In just one week, the Vikings will take the field in Mankato for training camp, looking like a much different team than the one that took the field last season.
The new look of the Vikings starts at the top with new head coach Mike Zimmer. The Vikings coach, and new offensive coordinator Norv Turner, are looking to change up the Vikings defensive and offensive approach.
When it comes to offense, the quarterback position, and Adrian Peterson and Cordarrelle Patterson's new roles are something to watch for during training camp, according to ESPN Vikings Reporter Ben Goessling.
The Vikings quarterback race is expected to be between veteran Matt Cassel and newcomer Teddy Bridgewater. Turner and Zimmer have both said that there will be an open competition for the starting spot at training camp, but Cassel is expected to be the starter unless Bridgewater is clearly the best quarterback in camp.
Under Turner, the Vikings' usage of Peterson and Patterson is expected to be a little different this season. Turner has already said he wants Peterson to catch more passes out of the backfield.
Turner has also said he plans to use Patterson more this season in different spots. Patterson mainly played split end for the Vikings last season, but Turner plans to use him all over the field and said at the NFL combine in February that he already had 10 plays designed specifically for Patterson.
Patterson has high expectations for himself this season. He said during an episode of NFL Fan Pass that he is going to be a top-five playmaker.
Master Tesfatsion of the Star Tribune writes that the battle between Jarius Wright and Jerome Simpson for the No. 1 slot receiver will be another interesting storyline to watch for in Mankato.
Zimmer and new defensive coordinator George Edwards will have their hands full with the defense. They are looking to rebuild a group that gave up the most points of any unit in the league last season. This transformation has already begun with the additions of defensive lineman Linval Joseph, cornerback Captain Munnerlyn and rookie linebacker Anthony Barr.
What do you think of this possible starting 22?
- Quarterback: Matt Cassel
- Running back: Adrian Peterson
- Offensive line: Matt Kalil (left tackle), Charlie Johnson (left guard), John Sullivan (center), Brandon Fusco (right guard) and Phil Loadholt (right tackle)
- Wide Receivers: Greg Jennings, Cordarrelle Patterson and Jerome Simpson
- Tight End: Kyle Rudolph
- Defensive tackles: Sharrif Floyd and Linval Joseph
- Defensive ends: Brian Robison and Everson Griffen
- Linebackers: Anthony Barr, Jasper Brinkley and Chad Greenway
- Cornerbacks: Xavier Rhodes and Captain Munnerlyn
- Safeties: Harrison Smith and Jamarca Sanford