The Vikings defense ranked 6th in the NFL last year, including a league-best effort against the run that yielded just 76.9 yards per game. With DTs Kevin Williams and Pat Williams anchoring that rushing defense, the Vikings became the 1st team since the merger to lead the league in rushing for 3 consecutive seasons.
While those are sparkling credentials, they aren’t enough to allow the Vikings defense to be happy with how things finished last year and hope for a similar outcome in 2009.
Speaking after the Vikings 1st training cam practice on Friday, CB Antoine Winfield and LB Chad Greenway both stressed that the Vikings defense has several areas where they’d like to make improvements. Winfield said they gave up “too many big plays” last year and Greenway added that the unit would like to improve on 3rd downs.
Generally speaking, the most noticable area the Vikings defense will try to improve is pass defense. The Vikings took a big step forward in improving in that category last year (moving up to 18th from 31 and 32 in 2006 and 2008, respectively), but you can be sure that each member of the Vikings defense is looking to continue that improvement. With Leslie Frazier’s defense already about as good as it gets against the run, teams will likely continue to lean on the pass when they play the Vikings.
“We want teams to throw the ball 40 or 50 times and when they do that, we need to shut them down,” Greenway said. “I think our sack totals could go up…we can become better blitzers. There are a lot of things we can improve on.”
A Vikings defense that improves upon last season’s effort will be one that opposing teams just won’t want to face.
Tags: Antoine Winfield, Chad Greenway
Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 2 Comments »