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  1. #1

    LB situation clears up

    Posted on Wed, Aug. 09, 2006

    [size=18px]LB situation clears up[/size]
    Henderson, Harris appear likely to start

    Pioneer Press

    MANKATO, Minn. — In one stroke, the Vikings might have decided two starting positions Tuesday, as coach Brad Childress declared E.J. Henderson the clear front-runner at weak-side linebacker and indicated it's highly unlikely he would be moved back to the middle.

    That means No. 1 draft choice Chad Greenway will remain in a backup role at weak-side linebacker and Napoleon Harris is likely to open the season at middle linebacker, where he seemingly has a comfortable lead over Dontarrious Thomas for the No. 1 spot.

    Henderson has been one of the early stars of training camp, and Childress called him "probably as good a key-and-diagnose linebacker as we have."

    Too good, apparently, to think of moving him back to middle linebacker.

    "I'm not sure that you use his skills as well in the middle of everything," Childress said. "He has the knowledge to be able to play in there, but with his particular skill set I'd be hesitant to move him anywhere."

    That's fine with Henderson, who started 14 games at middle linebacker in 2004 but said he feels the weak-side spot is his best position in the Vikings' new Tampa 2 defense.

    Not that he's taking anything for granted.

    "It's still early," he said. "Nobody's etched in stone, minus a few guys. I think everybody's still got to come out every day, put in the work and earn whatever position you're going to get."

    Henderson, who said he dropped 10 pounds (to 235) during the offseason, has been so good that Greenway conceded Monday he was running a definite second at the weak-side spot, but the Vikings have no thought at this time of trying their No. 1 pick at another position.

    "Not in the real near future," Childress said. "I want to let him keep coming along at the Will (weak-side) linebacker position."

    Standing Pat: Defensive tackle Pat Williams still isn't talking to the media, but Childress did and tried to clarify why the 10th-year veteran spent his first week of training camp on the physically unable to perform list

    "I felt the mix of the weight, his age (33) and the heat, it's a bad mix," Childress said. "I'm going to use discretion in terms of when he practices. He's back. He's done everything we've asked him. He didn't like it; I didn't like it."

    Childress, who won't announce until Sunday whether Williams will play in Monday night's exhibition opener against Oakland, had one other news bulletin.

    "I think it's been reported that he didn't pass his conditioning test," Childress said. "That's not so. He didn't run any conditioning test. I think that's important. That was a surmise on everybody's part."

    Sharper hurting: Safety Darren Sharper took himself out of the morning practice and was not on the field for the afternoon special-teams session.

    "He had a little hamstring spasm," Childress said, "but he should be OK."

    Operating room: Safety Tank Williams left camp in the morning for Birmingham, Ala., where noted surgeon Dr. James Andrews was scheduled to perform afternoon knee surgery.

    Williams suffered a broken left kneecap and tendon damage during Saturday's practice and has been placed on season-ending injured reserve.

    Childress said Williams would remain in Birmingham for a week and visit his family in Mississippi before returning to Minnesota to begin a lengthy rehabilitation.

    Cornerback Charles Gordon underwent a procedure Monday to repair a cartilage problem in his left knee and could miss three weeks instead of the expected four, according to Childress.

    Don Seeholzer can be reached at

    LB situation clears up

    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

  2. Re: LB situation clears up

    Good read thanks, LB's are looking stronger with each day, I didn't know E.J lost 10 pounds, must of gave him an extra boost. Glad to see Harris is doing good in the middle.

    I think were looking pretty good.

  3. Re: LB situation clears up

    Very informative. Thanks for the information singersp. I need it everyday because I can't see the FSN channel or ESPN or anything. Thanks.

  4. Re: LB situation clears up

    I don't like it when our first rounder is only there for depth, but I'd rather have the best players possible on the field. Chances are someone will get injured this season anyway.

    I m like a Ja Rule poster, cause I'm off the wall.

  5. #5

    Re: LB situation clears up

    "ItalianStallion" wrote:
    I don't like it when our first rounder is only there for depth, but I'd rather have the best players possible on the field. Chances are someone will get injured this season anyway.
    He will eventually get his chance to shine!

  6. Re: LB situation clears up

    I'm a bit disappointed that Greenway isn't starting, but I'm sure he'll see plenty of time in the Nickel package perhaps, or goal-line situations and special teams.

    On the other hand, I'm glad that E.J. is doing extremely well; I knew he would eventually.

    Besides, if someone gets injured, I'm sure Chad could be counted on to step in if needed.
    Proud member of PP.O since April 5th, 2003!

  7. #7

    Re: LB situation clears up

    i would be annoyed that Greenway isnt starting, like many of you guys

    but, i dont think many of you have been to camp, if one thing is sure you can tell greenway will be a good player, however.. like the article says, Henderson has been doing amazing in camp, getting behind the line on blitz's and making plays in the backfield, doing well when dropping back into pass coverage.. etc, he's doign really well, and im glad he most likely will get the starting job

    "We’ll win our own Super Bowl, with our own players. Real Vikings. Something Brett Favre can never be."

    - Dan Calabrese

  8. Re: LB situation clears up

    This was my whole beef with drafting Greenway in the first place. Yes he is a heck of a football player, however I just really thought EJ came into his own at WILL in the last 5 or 6 games last year and didn't want to see him moved back to MLB. That's kind of why I was more for waiting until round 2 and taking D'Qell Jackson to be our cover 2 MLB. He would have been a perfect fit. I wonder if Greenway could bulk up enough to eventually take that MLB spot in the future. I think he has the leadership skills and work ethic to be a great leader in the middle.

    Oh well, for now we just have great depth at WILL LB, which isn't bad to have, as we saw with our safety depth already being very important.

    I also think people will be suprised with Napo's ability at MLB. He is a great leader from the MLB, as he showed in Oakland.

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