With the 2009 NFL season set to start Thursday night, and the Vikings' opening game Sunday, Minnesota better have an answer, before time runs out.
The Minnesota Vikings will kickoff their 2009 regular season on the road against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday at noon. Besides the big question of how will Brett Favre play in his first game as a Vikings, the bigger question may be how will the Vikings do in their first game of 2009?
The Vikings, no doubt, have depth at many of their key positions. Their biggest off-season accuistion was signing 39-year old quarterback Brett Favre after several earlier, failed attempts.
After surgery on a torn bicep in his throwing arm, many reps with a local Hattiesburgh, Mississippi high school football team, and not to mention a last shot effort by head coach Brad Childress to pursuade him, Favre took what may be his last shot in the NFL with enthuisiasm.
Favre came into Winter Park in Eden Prarie, Minnesota and was greeted with open arms from hundreds of Vikings' faithful who swormed his car after hearing of his arrival.
Now several weeks later and with the NFL season jsut hours away, where do the Vikings stand?
There is no doubt, not all is 100% yet, but that will solve itself as the season unfolds.
One of the many issues the Vikings offense must focus on is Favre's progression with the offense, and most importantly his timing with his recivers.
Recievers that include the name of Bernard Berrian, the young Percy Harvin, Sidney Rice, and tight end Visanthe Shianco.
The 39 year-old admitted that he must learn the tendancies of his recievers before the season begins. Knowing a recievers' tendancies is important in the National Football League.
This helps a quarterback know what his team mates like and don't like, how they run their routes, and how they cut. Knowing this could emass into a healthy, succesful passing game.
Another crucial aspect to be solved before the Sunday's matchup against the Browns is the Vikings young offensive line. Minnesota lost a huge piece to their line and a strong veteran leader in Center in Matt Birk.
Birk left after Minnesota fialed to sign him to a deal, a deal that would ultimatley have locked him down for the remainder of his career. A career that began and could have ended with the Minnesota Vikings.
The Vikings will miss Birk, but a young guy ready to fill his hole is second year Center John Sullivan from Notre Dame. Sullivan is already progressing fatser then the coaching staff could have expected.
Many say he is already picking up the line calls and is able to hold his own.
Of course facing two of the NFL's best defensive nose tackles in Pat and Kevin Williams during Training Camp is one way to help. Sullivan learned heavily, sitting behind Birk and watching him play.
Like Birk, Sullivan is very intelligant, a fast learner, and very physical upfront, his only down side is his wieght and size. He's not as big as Birk and there for his physical ability may not be as affective due to size.
None the less, Sullivan will get his first real test against one the the league's toughest players to go against, the Browns' defensive tackle Shaun Rodgers.
Another big question mark going into the 2009 season is rookie Right Tackle Phil Loadholt, who must ajust quickly to the faster playing style of the NFL.
Loadholt, who came in as a rookie, was the instant favorite to win the right tackle job from Ryan Cook after he struggled to solidify his spot with the position last year in 2008.
Cook was never able to be consistant last year, something the Vikings coaches hope to see differently in Loadholt.
In this day and age, winning is everything or so it seems. So Minnesota Vikings fans expect the same from the team they have worshiped since 1961.
Will the Vikings be able to deliver on that promise? Only time will tell, but chances are you will see a glimpse of what is to come this season from game one for the men in purple.
The Vikings biggest keys to a succeful 2009 season will depend a certian crucial parts all working together.
As long as the Minnesota Vikings team stays healthy, especially Brett Favre, the offensive line is able to give Brett the time he needs in the pocket, and Pro Bowl Running-back Adrian Peterson continues his ground assualt on the NFL, the Vikings should be just fine.
The Vikings will be in clear contention to defend their NFC North division title from a year ago. And with a team built with stars around, this Vikings team could have a deep run in the playoffs.
So if asked, Are the Minnesota Vikings Ready for Some Football? The answer should be a solid, loud, and boistrous YES!