Vikings training camp 17 commences for me tomorrow. Many years, many memories. P.A. AND DUBAY, KYRIES HEBERT, JERMAINE SHEFFIELD, DAUNTE'S undersized bike ('ding, ding'), ERASUMUS JAMES melting over being teased and, of course, the ambulance flying in front of the radio show carrying KOREY STRINGER, the mountain of a man with a heart as behemoth, en route to the hospital and, eventually, doom.
I love Mankato. I love Vikings training camp and I love the new chapters to a common-thread story. This one will be no different. "The more things change the more they stay the same; it's just the ways and means become rearranged."
There are many new actors for the 2014, and the teams' personality will be unique. That's what intrigues me most a day in front of the first #92Noon show from 'FANkato this year. I know we are much better team than the 5-10-and-1 bunch last year, and I absolutely head into TC 17 feeling the Vikings can make the postseason.
New HC MIKE ZIMMER is guiding his first TC. He got through the other camps well, but this time the roster needs to go from like 90 to 53, and a practice squad has to be established. He could set the 53 now if he had to, and that adds to the charm of training camp and preseason games. Players are executing their toil for perhaps the final time at this level, and those "on the bubble" are attempting to bump others from massive collections every first and 15th. This place is a pressure cooker.
How will the new leader handle preseason games? Having former head coach NORV TURNER on staff helps, but I have a feeling we will see quality tempo beginning 15 days from today at The College Stadium and against the Raiders. I do not envision the team being completely "vanilla" this preseason, and I always have felt the casual play-calling approach to preseason games is an overrated strategy. Teams do not develop tendencies off preseason games, so just unfurl ADRIAN'S best runs, and send your a-list blitz on third-and-eight against the Cardinals.
I am genuinely excited. We will do a bunch of radio shows down there, and days I execute #92Noon from the home base I'll trek to 'FANkato for the 3 p.m. practice. The information gathering is second-to-none. I cannot wait to see how TEDDY handles the heat and to witness his thrust to unseat MATT CASSEL as the starting QB.
I want to see what Norv does with Adrian's "two," Given I feel THE GEORGIA SOUTHERN ROOKIE will play a role in our offensive success, I want to see him catch passes in open space and against the top defense.
Who starts at MLB in the base defense?
Is ANTHONY BARR a cinch for the "nickel?"
Who wins the LG starting spot?
Who is the starting safety opposite HARRISON?
Does Norv love JARIUS WRIGHT as much as I think he does?
Will they start JOSH and "nickel" THE CAPTAIN or start The Captain and "nickel" MARCUS SHERELS?
All of this unfolds starting tomorrow, and we all should be excited to see how this chapter ends.