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  1. #1
    singersp's Avatar
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    Vikings: Surly attitudes bring benefits to offensive line

    [size=18px]Vikings: Surly attitudes bring benefits to offensive line[/size]

    Marcus Johnson and Anthony Herrera might have earned starting spots with their aggressive play vs. the Packers.

    Kevin Seifert, Star Tribune
    Last update: November 22, 2005 at 9:50 PM


    On his first play from scrimmage Monday night, right tackle Marcus Johnson locked up with Green Bay defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins. As the Vikings set up a pass, Johnson turned Jenkins outside to help create the pocket.

    Johnson wasn't done. He drove Jenkins toward the far sideline, and even as Brad Johnson's pass sailed past its intended receiver, the pair continued to tussle. It wasn't until several players and officials arrived at the scene -- some 15 yards away from the original line of scrimmage, and long after the whistles had blown -- that Johnson released his grip.

    "That," Vikings coach Mike Tice said, "is the kind of attitude I like."

    Johnson almost certainly earned a starting role with his feisty approach after replacing starter Mike Rosenthal in the second quarter of the Vikings' 20-17 victory Monday night.

    The same could be true as well for second-year player Anthony Herrera, who replaced injured starter Toniu Fonoti in the second half; with Johnson at right tackle and Herrera playing left guard, the Vikings rolled for 13 points and 112 rushing yards after halftime.

    Tice had not made a final decision as of Tuesday evening, but it appears he plans to start both Johnson and Herrera against Cleveland on Sunday in what would be a continuation of the Vikings' season-long upheaval along the offensive line. If all goes as expected, the Vikings will open the game with their fourth different combination of starters this season.

    "I'll do like I do every week," said Herrera, who should learn his role today. "I'll prepare like I'm going to play. If I do, I do. If I don't, I don't."

    The changes would continue a process Tice began last week when he inserted Fonoti in place of veteran left guard Chris Liwienski. Fonoti strained his left groin in the first half Monday night and is unlikely to recover in time for Sunday's game, but Tice liked Herrera's feistiness against the Packers.

    "He tries to impress the coaches with his aggressive play," Tice said. "He plays a little out of control, because he tries to knock everybody out that he tries to hit -- which is not a bad thing."

    Why is Tice so eager to turn his line into a group of marauding villains? Entering the Packers game, the Vikings had scored 12 offensive touchdowns in nine games. They had managed only 12 rushing yards the previous week against the New York Giants, and Tice said he didn't like the reaction he saw from some linemen.

    Tuesday, he recalled wistfully that former left tackle Todd Steussie was once considered among the dirtiest players in football.

    "Why? Because he was cut-blocking," Tice said. "Last time I checked, cut-blocking was legal. But that's the attitude you're looking for. You're looking for the attitude that the guy I'm playing against, I have never had him over to my house for dinner. I don't care if he likes me or not. ... That you should take it personally, if you look and see that your guy is hitting our guy that has the ball in his hand.

    "I don't think we had enough of that. I don't think we had enough of that attitude where a guy is angry when his guy hits our guy with the football in his hand. I know I'm going to be angry when that happens. I need to see more of [players] getting angry when that happens. That's the attitude we're looking for. That's the attitude we need."

    Johnson's aggressiveness Monday night coincided with what the Vikings believe is his arrival at his natural position. Johnson played both right guard and right tackle at Mississippi, and Johnson started the season's first four games at right guard. Tice, however, said he believes Johnson's long arms make him more suited to play tackle.

    Although Johnson and Herrera had their share of struggles Monday night, Tice used colorful imagery Tuesday to describe their contribution.

    "The first thing you do as an offensive lineman," Tice said, "is you say to yourself that no matter what, I'm going to kick" an opponent's rear end.

    "That's the kind of attitude I like," Tice added. "It's, 'I'm going to whip you.' So if I whip you, and the next guy over there whips his guy, then all of a sudden you've got a whole lot of" whipping going on.

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

  2. #2
    singersp's Avatar
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    Re: Vikings: Surly attitudes bring benefits to offensive lin

    "That's the kind of attitude I like," Tice added. "It's, 'I'm going to whip you.' So if I whip you, and the next guy over there whips his guy, then all of a sudden you've got a whole lot of" whipping going on.
    That's what I want to see on our line. A whole lot of ass wooping going on.

    "I'll do like I do every week," said Herrera, who should learn his role today. "I'll prepare like I'm going to play. If I do, I do. If I don't, I don't."
    I sure hope every player is preparing like they're going to playing every week.

    Marcus is slowly but surely improving week to week. Hopefully he pans out to be as great as Tice thinks he is.

    Herrera is playing like an animal is well. Does anyone no if he can play right side?

    Frome Tices PC, it also sounded like Lewinski will be suiting up for this week.

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

  3. #3
    Del Rio Guest

    Re: Vikings: Surly attitudes bring benefits to offensive lin

    That's pretty much what lineman need to be like. It's called the trench for a reason.

  4. #4
    Freya's Avatar
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    Re: Vikings: Surly attitudes bring benefits to offensive line

    A t t i t u d e! I would like to see more of that.


    Personally, I don't think there is intelligent life on other planets. Why should other planets be any different from this one?

  5. #5
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    Re: Vikings: Surly attitudes bring benefits to offensive line

    yeah baby.get in there and swap some paint!!
    If winning isn,t everything,why keep score?

  6. #6
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    Re: Vikings: Surly attitudes bring benefits to offensive line

    I thought Fonoti looked like crap. If we seriously are going to be starting this guy, he needs to drop another 30 lbs.
    Marcus Johson seems better at tackle than guard, and Anthony Herrera looked solid. I'd say we should start Herrera at guard and Johnson at tackle next week, in favor of Mike "Flag Magnet" Rosenthal and Fonoti/Liewinski.
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  7. #7
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    Re: Vikings: Surly attitudes bring benefits to offensive line

    YEAH!!! That's what I'm talking about....smash mouth football!!!
    BANNED OR DEAD...I'LL TAKE EITHER ONE

  8. #8
    Del Rio Guest

    Re: Vikings: Surly attitudes bring benefits to offensive line

    "JDogg926" wrote:
    I thought Fonoti looked like crap. If we seriously are going to be starting this guy, he needs to drop another 30 lbs.
    Marcus Johson seems better at tackle than guard, and Anthony Herrera looked solid. I'd say we should start Herrera at guard and Johnson at tackle next week, in favor of Mike "Flag Magnet" Rosenthal and Fonoti/Liewinski.
    Fonoti was garbage, but I can only blame Tice for putting him in getting him hurt.

    It just wasn't a smart call.

  9. #9
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    Re: Vikings: Surly attitudes bring benefits to offensive line

    fonoti is still alittle bit big, but thats what being a olinemen is all about. being bigger and stronger than the guy on the other side of the ball trying to knock you over.
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  10. #10
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    Re: Vikings: Surly attitudes bring benefits to offensive lin

    Give Fonoti some time.

    Johnson...book is still out on him. I am not impressed yet.

    Rosenthal...ugh!

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