As everyone knows, the NFL really is a year round enterprise. All the end of the season does is allow people to fully concentrate on speculation. Obviously, with some money to spend, a high draft pick and an opening at a key coaching spot, there's a lot of room for Vikings' fans to join in the fray.
• Some candidates for the defensive coordinator position have finally emerged, and it appears that there was a reason for the delay—they were waiting to interview Leslie Frazier, the Colt’s special assistant and co-defensive backs coach. Frazier has some defensive coordinator experience, as he lead the Bengal’s defensive during the 2003-2004 season, Marvin Lewis’ first year as head coach. The Bengal’s defense was pretty bad that year, allowing 351.2 yards per game, fifth worst in the NFL. They were mediocre against the pass, allowing 212.6 yards per game and 138.6 rushing yards a game. That mediocrity showed up in the amount of points they allowed as well, as they gave up 24.0 per game. Of course, that team didn’t have anywhere near the talent the Vikings do. He also brings with him experience in the Tampa 2, and has worked with Childress before. Frazier seems to be the favorite and it seems like he has the ability to build on Tomlin’s success.
• The other intriguing candidate (at least to me) is Vikings’ linebacker coach Fred Pagac. Promoting from within has its benefits, such as continuity and knowledge of the players. What makes Pagac such an interesting candidate is the job he did with the linebackers this year. Under his tutelage, Napoleon Harris and E.J. Henderson turned in quality seasons after spending their previous time in purple looking lost. Pagac’s ability to get players to understand their jobs on the field bodes well for his ability to run a defense.
• With Dwight Freeney off the market, it’s looking more and more like the Vikings will be taking a defensive end in the draft. Those hoping for a wide receiver shouldn’t despair, however—this is a good year for receivers, and the Vikings should be able to pick up a talented player like Dwayne Bowe or Anthony Gonzalez with their second round pick.
• The Vikings are apparently persuing Jeff Garcia to be the starting quarterback. I can't say I'm all that excited about him, despite how well he played after Donovan McNabb got hurt. Obviously, I'm a huge backer of the Tarvaris Revolution and would like to see him start, but I'm also getting some crazy Brad Johnson type vibes from Garcia. Garcia played better last season than Johnson did in 2005, but it wasn't all that much better. And like Johnson, he's old (he turns 37 this month) and his play could fall off just as dramatically. Remember, this is the same Jeff Garcia that played so poorly he couldn't even stick in Detroit.
• While he hasn’t had any luck convincing the state to help him build a stadium, Zygi did make a smart decision earlier this week. I think he understood that now was not the best time to raise ticket prices, at least if he wanted to insure the Vikings had all of their home games televised.