Thread: Kleinsasser & Wiggins mix it up
08-05-2006, 01:39 PM #1
Kleinsasser & Wiggins mix it up
[size=18px]Mixing it up is way to stay in the mix[/size]
Vikings tight ends Jermaine Wiggins and Jim Kleinsasser had specific roles before. Now versatility is expected.
Judd Zulgad, Star Tribune
Last update: August 04, 2006 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ 11:30 PM
MANKATO - Jermaine Wiggins could not have been happy to see the Vikings' previous offensive scheme go out the door with former coach Mike Tice.
Before signing with Minnesota in 2004, his career high in receptions had been 18. That season, he led the Vikings with 71 catches. He followed that with a team-high 69 catches in 2005.
Now, Wiggins finds himself playing in the West Coast offense for the first time in his seven NFL seasons -- and it doesn't seem to concern him one bit.
"This is definitely tight end-friendly," Wiggins said of the system being installed by new coach Brad Childress. "I'm going to have the opportunity to make plays, and I'm going to have an opportunity to do a lot of good things."
Wiggins will have to make adjustments. The roles of tight ends were well defined last season: Wiggins caught passes and Jim Kleinsasser blocked. Kleinsasser, also used as an H-back under Tice, caught only 22 passes.
But new offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell made it clear the tight ends will need to contribute in multiple ways. In other words, Kleinsasser should see more passes and Wiggins is going to be asked to block more often.
Sometimes they will be on the field in two-tight end sets, and at other times neither will be out there.
"You have to throw the defense fastballs," Childress said. "You're going to go from one tight end to no tight ends, four wides, to two tight ends, two wides and a back. I don't think you ever want to let a defense screw its cleats to the ground on you. There is a place for multiple tight ends, and a place for multiple wide receivers as well."
Childress, the former offensive coordinator in Philadelphia, comes from an offense that looked to the tight end plenty last season: L.J. Smith had a team-high 61 receptions.
Kleinsasser, who had a career-high 46 receptions in 2003 before missing almost all of the next season because of a knee injury, already has noticed differences from the offense in which he spent his first seven seasons. "It's a different change now where it's kind of like everybody is interchangeable," he said. "We can all kind of do all these little things. ... The terminology is different, everything is different."
Kleinsasser noted tight ends are "more involved in the overall scheme of the passing game," and he obviously welcomes the opportunity to get more passes thrown his way.
But what's interesting is that Wiggins seems to be embracing the fact he will be asked to block more often. "I definitely welcome that challenge because you don't want to be one-dimensional in this league," he said. "You want to be well-rounded, be able to do a little bit of everything. So now teams have to focus on that instead of just on one thing. ... As a blocker I'm going out there and working hard."
He must be doing something right. Bevell admitted this week he has been pleasantly surprised by Wiggins' abilities in that aspect of the game.
"I don't know if we had a feel for how well he would stick his nose in there," Bevell said. "I think he's doing great. He's not a one-dimensional player. ... He's a willing blocker, and he's not turning it down."
Mixing it up is way to stay in the mix
"If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"
08-05-2006, 01:47 PM #2Jersey Retired
- Join Date
- Dec 1969
Re: Kleinsasser & Wiggins mix it upJermaine Wiggins could not have been happy to see the Vikings' previous offensive scheme go out the door with former coach Mike Tice.
More from the other article:
Even after six days, Vikings tight end Jim Kleinsasser could see the difference.
Camp Childress is not Camp Tice.
"There's a little tighter grip," says Kleinsasser. "You got new blood, and they're more tight-fisted with what they're doing. There's not a lot of loose guys around here."
"Guys aren't doing their own thing, going in a million different directions," linebacker Napoleon Harris said. "It's uniform. Everyone is going in one direction, behind one leader."Kentucky Vikes Fan
When you require nothing, you get nothing; when you expect nothing, you will find nothing; when you embrace nothing, all you will have is nothing.
08-05-2006, 06:22 PM #3
Re: Kleinsasser & Wiggins mix it up
Attention to detail. Quick tempo, better conditioning, new attitude's, and I'm getting pretty excited for the new schemes and players to jell into the Team we're gonna be.
08-07-2006, 12:41 PM #4Prophet Guest
Re: Kleinsasser & Wiggins mix it up
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