Aug 29, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Tennessee Titans linebacker Jonathan Willard (49) forces Minnesota Vikings tight end Chase Ford (86) to fumble just before the goal line at Mall of America Field at H.H.H. Metrodome. The Titans recover the ball. Vikings win 24-23. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

5 Reasons To Be Skeptical 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 pessimistic.  This time, we’ll focus on reasons to be skeptical about the 2014 Minnesota Vikings!
Here are my top 5 reasons to be skeptical about the 2014 Minnesota Vikings:

  1. The new schemes and philosophies may take some time to institute and perfect.  Like anything new, it will take some time to get used to.  Practice makes perfect and success isn’t made overnight, so it’s a bit naive to think that the team will be a success early on while trying to get used to all these new things.  It could be tough for the 2014 Minnesota Vikings to execute this new defense, but it is a work in progress that should pay dividends in the future.
  2. Dec 29, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jared Allen (69) reacts against the Detroit Lions in the second quarter at Mall of America Field at H.H.H. Metrodome. The Vikings win 14-13. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

    A large portion of the team’s roster lacks experience.  We’ve seen many veterans move on from the Minnesota Vikings over the past few years.  For example, guys like Jared Allen, Kevin Williams, Erin Henderson, Chris Cook, Toby Gerhart and J’Marcus Webb have all moved on from the team after just this season alone.  While young and speedy are good things, veteran experience is important in the development of those players and transitioning them to the NFL.

  3. Many of the Minnesota Vikings draft picks over the last couple years are boom-or-bust.  So far, it looks like the Vikings have struck gold with Cordarrelle Patterson, but there is still a lot left to see from him.  Other guys, such as Sharriff Floyd, Xavier Rhodes, Teddy Bridgewater, and Anthony Barr sure seem like guys that could be huge stars if they can realize their potential, but that has yet to be seen on a regular basis.  The future of this team relies on these guys becoming big time players.
  4. Jun 17, 2014; Eden Prairie, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer watches practice at Winter Park. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

    Is Mike Zimmer the right coach for the team?  New Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer is a drastic change from Leslie Frazier.  He has a much more abrasive attitude and approach to football.  He needs to get the team to buy in to his theories and ideas.  There are a lot of question marks about Zimmer’s first opportunity as a head coach, but he seems like a motivator who believes on competition instead of relying on veterans.  He could be the key to the Minnesota Vikings future success.

  5. Adrian Peterson.  That’s right.  He’s on this list, too.  This is his final year of NFL football before he turns 30 years old.  After that mark, many experts feel that running backs are in decline.  But his age isn’t the major concern this year, it is his health.  Over the last two years, he has had injuries to his foot, groin, ankle, abdomen, hamstring, shoulder and knee.  Honestly, fans of the Minnesota Vikings should be much more concerned about the health of this man than his age.  If he can stay healthy, he’s a game changer…but that’s a big “if”.

Do you disagree with one of my reasons to be skeptical about the 2014 Minnesota Vikings?  Or do you think I missed something that is a bigger question mark than those listed above?  Discuss it in the comments!

Tags: Adrian Peterson Cordarrelle Patterson Featured Jared Allen Mike Zimmer Minnesota Vikings Popular

  • Don Andrew Halvorson

    Those are also reasons to be optimistic about the 2015 season

    • Adam Carlson

      Absolutely. I’m smiling thinking about it.

  • Todd Robinson

    Wow, I’ve been trying to sell that viewpoint for a week now……..not many buyers.

  • Turdd Ferguson

    With how long the offseason is, it’s too depressing to not be optimistic about this year. 2 years ago we were in the playoffs. 3 years ago, we tied our worst season ever. With how much change that’s taking place, one thing I say with confidence is that it can only be better than last year or 3 years ago.

  • Jim Powell

    All your points are very valid. I would have to add one very important point you missed. We’ll be playing outdoors. That’s probably a bigger issue than any points you defined. Especially how it may relate to Adrian Peterson’s performance. And in terms of QB performance, if Bridgewater truly has smaller hands in terms of NFL QB size, cold weather with small hands does not equate to good results. Just say’n. :-) but you did make good points nevertheless. After time playing outdoors over time could result in an advantage. Playing the Bears and the Packers away one game doesn’t make us a cold-weather team as it is right now.

    • Adam Carlson

      Aaron Rodgers’ hands are only 0.13 inches bigger than Bridgewater’s and the Packers play in the outdoors as well. I’m not buying into the hand size argument. He hasn’t had a lot of problems holding on to the ball in college and the fact that he already wears gloves sells me on it even more.

    • Kevin Hicks

      Cold weather is a non-issue. The Vikes have always had the option to practice outdoors to adjust. Besides, there are only two games (in December) out of eight that could b cold. And, hopefully, a playoff game or two. Should b used to it by then especially if Zimmer is smart and practices in it. The reason we may of had trouble in past is b/c the cold games have been away games.

      • Jim Powell

        I’m glad you feel confident that a significant environmental change will have no impact on Vikings players. I’m optimistic about the Vikings success just as anyone. However, this article is suppose to identify any “possible” reasons to be pessimistic. And anyone who claims playing outdoors in a different environment will be seamless is perhaps drinking too much purple Kool aid :-). Out of the reasons listed thus far, playing outdoors should have made the list. I’m not going to try predict the weather as you did. But even if the weather impacts 2 out of 8 games as you predict, that’s 25% of our home games. That’s pretty significant.

        • manbearpig01

          Of course it will have some impact, but it will impact both teams on the field equally.

  • Chad Roemer

    The first one is garbage. All these players have changed schemes at least 3 times already and some many more. They are professionals and have to adapt. It’s like someone who works with computers all day ..get good at it, then all the software gets replaced and it sucks at first but dammit you have to use this new software now. Adapt, live.

    • Adam Carlson

      I hope you’re right and they can make the changes quickly and be productive in the new schemes.

    • Zack Selzman

      To criticize someone for making the point completely changing schemes is a huge deal is ignorant. Going from a Zone secondary to Press man is a gigantic change that completely changes the entire defense. Maybe the players we have will adapt to it well, but there is also a good chance that they will not. Just look at Brandon Flowers, a completely new scheme is not a small thing and it is foolish to act like all players can play well in all schemes. They can’t, and they don’t adapt immediately to change either. That is not a garbage point.. your response was.

      • Chad Roemer

        Flowers would not fit that is common knowledge. They spent the offseason trying to acquire players that can roll with it. Why is Bridgewater changing the play on the count and the some vets complained. Of course they are, they have to learn a new system but they are football players designed to succeed in their individual positions. Whatever. I just think a new playbook is a lame excuse to lose.

      • Valentin harmat

        The guy that wrote Toby will be out in 2 years is an idiot. Just cause we have a bigger beast at running back, so is Toby. He will be top 10 in yards this year for sure, even in that hole jacksonville. I love the kid, never complained. We made a huge mistake in the fact, last year we should have split his carries with Adrian. It would have kept all day fresh, and would have shown the league enough of Toby at least to trade him for a 2nd or 3rd round pick, instead of losing for nothing. People too optimistic this year. We go 8-8, 9-7 at best in a brutal division that will in the next 2 years be the best in football. Next year we may just barely make the playoffs at 10-6, but we will be here to stay for years after that with a defense ( I love zimmer) and finally a smart qb.

  • Tony Engen

    So, out of all those “veterans” you referred to, which one am I actually supposed to give a crap about them leaving? Allen and Williams were both stalwarts in their day, but both are past their prime and on the decline (check their numbers). Erin Henderson is a half-passed linebacker with chemical dependency issues, Chris Cook just flat out sucks, and j’marca who? Did that guy even play for the vikes? Oh yea and Toby, he’ll be out of the league in two years. How about that we added Captain Munnerlyn, Greg Jennings is due to break out with someone who can actually throw the ball to him, and oh yea, we have that Adrian Peterson guy. Talk to me about some people that aren’t on this team anymore that I actually give a crap about that aren’t here anymore, and maybe I’ll see you as something a little more than just a run of the mill Vikings hater. Skol

    • Adam Carlson

      While I appreciate your comment, I don’t quite understand it. I think that guys like Jared Allen and Kevin Williams could have been huge in the development of the younger players and still contribute well. Cook and Henderson are former starters who were disappointing, but still deserve respect for their abilities and physical talents. Even J’Marcus Webb, who started a game last year at offensive tackle and played in 8 games.

      I’m far from a “run of the mill Vikings hater”, but you’re entitled to your opinion just as I am. But it is unrealistic to expect all these new pieces to come in and mesh well immediately. You should check out my other article, 5 Reasons To Be Optimistic About The 2015 Vikings to see all the stuff that I’m excited about!

    • Cool Jack

      Well said Tony….and I take issue with the comments “a work in progress”….Zimmer is no rookie and the players we now have are here because Zimmer knows they are ready to take the next step….Fans do not want to here old hash crap that we know already…Write something we don’t know and move on to the positive….SKOL…!

      • manbearpig01

        Dude 99% of all articles are positive. If you can’t subjectivity look at something you are interested in, you will never grow.

    • Daniel Laxen

      Look Adam does a fine job on this site. He simply states that there are reasons to be skeptical. By no means is he a Viking hater. Perhaps you should read his articles more with an open mind, instead of simply being a HOMER. There are loads of questions this season and an abusive early schedule does a young team no favors…Listen to his Pod cast and you’ll know he’s all Vikings!

    • Jim Powell

      There’s no Viking Haters here. The writer merely opens up a discussion designed to be discussed with an open mind. That certainly doesn’t make the writer a hater of any sorts. I personally think the Vikings have a great opportunity to do well this year. Talent is better.. and the coaching is significantly better. I don’t even need to see the future to know the coaching will be better. Why Frazier was assigned as a coach in the first place is beyond me. He came from a poor defensively coached team and as defensive coordinator for the Vikes, he did not perform well at all. Just look at Frazier’s stats at any coaching position and nothing stands out as someone who should be head coaching. But this article opens up the discussion of why to be pessimistic not optimistic. Tough to do.. but it’s possible.

    • Garret Robinson

      Toby gone in 2 years? How can you say that? Dude is a stud and deserves a starting job. I’m with ya on the golden oldies, but not Toby. He will impress us this year, and I’m excited to see him do just that.

    • HeWhoKnowsAll

      Hmm. Jamarca isn’t going anywhere, but I agree.

      • Tony Engen

        I was actually making fun of J’marcus Webb, not Jamarca Sanford (who I do think is a competent safety). Just thought I’d clarify that.

  • Clint Ronnenberg

    Zimmer’s aggressive coaching style? Not sure about “abrasive”.

    • Adam Carlson

      I see it as a bit harsh in comparison to former head coach Leslie Frazier. At least that’s the impression I get from what I saw from him during Hard Knocks and on the sidelines. It might be a touch of an exaggeration, but it comparison, I think it’s appropriate.

  • Chad Roemer

    and really why write about a few negatives? I mean you just have five? How many positives are you gonna post next week? I’m sorry but I think it is redundant and a complete waste of time.

    • Adam Carlson

      I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy the article. I thought it might be a great way to start a discussion between fans about the 2015 Vikings season.