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mountainviking
06-08-2014, 06:44 PM
Well nobody else has written this article, so I guess I’ll give it a go…

First off, up front, where every play starts, our DLine has certainly gotten a lot younger with the departures of Jared Allen and Kevin Williams. While I will miss their character and senses of humor, it was about the right time to move on to more long term solutions. In addition to younger, it certainly seems as if we have gotten larger and stronger up front. Linval Joseph is a HUGE man and unlike Phat Pat, I am talking more about across his shoulders and around his chest than where the beers tend to add up just above the belt (see OTA photo below.) His consistent averages over the past 3 years of 55 tackles and 3 sacks per year are actually very solid when you consider that he is the first line of defense, and a stop by him likely means less than 2 yards were allowed. Check out his secret superstar article from 2012…(link below)


“All game long he overpowered an undermanned Green Bay offensive line to the tune of an astounding seven defensive stops against the running game. Spot starter Dietrich-Smith yielded five of those but Joseph also took T.J. Lang to task in limiting the Green Bay ground game to a mere 2.0 yards per carry between the tackles…
When it counted most, like that nationally broadcasted game against Green Bay and particularly in the Giants’ surprising Super Bowl run, he delivered in bunches. With an overall grade of +7.0 he was our highest-graded defensive tackle for the playoffs. In spite of recording zero sacks, he managed more total pressures than any other defensive tackle and his four stops were the most at his position in the playoffs.”


Next to him, it looks as though Floyd will be given every opportunity to prove his draft slot value and we’ll just have to hope for now that he can live up to his Kevin Williams comparisons. Evans is a decent player who is likely better suited to a backup/rotational role than starter and may surprise as such. I think Shamar Stephen has a good chance to make the team as a huge athlete with plenty of upside and frame for adding more muscle, leaving a stiff competition between Baker, Johnson and the others for perhaps one more spot.

Keeping Griffen happened before Zimmer was hired, and would thus seem to be more of a Spielman signing than a Zimmer guy, but I think he fits the profile of bigger/stronger too. In fact, looking at our Defensive End group, we have 4 guys who are all very similar in size coming in at least 6’3” tall and 260-273 lbs. They all also seem to share similar game style descriptors such as, high motor, strong at the point of attack, powerful, explosive burst and/or tough. Looks like Robison and Griffen will start, but that we will likely see plenty of Crichton and Wooton as part of our pass rushing rotation. Tom Johnson might get the nod for a spot as a flexible guy who can play some power D-end and get push from DT on passing downs.

What does all that meat add up to? I foresee a return to a top ten unit vs. the running game, with a focus on disrupting opponent’s offenses right up front, before they can even get started. These bigger/stronger guys will try to control the front line by moving their blockers off of their intended angles and generally creating chaos at the line of scrimmage. This will hopefully enable our LBers to fill the gaps and directly attack whoever has the ball.

This is where our no.1 pick, Anthony Barr fits in so well. His size/speed/reach combination is completely ridiculous and with our muscle men up front moving would be blockers off of their game plan those traits should be put to good use whether he is rushing the QB or covering TEs and RBs. I think mondry over at vikingsmessageboard.com had the right idea when he typed:


“If our front 4 is getting good pressure, the RB or a TE might stay in to block . Barr will basically shadow the RB or TE in that case, if he stays in to block, then Barr becomes a pass rusher as his man in coverage already committed to blocking and he's free to rush the passer. If the back or TE releases then he'll follow him into coverage like normal and it's up to our front 4 or even a blitz from somewhere else to create pressure. On the flipside, Barr himself could still be blitzed as long as someone else on the backend can account for his coverage assignment.”


I picture Barr as Zimmer’s secret weapon of mass disruption. He will likely be moved around more than one would expect of a strong side LBer, giving him opportunities to attack from different angles and create some hard hitting sacks when these surprises lead to open lanes and his size and speed add up to some serious momentum…2200 lbs worth! If you haven’t seen his sport science episode yet, it is well worth a watch!

Sport Science: Anthony Barr - ESPN Video - ESPN (http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=10811684)

The combination of asking Greenway to do less and providing more help around him could be great for all involved. He isn’t the biggest or fastest, but he does possess good instincts and at this stage of his career is likely a good fit on the weak side where he’ll likely see less plays coming his way. He also has the experience needed to slide over to MLB on passing downs, and/or help cover what Barr leaves open by blitzing. Brinkley is not an every down backer, but has proven able to consistently stuff the run on early and short distance downs. Of the rest, Cole is the most intriguing to me as another, high-effort player with good instincts. We’ll likely keep 6 or 7 LBs though as you can never have too many Special Teamers in that size/speed range, and there are several guys with developmental potential like Hodges and Mauti.

On the back end, the return of Harrison Smith and addition of Captain at Nickel-back should help tremendously. I think we will see a lot more man, press coverage, and that style should suit Rhodes’ and Cox’s games very well while Robinson has also shown that he has the top end speed necessary to keep up with anybody on straight down the sideline routes. The idea here may be that they don’t have to cover their guy for 10+ seconds per play, as our “high motor” and “relentless” guys up front will get eventual if not immediate pressure on the passer. Decent pressure from the front five (DL+Barr) and good bump & run coverage from our CBs should, in theory, open up our Safeties to do their job sealing the back end and coming up to help stuff the run as needed.

Now let’s watch some Bengals highlights…2012:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TbmIUBe58IE

What I’m seeing here is a whole lot of pressure (set to awesome attack music!) The line does seem to get pressure more by power and 2nd effort than with speed. There seems to be a boat load of rookie LBer no.55, Vontaze Burfict, attacking the passer, as well as some D-Back blitzes too. For the most part, they all seem to swat at the ball as they come in for the takedown…not a swing and a miss, but a punishing swat as part of wrapping up. This chaos along the LOS and attack mentality seems to lead to turnovers, and perhaps the best part!? There are plenty of highlights vs. lots of top offenses like the Pats, Broncos, Chargers and Eagles, showing the ability to match up and win vs. the best.

Last season, Zimmer’s Bengals Defense was #3 in total yards allowed, no.2 yards/play, no.2 third down conversions allowed, and #5 in the two most important defensive statistics: points allowed and time of possession. More specifically, VS. the Pass they allowed the 5th least yards while snagging the 5th most INTs and notching a 10th best 43 sacks. VS. the Run they also allowed the 5th least yards and 4th least TDs with only 6 rushing TDs allowed all season long!?! Now I know, the Vikings are not the Bengals, and it may take a bit of time to come together, but I think our defensive personnel stacks up pretty favorably with them on all levels but linebacker, where we just might be pleasantly surprised by Barr as the feature, Greenway as more of a sideshow and Brinkley/Cole stuffing any runs up the middle that get through to them.

All in all, I think we will see an aggressive, swarming, gang-tackling team defense that sometimes walks the line between big hits and big penalties. If our added strength and power up front can consistently do what I suspect their number one priority is, moving their blockers off their intended angles, we will be a very frustrating defense to play against. Hopefully that leads to more mistakes made by opposing offenses as our crowd gets loud and specially when the hits hurt more in the cold while playing 5 of our last 8 games outside, at “home” in TCF Bank Stadium!!

BAAAAHWOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! SKOL VIKINGS!!!!!

1500 ESPN Twin Cities - Minnesota Sports News & Opinion (Twins, Vikings, Wolves, Wild, Gophers) (http://www.1500espn.com/gallery/vikings_otas/pID73991)

https://www.profootballfocus.com/blog/2012/06/07/secret-superstar-linval-joseph-dt-new-york-giants/

Vikings Message Board.Com - View topic - What do you think the defense will look like under zimmer? (http://vikingsmessageboard.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=27127&start=30)

drewlovs
06-09-2014, 12:01 AM
VERY well done, I will have to read it a few more times to digest it.

Mark_The_Viking
06-09-2014, 03:44 AM
Excellent write up, not convinced about Greenways contribution as far as position goes this year but still an excellent post

thorshammer
06-09-2014, 09:25 AM
Great write up. I am looking forward to seeing a more aggressive defense this year. Can't wait. The offense should be improved as well. By all counts we should be a much improved team this year.

Tad7
06-09-2014, 07:39 PM
Hard to not get pumped up for this D after reading that haha

purplehelmut
06-10-2014, 02:15 PM
To hell with the KAO, bring on the KAD!

tastywaves
06-10-2014, 02:53 PM
Nice write up mountain man. Anxious to see how these guys perform under Zimmer and that other guy that holds the DC title.

MaxVike
06-11-2014, 12:36 PM
Best post in a very long time...

I share your enthusiasm re: Barr. I also think Rhodes will make a major step forward and that Smith will be a beast.

Thoughts about Kevin Williams' potential return?

Marrdro
06-23-2014, 01:33 PM
As always, top shelf old friend.

Good to see you are still posting quality stuff.

Couple of thoughts.....

1. I think our defensive line is improved with the loss of K-dubb and JA and the addition of a true 1 tech (Warpig) in Joseph.

One thing I'd love to see if for the staff to slim Rob down 5 - 10 lbs and move him back to RDE and switch Griff over to LDE were he is better suited.

But I think that is a small shift that we won't see happen, and because of the way Zim rotates his DL around (Remember, I'm a closet Bengals Fan) were people start, or even if they start, isn't really important.

Going to be fun to watch the Bigs up front work.

2. Watching the Bengals (and I saw your Tube Stuff) over the last few years, under Zim, his LB'rs don't blitz that much. He mostly gets pressure from his DLmen and drops them into coverage alot more than he does blitz.

Again, top shelf. :)

tastywaves
06-23-2014, 02:36 PM
As always, top shelf old friend.

Good to see you are still posting quality stuff.

Couple of thoughts.....

1. I think our defensive line is improved with the loss of K-dubb and JA and the addition of a true 1 tech (Warpig) in Joseph.

One thing I'd love to see if for the staff to slim Rob down 5 - 10 lbs and move him back to RDE and switch Griff over to LDE were he is better suited.

But I think that is a small shift that we won't see happen, and because of the way Zim rotates his DL around (Remember, I'm a closet Bengals Fan) were people start, or even if they start, isn't really important.

Going to be fun to watch the Bigs up front work.

2. Watching the Bengals (and I saw your Tube Stuff) over the last few years, under Zim, his LB'rs don't blitz that much. He mostly gets pressure from his DLmen and drops them into coverage alot more than he does blitz.

Again, top shelf. :)

Hold on to your hats and lock up your daughters gentleman, Marrdro's back.

Not to dig up old memories and such, but I seem to remember you saying when we drafted Floyd that we finally had our 1 technique ;)

AngloVike
06-24-2014, 08:37 AM
good write-up mountainviking and the one thing I'm looking for this year? no more having the CBs leave a huge cushion for the WRs. I want to see us press up on the receivers and make their lives a bloody misery and none of the old 'catch and easy 5 yd pick up' crap that we've seen in recent years.

drewlovs
06-25-2014, 01:28 PM
Hold on to your hats and lock up your daughters gentleman, Marrdro's back.

Not to dig up old memories and such, but I seem to remember you saying when we drafted Floyd that we finally had our 1 technique ;)

Who knows WHAT we have in Floyd??

Frazier's decision to "bring him on slow" was a huge mistake in my mind, and I think it set the DLman back a half year. If we were going to try to survive Rhodes going through the fire, we should have done the same with Floyd.

He is one of the keys to my "10-6 at a minimum!!" prediction. If he falls flat on his face and turns out to be a bust, my glass won't be as half full as it was...

jargomcfargo
06-26-2014, 11:08 AM
Who knows WHAT we have in Floyd??

Frazier's decision to "bring him on slow" was a huge mistake in my mind, and I think it set the DLman back a half year. If we were going to try to survive Rhodes going through the fire, we should have done the same with Floyd.

He is one of the keys to my "10-6 at a minimum!!" prediction. If he falls flat on his face and turns out to be a bust, my glass won't be as half full as it was...
He suffered an ankle sprain in pre-season which bothered him in the early season. I expect to see a much different Floyd this year. Zimmer will get him going.

idahovikefan7
06-26-2014, 02:24 PM
little write up on NFL.com about players that will "make a leap" next year. This is one talks about Griffen. Love what Griffen had to say about what Zimmer is doing with the defense and attacking rather than "waiting".

Making the Leap, No. 13: Vikings' Everson Griffen


"We attack now. Our coach lets us attack now," Griffen said recently, per KSTP-AM. "We make plays. I feel like we're go-getters. We're not waiting for them to strike. We're going to strike them before they strike us."

Making the Leap, No. 13: Vikings' Everson Griffen - NFL.com (http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap2000000361485/article/making-the-leap-no-13-vikings-everson-griffen)

mountainviking
06-28-2014, 11:30 AM
Hey, thanks for the comments all ya'all!! Cheers! Here's a bit more from Griffen...

http://www.1500espn.com/sportswire/Zulgad_DE_Griffen_looking_forward_to_playing_an_attacking_style_on_defense062114


That's because Zimmer wants his linemen to occupy blockers and enable the linebackers to run free. This is why the Vikings took Anthony Barr in the first round and will line up the rookie at different spots.

So is Griffen concerned he won't get the type of opportunities that will come Barr's way?

"We're going to rush the passer. I'm not worried about the sacks, the sacks are going to come," he said. "You can't have a set number, you just have to go out there and play. I'm not worried about that. Coach Zimmer is going to let us play and let us do our thing within his scheme. The only thing I can do is go out there, be consistent, read my keys and execute my assignment every time. Then big plays are going to happen."


I've been searching for the other article I wanted to post all morning, but can't seem to find it...must of been a little blurb on some other article, but I swear I read that Barr was lined up as LB and DE, and on Both Rt & Lt sides of the line during OTAs...as in, he will be moved around and set up to attack from different angles. Anybody else see that quote...?

Freakout
06-28-2014, 11:53 AM
Barr was unable to participate in the OTA's but you are correct that they moved him around during mini-camp.


Keeping Griffen happened before Zimmer was hired, and would thus seem to be more of a Spielman signing than a Zimmer guy, but I think he fits the profile of bigger/stronger too.

Mike Zimmer was hired on Jan. 15th and we re-signed Everson Griffen on March 9th.

mountainviking
06-28-2014, 12:11 PM
@GoesslingESPN: We only got to see Barr for three days during the Vikings' mandatory minicamp, of course -- he was finishing school during the Vikings' organized team activities -- but it was clear early that the team plans to move him around quite a bit. He was lined up at strong-side linebacker, saw time with Chad Greenway in the first-team nickel defense and lined up as an edge rusher on a few occasions, which at one point led the Vikings to drop Brian Robison into coverage while Barr rushed from the left end spot. The rookie has impressive edge rush speed and looked like he already had a functional swim move. He'll have to develop a number of moves and strategies to beat offensive tackles, but he could open up new wrinkles for the Vikings' defense, particularly when you consider that Everson Griffen has dropped into coverage before and Robison started his college career as a linebacker. Especially in the first few weeks of the season, unpredictability could be an effective weapon for the Vikings' defense.

From the blog at ESPN, and so is this:

Anthony Barr, Vikes' D look to mix it up - Minnesota Vikings Blog - ESPN (http://espn.go.com/blog/minnesota-vikings/post/_/id/7396/anthony-barr-vikes-d-look-to-mix-it-up)

I think he's right too. We will surprise some of those tough teams we play early because they won't know what to expect and don't have any actual game tape to study. They can go look at last year's Bengals Defense, but there really isn't any tape on what Zimmer will do with the Vikings personnel that he has now...and Anthony Barr does have the physical tools to be surprisingly dangerous early, specially if they can get matchup advantages by moving him around.

I am so freaking excited for this season!!! I am loving what I'm hearing about both of our coaches and their respective schemes, AND everything I've heard so far about our top two picks!!

My expectations are still pretty low, as in I'd be happy with 6 wins, and that is what will make watching this year's Vikings so fun! If we win, awesome!! If we lose, so what, we're no threat in the playoffs this year anyway and I bet there will be parts of the game where we do win by seeing moments of brilliance and individual progress from several our many young, developing, and up & coming players!

SKOL VIKINGS!! BAAAAHWOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

Marrdro
07-24-2014, 01:46 PM
Hold on to your hats and lock up your daughters gentleman, Marrdro's back.

Not to dig up old memories and such, but I seem to remember you saying when we drafted Floyd that we finally had our 1 technique ;)

I think, if memory serves, I was just calling him a Warpig, not a 1 tech.

In Marrdro's little world, there are 2 Warpigs on the DL. The 3 Tech and the 1 Tech.

drewlovs
07-25-2014, 12:37 AM
I think, if memory serves, I was just calling him a Warpig, not a 1 tech.

In Marrdro's little world, there are 2 Warpigs on the DL. The 3 Tech and the 1 Tech.

Ok, I have NO idea what you are talking about... which is probably why I suck at IDP players in Fantasy Football.

Care to explain? If you go slow and use drawings, I will NOT be insulted; I will be grateful.

Marrdro
07-29-2014, 02:41 PM
Ok, I have NO idea what you are talking about... which is probably why I suck at IDP players in Fantasy Football.

Care to explain? If you go slow and use drawings, I will NOT be insulted; I will be grateful.

A Warpig is a big, tuff, mean DT (usually in the Phat Pat or Vince Wilfork mold) that eats up multiple blockers and collapses a pocket at will.

We haven't had one since Phat Pat left and I've been chanting for one since about a year before Phat Pat left while everyone else keeps chanting for shutdown DB's.

Minniman
07-29-2014, 09:10 PM
A Warpig is a big, tuff, mean DT (usually in the Phat Pat or Vince Wilfork mold) that eats up multiple blockers and collapses a pocket at will.

We haven't had one since Phat Pat left and I've been chanting for one since about a year before Phat Pat left while everyone else keeps chanting for shutdown DB's.
The Vikings now have a warpig as a starter, but it is not Floyd. Linval Joseph eats up blockers like a dragon in a den filled with dwarves.

The Vikings still need to look at the CB position. It wasn't the DTs that shut down Manning in the Superbowl.

digital420
07-30-2014, 07:42 AM
from what i've read across several boards, news articles and such.. (morning coffee non work research) there are a few things i really like about Zim's D schemes.

- agressive attack of the qb.. we are in a passing era of the NFL. and Zim's approach has been, dirupt the qb, the wr's, and their timing together and you break up the play. this is attacking, not reacting.. something that has been severely missed in the vikings D for a long time!

- movement and disguised fronts.. rushing 4 and dropping 7 into a cover 2 is gone.. what will each play have? i'm sure a base plan will be there, but who's rushing, who's blitzing, and who's covering will be something that will be a guessing game now more then it ever was in the last maybe decade.

- man coverage!! not sure if we had the personal to do this before, not sure if we have it now.. but I'm very happy to see that this will be put into place. especially in our div we will need to make sure we challange wr's and not let them dictate the situation. again disruption of the timing will go a long way!

- accountability! i've heard this over and over again from the players, coaches, and even the beat writers.. will this mean players will step up? well for me it means if they don't.. it's on them! players holding other players responsible for THEIR position, for being in the scheme in their position in their role! i like this, puts the D as a group to play together!

on a side note.. i'm really glad we're gonna see emotion from our coaching staff.. i really doubt we're gonna have the calm demeanor coaching staffs we've had in the past.. infact.. the main coaching staff is well known for their.. over the top vocal praise and criticism.. can't wait to see it!!

DiGiTaL

Marrdro
08-07-2014, 11:21 PM
The Vikings now have a warpig as a starter, but it is not Floyd. Linval Joseph eats up blockers like a dragon in a den filled with dwarves.

The Vikings still need to look at the CB position. It wasn't the DTs that shut down Manning in the Superbowl.
You think the DL didn't have a huge role in what happened to Manning? Comeon old friend, that DL was in his face, forcing him to make stupid throws (clipping his arm) all game long.

Marrdro
08-07-2014, 11:24 PM
from what i've read across several boards, news articles and such.. (morning coffee non work research) there are a few things i really like about Zim's D schemes.

- agressive attack of the qb.. we are in a passing era of the NFL. and Zim's approach has been, dirupt the qb, the wr's, and their timing together and you break up the play. this is attacking, not reacting.. something that has been severely missed in the vikings D for a long time!

- movement and disguised fronts.. rushing 4 and dropping 7 into a cover 2 is gone.. what will each play have? i'm sure a base plan will be there, but who's rushing, who's blitzing, and who's covering will be something that will be a guessing game now more then it ever was in the last maybe decade.

- man coverage!! not sure if we had the personal to do this before, not sure if we have it now.. but I'm very happy to see that this will be put into place. especially in our div we will need to make sure we challange wr's and not let them dictate the situation. again disruption of the timing will go a long way!

- accountability! i've heard this over and over again from the players, coaches, and even the beat writers.. will this mean players will step up? well for me it means if they don't.. it's on them! players holding other players responsible for THEIR position, for being in the scheme in their position in their role! i like this, puts the D as a group to play together!

on a side note.. i'm really glad we're gonna see emotion from our coaching staff.. i really doubt we're gonna have the calm demeanor coaching staffs we've had in the past.. infact.. the main coaching staff is well known for their.. over the top vocal praise and criticism.. can't wait to see it!!

DiGiTaL
A few thoughts....

This article is a interesting read.

How Much Will Mike Zimmer Blitz? Perhaps Not As Much As You Think. - The Viking Age - A Minnesota Vikings Fan Site - News, Blogs, Opinion and more. (http://thevikingage.com/2014/08/07/much-will-mike-zimmer-blitz-perhaps-much-think/)

Additionally, he doesn't play "Man". He uses a "Press Man Zone" on the back end. That means the CB's route the WR to the sideline or try to route them into the LB'rs in the short zones, they then turn them over after they leave the zone.

JPPT1974
08-07-2014, 11:54 PM
Zimmer seems tough and no nonsense. If you ever saw Hard Knocks with him a few years ago, at the time, you would know what I mean!

digital420
08-08-2014, 10:55 PM
well.. envisioning his D is a lot nicer now that I saw a shutout from the starters, and the 2nd's!! (cheezy garbage time TD with the 3rd's.. )

I love how Zimm was still with 3 min left in the 4th. garbage time, 4th stringers. and he's yelling, coaching, and charged up still.. man o man i'm excited for this year to start!!

as it's 6 am for me now.. i can't recall clearly.. but was that 3 3nOut's for the raiders to start the game?

DiGiTaL

Marrdro
08-08-2014, 11:37 PM
Zimmer seems tough and no nonsense. If you ever saw Hard Knocks with him a few years ago, at the time, you would know what I mean!
I've watched almost every Bengals game for the last 18 years. I think I understand.

digital420
08-09-2014, 07:34 AM
A few thoughts....

This article is a interesting read.

How Much Will Mike Zimmer Blitz? Perhaps Not As Much As You Think. - The Viking Age - A Minnesota Vikings Fan Site - News, Blogs, Opinion and more. (http://thevikingage.com/2014/08/07/much-will-mike-zimmer-blitz-perhaps-much-think/)

Additionally, he doesn't play "Man". He uses a "Press Man Zone" on the back end. That means the CB's route the WR to the sideline or try to route them into the LB'rs in the short zones, they then turn them over after they leave the zone.


i like in the article where they show the stat's on # of blitzes and results. think we saw a bit of that last nite. one of the things even dad mentioned to me was that, they couldn't predict who was rushing in, and who was dropping back.. the one play where all but 2 guys were on the line, i'm sure had the qb (don't remember who it was) musta been goin.. WTF!! I know Zimm said he wanted to keep it simple, and have guys play fast, and think less.. but man, if that's simple.. he allready outdid our D's scheme's for the last few years. what's complex gonna look like??

DiGiTaL

Minniman
08-09-2014, 12:34 PM
i like in the article where they show the stat's on # of blitzes and results. think we saw a bit of that last nite. one of the things even dad mentioned to me was that, they couldn't predict who was rushing in, and who was dropping back.. the one play where all but 2 guys were on the line, i'm sure had the qb (don't remember who it was) musta been goin.. WTF!! I know Zimm said he wanted to keep it simple, and have guys play fast, and think less.. but man, if that's simple.. he allready outdid our D's scheme's for the last few years. what's complex gonna look like??
I have posted in the past that football is like warfare with rules. Fire and movement is superior to passive defensive tactics.

Lippythelion69
08-09-2014, 03:07 PM
thanks