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singersp
10-04-2006, 07:08 AM
Posted on Wed, Oct. 04, 2006

TOUGH ON THEMSELVES (http://www.twincities.com/mld/twincities/sports/football/15672476.htm)

The Vikings are playing some of their best defense in years, but some members of that unit say they haven't done enough.

BY SEAN JENSEN
Pioneer Press

The Vikings' defense leapfrogged two spots to 10th in the NFL with its performance Sunday against the Buffalo Bills.

Not good enough, three of the defense's top players said.

Cornerback Antoine Winfield: "We had opportunities to get off the field. We need to make more plays on defense."

Cornerback Fred Smoot: "We're not playing perfect ball. We're not doing our part."

Defensive tackle Kevin Williams: "We didn't play a perfect game. They didn't run the score up on us. But if we don't keep them from scoring, they don't win."

The Vikings are one of five NFL teams that have limited each of their opponents to fewer than 20 points in every game, and they boast the NFL's seventh-best red zone and third-down defense.

But each veteran lamented the plays they did not make.

Though third-year Bills quarterback JP Losman did not have a dominant performance, he maintained his composure despite an aggressive pass rush (three sacks, six hurries) and avoided turnovers.

Early in the second quarter, Williams was flagged for defensive offside after Buffalo's Willis McGahee was a yard short of the end zone on a third-and-goal play. The penalty gave the Bills another third down, and McGahee reached the ball over the goal line for a touchdown that gave Buffalo a 7-3 lead.

Early in the third quarter, on second and 20, rookie defensive end Ray Edwards flushed Losman out of the pocket. But Losman eluded Edwards and Williams, and he floated a pass down the left sideline. The ball sailed over a leaping Winfield, and Bills receiver Josh Reed hauled in the 21-yard pass.

"I got to catch that," Winfield said.

Smoot said he left "a lot of plays" on the field at Ralph Wilson Stadium. "I feel like I didn't play a good game," he said. "They were throwing stop routes on us all day. That's what we were giving up. But I should have jumped one of them."

Smoot credited Losman for making key conversions. After the 21-yard completion to Reed, Losman connected with Reed again on a 10-yard slant. Two plays later, Losman slipped past a blitzing Napoleon Harris and scrambled 15 yards for another first down.

Then, two plays later, Losman misfired on a routine screen pass to receiver Peerless Price. The ball was low, forcing Price to his elbows to make the catch five yards behind the line of scrimmage. While his teammates blocked, Price bounded off the ground, and he shifted just enough that a diving Smoot glanced off him.

"I couldn't believe it," Smoot said. "When I tackled him, I felt like I had him for an eternity. I thought I had made it to him before he even got up."

Price, though, didn't stop — and neither did his teammates, who paved a lane down the right sideline for him for an 8-yard touchdown reception that gave the Bills a 14-6 lead.

"He made a great play," Smoot said.

Added Williams, "They just made the plays when they were afforded the opportunity to, and we didn't stop them."

The Vikings are one of only four teams (with Denver, Miami and Tennessee) that haven't scored 20 points in a game this season. The Vikings' offense is 30th in first downs.

But Williams, Smoot and Winfield are not about to blame their offensive teammates for the team's 2-2 start.

"I have confidence in them," Williams said. "You can't point all the fingers at the offense. I mean, you got to look at us, too."

Added Smoot, "They need to be patient with us."

Williams said everyone on the team, regardless of position or unit, needs to focus on No. 1.

"You got to do your job," Williams said. "They pay me to play defense. The offense is going to come. I just have to do my job and let them take care of theirs."

Sean Jensen can be reached at sjensen@pioneerpress.com.

VikesfaninWis
10-04-2006, 07:16 AM
Smoot said he left "a lot of plays" on the field at Ralph Wilson Stadium. "I feel like I didn't play a good game," he said. "They were throwing stop routes on us all day. That's what we were giving up. But I should have jumped one of them."



Geez, like falling down a half dozen times in crucial moments of the game... For one, Fred Smoot shouldn't have even been given the chance to speak about that game becuase he is not a leader on defense, he is a follower..

singersp
10-04-2006, 07:20 AM
"VikesfaninWis" wrote:


Smoot said he left "a lot of plays" on the field at Ralph Wilson Stadium. "I feel like I didn't play a good game," he said. "They were throwing stop routes on us all day. That's what we were giving up. But I should have jumped one of them."



Geez, like falling down a half dozen times in crucial moments of the game... For one, Fred Smoot shouldn't have even been given the chance to speak about that game becuase he is not a leader on defense, he is a follower..



My question has & still is: "Why was Smoot slipping so much on the field?" Was it that he was wearing too short of cleats? Was the field wet?

He seemed to be the only one slipping, yet no noticeable shoe change was done during half-time.

Del Rio
10-04-2006, 07:38 AM
No noticable shoe change? Why would you change shoes? If his cleats were causing him problems they would have just taken the studs themselves off and replaced them with longer ones.

If you could notice that then you have way too good of seats our you need to tell me what entertainment center you have. :)

singersp
10-04-2006, 07:55 AM
"Del" wrote:


No noticable shoe change? Why would you change shoes? If his cleats were causing him problems they would have just taken the studs themselves off and replaced them with longer ones.

If you could notice that then you have way too good of seats our you need to tell me what entertainment center you have. :)


I meant it wasn't noticeable, because he was still slipping in the 2nd half. No change from the 1st half.

Freya
10-04-2006, 08:18 AM
OK, now that we have the confessions out of the way........don't let it happen EVER again. "A" game, every game.

PurpleRide
10-04-2006, 06:56 PM
i guess if we got rid of smoot we would be the #1 D right?
::)

singersp
10-05-2006, 06:39 AM
Posted on Wed, Oct. 04, 2006

Vikings defense: happy but not satisfied (http://www.twincities.com/mld/twincities/news/15679816.htm)

Associated Press

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. - There was a time when the Minnesota Vikings would have been thrilled having the 10th-ranked defense in the NFL.

A Top 10 defense was nothing more than a pipe dream during most of the Dennis Green era, and that trend continued during Mike Tice's four-year run as coach. With an offense that was known for putting up big numbers in a hurry, that bend-but-don't-break philosophy normally was enough to produce victories despite a tendency to give up big yards and a lot of points.

Now that Brad Childress is running the show with a toned-down offense that focuses on power running and short passing, the defense needs to be better. While the Vikings aren't exactly ready to proclaim themselves the new version of the "Purple People Eaters," this much is certain: the identity of this team has changed.

First-year defensive coordinator Mike Tomlin has quickly implemented his version of the Tampa-2 system. Through four games, Minnesota is one of five NFL teams to allow fewer than 20 points in every game. They are ranked 10th in the NFL and sixth in the NFC, giving up 289.5 yards per game.

They say they can get better.

"No doubt we're pleased with where we're at, but I wouldn't say we're excited about where we're at," said linebacker Ben Leber, who missed last week's 17-12 loss at Buffalo and is listed as questionable for Sunday's game against winless Detroit. "We as a unit expect to play much better statistically. We've left a lot of plays on the field. It's nice that we're a Top 10 defense, but we can be much better."

Minnesota has been stingy against the run, giving up 89 yards per game. Sunday, the Vikings held Willis McGahee, the NFL's leading rusher, to 78 yards on 28 carries.

Pat Williams, acquired from Buffalo before the 2005 season, and former first-round draft pick Kevin Williams are the anchors of an improving defensive line. They have been a force in the middle and together, they comprise one of the top tackle tandems in the league.

"We play off each other right now, and Kevin is playing great," said Pat Williams, a designated run-stopper who has seven tackles and two quarterback hurries this season. "His motor is running and his weight is down. He's healthy and he's all over the field. He's just going and really gets off the ball. Nobody can block him."

Kevin Williams has 10 tackles, including three for a loss, and one sack.

"I think he's got it cranked up pretty high right now," Childress said.

The Vikings also have been able to put pressure on opposing quarterbacks, sacking Buffalo's J.P. Losman three times. They have done it with pressure from the line as well as an effective blitzing scheme.

"Coach Tomlin has kept it pretty simple," Leber said. "With this style of defense, you can get a little complicated. He likes to keep it simple and let us go out there and execute. He is allowing us to put pressure on and disguise a lot. One thing we've been stressing is the disguise package and making things look deceptive. I think we've done a pretty good job of that."

Yet there is room for improvement. The Vikings realize the importance of getting turnovers but have managed only one fumble recovery and two interceptions thus far. Several potential interceptions have slipped through the hands of Viking defenders.

"The thing I want to see us do more is create turnovers," said safety Darren Sharper, a free agent acquisition from Green Bay in 2005. "We have a defense where we've been stout against the run, and we're not giving up big plays in the passing game. ... Whenever you slow teams down and are able to get off the field on third down, it's always fun. But it's more fun when you're taking the ball away from teams."

"We can be dominant," Pat Williams said. "We've got to start getting more sacks, cause some more fumbles and cause some more interceptions. Once we get to that stage, then we get great. Right now, we're just average to good."

INJURY RERPORT: Childress said several players will be listed as questionable for Sunday. Quarterback Tarvaris Jackson is still recovering from minor knee surgery, Sharper has a bruised thigh, and Leber's status also is in doubt. Tight end Jermaine Wiggins has a strained hamstring and also is questionable. Kicker Ryan Longwell has strep throat but should be ready to play. Sharper said his thigh is improving and that he is mentally preparing to play against the Lions.

AngloVike
10-05-2006, 02:38 PM
"PurpleRide" wrote:


i guess if we got rid of smoot we would be the #1 D right?

::)


would be one of the quietest defences about - thats for sure !

Del Rio
10-05-2006, 02:43 PM
Well if you got rid of him and didn't replace him and left that side of the field open we would have the same production. If you put a roll of wet paper towels over there we may a top 3 or 4 D I wouldn't say #1.

AngloVike
10-05-2006, 02:54 PM
So far so good but a long way still to go. Without a doubt Tomlin has made a difference and I like the attitude that he has got into the players. There is almost a swagger to them at the moment, just a pity that the results haven't given them the opportunity to really shout about things.
If they carry on the way they have been going then we really could have a top 10 ranked defence at long last.

snowinapril
10-05-2006, 03:05 PM
I would love to see the D play with a 10 or 14 point lead.
That would be something different that we haven't seen this year.

Aggressive or laidback?

olson_10
10-05-2006, 03:23 PM
this certainly isnt the case at all..weve lost 2 games because our offense stink, and our 2 wins were only close for the same reason..with an offense to play opposite of this defense, we would have 4 blowout wins on our hands

davike
10-05-2006, 06:33 PM
"olson_10" wrote:


this certainly isnt the case at all..weve lost 2 games because our offense stink, and our 2 wins were only close for the same reason..with an offense to play opposite of this defense, we would have 4 blowout wins on our hands


thats true....childress's plan from the begining was to have short passes and power running, and he has stuck to that perty good, except last week. we needed more carries for sure. we have enough talent on offense to be at least mabe a #10 offense if we had ppl step up more. and also i would like to see more variation on the run plays. throw some tosses and outside runs into the mix. if we had a #10 offense to go along with out defense then we could be really good. if our WRs stepped up and didn't drop key passes, or ppl jumping offsides on 3 and 1 or even penalties to drive us back to 3 and goal from the 17 yard line, we would be doing good. so perty much cut back penalties and dropped passes and we move up 5 spots offensively. this week should be a good week to get our offense fired up and get a win going into the bye.

modena11
10-06-2006, 02:55 AM
the defence will always say that they need to do better. they would never sell their offence out. we are all thinking the same thing but it will never be said.

i only wish we had a defence, like our current one, with any of our teams from the last 8 years. that would be special.