How will coach Brad Childress deal with the Brett Favre fallout?The Vikings made a strong push to sign future Hall of Fame QB Favre to address their weakest position, but now that the 17-year veteran has elected to remain retired, Childress has to soothe some bruised egos. Tarvaris Jackson and Sage Rosenfels, in particular, need to be supported after spending most of the offseason hearing about their shortcomings. In addition, Childress must convince the rest of his team that they have the talent to win a Super Bowl without the presence of the legendary quarterback. How successful the Vikings' head man is in selling this theory will go a long way toward determining the fate of the team this season.
Can Percy Harvin be an impact player as a multi-purpose weapon?The Vikings' first-round pick enters the league highly regarded as an explosive, "do-it-all" playmaker. Harvin excelled as a collegian as a runner/receiver, and he likely will occupy a similar role during his first season in Minnesota. The speedster has been used as a receiver, running back and "wildcat" quarterback during summer workouts as the team looks for ways to get the ball into his hands in space. In addition, the Vikings have plans to use Harvin as their punt returner to take advantage of his explosive speed and dynamic running skills. Although the Vikings seemingly have explosive weapons at every skill position, it may be the rookie utility man who quietly emerges as their biggest playmaker by season's end.
Will the team be without the 'Williams' Wall' to start the season?The judicial system has temporarily blocked the league-imposed suspensions of Pat Williams and Kevin Williams. While the brief reprieve has given the Vikings hope that they will have their Pro Bowl tandem in the middle on opening day, the team must prepare to play without the imposing duo if the suspensions are not overturned. The "Williams Wall" has spearheaded a Vikings' rush defense that has ranked as the league's best three straight seasons, so their absence would significantly weaken the team's suffocating front seven. While Fred Evans and Letroy Guion are capable backups, it is doubtful that the Vikings' defense could retain their stingy nature without the All-Pro pair.
So many questions at QB
For most of the offseason, the contest between Sage Rosenfels and Tarvaris Jackson was expected to be for the starting job, but Brett Favre's potential arrival meant the winner of the competition would be the Vikings' top backup. That changed again when Favre decided to remain retired. Now, Jackson and Rosenfels will conduct that anticipated competition for top honors.
C John SullivanThe second-year pro must fill big shoes as he steps in for six-time Pro Bowler Matt Birk. Given the Vikings' preference to lean on their high-powered running game, the insertion of an inexperienced blocker is cause for concern. Sullivan needs to quickly figure out what Minnesota needs during training camp.
OT Phil LoadholtThe behemoth from Oklahoma is competing with Ryan Cook for the starting right tackle position but is expected in the lineup on opening day. As a massive pile pusher with extraordinary strength, Loadholt could allow the team to attack both sides of the defensive front.
QB quandaryBrett Favre's decision to remain retired opened up a quarterback competition between Tarvaris Jackson and Sage Rosenfels, but it's not one that warrants major attention in fantasy circles. Both QBs have been prone to turnovers in their careers, and neither will be worth more than a late-round flier in drafts.