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New QB, new season ...strap yourselves in for a wild ride (09/02/2009)
By John Edstrom

Well fans, here we are again at the start of the new football season. It seems to be upon us sooner than ever, despite starting one week later than last year. Perhaps it was the mild summer.

Unlike last year, when Bernard Berrian, Madieu Williams, and Jared Allen were added to the roster via free-agency, little was done this year with, of course, the notable wedding of Brett Favre to Adrian Peterson in Brad Childress’ West Coast offense, after an absurdly long, on-again, off-again engagement.

Monday night’s preseason encounter with Houston sent mixed signals as to the prospects of the union. The Purple won rather handily, of course, but it was due more to a stout defense and the virtuosity of Peterson than any souping up of the pass offense. Then again, would Tarvaris Jackson or Sage Rosenfels have detected the corner blitz coming and gotten the ball out to Chester Taylor for the TD as the wily old Favre did? That, actually, is what he will be counted on for primarily, rather than a lot of heavy downfield bombardment.

It appears that the enemy will rely on a large and varied package of blitzes to deal with the new Vikings offense as, come to think of it, they did with the old. The Purple have not been terribly apt in picking them up, and this year we have new additions along the offensive line, notably Phil Loadholt at right tackle and John Sullivan at center. If Brett Favre is forced to absorb frequent sacks he will become gun shy like many a lesser QB or, quite likely, hurt.

Despite that possibility, my impulse is that Tarvaris Jackson should be traded quickly, before he starts to press in order to maximize his prospects. Perhaps he has matured; hopefully some other team will think so based on his play so far. But in the past his passing motion and decision-making process have crumbled under pressure. If anyone really thought that would change this year, there would have been no reason to bring in Favre.

It is clear that the Purple will be a new and improved version this season, but the Cheeseheads are looking tough also, and the Bears think they have solved their perennial QB woes. My better judgment tells me that the Vikes should have opted for a longer term strategy to deal with their own problems at the position, but as a fan and (soi-disant) sports journalist I am avid to see how this season plays out. I have a ticket to the climactic (climacteric?) Nov. 1 Armageddon in Green Bay, which I would not trade for all of Obama’s stimulus package.

Strap yourselves in, it could be a wild ride.  


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