View Full Version : Surprisingly aggressive Vikings' defense feeds off young Tomlin

10-29-2006, 08:10 AM
Surprisingly aggressive Vikings' defense feeds off young Tomlin (http://www.twincities.com/mld/twincities/news/15873343.htm)

Posted on Sat, Oct. 28, 2006

Associated Press

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. - When the Minnesota Vikings hired Mike Tomlin to be their defensive coordinator, he brought the Tampa Two coverage scheme with him from the Buccaneers.

They're still playing that system, of course, and playing it well. But it might have been slightly mislabeled, which happens many times in the NFL's world of constantly recycled stories. The Vikings have blitzed a lot, much more than typical of teams using the Tampa Two - which is designed to prevent the deep pass at all costs with two safeties at the top.

One reason for this is that Minnesota's front four, led by tackles Kevin Williams and Pat Williams, has been tough to stop - capably handling their blockers one-on-one. That has freed up the linebackers to rush the backfield when they're asked to, an effective weapon of a defense that now ranks seventh in the league in yards allowed, sixth in points given up and first in yards rushing yielded.

Linebacker Ben Leber didn't expect Tomlin to be so aggressive with his calls.

"It kind of took me by surprise, and it didn't take me very long to see that he likes to put pressure on the quarterbacks and likes to get after it," Leber said. "That's kind of uncharacteristic a little bit, I think, of a regular Tampa Two, but I love it. I love what he's doing."

Tomlin, 34, was the secondary coach in Tampa Bay for the past five years, and given the recent trend in hiring young coordinators, he's sure to garner some interest for head coaching vacancies this winter. The Vikings have been consistently dominant on defense, holding all six opponents to less than 20 points and scoring four touchdowns off turnovers.

They haven't allowed a 100-yard rusher in their past 18 games, dating to Week 4 of the 2005 season.

"That's what great defenses do," said Leber, who signed as a free agent this year. "Really, it's just been all the way down to fundamentals. The front four has been getting after it. At times, not letting the linemen up on the second level and at times, just making a play themselves. We're playing good ball right now, and I just hope we can keep it running."

Safety Darren Sharper estimated that Minnesota has used the deep zone coverage that the Tampa Two is based on about 30 to 40 percent of the time. But whatever Tomlin is calling, the players are believing in.

"All the guys respect him, but he also treats every guy on the same level," said Sharper, a college teammate of Tomlin's at William and Mary. "He tells you what's for real. He tells you how it's going to be, and that's how it is."

Tomlin is full of favorite adages, like "Everyone is useful, and no one is necessary." He's an outgoing, highly energetic guy who smoothly avoids almost all analysis of his players and his schemes when asked for it by reporters. He'll simply respond with colorful generalities about the importance of hustling to the ball, stopping the run and playing together as a team.

Same goes for critiques of his own performance.

"Players make plays. Players win games," Tomlin said. "I like to say that coaches lose games. With our preparation, we hope that we don't lose the game and we give them an opportunity to win the game. And that's kind of our focus week to week."

10-29-2006, 08:12 AM
Posted on Sun, Oct. 29, 2006

Men on fire (http://www.twincities.com/mld/twincities/sports/15870034.htm)

Vikings vs. Patriots, 7:30 p.m. Monday

Pioneer Press

Rookie defensive coordinator Mike Tomlin has hooked his players with a chaotic style mixed with extensive preparation, and together they have transformed a mediocre unit into one of the NFL's best.

10-29-2006, 08:21 AM
Anyone miss Cotrell? LOL Man, life is good. It's beautiful to have the D back. Seems like it's been missing since Doleman, Randle, Thomas, etc. Tomlin is a stud, and eventually will be like Dungy and leave Minny for a head coaching job. Enjoy him while you can!!!!! SKOL

10-29-2006, 08:44 AM
Good Read!
Thanks singer for finding all these good articals for us PPOer's to read! 8)

Mr. Purple
10-29-2006, 08:45 AM
I nearly shat my pants this offseason when we brought the guy in.His past didnt lie, top 5 secondary 5 years in a row?Wow.Hes done a great job in such a short time here.I expected him to be a Viking for years to come!

10-29-2006, 09:02 AM
One day he will develop a trademark style.....known around the league and first seen in Minnesota. Just like Dungy.
We are witness to the beginings of this great mark on the NFL.

Stick around for a good long time, Tomlin!!

10-29-2006, 09:42 PM
If they bring that aggresiveness up the middle on Brady tomorrow night they should be able to make a difference in the game. It's time to bring up Bradys' INT total. ;D

10-29-2006, 09:54 PM
"Freya" wrote:

One day he will develop a trademark style.....known around the league and first seen in Minnesota. Just like Dungy.
We are witness to the beginings of this great mark on the NFL.

Stick around for a good long time, Tomlin!!

Nice take freya.
I think you are right.

10-29-2006, 11:44 PM
I am scared of all this talk of him maybe becoming
a head coach next year (like eric mangini did after only 1 year in NE) but hopefully tomlin sticks around after his contract is up (like greg lewis in washington)

10-30-2006, 02:23 AM
hopefully wilf and childress make a strong bid to keep him around and resign him when the time is right
; ; i dont want this to be a one year thing

10-30-2006, 04:29 AM
Tomlin will be a head coach one day..

but there resides some issues. there are several things that you must have. one is an understanding of your coaching staff, personel, and a phillophy not just for D but for a team mantra as well.

Tomlin will be one of the most saught after coaches though, and i hope that Wilfy can keep this prodigy talent in our ranks until the day Chilldress can give him the reigns and the purple monster moves foward again!!