or something you had not tried before coming to Minnesota? This could be food or entertainment. I wonder if he's tried Lutefisk yet.
No. 8: Your brother played rugby in college at Indiana. So both of you played physical sports at a high level. What were your sibling scuffles like growing up? This could be the most interesting part of the interview. I may need to contact his brother for the truth, though.
With those questions, you would get a better understanding of who could be anchoring the Vikings' offensive line this season.