Do the Vikings still have an issue in their secondary?

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - DECEMBER 13:  Antoine Winfield #26 (L) and Jamarca Sanford #33 of the Minnesota Vikings celebrate a play against the Cincinnati Bengals on December 13, 2009 at Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Merry training camp season, everyone. It’s been a long offseason, but football is finally gearing up again and to celebrate I’m rolling out a new series on TSR entitled “2010 NFL Question Marks,” where I discuss one or two of the biggest concerns that teams have heading into the new season. Granted, some teams have more issues than others, but I’ll primarily be focusing on the biggest problem areas. Today I’ll be discussing the Vikings’ secondary concerns.

There’s growing sentiment that the offensive line is the Vikings’ biggest question mark heading into the 2010 season and for good reason. Neither Steve Hutchinson nor Bryant McKinnie played well last year and some pundits believe that Phil Loadholt looks the part, but has a long way to go to be consistently productive.

But keep in mind that Hutchinson has dealt with back issues for the last couple of years and also had a shoulder injury that limited him last season. McKinnie had his own injury concerns (he played with plantar fasciitis for most of the year) and that was only Loadholt’s first year. Considering the Vikings added two new starters to the O-line, it makes sense that they struggled a bit – especially in run blocking.

Hutchinson and McKinnie are reportedly healthy and if both Loadholt and center John Sullivan make strides in their development, the offensive line should be fine. Their secondary on the other hand…

It seems like the Vikings have had the same issues in their secondary for about a decade now. Even in 1998 when they went 15-1 and lost in the NFC Championship Game their biggest weakness was arguably their secondary and despite their best efforts over the years, they can never seem to get the right mix of players back there.

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