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Vikings mailbag: Help for Everson Griffen, and Peterson's receiving stats

Thanks to all of you who submitted questions for this week's Minnesota Vikings mailbag. You can submit questions at any point during the week on Twitter, using the hashtag #VikingsMail.


@GoesslingESPN: Good morning, everyone. Hope you're enjoying your weekend. We'll kick things off here. I'd expect Everson Griffen will see more attention this season, though coach Mike Zimmer's system is designed to create pressure from other places if teams try to focus on one player. It's not as though the Vikings want Griffen to be their only source of pass rushing productivity, and their blitz package could make it difficult for teams to shade running backs toward Griffen's side anyway. Brian Robison should be more accustomed to the technique changes in Zimmer's defense in Year 2, but it's still incumbent upon him to win matchups and beat blockers. In any case, the Vikings' defense is more about a unified rush concept than it is about asking one player to pile up big sack numbers. Zimmer often says he doesn't care who's getting the sacks, as long as the Vikings are bringing down the quarterback. Players such as Robison, Scott Crichton and Anthony Barr could get more opportunities if Griffen is double-teamed.


@GoesslingESPN: Vikings general manager Rick Spielman's praise of Antone Exum after the draft was unsolicited, and the fact it came after Spielman said the Vikings "kind of know" what Robert Blanton and Andrew Sendejo are would suggest an open competition at safety. It's certainly possible Blanton will end up being the starter there again -- he was with Harrison Smith on the first-team defense in organized team activities and minicamp -- but the Vikings will probably look through all their options. That should motivate Blanton and Sendejo, especially considering both of them are in contract years, but I took it as a fairly straightforward indicator of where the Vikings are at the position. I certainly don't think the position next to Smith is settled at this point.


@GoesslingESPN: For as much as the Vikings want Adrian Peterson to have a bigger role in the passing game, if he's got more touchdowns than Kyle Rudolph at the end of the season, something went wrong. Rudolph needs to be on the field for a full season, and if he is, he should have a major role in the passing game. He should be especially effective as a red zone target, which is where he's made his money in the past. I got a few questions this week about Peterson's role in the passing game; I'd expect he'll wind up with 40-50 catches, and he'll be able to turn some of those into big plays. But Rudolph should be a safety blanket for Teddy Bridgewater if he's healthy, and his size should help the Vikings be more effective in the red zone this season.

We'll wrap things up there for the day. Enjoy the rest of your weekend, and the final day of the British Open. The Vikings are taking reporters on another tour of U.S. Bank Stadium on Monday morning, so I'll have some pictures from there, in addition to a few posts previewing training camp. Talk to you on Monday.