Dec 29, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson (84) celebrates his touchdown with quarterback Matt Cassel (16) during the fourth quarter against the Detroit Lions at Mall of America Field at H.H.H. Metrodome. The Vikings defeated the Lions 14-13. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

5 Reasons To Be Optimistic About The 2014 Minnesota Vikings

With the 2014 NFL regular season a little more than 10 weeks away, it’s time to start daydreaming about seeing our favorite team on the field.  There are some reasons to be excited about the upcoming year and there are also some reasons to be skeptical.  This time, we’ll focus on reasons to be optimistic about the 2014 Minnesota Vikings!

Here my top 5 reasons to be optimistic about the team:

  1. The team has a fresh new defensive scheme.  Gone are the days of the patient defense that just tries to limit yards after the catch.  Now, the defense will focus on getting pressure on the quarterback and disrupting things in the backfield.  Last year, the Minnesota Vikings were 31st in the NFL in total pass defense last year and gave up 37 passing touchdowns (most in the league).  Hopefully, this defensive change will result in turnovers and a vastly improved squad.
  2. Jun 17, 2014; Eden Prairie, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer speaks with the media after morning practice at Winter Park. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

    There are new leaders on the coaching staff.  The offense will feature new coordinator Norv Turner and the defense has George Edwards as their new coordinator.  When you add in new head coach Mike Zimmer and tons of new positional coaches, the 2014 Minnesota Vikings look to have a new attitude and new direction going forward.  Last year, the coaching staff was criticized for being too soft.  I have a feeling that softness won’t be much of an issue with this new group of leaders.

  3. There is youth all over the roster.  After two years of solid drafts, this team has a lot of young players to be excited about.  While guys like Cordarrelle Patterson and Teddy Bridgewater seem to be getting most of the media attention, there are loads of young guys that will look to impress this year.  Youngsters Xavier Rhodes, Sharrif Floyd, and Anthony Barr look poised to shine in new starting roles and many others will be fighting for a spot on the team.  Youth and speed are what this team is all about.
  4. They will be playing outdoors this year.  There are a lot of football purists out there who feel that real football is played outside in the elements.  The mud, snow and wind will be huge factors in the games hosted at TCF Bank stadium this year.  That will be a huge change from the temperature and climate controlled Mall of America Field that the Minnesota Vikings played in since 1982.  Now, the only NFC North team hosting games indoors this year will be the Detroit Lions.
  5. Oct 27, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (28) celebrates his touchdown run against the Green Bay Packers in the second quarter at Mall of America Field at H.H.H. Metrodome. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

    Adrian Peterson.  Seriously, he deserves his own spot on this list.  Any time Peterson is healthy and has the football in his hands, it is time to get excited.  Sure, he’s getting older, but that’s no reason to think that he won’t be productive in a featured running back role and now as a dynamic pass catcher in the new offense.  He’s still the face of the organization and possibly the most exciting man in the NFL.  When you’re a Vikings fan, it still doesn’t get any better than seeing Adrian Peterson on the field.

What is your favorite reason to be excited about the 2014 Minnesota Vikings?  Discuss it in the comments!

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Tags: Adrian Peterson Cordarrelle Patterson Mike Zimmer Minnesota Vikings Norv Turner Teddy Bridgewater

  • JoeyVikes

    You hit the nail on the head…new attitude coaching staff more half assing mulling around oh well I missed a tackle no accountability …coaching staff gives me the most optimism …I actually feel we finish 9-7..I also love our draft picks McKinnon Barr and Criceheton (name spelt wrong)..and not to mention Bridgewater….we have a bright future ahead of us boys..and I think we start to shine a bit this year! SKOL

    • David Mallow

      Couldn’t agree with you more..this team is being built as we speak to dominate.. the staff was the biggest need and the one we have now is made of hard nosed guys who want the best from their players and will not stand for mediocrity.. the last 3 draft classes for the Vikings have been phenomenal… This year there were 5 guys picked who will make the roster without a doubt and be starters immediately.. Barr, Bridgewater, Crichton, Yankey and Exum…McKinnon will be a big part of the offense,but not a starter..I really like him though, change of pace,scat back with the ability to play option QB if they choose to… Our roster is deep at every position and I’m excited about our future leading up to the new stadium and beyond…Skol

      • T-man

        David, I love you’re excited about our Vikes, but you starting to sound like my buddy who once said Daunte Culpepper would be a hall of fame QB. Don’t get me wrong, the Vikes will be far more competitive this year, but you sound like you’re booking your Super Bowl tickets already.

        • Mark Van Dorp

          There’s nothing wrong with being over exited, except being let down haha. You can’t put a number on anything right now, we have too many 1st year players and coaches. Soo let’s just say we are an exiting young team with the talent to improve. We should be in almost every game until the end, and then it’s a toss up. I can already feel the culture change boys!! Let’s fuckin go!!!

      • Todd Robinson

        David, I’m also optimistic about the future of this team. I expect 7 wins this year with all the new players/schemes. I’m mostly looking forward to the aggressive style ((radical change)) these coaches bring, but realize that Rome wasn’t built in a day. We’ll probably get burned a lot in the secondary, in this year of transition. Next year?………….look out North!!!!

        • Ricky Benson

          Why only 7 wins? That is only one more than las year, we were in almost every game last year (knock out 2 minutes of game time and we’d have won the divison). And even if we get burned in the secondary due to transition, how is that any different than last year’s defense. The offense is getting better, and the defense will not be last again. We’re winning those close games…gotta say we’ll be at least 9-6

          • Todd Robinson

            Ricky, It is very popular for those who would defend the 2013 team to say, “we were in 5 games” or “we should be 9-7 or 10-6. Well, most teams can make that same claim. Shoulda, woulda, coulda……we lost cause we were inferior. Some Vikings fans think that because games were close, that we somehow were good. I love that optimism but the fact is we played as good as we could AND LOST!
            I think we’ll have better showings this year, and I see great effort (and improvement) in OTA’s and camp. The fact is (due to a brutal schedule) we will probably start slow. Playing catch-up in the second half is difficult for a young team, with a band new scheme. Question:Would you rather predict 6-7 wins and finish with 9, or predict 10 wins and finish with 7?

          • Cool Jack

            We did not loose because we were inferior,we lost because of poor decisions and poor coaching waffling on how to proceed.. (i.e.,2 runs and a pass on offense and going into prevent defense the whole game..) that will change this year and we will pick up 9-10 wins…SKOL VIKINGS….!

          • Todd Robinson

            We can agree to disagree. Yes, I too believe the coaching was inferior. The fact is,as much as you can ((and do)) fault the coaching for those loses……..the players deserve blame, as well. A great deal of it. The defensive line played poorly, as did the LB’s (BIGTIME). I won’t even talk about watching some of the worst corner play I’ve ever seen. Yes, coaching played a big part. Nobody wants to admit that we just weren’t very good, collectively. This team played far below its talent level.
            Now…….inject quality coaches, and new schemes and everyone expects playoffs. Well that would be awesome, but is very unlikely. Its going to take a year for this team to commit to memory a brand new style of play and be expected to properly execute it. I said 7 wins based on the talent upgrades alone. I think these players/coaches deserve our patience! Otherwise you same guys, will be calling for Norv’s head and knocking Barr or some other rookies and so forth. Like it or not, they need a year of development and deserve that time from the fans. Whether you choose to give it or not!!!

          • Cool Jack

            First of all I am not ,”you same guys” I have been a loyal Viking fan since there inception in 1961…I also played football through college….I know whats its like to have talent and be under coached…You forgot allready about KC last year….just try to be positive…eh? You over think too much..!….loosen up…!

          • Todd Robinson

            Not been a fan since ’61, not old enough! I have been a Vikings fan (for some unknown reason) since say…..’71. I just see a lot of high expectations from this very young team. With your football experience, you understand the time and dedication it takes to build a “great” team. Let’s just hope these Vikings impress sooner rather than later.

  • VikingsVoice

    Captain Munnerlyn and the competition in the secondary! That gives me the most hope!

  • Paul Engleson

    I hope in Next Years Draft the Vikings will pick a couple of DB’s in the First Round then the Vikings won’t have anymore weak spots and could win the super bowl. I love Captain Munnerlyn & Rhodes hope we get a couple more Richard Sherman type DB’s to go with Munnerlyn & Rhodes

    • David Mallow

      CB is not the weakest position,it’s LB.. I like most off the corners on the roster..but as for LB, outside of Greenway, Cole, Barr and Brinkley there really is no idea if any of the other guys are any good..Mauti, Hodges, Dean, and Watts are all unproven..CB they have Rhodes, Munnerlyn, Cox, Robinson, and Prater, With James, Price and Sherels who could be diamond in the rough..but the top guys all have the position under control . If there is a can’t miss guy then I aagree take him, but it’s not a necessity..

      • T-man

        Let’s be honest, there are question marks at both CB and LB

        • kyle

          The only question marks concerning cornerback is who will be the #2 corner in the nickel? It’s a tossup between Cox and Robinson. Linebacker depth is still weak and could be the only true weakness this team has. The success of this team will depend on Teddy’s development. Will he be a day one starter? Who knows, but I like his chances.

        • Paul Engleson

          I agree, we do need depth at both CB & LB I also feel we need a strong Middle LB which we really don’t have right now since the Middle LB is the QB of the Defense.

      • Paul Engleson

        We do need a Good Middle LB which is why I was surprised we picked Barr instead of C.J. Mosley. The Vikings have had a history of having a weak secondary, how many times I have watched them on 3rd and 16 or 20 yards to go they get burned for a TD. I would love to have a hard hitting Ronnie Lott CB to go with Munnerlyn, Rhodes, and Harrison Smith
        Don’t know much about the others I hope I am wrong I hope they come through for us.

  • T-man

    I’m feel good about Cassel, but our Super Bowl will hinge on Bridgewater’s development. I love the direction of the defense, but it still has a lot to prove, top 15 would be good. Offense needs to be top 10 for playoffs and any kind of run. Most of all we need to peek at the end of the season.

    • David Mallow

      Shouldn’t be hard at all to get the offense to top 10,they were after all the 12th overall offense last year…and the defense will definitely make a huge leap up the rankings..I say no worse than 15th … But the biggest in my mind will be the turnovers, I say we will be top 5 in that department because of the scheme and the athletic guys on that side of the ball..gonna be a completely different team than we’ve seen in at least 10 years… Exciting times are coming…skol

      • T-man

        I really hope you are correct.

    • Paul Engleson

      I would like Cassel to play the first 4 or 6 games, as Teddy learns the defenses, otherwise the Defenses will be licking their chops at knocking him out if he starts right away. At least that is what the guys on NFL TV say.

  • Craig Stevens

    The defense go get em SKOL VIKS.

  • Wayne Davis

    I’m still a lil concerned abt the LB I’d say that maybe the weakest position …but we will see

  • Bob T

    I would be pretty happy with a 9-7 record, am hoping for 10-6. I think the biggest improvement came in the way of the coaching staff. I think it is possible we get beat on a play or two by overplaying, but I prefer that to wondering if we are playing. Youth and speed. I say they beat the Rams easily. Then they need to stay composed. Coaching staff, please. Great FA picks in Joseph, Munnerlyn and Cox. I like Yankey and Richardson helping our line(see ya Charlie) and glad we took the intelligent QB. SKOL!!!!

  • Cool Jack

    Great article …positive and what I hope all are writers will be…there is great hope in Minnesota now…SKOL..!

  • Josh Thompson

    there won’t be any mud at tcf bank stadium. Even though its outdoors, it’s still artificial turf.