The 2011 season is mercifully coming to an end, and with that the Vikings will look to 2012 in order to re-navigate the ship in the right direction.
Most Vikings fans are hoping the navigator and captain, Leslie Frazier, can have a successful offseason by firing certain coaches and hiring solid NFL-caliber coaches. Some of the coaches will remain, most notably Bill Musgrave. Those who are calling for Musgrave to be fired should temper their impatience.
Read the book Eating Soup with a Fork—then you'll understand what's going on with the Vikings offense right now. Or at least try to understand the metaphor.
The rest of the staff definitely needs re-tooling. I cannot speak to management, but Frazier has his work cut out for him.
Frazier and crew must also look at free agency and the draft to fit out a crew worthy of sailing this Vikings ship back into playoff contention. In previous articles, I have chronicled possible scenarios for the Vikings, if you care to take a look at those to gain greater context of my reasoning.
This draft and free agency will indicate to the fans the direction the Vikings want to go in. If you look at all the teams they have an identity. Are they an offense first type of team, or defense first type of team? That is what Minnesota has to figure out. Right now they cannot be both because they cannot afford it, a potentially 2-14 team cannot be wishy-washy in their approach.
While I have this opportunity, let me respond to several Vikings beat writers who have taken liberty to make curious statements about rookie Christian Ponder. I take issue with these so-called sports journalists who seem to be nothing short of opportunists. They do very little research, make bold assertions having never played the game, and overall seem desperate to make much ado about nothing. I will address the Ponder situation in the next slide with adept research as reinforcement for my assertions.
The subsequent slides take an early look at the 2012 draft and the possible choices for the Vikings in each round. I have taken liberty to include a minimum of two compensatory picks in lieu of losing Ray Edwards and Sydney Rice. I would assume the Vikings could perhaps receive two more, one for Tarvaris Jackson, and Ben Leber, but I don't want to get greedy, and I really just don't know until it is made official after the winter meetings.
My guess is the Vikings will have at least two, but as many as four, compensatory picks in the 2012 draft. This assessment is made on the premise that there is no free agency and strictly follows a draft philosophy.
So, let's take a look into the murky ball that has yet to crystallize this early.