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  1. #1
    singersp's Avatar
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    A new way to get better: Will the Tampa 2 defense be a hit?

    Posted on Wed, Jul. 26, 2006

    [size=18px]A new way to get better[/size]

    NFL:As the Vikings prepare to report to training camp, will the Tampa 2 defense be a hit in Minnesota?

    BY DON SEEHOLZER
    ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS


    If you can't beat them, join them. In a roundabout way, that was coach Brad Childress' rationale for bringing Mike Tomlin and the Tampa 2 defense to the Minnesota Vikings.

    The question is whether the popular scheme will work as well in Minnesota as it did in Tampa Bay and Chicago, which finished 1-2 in the NFL in defense last season.

    "In this particular conference right here, right now the tall dog is the Chicago Bears, and that's this defense," Childress said on the day he hired Tomlin as defensive coordinator. "So what better way to beat that defense than to practice against it every day?"

    The Bears and Buccaneers rode their defenses to division titles last season, as did the Indianapolis Colts, another Tampa 2 (or cover 2) team that finished second to Chicago in scoring defense.

    If the scheme is proven, though, there still are some questions about how well it suits the Vikings' personnel. Nowhere is the uncertainty greater than at linebacker, where they will have new starters at two or possibly all three positions.

    Ben Leber, a free agent from San Diego, is expected to open the season at strong-side linebacker, but No. 1 draft choice Chad Greenway will compete with returning starter E.J. Henderson for the weak-side spot, and middle linebacker is up for grabs, with Napoleon Harris, Dontarrious Thomas and maybe Henderson all in the mix.

    Tomlin, who came to the Vikings after five seasons as Tampa Bay's defensive backs coach, wasn't ready to award any starting jobs based on offseason practices involving players in shoulder pads and shorts.

    "This is a collision game, and that's a collision position," he said. "They're doing some nice things from a movement standpoint and an assignment standpoint, but those questions probably won't be answered until we start smashing people."

    The Vikings' defense fueled last season's 7-2 finish, tying for first in the NFC and second in the NFL with 24 interceptions, and Tomlin inherited some talented players, including Pro Bowl free safety Darren Sharper, cornerback Antoine Winfield and defensive tackles Pat and Kevin Williams.

    Defensive end Kenechi Udeze appears fully recovered from the microfracture knee surgery that prematurely ended his 2005 season, and free agent Dwight Smith was signed Tuesday to compete with big-hitting Tank Williams for the right to replace strong safety Corey Chavous, who left for St. Louis.

    Smith can play nickel back also, but with Brian Williams gone to Jacksonville, the Vikings will need cornerback Fred Smoot to start playing up to the six-year, $34 million contract he signed last offseason.

    A year ago, it took some time for all the Vikings' new players to get comfortable in former defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell's system, and the result was a No. 21 ranking, even with their strong second half.

    This season, no one is being so bold as to predict a top-five finish, which doesn't mean the defense lacks confidence.

    "You really can't pay attention to what people think of you," Winfield said. "We have the right coaches and the right players here. It's all about putting it out on the field."

    If the pieces come together quickly enough, the Vikings could reverse their recent history and field a defense capable of carrying the offense, but Tomlin is less interested in rankings and numbers than establishing a style of play.

    "We just want to create a frenzy," he said. "We think that regardless of scheme, historically the great defenses throughout the history of the league have played in a frenzy, so that's what we want to do."

    A new way to get better

    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

  2. #2
    Prophet Guest

    Re: A new way to get better: Will the Tampa 2 defense be a hit?

    "We just want to create a frenzy," he said. "We think that regardless of scheme, historically the great defenses throughout the history of the league have played in a frenzy, so that's what we want to do."
    Sounds good to me. It is so nice to be done with the high powered offense and no defense era with the Vikings. That era was tortuous.

  3. #3
    Zeus's Avatar
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    Re: A new way to get better: Will the Tampa 2 defense be a hit?

    "singersp" wrote:
    Defensive end Kenechi Udeze appears fully recovered from the microfracture knee surgery that prematurely ended his 2005 season, and free agent Dwight Smith was signed Tuesday to compete with big-hitting Tank Williams for the right to replace strong safety Corey Chavous, who left for St. Louis.
    A Kenechi sighting! Usually I see James mentioned when they want to talk about a young Vikings DE.

    =Z=

    Thanks to Josdin for the awesome sig!

  4. #4
    Prophet Guest

    Re: A new way to get better: Will the Tampa 2 defense be a hit?

    KFFL
    Vikings | Udeze looks fully recovered
    Wed, 26 Jul 2006 05:58:27 -0700

    Don Seeholzer, of the Pioneer Press, reports as the team prepares to start training camp, Minnesota Vikings DE Kenechi Udeze (knee) appears fully recovered from the microfracture knee surgery that prematurely ended his 2005 season.

  5. #5
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    Re: A new way to get better: Will the Tampa 2 defense be a hit?

    "Prophet" wrote:
    KFFL
    Vikings | Udeze looks fully recovered
    Wed, 26 Jul 2006 05:58:27 -0700

    Don Seeholzer, of the Pioneer Press, reports as the team prepares to start training camp, Minnesota Vikings DE Kenechi Udeze (knee) appears fully recovered from the microfracture knee surgery that prematurely ended his 2005 season.
    And *BANG* Prophet is there with a follow-up! YOU DA MAN!

    :cheers: :headbang: :salute: :cheers: :headbang: :salute:

    =Z=

    Thanks to Josdin for the awesome sig!

  6. #6
    COJOMAY is offline Jersey Retired
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    Re: A new way to get better: Will the Tampa 2 defense be a h

    "You really can't pay attention to what people think of you," Winfield said. "We have the right coaches and the right players here. It's all about putting it out on the field."
    I love this quote from the article. I think Tomlin is gonna be a great coach with his enthusiasm for the game. It will rub off on the players.
    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.

  7. #7
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    Re: A new way to get better: Will the Tampa 2 defense be a hit?

    The MLB position is the KEY to this defense...we need to find our starter QUICK!!!

    You all know MY feelings on this...I want an experienced, proven player in that spot! Anyone know of a player that might be available to fill the MLB role for the Vikings defense?
    BANNED OR DEAD...I'LL TAKE EITHER ONE

  8. #8
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    Re: A new way to get better: Will the Tampa 2 defense be a hit?

    Tomlin seems to be a very intelligent coach, and I think that we will soar on defense....Sounds like he's a great fit (so far) here in Minnesota!

    We'll see what the players put on the field though....I hope Napo steps up to the plate and has the MLB position....That way we can say that the Moss trade wasn't so horrible...

  9. #9
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    Re: A new way to get better: Will the Tampa 2 defense be a h

    "cajunvike" wrote:
    The MLB position is the KEY to this defense...we need to find our starter QUICK!!!

    You all know MY feelings on this...I want an experienced, proven player in that spot! Anyone know of a player that might be available to fill the MLB role for the Vikings defense?
    theyre not going to need a MLB when they institute the new Cover 3.
    3 Safetys Williams, Sharper, Smith
    2 LBs Greenway and one of the other LBs we have (take your pick)
    2 CBs Winfield and whoever beats out smoot
    4 DLs Udeze, P+K Williams and James

    (now thats some crow eating dirt there)

  10. #10
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    Re: A new way to get better: Will the Tampa 2 defense be a h

    "petrodemos" wrote:
    "cajunvike" wrote:
    The MLB position is the KEY to this defense...we need to find our starter QUICK!!!

    You all know MY feelings on this...I want an experienced, proven player in that spot! Anyone know of a player that might be available to fill the MLB role for the Vikings defense?
    theyre not going to need a MLB when they institute the new Cover 3.
    3 Safetys Williams, Sharper, Smith
    2 LBs Greenway and one of the other LBs we have (take your pick)
    2 CBs Winfield and whoever beats out smoot
    4 DLs Udeze, P+K Williams and James

    (now thats some crow eating dirt there)
    You dont think that smoot will earn or even get the starting job??

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