The 2013 season for the Minnesota Vikings was terrible to say the very least. Expectations were higher than they should have been after overachieving in 2012, and Christian Ponder didn’t take a third year leap forward as hoped. Sadly, the biggest problem last year, and moving forward, is the porous secondary. The Vikings gave up a pitiful 287.2 YPG through the air, and managed to give up five go-ahead or game-winning passing TD’s in the final minute of the game. Despite our inconsistent QB play, we had the lead and the chance to win important games. This terrible play during the crunch time of games needs to be closely examined to have any success in the 2014 season.
Fortunately for fans of the purple the franchise brought in Mike Zimmer as the new head coach. He is a gritty, defensive-minded guy, and specializes in coaching up defensive backs. This hiring alone will greatly help shape our secondary into a unit the team and fans can be proud of. Let’s start talking personnel.
A healthy Harrison Smith in 2014 is the biggest need in the back unit. He had a huge rookie season in 2012, proving to be a ball-hawk and an enforcer in the box. He is a leader in the secondary, and his presence was missed on the field last season. Smith has the ability to play both safety positions in the Vikings scheme versatile system, and should take a big step forward this upcoming season. His health is essential for this unit to be successful.