Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    cogitans is offline Jersey Retired
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Vikings Notebook - Cover Up

    [size=9px]Author: Mike Wobschall,[/size]

    The well-chronicled Tampa Two defensive scheme that the Vikings will implement starting in 2006 has received plenty of publicity, and now it's going to receive more.

    There are many different defensive schemes that all 32 NFL teams employ, but there is one singular goal that each one of those teams tries to achieve - stop the offense before they score. Although each team has the same goal, the way in which teams go about achieving that goal varies.

    The Vikings will play primarily in a cover two defense, meaning the linebackers must be able to drop back in pass coverage as well as provide support in stopping the run.

    "It's paramount that we have linebackers who can cover man-to-man," Vikings linebacker Ben Leber said. "It's also important that we have speed and good recognition."

    After watching the team practice for 15 straight days, it's clear to see the improvement each linebacker has made in their pass coverage skills. It's also clear to see the importance of pass coverage by the linebackers in this scheme.

    During the team's seven-on-seven drills, linebackers have been responsible for covering the middle of the field and the short, outside pass routes. They seem to be doing a solid job considering the fact that receivers don't have the ball long before a linebacker is there to stop the play.

    "It's important for us as linebackers to be aware of the quarterback but also be aware of the pass routes underneath so we can defend those," linebacker Dontarrious Thomas said. "We're still trying to get better, but right now we're doing a good job. There is always room to get better though, and that's what we're going to do."

    Although the concept of linebackers falling into coverage on most plays may seem somewhat foreign to some, the Vikings corps of linebackers is familiar with that style of play.

    "I've had exposure to man-to-man coverages all the way back to college," Leber said, "so I think everybody is familiar with it and it's not something new or foreign to anybody."

    The Vikings linebackers are enjoying the new scheme because they say it gives them some freedom to roam the middle and make plays.

    "With this defense, you're allowed to roam a little bit and make plays, so if you're not covering well then you're not going to be in a position to make plays and it's going to make everyone else's job tougher," Thomas said. "But if you do what you're supposed to do, read your keys and play properly you can see how well it works, just like in Tampa Bay."


    The Vikings have been working as a team with situation play lately. Some of these situations have included short yardage, goalline and third down scenarios. Today, the team spent a significant amount of time and third down situations, giving work to both the offense and defense.

    Part of practice today was spent on getting the field goal team on after a third down play. With just under 20 seconds on the clock, the Vikings called running a play, got the field goal unit on the field and kicked a 48-yard field goal.

    Nickel package

    The nickel package is a defensive personnel unit put on the field during passing downs that usually features five (hence nickel) defensive backs, two linebackers and four down linemen. Because this personnel unit is an adjustment from the usual defensive unit consisting of three linebackers and four defensive backs, coaches have to make decisions about who will play in the nickel formation.

    Included in the Vikings nickel package are linebackers Napoleon Harris and E.J. Henderson, defensive tackle Ross Kolodziej and defensive back Dovonte Edwards. This means nose tackle Pat Williams is replaced, linebacker Ben Leber comes out and cornerback Dovonte Edwards comes in.

    Williams is best served trying to stop the run, which is why the lighter, quicker Kolodziej replaces him on passing downs. Edwards replaces Leber because typically the offense has an extra receiver on the field when the defense is playing a nickel defense. Inserting Edwards for Leber gives the team a better match-up versus the receiver.

    Highlight reel

    Josh Davis made an impressive catch this morning, displaying good body control and reliable hands. On the play, Davis caught a Tarvaris Jackson pass lunging out of bounds and was able to drag both feet on the ground before being forced out of play.

    On one particular play this morning, Jackson looked like a savvy, ten-year veteran. Jackson had two receivers, Chris Jones and Jason Carter on the right side. Jones ran a short curl route and Carter ran a slant route. Jackson looked at Jones and pump faked to him, drawing two defenders, and then fired a rocket into the hands of Carter.

    E.J. Henderson, who has made outstanding plays during live team scrimmages almost every day, made the play of the day on Friday. Brad Johnson was attempting to hit a receiver on a deep out route. Henderson had fallen back into coverage and was reading Johnson's eyes. As soon as Johnson released the ball to the outside receiver, Henderson leaped up to make an improbable catch and intercept the pass.

    Injury report

    Koren Robinson (knee) was dressed and in pads but saw very limited action during practice.

    Marcus Robinson (neck) participated in practice today and made a nice catch going over the middle.

    Ciatrick Fason (concussion) sat out of practice this morning.

    Thanks to PPE for the sig.

  2. #2
    VikesfaninWis's Avatar
    VikesfaninWis is offline Jersey Retired
    Join Date
    Dec 1969

    Re: Vikings Notebook - Cover Up

    As we all have been saying all along.. I really hope this defense steps up and does great things from this season on..

  3. #3
    Bdubya is offline Star Spokesman
    Join Date
    Dec 1969

    Re: Vikings Notebook - Cover Up

    This is great. I'm glad to see that E.J. is having a solid camp, and that T-Jack has been playing well. Is it Monday night yet!?
    MC's run away when I kick it
    They act so chicken, they should come with a large drink and a biscuit

  4. #4
    PurpleTide's Avatar
    PurpleTide is offline Team Alumni
    Join Date
    Dec 1969

    Re: Vikings Notebook - Cover Up

    It's good to hear that the defense is picking things up real well. Also our young guys are coming into their own. E.J., Rasmus, Udeze, Dontarious, Dovonte, are all coming together. With the veteran leadership in Smoot, Winfield, Sharper etc, I'm looking for the defense to stand out this year.

  5. #5
    whackthepack is offline Jersey Retired
    Join Date
    Dec 1969

    Re: Vikings Notebook - Cover Up

    "Bdubya" wrote:
    This is great. I'm glad to see that E.J. is having a solid camp, and that T-Jack has been playing well. Is it Monday night yet!?

    This sucks Philly has already played 2 games and we are still waiting for our first one.
    What we've got here is failure to communicate.

  6. #6
    JellyBean2144's Avatar
    JellyBean2144 is offline Pro-Bowler
    Join Date
    Dec 1969

    Re: Vikings Notebook - Cover Up

    I have loved the Cover Two, since I went to Coach Dungy's football camp 4 years ago. This defense is what the West Coast offense was to the 49ers back in the day, SWEET!!!

    IF you get the right LBs; cover speed with great hands and can tackle; you are a lock to have a great season. Plus, you gotta have a front four that is quick as well. I love the Cover Two.

  7. #7
    vikes09's Avatar
    vikes09 is offline Hall of Famer
    Join Date
    Dec 1969

    Re: Vikings Notebook - Cover Up

    the cover 2 scheme is sure going to take a crap-load of pressure off you corners. our linebackers gotta make something happen now. COME ON MONDAY!!!

  8. #8
    vike_mike's Avatar
    vike_mike is offline Pro-Bowler
    Join Date
    Dec 1969

    Re: Vikings Notebook - Cover Up

    Things sound great, but, the cover 2 scheme can be beaten and beaten big time. Think about it and you will have the answer. Still can't wait to see them play Monday night.

  9. #9
    marcosMN is offline Star Spokesman
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Mpls, MN

    Re: Vikings Notebook - Cover Up

    Sounds like they're gellin' like a fellon. Every day we see posts about the linebackers making some sweet plays, and it has really helped me feel better about those dudes in the middle. If they keep it up, they are gonna be like three junkyard dogs: roaming the middle, and biting the hell out of tresspassors.

    I'm glad E.J. is finally living up to his potential.

Similar Threads

  1. Vikings Notebook: 12.28.06
    By The Dropper in forum Vikings Fan Forum
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 12-28-2006, 02:38 PM
  2. Vikings Notebook 08/06/06
    By singersp in forum Vikings Fan Forum
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 08-06-2006, 02:43 PM
    By BadlandsVikings in forum Vikings Fan Forum
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 04-10-2006, 09:38 PM
  4. Vikings: Childress Notebook
    By VikesfaninWis in forum Vikings Offseason/Draft/FA Forum
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 02-26-2006, 09:41 PM
  5. Vikings Notebook
    By VikesfaninWis in forum Vikings Fan Forum
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 02-26-2006, 08:11 AM

Tags for this Thread


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts