Friday, July 25, 2008

Killing Time: Training Camp

Lots of good stuff out there at the start of training camp (during which I will spend most of my time praying that no one gets hurt and that Ray Edwards heals quickly). One of the reasons that I've been having trouble coming up with posts (aside from a lack of creativity, a busy season at work and other reasons) is the fact that Vikings' don't really have a whole lot of questions on their depth chart that need to be answered in training camp. The Star Tribune listed the five biggest questions, and most of them won't be answered until the regular season (except, of course, for the McKinnie Question, which has been hanging over the Purple for so long without any action that I tend to forget about it).

The big question remains whether Tarvaris can become a league average quarterback, something that can't be answered until the season starts. There have been some good articles recently that suggest to me that we may be a little more worried than we needed to be. Football Outsiders' change over from DPAR to DYAR has boosted Tarvaris' ranking slightly. He's still replacement level, but he's young, and he's finally got a solid receiving corp around him (though, according to Football Outsiders, Berrian isn't that great of an acquisition, as he finished well behind Bobby Wade AND Sidney Rice in DYAR, DVOA and catch percentage last year). Can he make the leap to league average? I think so, but we won't know until the preseason games at the earliest.

Even if Tarvaris doesn't improve all that much, a reader of Cold, Hard Football Facts recently submitted an article that makes me more optimistic for the upcoming season. In it, he shows that, while success in the passing game (as defined by an advantage in Yards Per Attempt) is important, it is not as important as a successful running game (as defined by an advantage in rushing attempts and rushing yards).

Finally, FanHouse was able to come up with another training camp question: Aundrae Allison v. Robert Ferguson. The answer to me seems simple--keep Allison. He's younger, he's faster, he has a ton of potential and he's the most dangerous kick returner on the team. I wouldn't be surprised to see Childress fall into the "veteran trap" and give Ferguson the nod, especially now that he can turn to Maurice Hicks, another (inferior) veteran, to return kicks, but I hope that his goatee prevents him from making that mistake. One can only hope.

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