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singersp
07-27-2006, 12:11 AM
Column: Sizing up the Vikes roster

Wednesday, July 26, 2006 9:40 AM CDT
Jeff Budlong, On the Rebound
The Albert Lea Tribune

With NFL training camps opening en masse this week I figured now was the time to look at the Minnesota Vikings' roster and see what they will have to work with in Mankato before the real hitting starts.

The biggest plus no matter who is or isn't on the roster this season is no boat scandal to worry about. Head coach Brad Childress has put his stamp on the Vikes without a lot of controversy to go with it which is nice for a change.

Here we go.

Quarterback Brad Johnson is the starter. The positives are his experience - a proven Super Bowl winner - and his ability to lead, but if you look at the depth chart his age (37) has to worry you. Johnson did well last season - albeit against non-playoff teams - but in today's NFL you better have two experienced QBs ready to go.

The Vikes currently have Mike McMahon who is no Jim and not as entertaining as Vince. J.T. O'Sullivan has been tagged as a QB with talent but has never shown it. Finally, there is draftee Tarvaris Jackson who is being groomed as the successor, but this is not the year for him to take over.

Running back - I love Chester Taylor and think he was the steal of the summer. So needless to say I think the Vikes will be O.K. No more having to worry about Michael Bennett's health or Onterrio's Whizzinator. Mewelde Moore and Ciatrick Fason should see their fair share of carries and Tony Richardson is a solid vet.

Wide receiver - Koren Robinson is coming off an all-pro season, but his past will always be a concern. So fans have to hope Troy Williamson has a big sophomore improvement after being drafted to replace Randy Moss and coming up just a little more than short. Travis Taylor has proven he is not a No. 1 but hopefully he can be a solid contributor this season.

Tight end - Jermaine Wiggins and Jim Kleinsasser make this a position of strength for Minnesota and that is important allowing Johnson to get rid of the football fast if he is feeling the pressure.

Offensive line - Matt Birk is back which is a big positive if he reverts back to his pre-injury form. Also the Vikes made their biggest splash in free agency right here by locking up road grader Steve Hutchinson.

Defensive end - A healthy Erasmus James and Kenechi Udeze would really help the Vikes. When you spend high first round draft choices on ends you have to be looking for more than what these two have given. Ray Edwards is a rookie to keep an eye on.

Defensive tackle - The Williams boys (Pat and Kevin) will need to have a strong season as they will be responsible for helping keep the linebackers clean and able to pursue to the ball and make plays for the defense.

Linebacker - Napoleon Harris, E.J. Henderson, Ben Leber and Dontarrious Thomas along with rookie Chad Greenway are a group that needs to step up and make more plays then they have in the past. An improved pass rush up front would help.

Defensive backs - Fred Smoot better have a bounce back year because the high priced free agent from a year ago got burned early and often.

Antonie Winfield may be small but he is productive and can hit. Darren Sharper is a veteran at the safety position but he looked good last year. The other spot is not as solid with rookie Greg Blue a possibility.

Kickers - The Vikes look to be pretty solid with Ryan Longwell kicking the field goals and Chris Kluwe booming the punts.

(Sports editor Jeff Budlong's column runs every Wednesday.)

Published: Jul 26, 2006 - 09:40:58 am CDT

Column: Sizing up the Vikes roster (http://www.albertleatribune.com/articles/2006/07/26/sports/sprots2.txt)

Slade
07-27-2006, 12:49 AM
I like what he said about RB. I hope Chester is the steal of the offseason!!

cajunvike
07-27-2006, 12:50 AM
Oh...I thought that this thread was about what Freya does every training camp! :razz:

BadlandsVikings
07-27-2006, 12:55 AM
Offensive line - Matt Birk is back which is a big positive if he reverts back to his pre-injury form. Also the Vikes made their biggest splash in free agency right here by locking up road grader Steve Hutchinson.

I hope a year off helped him be better than ever.

MaddenVodkaAddict
07-27-2006, 12:59 AM
"singersp" wrote:



Antonie Winfield may be small but he is productive and can hit. Darren Sharper is a veteran at the safety position but he looked good last year. The other spot is not as solid with rookie Greg Blue a possibility.



:?:

Slade
07-27-2006, 01:00 AM
"maddenhasamancrushonfavre" wrote:

"singersp" wrote:



Antonie Winfield may be small but he is productive and can hit. Darren Sharper is a veteran at the safety position but he looked good last year. The other spot is not as solid with rookie Greg Blue a possibility.



:?:

~ Well, with D Smith coming aboard, this position should be shored up. Also, can't forget about Tank

FedjeViking
07-27-2006, 01:48 AM
Vikings Sign One, Waive Three (http://vikings.scout.com/2/549953.html)

VikesfaninWis
07-27-2006, 01:54 AM
Man, can you picture that D-Line? Udeze, P Williams, K Williams, and James.. Then that secondary.. Winfield, Smoot, Sharper, Tank, and Smith.. This will be an impressive team this season..

vikeswin2005
07-27-2006, 02:03 AM
wow i am excited

mr.woo
07-27-2006, 02:05 AM
an impressive defense for sure. the offense im not sold on yet

Vikes_King
07-27-2006, 03:38 AM
normally, when it comes to defense in the NFC North, you hear things about the packers having one of the best pass defences in the league (if not the best, sadly, even though they still lose), the bears having an amazing, yet surprising, year with their (should have been) 1st over all defense (only wasnt because we faced their backups)

this year, it will be all about the purple people eaters devouring opposing offenses =)

Warp
07-27-2006, 07:00 AM
"maddenhasamancrushonfavre" wrote:

"singersp" wrote:



Antonie Winfield may be small but he is productive and can hit. Darren Sharper is a veteran at the safety position but he looked good last year. The other spot is not as solid with rookie Greg Blue a possibility.



:?:
Yeah with the Smith signing and Tank on the roster i have no idea why he would say Blue is a possible starter :shock:

Braddock
07-27-2006, 08:05 AM
"VikesfaninWis" wrote:

Man, can you picture that D-Line? Udeze, P Williams, K Williams, and James.. Then that secondary.. Winfield, Smoot, Sharper, Tank, and Smith.. This will be an impressive team this season..

I agree. Anyone think we'll rival the infamous "Return of the Monsters of the Midway" this year? I think our defense, if they can gel, will give ChiTown (not the pp.o member) a run for their defensive money.

Aberration
07-27-2006, 08:16 AM
:mad: (me wishing really hard) PLEASE don't mess up the D lb's.... also known as take all that potential and just be in the right spots and slow guys down

digital420
07-27-2006, 09:27 AM
i'm not sure why he dind't mention tank taking that spot over blue. but i can understand if he wrote it before the finalization of Smith's transfer.

if DID know about those 2.. then he's either seen something in blue we've never seen or his lost in the list of talent we have on D.

DiGiTaL

Benet
07-27-2006, 11:58 AM
Speaking of Blue, has the idea of converting him to a linebacker been dropped now?

Prophet
07-27-2006, 10:57 PM
Damn. I'm starting to really like this roster.

======================================

QB Brad Johnson Mike McMahon J.T. O'Sullivan | Tarvaris Jackson

RB Chester Taylor Mewelde Moore Ciatrick Fason | Adimchinobe Echemandu

FB Tony Richardson Richard Owens Steven Jackson

LWR Travis Taylor Marcus Robinson Aaron Hosack

RWR Koren Robinson Troy Williamson Billy McMullen | Christopher Jones

TE Jermaine Wiggins Jim Kleinsasser Richard Angulo | Jeff Dugan

ORT Marcus Johnson Mike Rosenthal Donald Penn

ORG Artis Hicks Anthony Herrera

C Matt Birk Jason Whittle Ryan Cook | Jason Palermo

OLG Steve Hutchinson Chris Liwienski

OLT Bryant McKinnie Adam Goldberg Sean Bubin | Mark Wilson

LDE Kenechi Udeze Darrion Scott Ray Edwards

LDT Kevin Williams Spencer Johnson Ross Kolodziej | Manase Hopoi

RDT Pat Williams C.J. Mosley Eric Taylor

RDE Erasmus James DeQuincy Scott Jayme Mitchell

SSL Ben Leber Heath Farwell Marcus Lawrence

ML Napoleon Harris Dontarrious Thomas Rod Davis | Kyle McKenzie

WSL E.J. Henderson Chad Greenway

LCB Antoine Winfield Cedric Griffin Dovonte Edwards | Ronyell Whitaker

RCB Fred Smoot Dustin Fox

SS Tank Williams Willie Offord Greg Blue

FS Darren Sharper Will Hunter / Dwight Smith

PK Ryan Longwell

P Chris Kluwe John Torp