Mike Zimmer, who recently lost his father who taught him everything, is all business in his job of rebuilding the Vikings. It’s been the challenge he’s been waiting for, the division that belongs, it seems, to the Green Bay Packers.
The Vikings have only qualified for the playoffs four times since 2001.That means four head coaches — Mike Tice, Brad Childress, Leslie Frazier and now Zimmer. 2012 NFL MVP Adrian Peterson is back on the field hungry to return to form after missing all but one game last year with off-the-field issues related to his four-year-old son.
Zimmer has moved this team through camp so far not missing a beat, yet demanding what he expects from each player. His stamp is defense, and the Vikings’ history has a foundation of being strong on defense.
The Vikings are on the brink of busting out of what can best be categorized as an organizational funk. With their new U.S. Bank Stadium better than 65 percent complete, the future for the team looks promising.
The Vikings have improved their overall team speed. Offensive Coordinator Norv Turner has control of the offensive side of this team and is really like a second head coach, and he really is building a unit that will challenge defenses.
The team improved to 3-0 in the pre-season after a 20-9 win over the Oakland Raiders and with some tough decisions to make trimming this roster down over the next couple of weeks. They need to replace massively injured right tackle Phil Loadholt — the seven-year veteran is out for the year. It’s critical to this team’s success that the offensive line hold up this season.
Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is gifted and wise beyond his years, and now the team has the talent at the skill positions to make opponents pay. In other words, Bridgewater is about ready, and he needs the guys up front to protect him.
The next couple of weeks are important to this team’s long-term development.
Larry Fitzgerald can be heard weekday mornings on KMOJ Radio 89.9 FM at 8:25 am, on WDGY-AM 740 Monday-Friday at 12:17 pm and 4:17 pm, and at www.Gamedaygold.com. He also commentates on sports 7-8 pm on Almanac (TPT channel 2). Follow him on Twitter at FitzBeatSr. Larry welcomes reader responses to firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.Larry-Fitzgerald.com.