Minicamp To Provide Answers

The Vikings have spent much of the off-season overhauling several key areas of the team. As the team's three-day minicamp begins today, the answers to many of the questions will likely be discovered -- or at least clarified.

As Mike Tice eyeballed a depth chart following the draft, he could hardly help himself from smiling and shaking his head. For the first time in his tenure, the Vikings had more depth than holes and all of the acquisitions made since the end of the 2003 season are in place.

As the team's minicamp officially opens today, the Vikings have a chance to see how all the pieces of the puzzle fit...and there are several new pieces to look at.

This weekend will be the first chance for Antoine Winfield to line up vs. his new teammates. If you read Viking Update, you know that players, coaches and scouts have almost as big a man-love for Winfield as we apparently do, so the shuffling of job duties will begin here -- with Winfield at the front of the line.

In the linebacker corps, with Greg Biekert gone, the question becomes whether E.J. Henderson is ready to take over in the middle and, if he does, will rookie Dontarrious Thomas have a chance to supplant Henri Crockett or Mike Nattiel and take over alongside Henderson?

Up front on defense, the player most watched will be Kenechi Udeze. The Vikings are hoping he will be able to blow past Bryant McKinnie a couple of times during practice and, if nothing else, show that he can work vs. one of the best offensive tackles in the NFC and hold his own this weekend.

On the offensive side of the ball, things are much more set, but not without its own set of questions. Among those are how quickly Marcus Robinson can be a factor in the offense. Or what role Jermaine Wiggins will play? Or how the suddenly-deep Vikings backfield will co-exist?

These are all question that are hoped to be answered. By Sunday, we may have a much better perspective on the changes that have been made and the changes that can be expected.

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