We interrupt this lockout to bring you the 2011 schedule
FELDY: Phersy, the Vikings 2011 schedule (or will it be their 2012 schedule?) was released Tuesday. Looks like a creampuff schedule to me. I think you and I agree we don't see a loss on there. OK, maybe one. They do face the defending Super Bowl champs twice, after all. Seriously, though, do you suppose San Diego QB Philip Rivers is shaking (from laughter) in his Nikes while thinking of Jared Allen trying to get after him in the season opener?
PHERSY: I don't think anything scares Phil Rivers. As for the schedule, I was tempted to not even take a look when it was released Tuesday, knowing there's a chance we won't see football in 2011. The fans are held hostage right now, and we're all in the same boat. My question to you is could this lockout have come at a worse time for the Vikings as a franchise? It's been a while since they've had this many holes. They could have filled some of those holes with free agents leading up to the draft. Instead, they head into draft day needing something at almost every position.
FELDY: I'd argue that the lockout couldn't have come at a better time. Fan apathy toward the team and the league is as bad as I can remember since the last year of the Denny Green Era. The Vikes will still have a chance to fill those holes through free agency when the league resumes business. Will those free agents have an impact on whatever we have of a 2011 season? Probably not; they won't have much time to adapt to their new teammates and a new playbook. But, let's face it, expectations were going to be low for this club regardless of the CBA. … As you said, Phersy, lots of holes to fill. The Vikes could go a lot of directions with their first draft pick next week. You make the call: Who's it gonna be?
PHERSY:Well Feldy, I think the biggest mistake this organization could make right now is reach for a quarterback at that spot. I don't like any of the quarterbacks in this draft, especially not that early. There's plenty of potential in this class, but there doesn't appear to be a single quarterback who's ready to step in and start on an NFL team. Hearing that the Vikings may take a defensive lineman is a bit puzzling, too. Yes, they have a hole on the front four, but wouldn't you rather see them fill a spot on the offensive line, an outside linebacker or any spot in the secondary? Those to me are bigger, more pressing needs. And the teams around them in the NFC North are going to get better.
FELDY: I'd like to see the Vikes trade down, get a QB late in the first round and possibly get that third-round pick back they gave up for a certain receiver who didn't last long with the team. As for the rest of the division, Green Bay might benefit greatly from this lockout. The Packers return most of their roster and they'll be fully healthy. Detroit can be a .500 team if its QB can stay on the field and Chicago's third-string QB nearly led it to the NFC title. The Vikes might want to hope this lockout lingers into December.
PHERSY:December? Let's just cancel the season now. You are correct, Feldy, in that the division looks outstanding. I'd argue, though, that Detroit could be better than .500, if it can stay healthy. If I had to make NFL picks today, I'd put your Vikings at the bottom of the division. Of course, a great deal can change between now and the beginning of the season, whenever that may be. But whether the Vikings are winning or losing, let's just all cross our fingers and hope there's pro football in 2011. What else is Feldy going to do on Sunday afternoons?