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  1. #1
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    Future Of Vikings Linebacker Corps

    I'm curious about what everyone's opinion is on the Vikes linebacker situation. With the addition of Mike Tomlin as D-Coordinator, and most likely implementing the "Tampa-2" defense, I think it should garner some serious focus on the first day of the draft. Here is my analysis:

    OLB
    E.J. - I see that he is quite possibly on his way to becoming a star on this defense. The question is, where will he be? At WLB or MLB? He might deserve another crack at the middle, but can he be the vocal leader needed at that position?

    Thomas - Showed some improvement this year overall, but still looked lost at times. Maybe now with the right coaching, he could be the playmaker we need here.

    Newman - Great player. I think we should keep him around, but is he able to play in the Tampa-2 scheme?

    Raonall Smith- It's no secret that he's had an unfortunate and unlucky (IMO) bout of injuries. He's been pretty solid on the field, and still has a lot of potential, if he can stay healthy. I like him a lot, but he might end up getting his chance elsewhere.

    Napoleon Harris - It's my strong opinion that he has been playing out of his natural postion for two years, and call me crazy, but might be worth a serious look at the MLB spot next year. I heard they gave him a chance in training camp, but didn't turn any heads. Take that for what it's worth...

    After beating out Greg Biekert as a Rookie for the starting MLB spot, he was a great player his first two years, totaling 81 and 107 tackles respectively, with 2.5 sacks, and 4 passes defensed. His third year for the Raiders, he was forced into a 3-4 scheme, and he just didn't take well to that. This past year's performance (or lack therof) is proof of that. Maybe he's just not cut out to be an outside backer.

    I think there is still a great linebacker somewhere in this young guy, and it's my hope the new LB coach, Fred Pagac, who was th LB coach in Oakland from 2001-2003, can somehow get him back to his more productive days in Oakland. Also, I don't think recovered as fully as we were led to believe from his knee injury he suffered in his last year in Oaktown.

    MLB
    Cowart - Ended up being a great player. Stayed healthy most of the year. Solid against the run. Unfortunately, him being not real fast, and less than average in coverage, I don't think he fits well into the new system.

    Rod Davis - Average backup, good special teamer. But that's it.

    Give me your thoughts...

    P.S. I also believe we need a stud RB, I'm not so sure we need to draft one. I think with a real chance to start now, Moore can be the guy. I think his issues with injury have been somewhat misreported by Tice. How can a guy not be ready to start at RB, but return punts in the same game? Doesn't make sense to me.
    Proud member of PP.O since April 5th, 2003!

  2. #2
    cajunvike's Avatar
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    Re: Future Of Vikings Linebacker Corps

    I think that DT is the answer at MLB...he's smart (Scholar-Athlete of the Year in the SEC his last year in college), fast (4.4 speed) and big enough (6-4, 250)...and he played well in spot duty in the middle his rookie season. EJ is doing well at Will so leave him there. I also like Newman...he plays hard and is underrated...not a superstar but SOLID. Napo deserves a long, hard look to determine where he best fits in...he has the talent...we just need to utilize it properly. Raonall and Davis are good as backups. Cowart needs to prove he can play in the new scheme...if he can, he will be a great asset...but if he can't, he needs to be let go so that he can find a team that can use him (I like him and think that he can still play in the league...just maybe not a Cover 2 defense).

    We NEED a STUD feature RB...MeMo is NOT the answer and I don't want to rely on Onterrio (one slip and we are screwed) or Fason (still not ready).
    BANNED OR DEAD...I'LL TAKE EITHER ONE

  3. #3
    Mr. Purple's Avatar
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    Re: Future Of Vikings Linebacker Corps

    I think we need to get atleast 2 Cover 2 LB's this offseason. Cowart is to slow and old...Napo...well dont get me started on him...he had a good past blah blah blah, i'll beleive when I see it from him. (not dissing your post, just saying in general). Like i've said, the Draft will change once we see what we do in FA, so lets say we get a back in FA, Someone like Chad Greenway or Abdul Hodge would be awesome a LB for us...maybe even steal ernie sims in the second. Either way I think we got about to solid LB's (E.J. and Newman) the other guys all have question marks abover thier heads....

    Theres NOTHING greater then a Florida Gator!
    "I promise everyone this. When Childress is let go in two years I can honestly say this.
    "I am not surprised"."-PurplePackerEater

  4. #4
    MrGopher16's Avatar
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    Re: Future Of Vikings Linebacker Corps

    I like DT a lot as well, haven't been able to see much from him lately unfortunately...pretty sure though that to have a great LB core we'll need to bring in some new blood, as these guys just haven't seemed to cut it for us lately.

    I always have thought moore could be the answer for us at RB, but many do not agree so i wont force the issue.
    ;-)

  5. #5
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    Re: Future Of Vikings Linebacker Corps

    Yeah, I'll leave the Moore thing alone for now. If we pick up a stud FA, fantastic, roll with it. If we draft a RB in the first, that's cool with me, as long as it's not Maroney. I just don't know about that guy...I think he needs a good OL to be successful.

    Guys like Chad Greenway, Abdul Hodge, Ernie Sims, Bobby Carpenter, and D'Quell Jackson would be great fits for the Tampa-2, Sims especially.

    I don't think Sims will be there in the second for us unless we trade up.
    Proud member of PP.O since April 5th, 2003!

  6. #6
    ancoin is offline Starter
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    Re: Future Of Vikings Linebacker Corps

    i dont know much about Ernie Sims. what can you tell

    Thank to Lotza

  7. #7
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    Re: Future Of Vikings Linebacker Corps

    Not a lot of draft bios out now I don't think (prove me wrong please), but here's one from the 'Noles website:
    http://seminoles.collegesports.com/sports/m-footbl/mtt/sims_ernie00.html

    He's already been receiving a lot of comparisons to fellow FSU alum Derrick Brooks.
    Proud member of PP.O since April 5th, 2003!

  8. #8
    ancoin is offline Starter
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    Re: Future Of Vikings Linebacker Corps

    sounds really good is he a top 2.?

    Thank to Lotza

  9. #9
    Mr. Purple's Avatar
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    Re: Future Of Vikings Linebacker Corps

    Ernie would be a perfect fit here. My buddy Monis that goes to FSU had a class and a lab with em , thier pretty good friends. Hes a fast athletic LB...Think a brand new Derrick Brooks, however he does have cons, and that is why most people think he'll fall through to the second. I'd love to get him.

    Theres NOTHING greater then a Florida Gator!
    "I promise everyone this. When Childress is let go in two years I can honestly say this.
    "I am not surprised"."-PurplePackerEater

  10. #10
    ancoin is offline Starter
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    Re: Future Of Vikings Linebacker Corps

    cons=? is it off-field problems?

    Thank to Lotza

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