The Vikings rose from mediocrity to surprise the NFC North last season finishing a respectable 10-6, and making their first playoff appearance since 2004, only to make an early exit at the hands of Philadelphia.
The absence of QB Gus Frerotte leaves a question mark in the Vikings roster. Normally, the departure of a back up player doesn’t spell disaster for a team, but it should leave Vikings fans worried.
Battling for the job will be returning starter Tarvaris Jackson, and career backup newcomer Sage Rosenfels.
Both have their finer points, but both also have issues that should have Minnesota fans muttering under their breath.
Simply put, head coach Brad Childress has already taken the ball away from Jackson once. Perhaps that served as a wakeup call for him, but if Childress has to do it again, Jackson becomes nothing more than a liability for the Vikings.
And as long as the Vikings are assessing their liabilities, Childress needs to reconsider Jackson’s role when it comes to rushing.
Granted, rushing is not a big part of his game but in the last three seasons he has rushed for 20 yards or more 11 times, his team has only won three of those games.
To his credit though, after ample time sitting on the bench thinking about why he wasn’t on the playing field, he made some adjustments to his game, redeeming himself and his team, winning three of his last four games of the season.
Although, in the lone loss during that stretch, Jackson rushed for 76 yards.
Rosenfels, meanwhile, floundered at best in his time Houston. His biggest problem was also the simplest.
He can’t win games.
After going 4-5 in the 2007 season, and just 2-4 in the 2008 season, some people are still scratching their head as to why the Vikings bothered with him at all.
Last season his passer rating was an anemic 79.5, and 2007 wasn’t much better, coming in at a sub-par 84.8
Also, still playing out in Minnesota courts are the cases of Kevin and Pat Williams who are fighting suspensions of allegedly taking a banned substance.
If the matter can be resolved without suspensions the Vikings can breathe a sigh of relief, however should the two lose their cases in the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Vikings defense could be looking at some serious problems to start the season.