EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (WCCO) – There is one thing that dwarfs all other issues with the Vikings in this preseason: is Christian Ponder ready to be big time? And to be there, he has to have great confidence. And that’s where it gets sticky.

Vikings Offensive Coordinator Bill Musgrave shared his theory on player confidence.

“Confidence only comes from one thing…that’s demonstrative performance. Can’t build anybody up. Can’t give them anything false or fabricated,” Musgrave said.

The next part of the offense that is a mystery is the issue of who exactly will play. Jerome Simpson is set to sit the first three games.

Adrian Peterson is a definite maybe for the opener.

And tight end John Carlson is back from injury, but does that mean he’s ready to play?

“I haven’t run a whole lot in the last few weeks, so my conditioning level isn’t where it needs to be yet. But I’ve got a couple weeks before that first game, and I’ll do what I can to get back to where I need to be,” Carlson said.

But injured players and missing players seem to be only part of the problem. There’s a bigger question that looms: when they have everybody in the lineup are they capable of executing at a high level?

You can’t help but wonder if this offense is progressing and hitting some bumps, or is in big trouble? No one knows for sure.

Vikings Center John Sullivan is on the optimistic side.

“There are definitely some mistakes, some coaching points that we need to take and work on before the opener. Guys go out and execute this weekend, and then hopefully we’re 100 percent ready to roll before Jacksonville,” Sullivan said.

But perhaps the most important question is whether the team’s issues can be fixed in time?

“We didn’t put our best foot forward in a number of categories. We did somethings better than we’ve ever done it before. But we want to do more of those things in a better regard,” Musgrave said.


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