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  1. #1
    singersp's Avatar
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    Winfield's criticisms prompts Tice to check out defense

    From the San Jose Mercury News;
    Posted on Thu, Nov. 03, 2005

    Winfield's criticisms prompts Tice to check out Vikings' defense

    BY SEAN JENSEN

    Knight Ridder Newspapers


    ST. PAUL, Minn. - Since taking over as head coach of the Vikings, Mike Tice has gravitated toward the offense during practices.

    Given his background as a college quarterback, NFL tight end and NFL offensive line coach, save a few suggestions and observations, Tice empowered and entrusted his defensive coordinator to handle that side of the ball.

    But the day after another poor defensive effort in a 38-13 loss at Carolina on Sunday, veteran cornerback Antoine Winfield questioned his defensive coaches and demanded a more aggressive approach. That compelled Tice, for the first time, to be a fixture on the defensive practice field and even in meeting rooms.

    "This is definitely the first time I've seen him do it," defensive end Darrion Scott said. "He's still cool with the defense, and he jokes around with us all the time.

    "But, of course, he loves his offense."

    Even with the Vikings' struggling offense playing without Pro Bowl quarterback Daunte Culpepper for the first time in more than two years, Tice has dedicated much of his attention during practices and late into the evenings on the defense.

    "I wanted to create some energy to the defense, some fresh ideas and tempo," Tice said.

    This week, Tice is running at least one portion of practice for the defense, and he tests the players by spontaneously calling for different formations and shifts. Defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell welcomed the head coach's involvement.

    "We throw some different things at them at any time," Cottrell said. "Get them thinking a little bit more.

    "It seems like our problem has been, at the end of the second quarter or early in a game, teams may throw different wrinkles at us. We're trying to get our guys a little bit more at ease, if a wrinkle does come at them."

    Tice also has stressed communication among his defensive coaches and players to ensure they are mindful of the various checks and alerts for Sunday's game against the Detroit Lions.

    "We've got to get on the same page. Everybody," Vikings nose tackle Pat Williams said. "We haven't been on the same page every week.

    "If you don't communicate, then someone will (expletive) up. So you better talk out there."

    Tice also provided some insight for his defensive linemen during meetings.

    "Him being a former offensive line coach and a tight end, he knows things that we probably don't know, as far as blocking techniques and schemes, and what an offensive line is going to do to you," Scott said. "So he can tell us some of the secrets to the offensive line."

    Players also said Tice's involvement in defense also would make everyone more accountable to him.

    "It's been good because now he knows exactly what's going on, so maybe he can see what he thinks the problem is," rookie defensive end Erasmus James said. "Maybe he can try to fix what's going on with the communication between the players and coaches.

    "He's seen exactly what's happened this week, so no one has excuses_coaches or players. He knows what's going on."

    Winfield's comments did not upset his coaches or teammates. Winfield said there are "no hard feelings" between himself and any of his coaches, and the players remained diplomatic.

    "The morale is still good," Scott said. "People have disagreements, and sometimes communication problems can lead to whatever happened. But the defense is not down. We still know that we're capable of being a great defense. With nine games left, we still have a chance to put things together."

    With the expected return of defensive end Spencer Johnson and linebacker Dontarrious Thomas, the Vikings' defense is healthy entering a key divisional game against the Lions. The return of Johnson and the emergence of James, who could start, also enables the Vikings to utilize their 4-3 defensive scheme, as well as the 3-4 that was so effective in defending the run.

    As they have so often in the past, the Vikings insist they've had an excellent week of practice. But safety Darren Sharper said that doesn't matter come Sunday.

    "Guys don't want to deal with the fact that we're 2-5 and we should be better than that," Sharper said. "Guys are more confident in their abilities and that we can win. But we just got to do it on Sundays.

    "Sitting here and saying we have good practices all during the week and saying we have good players has nothing to do with how you perform on Sunday."

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

  2. #2
    Guruzen's Avatar
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    Re: Winfield's criticisms prompts Tice to check out defense

    "singersp" wrote:
    But the day after another poor defensive effort in a 38-13 loss at Carolina on Sunday, veteran cornerback Antoine Winfield questioned his defensive coaches and demanded a more aggressive approach. That compelled Tice, for the first time, to be a fixture on the defensive practice field and even in meeting rooms.
    WTF??? He's the frickin head coach! He should be in the loop on defense as well as offense at all times! He can't just ignore the D and then make like he's going in there to fix things and save the day. It shouldn't take a 38-13 loss to get his butt over to be more involved in the D. I don't think he'll have much to contribute anyway, but as the head coach he should have had at least some involvement.

    Besides, what the heck does he know about defense anyway? He's an offensive coach with o-line experience, and yet our offense is horrible enough as it is.

  3. #3
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    Re: Winfield's criticisms prompts Tice to check out defense

    Well having read that article I sure feel a lot more confident about the direction or our team. :roll: :sad: :cry:
    "It seems like our problem has been, at the end of the second quarter or early in a game, teams may throw different wrinkles at us. We're trying to get our guys a little bit more at ease, if a wrinkle does come at them."
    Yeah the rest of the time they have really been on top of it. WOW its incredible that the teams we play come with a "wrinkle" to throw at us instead of playing the same thing week in and week out like our O does. Do our coaches actually go to the games and watch what is going on? After 5 losses and 4 blow outs Tice is for the first time talking to the Defense? In reading their comments these guys just don't have a clue. But its great to know that Tice is still joking around with them. :roll:

    WWBGD

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    Re: Winfield's criticisms prompts Tice to check out defense

    Yeah....basically Tice has been the assistant line coach and flag thrower these four years. What a franchise..........

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    singersp's Avatar
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    Re: Winfield's criticisms prompts Tice to check out defense

    Given his background as a college quarterback, NFL tight end and NFL offensive line coach, save a few suggestions and observations, Tice empowered and entrusted his defensive coordinator to handle that side of the ball.
    Being an "offense oriented" head coach & not an expert on defense, I would expect him to trust his defensive coordinator to handle that side of the ball & direct more of his attention to what he has more expertise in.

    The opposite would be true for a coach like Dungey. Being a "defense oriented" head coach & not an expert on offense, I would expect him to trust his offensive coordinator to handle that side of the ball.

    What this tells me is Cotrell sux at his job & should go bye-bye.

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

  6. #6
    Prophet Guest

    Re: Winfield's criticisms prompts Tice to check out defense

    If it takes a player speaking to the press for Tice to realize there are serious problems on the D he is even dumber than I thought he was. I didn't think that was possible.

  7. #7
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    Re: Winfield's criticisms prompts Tice to check out defense

    why didnt he wait til week 10 or 12 to get involved! after all its only his job on the line.

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    Re: Winfield's criticisms prompts Tice to check out defense

    "singersp" wrote:
    Given his background as a college quarterback, NFL tight end and NFL offensive line coach, save a few suggestions and observations, Tice empowered and entrusted his defensive coordinator to handle that side of the ball.
    Being an "offense oriented" head coach & not an expert on defense, I would expect him to trust his defensive coordinator to handle that side of the ball & direct more of his attention to what he has more expertise in.

    The opposite would be true for a coach like Dungey. Being a "defense oriented" head coach & not an expert on offense, I would expect him to trust his offensive coordinator to handle that side of the ball.

    What this tells me is Cotrell sux at his job & should go bye-bye.
    I'm sure that's what Tice was hoping for when they brought in Ted. Unfortunately, the defense has performed woefully, with no signs of getting better. It's nice to know that AW's comments revealed to Tice that maybe there is a problem on defense and that he should get involved.

    Sheeesh, absolutely amazing. Good thing its the Lion's in the dome this weekend.

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    Re: Winfield's criticisms prompts Tice to check out defense

    "Prophet" wrote:
    If it takes a player speaking to the press for Tice to realize there are serious problems on the D he is even dumber than I thought he was. I didn't think that was possible.
    My thoughts exactly... :sigh1:

  10. #10
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    Re: Winfield's criticisms prompts Tice to check out defense

    Zygi must be going insane. Cott needs to go.
    I BLEED PURPLE!

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