It Was One Year Ago Today

It's hard to believe it was one year ago today when the Vikings got hammered 41-0 by the New York Giants. One year later, the Vikings are a vastly different team.

365 days. If Jan. 14 was your birthday and you're a Vikings fan, you remember what they did a year ago today -- deliver an egg a la the Easter Bunny in a 41-0 crushing by the Giants in the NFC title game.

What a difference one year can make. Perhaps no other team has seen as much turnover in one year than the Vikings. Consider the following:
COACHING: Gone are Dennis Green, Sherman Lewis, Emmitt Thomas, Carl Hargrave, Richard Solomon, Trent Walters, John Fontes, Fred von Appen and Gary Zauner.
QUARTERBACK: Gone is No. 2 quarterback Bubby Brister.
RUNNING BACK: Gone is All-Pro RB Robert Smith, Moe Williams and David Palmer. WIDE RECEIVER: Gone is No. 3 receiver Matthew Hatchette and, for all intents, Cris Carter. TIGHT END: Gone is starter Johnnie McWilliams and backup John Davis. OFFENSIVE LINE: Gone is Korey Stringer and Todd Steussie.
DEFENSIVE LINE: Gone is John Randle, Tony Williams, John Burrough, Bryce Paup and Fernando Smith.
LINEBACKER: Gone is Dwayne Rudd, Gabe Northern and Peter Bercich.
SECONDARY: Gone is Wasswa Serwanga, Antonio Banks and Keith Thibodeaux.

Put it all together and you're talking 21 players and eight coaches. What a difference a year makes.

* VU continues to hear substantiated word that the firing of Tony Dungy could come down within a couple of days. While no formal agreement has been made with Bill Parcells, VU is hearing from our New York buddies that he's trying to get the old band back together and is talking to former assistant coaches and even considering former players to join him in Tampa.
* How bizarre has this year been? Before the season, The Sporting News made the prediction that Tampa Bay would beat Denver in the Super Bowl, fired Chargers coach Mike Riley would be Coach of the Year and Michael Bennett would be Rookie of the Year. While TSN didn't pick the Vikings to make the playoffs, it did pick Detroit, New Orleans and the Giants to make the dance in the NFC and Buffalo, Denver, Indy and Tennessee in the AFC. VU may have picked the Vikings to make the playoffs, but at least we picked four division winners right and had seven of the 12 playoff teams. TSN had one division winner right (Philly) and five playoff teams.
* The Vikings have one week to submit a list of five players to the NFL for the expansion allotment draft of the Houston Texans. Don't expect to say any big names on that list, but don't underestimate the potential for a gem on this list. When the Cleveland Browns came into the league, one of the players the Rams left unprotected was Kurt Warner.

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