MANKATO, Minn. -- Observations from Vikings camp:
1. Look for the club to try to acquire backup quarterback Kelly Holcomb. There already is talk the Vikings are interested, and he's a perfect fit here. First, he's a veteran, so he can serve as a mentor -- and not a threat -- to Tarvaris Jackson. Second, he can step in and win a couple games if Jackson is hurt or flounders. Holcomb was Cleveland's starter the last time the Browns made the playoffs. Third, he doesn't figure into Philadelphia's plans. He's the fourth quarterback there and destined to be cut or traded. Fourth, he's in Philadelphia -- which means it's an easy transition to go from there to what the Vikings are doing under Brad Childress. Bottom line: Look for Minnesota to make a run at him.
2. Minnesota must improve its outside pass rush. The Vikings ranked 31st in pass defense last season, and there's a good reason: They didn't pressure the pocket with their defensive ends. In fact, Kenechi Udeze had no sacks in 15 starts, and, trust me, that's not easy to do. Erasmus James could be a factor if he stays healthy, but he's returning from a knee injury that sidelined him all but two games. It'll take him time to catch up. The guy to watch is Ray Edwards, a hit in training camp and the likely starter on the right side. Edwards had three sacks as a rookie, tying him with teammate Jayme Mitchell for third on the club.
3. Linebacker Chad Greenway returns to the starting lineup after missing all of last season with torn knee ligaments. A first-round draft pick, Greenway will step in at E.J. Henderson's strong-side linebacker spot -- moving Henderson, the club's leading tackler, to the middle. Big things are expected of Greenway, and so far, so good. "He's a million-mile-an-hour guy," said Childress.
4. Wide receiver Troy Williamson continues to be inconsistent despite working with a physician to correct his eyesight. Williamson, who committed far too many drops a year ago, has been working with a vision specialist after discovering problems with his depth perception in the offseason. The results haven't been encouraging: He still commits too many errors. With Williamson an uncertainty, Bobby Wade becomes the club's No. 1 threat on the outside. Rookie Sidney Rice could be a factor, too, although he has been bothered by a sore hamstring.
5. With tackle Bryant McKinnie and guard Steve Hutchinson, the Vikings are stacked on the left side of the offensive line. The right side is another matter, where Artis Hicks and Anthony Herrera battle it out at guard and Ryan Cook sets up as the tackle. Neither position has been particularly impressive during camp, which means you can expect a lot of Adrian Peterson runs to the left. Herrera is more aggressive than Hicks, but the consensus is that Hicks' experience makes him the favorite to open at the position Sept. 9. Cook, a converted center, is the guy the Vikings acquired with the second-round pick obtained from Miami for Daunte Culpepper.