Finally, the preseason is underway. All of you faithful "purple and gold" bleeders like me can now begin to get some semblance of regular life back to order.
Now the real breakdown of our team can begin. We have all had our own opinions of how the offseason went. Riding the high from the draft (Harvin's potential, Loadholt's anchoring of the right side) and the low of the offseason (the F**** debacle, the lack of quality free agent signings, the attempt at a personality from Childress) have brought us to this point.
Now it is time to really get into what has happened since our bow-out in the playoffs.
Truth No. 1
We have a solid team from top to bottom.
The lack of blockbuster free agent signings shows that the organization was willing to go into this season with relatively the same team we had last year. They made attempts at trades and free agents but were not willing to break the bank.
Truth No. 2
We are still improving.
Last year's team had a great rhythm going during the middle of the year. The rocky start and end are causes for concern. Last year's starting QB (no I am not talking about Jackson) provided a steadying influence to the team.
Gus has not been brought back in an attempt to make Jackson more confident in his ability to lead the team. Clearly there is room for improvement in this area. Why else would you trade for Sage (two year process there) and try to get Brett to un-retire?
Truth No. 3
Adaptation is required prior to extinction.
Let me explain. Over the past few years, the Vikings has benefited from character issues at draft time. Talent has over-ridden character. Childress used character as a cornerstone to change the team from a Tice-run party cruise. Now talent is becoming more of a fore-front again.
Childress must adapt from the stale, predictable offense. Harvin and Peterson can present an interesting wrinkle to the "Wildcat" formation. Will Childress learn to use the talents that he has on his team instead of trying to mold the talent into his scheme and game-plan?
Truth No. 4
Don't draw too much into what Childress has called an "open competition" for the QB job. Childress saddled himself to Jackson when he drafted him in the second round of his first draft. This is not an open competition. Jackson will be the starter opening day. There I said it. Sage going against the Colts actually backfired against Childress.
He said one would start this week and the other next week. Look at the competition. The colts are a better team than the Chiefs. The hope by Childress was that Sage would struggle against better quality and Jackson would shine against NFL cast-offs.
Jackson is more athletic than Sage but let's be honest. Childress won't change his game plans and include the Wildcat formation unless he has his prodigy (Jackson) as the starter.
Truth No. 5
This is still the preseason. This is where second stringer get more reps and rookies and hopefuls try to earn a roster spot. In general, the starters are already known. The Vikings Defense has a list of starters already in place. The offense is all but determined. Right tackle appears to be set unless Loadholt suffers an injury.
Sullivan is the center, next issue. Harvin will not crack the starting lineup until midseason. Anything after the first half of a preseason game is just to see what else you have trying to earn a roster spot.
Overall truth to be told...
The season is a few weeks away and Childress wants to try to keep the public in the dark about who his QB will be week 1. Reality is that Childress has already made up his mind and is now trying to figure out how to make it seem like his pick has won an "open" competition.
I remember that comment from last year also where Jackson had "won" the starters job. Funny how quickly Childress pulled the trigger last year on that decision.
The season is here and I can't wait to actually start to see meaningful games once again. Starters playing the full game, coaches having to account for their (lack of) play-calling. The season just unfolding. The truth revealing itself, finally.