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  1. #1
    singersp's Avatar
    singersp is offline PPO Newshound
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    Purple People Eating, platoon-style

    [size=13pt]Vikings: Purple People Eating, platoon-style[/size]

    Unlike the ferocious front four of the late '60s and early '70s, the Vikings are relying on a wave of defensive linemen.

    Judd Zulgad, Star Tribune
    Last update: September 22, 2006 – 12:06 AM


    The shuffling along the Vikings defensive line is constant, occurring at the same frenetic pace with which the unit approaches each series.
    Nose tackle Pat Williams is in for this play, replaced by Ross Kolodziej on the next. If defensive tackle Kevin Williams needs a break, Spencer Johnson dashes onto the field. Even rookie end Ray Edwards has been thrust into the rotation.

    For defensive coordinator Mike Tomlin, it's all about productivity. Starter, reserve, rookie or veteran, if a linemen is dressed, he's going to see action.

    "When we ask our big men to run the way we ask them to run, we have to play a lot of people so they can stay fresh," said Tomlin, who has employed an eight-man rotation. "Regardless of who is up and who is down, from an injury standpoint, if any defensive lineman in a helmet is going to help us win we are going to play them."

    Players who in some systems would spend most of the day on the sideline are on the field at key moments. Starters and reserves both applaud the approach.

    "I love it and that's what a lot of people are doing around the league," starting defensive end Kenechi Udeze said. "A very valuable part of your team is keeping fresh defensive linemen in. Offensive linemen aren't able to change out. When you've got fresh guys rolling in it puts more work on offensive linemen. It helps us in the third and fourth quarter, because in the fourth quarter when they're beat up, we still have a little more in the tank than them."

    Kolodziej, signed as a free agent during the offseason after stints with the Giants and Cardinals, is a main beneficiary.

    "In New York the starters played, and that was pretty much it unless a guy was hurt," he said. "The only reason I played a ton last year [in Arizona] is because Russell Davis got hurt. ... It's great that we can rotate and the coaches have enough trust in us that we can go out there and play at the same level as the starters and keep everybody fresh and be strong in the fourth quarter."

    With starting right end Erasmus James lost for the season because of a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, the added time second-teamers such as Edwards have received can only help.

    Edwards figures to see significant time Sunday against Chicago as part of a rotation that likely will have him behind Udeze and Darrion Scott. Odds are Udeze will move from the left to the right side and Scott will start at left end, giving the quicker Udeze a chance to apply pressure on the blind side of quarterback Rex Grossman. The Vikings used Scott and Udeze in those spots after James was injured in the fourth quarter against Carolina and also had them lined up like that at times in practice.

    The Vikings no doubt will continue to utilize Edwards' speed off the edge; rookie end Jayme Mitchell, promoted from the practice squad to take James' roster spot, also could be worked in.

    "We like fresh faces in there, fresh bodies," coach Brad Childress said. "A guy can get out and if you have equally as much confidence in the guy who goes in, that ends up being huge. We've started some series with those guys, so we're going to continue to roll those guys."

    And Scott makes it clear he and his fellow linemen will be ready.

    "The defensive line is always around the coaches and we're always waiting on that moment," Scott said. "It does a really good job as a confidence booster just to know you're going to be getting in the game soon. You don't know when, but you know you're going to be getting in the game. You have to be wired in at all times."


    Judd Zulgad • [email protected]

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

  2. #2
    Prophet Guest

    Re: Purple People Eating, platoon-style

    They are switching things up a lot.
    Fun to watch.
    This is the first time in a while that I've actually enjoyed watching the Vikings' defense more than the offense.

    ================================================== =====

    For defensive coordinator Mike Tomlin, it's all about productivity. Starter, reserve, rookie or veteran, if a linemen is dressed, he's going to see action.

    "When we ask our big men to run the way we ask them to run, we have to play a lot of people so they can stay fresh," said Tomlin, who has employed an eight-man rotation. "Regardless of who is up and who is down, from an injury standpoint, if any defensive lineman in a helmet is going to help us win we are going to play them."

    Players who in some systems would spend most of the day on the sideline are on the field at key moments. Starters and reserves both applaud the approach.

    "I love it and that's what a lot of people are doing around the league," starting defensive end Kenechi Udeze said. "A very valuable part of your team is keeping fresh defensive linemen in. Offensive linemen aren't able to change out. When you've got fresh guys rolling in it puts more work on offensive linemen. It helps us in the third and fourth quarter, because in the fourth quarter when they're beat up, we still have a little more in the tank than them."

  3. #3
    RC_Freak's Avatar
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    Re: Purple People Eating, platoon-style

    I agree, this defense is fun to watch, and it's been a long, long time since i could say that. I'm more of the offense guy, and normally our style of play would bore the hell out of me, but i'm starting to really enjoy the grind it out play we've been doing
    You can't be let down if you don't expect the world

  4. #4
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    Re: Purple People Eating, platoon-style

    The best thing about the new Vikes is how similarly they resemble the GREAT teams of the past(60's-70's).
    I am talking about the days of the Met, Bud, and the Purple People Eaters.
    We run the ball, make plays offensively when needed, and our D is the trademark of the new era.
    If you compare these Vikings to a recent dynasty (Patriots) depth was how they got through all the adversity they faced.
    I dont know that we have ever been deeper as a team.

    More than that we are finally playing with the NASTY attitude that was so well known in Viking days gone by. This organization finally has some real leaders, and with how far under the cap we are for next year and the talent that we have assembled, the Vikes should be on alot of peoples radar in the next few years for a SuperBowl.

    You have gotta love how this newly assembled group mimmicks the days when the Vikings were feared, respected, and one of the premier franchises in the league.
    It starts with the Owners and the coaching.
    Brad C is doing a pretty great job of following Bud's lead.


    Kind of a random post but I had to get that off my chest. SKOL!!!! Now we just gotta handle our biz this weekend and shut up the media and retarded Bears fans.

  5. #5
    Prophet Guest

    Re: Purple People Eating, platoon-style

    "slavinator" wrote:
    The best thing about the new Vikes is how similarly they resemble the GREAT teams of the past(60's-70's).
    I am talking about the days of the Met, Bud, and the Purple People Eaters.
    We run the ball, make plays offensively when needed, and our D is the trademark of the new era.
    If you compare these Vikings to a recent dynasty (Patriots) depth was how they got through all the adversity they faced.
    I dont know that we have ever been deeper as a team.

    More than that we are finally playing with the NASTY attitude that was so well known in Viking days gone by. This organization finally has some real leaders, and with how far under the cap we are for next year and the talent that we have assembled, the Vikes should be on alot of peoples radar in the next few years for a SuperBowl.

    You have gotta love how this newly assembled group mimmicks the days when the Vikings were feared, respected, and one of the premier franchises in the league.
    It starts with the Owners and the coaching.
    Brad C is doing a pretty great job of following Bud's lead.


    Kind of a random post but I had to get that off my chest. SKOL!!!! Now we just gotta handle our biz this weekend and shut up the media and Challenged Hillbilly Lover'd Bears fans.
    That's my sentiment too.
    This is one deja vu that I enjoy.

  6. #6
    Vikes_King's Avatar
    Vikes_King is offline Jersey Retired
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    Re: Purple People Eating, platoon-style

    it makes things interesting and good to watch all the way through, thats for sure.

    no more watching our offense get off the field w/ a score in 3-5 plays, then watching our defense get shoved back for about 10 plays, then have to go out and score again since we know we wont stop them =)


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