Today (Wednesday) is the final day of training camp in Mankato. The big question is what have learned about the team after three weeks of workouts and one preseason game.
The coaches, I'm sure, will tell you they've learned a lot. The rest of us, however, still have a bunch of unanswered questions.
Among them are: Will Adrian Peterson be able to start in Game 1? Will second-year quarterback Christian Ponder take a significant step forward in 2012? Can Jasper Brinkley, or whoever, become a solid presence at middle linebacker? Can the team improve its secondary enough to become competitive against the pass?
We'll know about Peterson in Week 1 but the rest of those questions may not truly be answered until the midway point of the season. By then it should be obvious whether the Vikings are on the way to an improved, and therefore encouraging season, or if the team is in for another long year.
None of the coaches will admit it but this a rebuilding year for the team. The coaching staff has been re-shuffled with a number of new faces brought in and the player roster has a heavy dose of first and second-year players.
Normally, that much inexperience doesn't lend itself to a 12 or 13-win season. But I don't think that's what most fans are expecting. If the team could finish right around the .500 mark, I think most fans would view it as a good year.