So anyways here we go, the first group I will be doing is the offensive linemen.
Limiting The QB Hits
The Vikings did have 2 new starters last season in the front 5. It does not matter if there is a 30 year old or 40 year old QB taking the snaps. The hits on the QB disrupts timing with the receiver(s), thus making the QB unable to see the field as a whole. It was not just the Saints game that the Vikes allowed the defense to blast the QB so freely. It seemed like it was happening often in the last quarter of the season.
If Favre does return, I hope that this unit can get more in sync to give the QB the time that he needs back there. The last thing that the Vikes need is to see Favre or Jackson/Webb back there running for their life.
The interior line of the Vikes had injury problems to say the least. 2 out of the 3 starters were dealing with injuries throughout the season. Steve Hutchinson had a shoulder injury that he played with, but it affected his performance.It was not the same Hutch from 2008 season, just not the same that was for sure. Anthony Herrera has injuries as well missing 2 starts last season. With the injuries it hampered the running game at times last season not give AD room to run and allowing defenders to get to Favre quickly.
With the offseason to mend from these injuries, I hope to see an improvements on the inside rushing attack that was not that great last season. With the line healthy it would be nice to see AD and Toby blasting through those hole with ease. We will be seeing more of that this coming season.
Have The Rookies Learned
It is not excuse from last season, but the Vikes had 2 new starters last season. John Sullivan had the fill some HUGE shoes in Matt Birk last season. He had some rough spots in the road last season. It was to be expected it was his 1st season as the starting center after all. He was accompanied by Phil Loadholt that started at right tackle.
Over the course of the season I thought that these two were steadily improving and earning their keep. I for one think that these 2 year starters are ready for the challenge and continue to open the hole and execute the plays correctly.
After the injuries and learning that took place last season it was visible in some of the games.This line is healthy and much more improved than last year. I do think that the front 5 will be more solid than they were last season.