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  1. #1
    singersp's Avatar
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    Vikings expecting much more from rookie James

    From "The Mercury News";

    [size=18px]Vikings expecting much more from rookie James[/size]

    BY DON SEEHOLZER
    Knight Ridder Newspapers



    ST. PAUL, Minn. - Erasmus James will make a homecoming of sorts in Green Bay on Monday night.

    His timing couldn't be better.

    Coming off the best game of his young NFL career, in front of 60 friends and family members at Giants Stadium, the Vikings' rookie defensive end is trying to line up 30 tickets for former teammates and coaches at the University of Wisconsin to join him in his first visit to Lambeau Field.

    "I'm really excited," James said. "Last time I didn't touch Brett Favre, but this time it's Monday night football and everyone's watching. I'm just really excited at this point. I really want to put it all together for this game."

    James, who grew up in New York before moving to Florida when he entered high school, played his most complete game as a pro Sunday. He recorded season highs in tackles (4), passes defensed (2) and quarterback hurries (6) in the Vikings' 24-21 upset of the New York Giants.

    That's the kind of production the Vikings expected when they selected James with the 18th pick of this year's draft, and they're looking for more in the weeks to come.

    "He's a big-play guy and he's becoming more of a big-play (player) for us at the right time," coach Mike Tice said. "We are excited for him. It's about time."

    This hasn't been an easy season for James, who signed with the Vikings 11 days into training camp and has been playing catch-up ever since.

    More than halfway through his first season, he still has just one sack, but he has made noticeable strides as a starter in the past two games.

    "He's still got a few things to learn, but he's grown," defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell said. "He's got big-play ability. He's a gifted player. There's a reason he was a No. 1 pick."

    James isn't all there yet, according to Tice, who said the rookie needs to learn the schemes better and play with more confidence. But he's getting closer.

    "I really like Erasmus' playmaking ability," Tice said. "I think all the coaches do. We have some growing pains with him. The more plays he is playing, he still wears down a little bit, but he has some things he was born with. He has some things he can do that no other player on the team can do. He is going to make plays."

    James nearly made a big play in the third quarter against the Giants, hitting the arm of quarterback Eli Manning and forcing an apparent fumble that was recovered by defensive end Darrion Scott only to be ruled an incomplete pass after a replay review.

    James and the coaches are still baffled by that ruling, but everyone agrees he has been one of the main beneficiaries of the Vikings' decision to switch back to the 4-3 defense two games ago.

    "It definitely suits me better and we're playing well as a defense," James said. "Now we've got that communication going so everyone's really enjoying themselves and most importantly we're having fun."

    That's also the case off the field for James, who was forced to run a series of sprints between jeering veterans on his first night at training camp and reported to Mankato just in time for rookie hazing.

    Three months later, the once-brooding rookie with the shaved eyebrows and bad haircut has morphed into a self-assured pro who can't seem to stop smiling.

    "Now he's starting to give it back to the veterans, too," Cottrell said. "He's not walking around with his lips all puffed out. He's become one of the boys, and that really helps his confidence."

    "I'm really enjoying myself right now," James said.

    His biggest problem this week will be scrounging up enough tickets for all the former Wisconsin teammates and coaches, including head coach Barry Alvarez, he would like to be there with him Monday night.

    "It's my way of saying thank you to the coaches," James said. "It's going to be tough. You know Lambeau's always sold out, but I think I'm probably going to have at least 30."

    Yes, this first Monday night game is going to be something special for James, and he wants to share it with as many people as possible.

    "It's a very big deal," he said. "I'm really excited. I'm just going to leave it all on the field there at Lambeau and have a good time."

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

  2. #2
    singersp's Avatar
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    Re: Vikings expecting much more from rookie James

    I looking forward to sacks by both Erasmus & Phat Pat & a pick or two by Sharper!

    It's going to be a great game!

    Go Vikes!

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

  3. #3
    Del Rio Guest

    Re: Vikings expecting much more from rookie James

    If James wants a sack on Brett all he has to do is ask him.

  4. #4
    SamDawg84 Guest

    Re: Vikings expecting much more from rookie James

    lol del!

    i think k-will despertley needs to get a sack and get on a roll

  5. #5
    singersp's Avatar
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    Re: Vikings expecting much more from rookie James

    "Del Rio" wrote:
    If James wants a sack on Brett all he has to do is ask him.
    LMAO! :lol:

    I'm sure GB will try to use some lame excuse for giving up a sack to him like they did for (I believe it was, correct me if I'm wrong) Strahan.

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

  6. #6
    JDogg926's Avatar
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    Re: Vikings expecting much more from rookie James

    This would be a sweet time for a breakout game:

    5 hurries
    2 sacks
    1 fum rec
    2 pass def
    4 tackles

    More realistically:
    3 hurries
    0 sacks
    3 tackles
    1 pass def

    But, I'm still keeping my fingers crossed. Hopefully we just win, either way. Favre can throw for 400 yds and 4td's, as long as WE WIN!!!
    542cbf305f333b0554e8ffa937f852d6

  7. #7
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    Re: Vikings expecting much more from rookie James

    THIS SUCKS, I am getting excited and I have to wait 4 more day until the game, I am going to have prematurefootballation.

    I have been trying to stay low keyed for this one so the weekend doesn't just drag.

    Good article though. I realy like how James is bringing the intensity. Just so long as the emotional one, Johnstone, Tice, and James, can help the refs keep the yellow hankies in their pockets on MNF. Bring it to a point.

  8. #8
    Del Rio Guest

    Re: Vikings expecting much more from rookie James

    I pretty much guarantee at least one sack from James on Monday night.

    Lance Johnstone gets to the Qb with quickness and seriously magnificent hand moves.

    I noticed Eraser gets to the pressure zone, with control of his body, he twists he shuffles, that guy must be a serious pain in the ass to block.

    He made a few big time mistakes on a few plays against the giants. Luckily for us they were on the weak side of the play. I noticed after one Newman was talking to him shaking his head no. If I was the packers I would run the ball to James side this week.

    Unfortunately for them I'm sure the Vikings know that as well and will try to support that containment.

    James will get a sack this week.

  9. #9
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    Re: Vikings expecting much more from rookie James

    If you've got the ticket a good one to get you through the weekend should be Indy at Cincy, or Bears vs Panthers, it will be interesting to find out how good or bad the Bears actually are.

    I'll probably be watching the Browns game though. Unless they start to get blown out.

    Also, Saturday, for those college fans
    1:00 EST Ohio St at Michigan (the ultimate college football rivalry)
    542cbf305f333b0554e8ffa937f852d6

  10. #10
    JDogg926's Avatar
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    Re: Vikings expecting much more from rookie James

    Sorry, that was supposed to be in response to snowinapril.
    542cbf305f333b0554e8ffa937f852d6

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