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  1. #1
    Prophet Guest

    Team working to improve defense

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    Vikings | Team working to improve defense
    Tue, 22 Aug 2006 19:41:47 -0700

    Kevin Seifert, of the Star Tribune, reports the Minnesota Vikings No. 1 defense has held opponents to 13 points and 111 yards in about 2 1/2 quarters of preseason play. Highlights included a strong red zone stand Aug. 14 against the Oakland Raiders; on the other hand, the starters appeared a bit disoriented against the Pittsburgh Steelers no-huddle offense Aug. 19. Defensive coordinator Mike Tomlin said Tuesday, Aug. 22, that "I'm never satisfied" and indicated he hopes to see progress in all areas Friday, Aug. 25, against Baltimore. "It doesn't matter whether we come out hot or we come out slow," Tomlin said. "We have to play a complete game. That's the way we are approaching it. You can take any segment of any game and paint any kind of picture you want, good or bad, depending on what kind of mood you are in."


  2. #2
    AngloVike's Avatar
    AngloVike is offline Jersey Retired
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    Re: Team working to improve defense

    "Prophet" wrote:
    ;D

    KFFL
    Vikings | Team working to improve defense
    Tue, 22 Aug 2006 19:41:47 -0700

    Defensive coordinator Mike Tomlin said Tuesday, Aug. 22, that "I'm never satisfied" and indicated he hopes to see progress in all areas Friday, Aug. 25, against Baltimore. "It doesn't matter whether we come out hot or we come out slow," Tomlin said. "We have to play a complete game. That's the way we are approaching it. You can take any segment of any game and paint any kind of picture you want, good or bad, depending on what kind of mood you are in."
    Have to love this attitude, maybe for once we have good reason to be optimistic about what the defence will bring this year. Too often in the past they have promised so much and not really delivered. Of course the real proof won't come until the regular season but there is some good indications so far.
    Time spent annoying a Packer fan is never time wasted...


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    cogitans is offline Jersey Retired
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    Re: Team working to improve defense

    The good thing really is that there are some definite playmakers on that side of the football. And with the new system it seems like they are having a chance to blossom

    Thanks to PPE for the sig.

  4. #4
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    Re: Team working to improve defense

    [size=10pt]Revamped defense turns up the intensity[/size]

    http://www.startribune.com/510/story/629971.html

    In the month since training camp began, Vikings defensive players have been encouraged to "play with your hair on fire." It's been suggested they run to the ball carrier like "there's blood in the water." They have been told the team is looking for "big guys who can run, and little guys who can hit."
    As part of the Vikings' defensive transition, new coordinator Mike Tomlin has leaned heavily on intensity-related rhetoric. The more important issue -- behind the water, blood, sweat and tears -- is this: Are the Vikings in position to improve upon an institutionally poor defense, one that has ranked in the NFL's bottom third for the past seven seasons?

    In a word, maybe.

    Overall, the No. 1 defense has held opponents to 13 points and 111 yards in about 2½ quarters of preseason play. Highlights included a strong red-zone stand Aug. 14 against Oakland; on the other hand, the starters appeared a bit disoriented against Pittsburgh's no-huddle offense Aug. 19.

    Tomlin said Tuesday that "I'm never satisfied" and indicated he hopes to see progress in all areas Friday against Baltimore.

    "It doesn't matter whether we come out hot or we come out slow," Tomlin said. "We have to play a complete game. That's the way we are approaching it. You can take any segment of any game and paint any kind of picture you want, good or bad, depending on what kind of mood you are in.

    "We are going to be in the business of simply reporting the news. We aren't going to try to tell a story. The tape is the tape. We play 60 minutes of football and that speaks for itself."

    Saturday in Pittsburgh, the Vikings defense played about 55 minutes of football. Steelers coach Bill Cowher opened in a quick-paced offense in which quarterback Ben Roethlisberger called all plays at the line of scrimmage.

    The Steelers drove 55 yards in six plays, facing only one third-down situation. On that play, Roethlisberger easily connected with receiver Cedrick Wilson for a 16-yard touchdown -- one aided by an apparent mixup in coverage.

    Wilson cut inside cornerback Fred Smoot, who -- despite a third-and-3 situation -- was playing about 5 yards off the line of scrimmage. During a mad scramble to get lined up, Smoot said he heard a call for zone coverage and figured he would get short help from a linebacker. Other players thought they should be in man-to-man.

    "We mixed up a call in the end zone," Smoot said. "One side was playing Cover-2, and the other side was playing zone. We messed up, and they scored on us. But we went right to the sideline and got everything right. ... They had the hurry-up offense and that kind of mixed us up."

    Said Tomlin: "It is what it is. The tape tells the story and we'll let that be there."

    Smoot has appeared on several occasions to play off receivers. But Tomlin said the Tampa-2 defense does not necessarily call for cornerbacks to play tight coverage on every play.

    "Too much of one thing is not good," Tomlin said. "Part of being a cornerback in this system is you've got to be a complete player. ... Those guys have to play man coverage, they have to play bump, they have to lay off. Maybe some weeks in the preseason, we focus on one element of it more than the other to detail that element of it.

    "But come [the season opener at Washington], those guys are going to have to be able to do a lot of things, whether it's to play in the Cover-2 and be rolled up, or whether it's to play off and play thirds, or to play bump-man. They are going to have to play a complete game in order for us to be successful."

    Overall, said middle linebacker Napoleon Harris, the defense deserves a mid-term preseason grade of a C+/B-.

    "We've definitely shown strides of getting better," Harris said. "But we have very high expectations. We haven't reached our goals yet, but we're working on it. At times, we have flashes of greatness that show we can be a dominating defense. But it's about being consistent, and in due time, I think we'll get there."


    Staff writer Mark Craig contributed to this report

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