MANKATO -- With rare morning hours to kill before a training camp practice begins, let's throw out this question:
"How many wins can the Vikings -- and their fans -- realistically expect in 2011?"
Yeah, I know. They haven't had a single practice. They have a new offense, a new offensive coordinator, a new quarterback, a new ... ah, you get the idea. It's impossible to predict the NFL in general and this year's Vikings team in particular. But that's never stopped anyone before, so have at it.
Linebacker Chad Greenway became one of the few players to actually answer the question when asked yesterday what a realistic expectation was for this year's team.
"I think realistically we could be .500 or better, for sure," Greenway said. "We're going to hope for 10, 12 wins. I think we have the personnel to do that."
Greenway also sounded comfortable in being the team he thinks is capable of "sneaking up on people" rather than last year's team, which entered the season as a Super Bowl favorite with all 22 starters returning.
I think the addition of McNabb gives this year's team at least a chance of being competitive. But there are a ton of questions that need answered before I'd guarantee the Vikings finish .500 or better.
Johnson, a make-or-break year: I did a lead note on safety Tyrell Johnson and how he's as disappointed in how his career has unfolded as most of your are. Johnson will be given a chance to start at free safety, where Madieu Williams was released.
Due to the restrictions of the kill-a-tree (print) edition, the best quote was chopped out. Johnson essentially said it was a make-or-break year for him.
"This is the most crucial year I've ever had playing football," Johnson said.