View Full Version : Vikings stealing from the very best

09-10-2006, 09:13 AM
Vikings stealing from the very best (http://www.startribune.com/510/story/666614.html)

Minnesota has adapted the NFL's current gold standards -- the "Tampa-2"defense and the "West Coast"offense.

Mark Craig, Star Tribune
Last update: September 10, 2006 – 7:11 AM

Reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year Brian Urlacher winced when the term used to describe the Chicago Bears' defensive scheme was referred to as the "Tampa-2."It's Chicago-2," the Bears middle linebacker growled before letting out a laugh.
A week later, Indianapolis coach Tony Dungy was told Urlacher had playfully pushed for a name change based on last year's No. 1-ranked scoring defense under Dungy protegé Lovie Smith. It was Dungy's success in Tampa that created the trendy term for the scheme that used to be simply called a double-zone or Cover-2.

"Actually," Dungy said, "it should be called the Minnesota-2. It's what we ran when I was defensive coordinator with the Vikings [1992-95].

"I stole it from my playbook from when I played in Pittsburgh [1977-78], but it really didn't take off until I got to Minnesota and mixed in some wrinkles from assistants like Willie Shaw, Monte Kiffin and John Teerlinck.

When I got the head coaching job in Tampa in 1996, we put the same defense in verbatim."

The evolution of football at the highest level never ends. With parity stronger than ever, playbooks are thicker and work hours longer as teams search for tweaks or innovations to their neighbor's offensive and defensive schemes.

Fans in the Twin Cities are in for a double dose Monday night when offensive-minded coach Brad Childress' "West Coast" offense and first-year defensive coordinator Mike Tomlin's Tampa-2 are unveiled in the season opener at Washington.

The Tampa-2's ties to Minnesota are easily established through Dungy. That's not the case with the West Coast offense, although longtime Vikings fans -- and at least one former coach with NFL offensive expertise stretching back to the famed "Packer Sweep" -- bristle when they hear analysts say this is Minnesota's maiden voyage with the league's most popular offense over the past 25 years.

Although the term was created because of the success 49ers Hall of Fame coach Bill Walsh had with Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana in the 1980s, some of the same concepts existed in the Vikings offense a decade or two earlier.

"To tell you the truth, I don't know what the hell the West Coast offense is," said Jerry Burns, who won a couple of Super Bowls as Vince Lombardi's assistant in Green Bay, coached in four more as Bud Grant's assistant in Minnesota and succeeded him for six seasons.

"I hear the TV analysts say a team is playing the West Coast offense," Burns said. "If they are, then what kind of offense is the other team playing? East Coast?"

Burns said the only similarity he sees in West Coast offenses is that each has a basic formation that includes a running back, fullback, one tight end, a split end and a flanker.

"We were doing the same things with Chuck Foreman and Bill Brown, faking the ball to the back, pulling and trapping with the guards," Burns said. "We had the short passes. We'd hit Anthony Carter on the quick slants. It was just offensive football."

Like many offensive coaches, Childress' West Coast training can be traced to Walsh. Childress coached under Andy Reid, who coached under Mike Holmgren, who was Walsh's quarterbacks coach in San Francisco from 1986 to '88.

"Of all the teams that run the West Coast offense today, Mike's in Seattle is the closest to what we ran," said Walsh, now the special assistant to the athletic director at Stanford. "Things evolve. I'm sure a lot of what teams are doing now is superior to what we did. The game has changed."

Walsh traced the origin of his offense to his study of Rams and Chargers Hall of Fame coach Sid Gillman, a Minneapolis native; and Blanton Collier, an assistant and successor to Cleveland Hall of Fame coach Paul Brown. Gillman became an NFL head coach in 1955. Collier was on Brown's original staff in the All-America Football Conference in 1946.

"Sid Gillman was the father of the passing game in football," Walsh said. "He really opened my eyes, although he was more wide open with the deep passing game than I was. And then Blanton was an absolute technician. I took ideas from both of them."

09-10-2006, 09:26 AM
Minnesota - 2 D....I like the sound of that..

Dungy was for sure the best... ;D

09-10-2006, 10:01 AM
"VikingNed" wrote:

Minnesota - 2 D....I like the sound of that..

Dungy was for sure the best... ;D

He should've been HC before Dennis Green

09-10-2006, 11:06 AM
There it is Viking fans.. Straight from the horse's mouth.. It should actually be called the Minnesota 2 defense.. I like the sound of that.. Now give the Minnesota Vikings there props..

09-10-2006, 11:40 AM
tampa was the team that was good with it though. they won the superbowl.

09-10-2006, 02:33 PM
"gregair13" wrote:

tampa was the team that was good with it though. they won the superbowl.

They won the SuperBowl long after the phrase was coined 'Tampa 2'.
And actually, back when Dungy was DC for the Vikings, they had one of the best defenses (I can't remember actual standings).