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NeoVikesTX
03-14-2005, 11:35 PM
I have been thinking about our linebacker crew and who will be starting. Right now it seems to be E.J. Henderson at middle linebacker, Napoleon Harris at strong side, and Dontarrius Thomas at weak side.

Now I ask you this, how is this any better than our LB crew last season? We pretty much switched out Chris Claiborne for Napoleon Harris. Both about the same talent wise in my book.

As many of you know, our LB's got absolutely torched last season. Teams would throw over the middle of the field relentlessly where our LB's were supposed to be in coverage and they didn't seem to have a clue. It doesn't matter how good our secondary is, the CB's and safeties can do little to nothing to stop the over the middle stuff.

So will we draft Derrick Johnson in the draft? Or will we pick up another good free agent, if there are any left? Right now I feel as if the defense has improved in the secondary, but the LB's and even the D-line is pretty much the same. I know the draft is coming up, but how much do rookies usually make an immediate impact with the team?

Thoughts?

finnishvikingsfan
03-14-2005, 11:37 PM
I think we might possibly do both but I think we might be upgraded a little with experince.

UMDTwinsfan
03-14-2005, 11:38 PM
i think we will draft DJ if hes there that being said
i think we hope that EJ and DT can develop over the offseason
also i think Pat Williams will help plug up the line hopefully helping EJ and DT well all the LBs in their reads by giving them a little more time hopefully they will start to develop into the players they could be

finnishvikingsfan
03-14-2005, 11:41 PM
we are one of the most athleitc linebackers in the leauge.

ultravikingfan
03-14-2005, 11:43 PM
Well, our overall D is better.

We got Pat on the line.

KWILL is a dominant force and Udeze hopefully has matured and will show his improvement.

The LB's know they have a good secondary behind them.

Just my thoughts, I am not by any means an analyst.

UMDTwinsfan
03-14-2005, 11:45 PM
I completely agree ultra with a better D surrounding them the LBs have a better chance to excel in my opinion

IdahoViking
03-14-2005, 11:46 PM
I think Harris should play Middle Linebacker, when he was drafted by the Raiders he started at MLB and was named Rookie of the year, then they switchd to a 3-4 and the put him outside and he's stuggled the past couple years adjusting. Putting Henderson at the weak side would help hide his lack of speed, And Thomas is going to be a stud, so cut him loose. Harris is a good pass cover LB and would work good in the middle. With an improved Defensive line and shut down corners and two of the best safeties in the league. We will find out quickly that we were a little hard on our LB core the past few years.

finnishvikingsfan
03-14-2005, 11:49 PM
I think our Linebackers are fine maybe lack a little experince but they will be fine now that was have a decent d-line and secondary.

snakethejake83
03-14-2005, 11:56 PM
Remind you of our '98 backers a bit? Ed mcdaniel in the middle, and alot of speed in the other two spots, although very young, Rudd and Wong. All I can remember is Madden saying how fast our linebackers used to be. This puts us in a bad spot though.

So if DJ and Mike williams or Braylon edwards are available. What do we draft? I know the odds are that wont happen, but it could. Do we improve the O, or do we get the best linebacker prospect in awhile....

We really need EJ and thomas to mature this year if we want a good chance. Pat williams and K williams will definetly recquire at least one of em beind doubled. THat will open up and let our linebackers do their thing. They just need to quit overpursuing and make the plays.

eelpout72
03-14-2005, 11:59 PM
I would really like to see Raonall Smith stay healthy this year (i know its a long shot). He played well last year before the concussions. Wouldnt that be a nice surprise?

finnishvikingsfan
03-15-2005, 12:01 AM
I say we go after DJ or Williams. If we go DJ we would have to pick up WR some where in the draft. If we got Williams we would have to sign a vet. linebacker.

slowlow
03-15-2005, 12:03 AM
dj

Angryviking
03-15-2005, 12:22 AM
Even if we got dj, i still say we need a more mature LB... unless we get terribly lucky and he's the next Ray Lewis... could get lucky but i'd rather bank on experience

VikingsTw
03-15-2005, 12:40 AM
I honestly don't think we are done with LB in Free agency, Kieth Newman is not as bad as SOME people say he is, he's great off the edge and he plays solid ball, not spectaculaur but good solid football. I hope he's a guy we resign for depth or if DT has a mental collapse. I still have very high hopes for DT, i think he's gonna be an animal.

The june 1st cuts (i think) could leave us with some options, i've heard rumors of guys like sam cowart (who has played for cotrell practicly his whole carear) could be released. So there may be some other veteran LB's to add to the puzzle. I still don't understand letting CC go. I thought that CC, EJ and Nap would be a great LB crew but they let him go, then they go and f'n OVERPAY for sharper who's 29 and some say he's on the decline, BUT NO we let CC go whos 26 and playing great football, if anyone can answer that question fill me in.

finnishvikingsfan
03-15-2005, 12:42 AM
CC didnt want to be an OLB anymore so he left which is sad I thought we had for awhile he started coming around and made big plays which helped out henderson.

JLDII
03-15-2005, 12:57 AM
I've been lurking around here for awhile and decided to sign on to the board and jump in for the first time. :salute:

IMHO, I don't think DJ will be around when we pick at #7. He is the best choice for LB's this year, and all the other decent LB prospects are underclassmen, which does't offer any more of a chance to contribute to the D this year than any of the LB's we already have.

I'm optimistic that this last season was a good education for our young LB's and look forward to improved play from them next year.

Without getting too far off topic here, I think we are going to end up with Williams at #7, and either of the DL Cody kids at #18, preferably Shawn from USC. At 6-4 and 292 lbs, he can play spot duty off the edge as a DE with his good speed, and on obvious passing downs, move into the tackle slot, which is where he played his college ball last year, and give P-Will a breather. P-Will is good, and I'd like to see him in there every play, but he is older, and with the question of our LB's coverage, it would be good for us to have that speed on the rush.

I could go on, but I'll take it to the right thread!

VikingsTw
03-15-2005, 01:07 AM
"finnishvikingsfan" wrote:

CC didnt want to be an OLB anymore so he left which is sad I thought we had for awhile he started coming around and made big plays which helped out henderson.

Thats the thing dude, he said he WOULD stay and play OLB for us but if it was the right price, Why not sign him to a one or two year deal, we have the money, throw in some incenitives and its all good. He did want to play MLB but was quoted saying he would stay at a price to play OLB for the Minnesota Vikings. He was willing, thats something that some fans are not aware of.

VikingsTw
03-15-2005, 01:10 AM
Really CC could become a fart in the wind if we get someone like Jay Foreman or Sam Cowart and they come in and play great football. I could also forget about Sharpers high salary if he comes in and has a couple more pro bowl seasons.

finnishvikingsfan
03-15-2005, 01:11 AM
I was not aware of that I dont know what went wrong then. When Moss was traded I was excited to see our linebacking core that was with CC on it and now I dont know.

Angryviking
03-15-2005, 01:14 AM
Was Claiborne a FA or did we get something for him when he went to the St. Louis Rams?

finnishvikingsfan
03-15-2005, 01:16 AM
All we got from CC was memories.

VikingsTw
03-15-2005, 01:21 AM
"Angryviking" wrote:

Was Claiborne a FA or did we get something for him when he went to the St. Louis Rams?

Na he was free to go (FA), after we didn't even try to re-sign him he booked it to St louy.

I think there was something going on there, either he was some sort of cancer or he didn't get along with cotrell, IDK. All i know is there had to be some sort of reason we didn't resign him, we didn't even try to, like they didn't even care if we lost him, I know it wasn't his play on the field, maybe they were scared of his injuries, but that doesn't make sense because sharper is 29 and was injured all year last year and we gave him a high dollar long term contract. Beats Me! :scratch:

NeoVikesTX
03-15-2005, 01:29 AM
"JLDII" wrote:

I've been lurking around here for awhile and decided to sign on to the board and jump in for the first time. :salute:

IMHO, I don't think DJ will be around when we pick at #7. He is the best choice for LB's this year, and all the other decent LB prospects are underclassmen, which does't offer any more of a chance to contribute to the D this year than any of the LB's we already have.

I'm optimistic that this last season was a good education for our young LB's and look forward to improved play from them next year.

Without getting too far off topic here, I think we are going to end up with Williams at #7, and either of the DL Cody kids at #18, preferably Shawn from USC. At 6-4 and 292 lbs, he can play spot duty off the edge as a DE with his good speed, and on obvious passing downs, move into the tackle slot, which is where he played his college ball last year, and give P-Will a breather. P-Will is good, and I'd like to see him in there every play, but he is older, and with the question of our LB's coverage, it would be good for us to have that speed on the rush.

I could go on, but I'll take it to the right thread!
Welcome to the boards JLDII! :cheers:

Good post, hopefully many more to come!

PurplePackerEater
03-15-2005, 01:58 AM
"vikingstw" wrote:

"finnishvikingsfan" wrote:

CC didnt want to be an OLB anymore so he left which is sad I thought we had for awhile he started coming around and made big plays which helped out henderson.

Thats the thing dude, he said he WOULD stay and play OLB for us but if it was the right price, Why not sign him to a one or two year deal, we have the money, throw in some incenitives and its all good. He did want to play MLB but was quoted saying he would stay at a price to play OLB for the Minnesota Vikings. He was willing, thats something that some fans are not aware of.


I'm not happy he's gone, but he's not worth overpaying for either! The way he was treated in Detroit, his Dad being killed there, and rubbing it in my Detrot Lion friend's face, I was really hoping that he would have had a great career in Minnesota, but it hasn't happend. Cut him loose.

Del Rio
03-15-2005, 08:25 AM
EJ was the only person on our team with 100+ tackles. He definately has a nose for the ball and a strong work ethic.

DT was spazzy. Hopefully he will calm down a bit.

I am not a fan Chris Claiborne and I'm glad he is gone.

Don't know anything about Nap, he seems eager to proove the Vikings got the better end of the deal, he also seams like he could step up and be a leader.

I think they are improved more then last year. The wildcard IMO is DT. I would still like to see a LB or pass rushing DE drafted.

"DEFENSIVE ADJUSTMENTS: Although it did not get many headlines, the team made one key adjustment this offseason to help a trio of young linebackers it will rely on in 2005. Coach Mike Tice promoted Pete Bercich to full-time linebacker coach, which allows him to focus solely on LBs Napoleon Harris, E.J. Henderson and Dontarrious Thomas. All three are athletic but 25 years old or younger. Harris struggled through injuries last season with Oakland while Henderson and Thomas made many young mistakes in 2004. Barring an unforeseen development in free agency, those three will be the key players the team counts on. Bercich, a former NFL linebacker and special teams star, will focus on helping the three play with more confidence than they did in 2004. "

ndakvikefan
03-15-2005, 03:49 PM
I am not sure how it will work out with E.J. and Dontarious but look at it this way. Were all of you that are concerned proficient at your job from day one. I was not but in the 11 years I have been at my job I have gotten better with every year. Football is a job to these guys and very few are great from day one. If E.J. and Dontarious and Napoleon improve on thier mistakes from last year and get better with each game then the vikes will be fine.
I am certainly concerned but you must remember how long each of them have played and how much they have left to learn. What is the alternative??? Draft another rookie and wait for him to develop of sign an older LB for a couple years and then be right back to square 1. Give them time. Remember it was not just the LB's getting burned, if Russell and Offord would have been in the right places alot of those completions behind the LB's would have been broken up.

finnishvikingsfan
03-15-2005, 03:52 PM
one guy to fix this DT talk and that is DJ.

olson_10
03-15-2005, 04:07 PM
EJ cant figure out which holes to plug..hes just too stupid out on the field..i agree that putting harris in the MLB spot is a better option, with EJ on the weak side..thank god for the upgrades at secondary, cuz when our LB's get stuck in coverage, we get burnt

PAvikesfan
03-15-2005, 05:51 PM
the LB position has me a bit worried. we not only have three young LB's ,but we don't have any depth there either. we really need some help at LB. i hope we solve this by preseason.