Last year Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress watched plenty of Matt Birk film because he had to grade the veteran’s performance on game days and in practice. This year, even though Birk left Minnesota last offseason to sign a free agent contract with the Ravens, Childress has still been watching film of Birk – in preparation for the Vikings game against Birk’s Ravens team this Sunday.
During his Wednesday press conference, Childress was asked how Birk has been playing so far this year and the Vikings head coach had a positive review of the 6-time Pro Bowler.
“He’s playing well,” Childress said. “It looks like he’s directing. I got to see him in the summer time. It looks like he’s in great shape. I thought he looked like he re-arranged his body a little differently, positively. It looks like he’s playing at a high level. It looks like he has a good relationship with the quarterback and he’s directing the line.”
Childress has said in the past a number of times that Vikings C John Sullivan’s development has been aided because he goes up against DTs Kevin Williams and Pat Williams every day in practice. A similar situation has unfolded for Birk in Baltimore, where his assimilation into the Ravens offense and into life as an AFC center (where you see more 3-4 defensive schemes) has been aided because of the presence of Haloti Ngata, a dominant 6-4, 345-pound NT who makes a habit out of surging past centers and into the offensive backfield.
“He’s got his hands full when he lines up every day (in practice) against Haloti Ngata,” Childress said. “He gets good work; he’s not playing against imposters. The people in that division, the nose tackles, (Casey) Hampton (from Pittsburgh) is not too shabby.”
Tags: Kevin Williams, Pat Williams
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