The Vikings begin the preseason schedule at San Francisco against the 49ers Friday night at 8pm (Central Time).  The game will be televised on WB23 instead of NBC because of conflicts with the Olympics.  Here's a list of 5 things to watch for in the game Friday night;

1) Christian Ponder - Does he look better than last year?  Does he have more time with a better offensive line? How much is he looking for the tight ends?  Ponder's maturity will go a long way in determining whether the Vikings make significant improvements in 2012.

2) Brandon Fusco - Fusco is the starting right guard for now.  He gets the job with Geoff Schwartz recovering from sports hernia surgery.  Fusco is a 2nd year offensive lineman out of Division II Slippery Rock that the team loved in OTs and doesn't seem to love as much now.

3) The secondary - Who's starting at cornerback and safety and how do they play.  Harrison Smith will start at one safety spot but how 'bout the other.  Is Mistral Raymond or Jamarca Sanford decent or will the Vikings start an All Notre Dame safety corp with Robert Blanton?  At corner watch Chris Cook, Zach Bowman, Chris Carr and the health of Antoine Winfield.

4) Blair Walsh - The Vikings drafted the kicker in the 6th round and then cut Ryan Longwell.  Walsh has a big leg but is he accurate enough to make it in the NFL?

5) Defensive Line - Jared Allen is a stud and Kevin Williams should still be good enough to start.  How 'bout everyone else?  Watch Letroy Guion, Christian Ballard, Everson Griffin, and Brian Robison.