A strength of the Vikings in recent seasons has been the defense. Under assistant head coach/defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier, the Vikings defense climbed from 20th in the NFL in 2007 to 6th in both 2008 and 2009. Also, the Vikings ranked #1 against the run for 3 consecutive years from 2006-2008 and finished the 2009 season as the 2nd best team against the run.
But recent success isn’t going to lull the Vikings defense to sleep this offseason. Many veteran starters have been in attendance of the Vikings offseason program and many of them have also participated in OTAs this offseason. Also, Frazier and his defensive staff are working with a big group of rookies – including 2nd round pick CB Chris Cook and 4th round selection DE Everson Griffen – to try and get them up to speed on the scheme.
“I think we’re making some progress,” Frazier told me after OTA #7 on Wednesday. “We’re introducing the young guys to our defense and getting the veteran guys back into the swing of things from a football standpoint. So we’re heading in the right direction.”
During practice on Wednesday a few Vikings defenders got their hands on the football and headed to the endzone. Cook intercepted a pass during a 1-on-1 drill and sprinted toward the goal line, LB Erin Henderson snared an INT during 7-on-7 activities and S Tyrell Johnson scooped up an incomplete pass and sprinted toward the end zone. The practice of picking any loose ball up – from an incompletion to a fumble to an INT – is not something new, but it’s something that Frazier and his staff preach to their players.
“It’s something we’re really emphasizing in these OTAs and we’ll do the same thing in training camp,” Frazier explained. “We’re trying to get more turnovers going forward and to see our guys begin to do that, yeah, it’s really encouraging.”
Tags: Leslie Frazier
Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 8 Comments »