Ladies and gentlemen, we once again have football.
On Saturday night in Nashville, the Minnesota Vikings will take on the Tennessee Titans in the first pre-season game of 2011 for both clubs. Obviously, there isn't a whole lot of analyzing to be done for a pre-season game, but it will be great to see the purple and gold back on the field again.
From a Viking fan's perspective, here is what to watch for during tonight's action, which kicks off at 7:00 PM Central time on KARE-11.
1) Offensive Adjustments - The Minnesota Vikings are going through a lot of changes on offense. They have a new quarterback in Donovan McNabb, and a new guy charged with protecting his blind side in left tackle Charlie Johnson. The Vikings are also in the midst of installing new offensive coordinator's Bill Musgrave's system, and tonight will be our first chance to see how it looks.
We will also get a chance to see two of the four quarterbacks that were taken in the top of the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft, as the Titans will get their first opportunity to showcase Jake Locker, who they selected with the eighth overall pick. Vikings fans will get their first look at young Christian Ponder, who the Vikings took at number 12 and would likely be their starter had we gotten a full off-season.
2) Secondary Is Primary - Outside of Antoine Winfield, the Vikings' defensive secondary is in a bit of a state of flux. Cedric Griffin is, once again, on the comeback trail after tearing both of his ACLs in the span of ten months, and it remains to be seen which of the Vikings' young corners. . .whether it's Chris Cook, Asher Allen, or Brandon Burton. . .can step up into a nickel role for the team. The safeties are also a bit of a question mark, as the Vikings released incumbent starter Madieu Williams a couple of weeks ago, and we'll see who the Vikings start at the safety position next to Husain Abdullah.
3) Everyone Remains Healthy - This is obviously the most important thing about the pre-season, and hopefully it can happen for the Vikings tonight, as well as through their next three pre-season contests.
The time to get our football fix is upon us, ladies and gentlemen. If you're going to be watching the game, be sure to check out The Daily Norseman's Game Thread for discussion with your fellow Vikings fans.