After stepping in for an injured E.J. Henderson in Week 13 of the 2009 season, LB Jasper Brinkley was able to immerse himself in the Vikings starting defensive front in just his 1st season in the NFL.
One might think that Brinkley, or any 2nd-year player following a season with ample starting time, would set out a few goals to help reach a higher individual status with a season’s worth of experience under their belt.
But that is not the case with this 2nd-year middle LB.
“I really have no individual goals,” Brinkley stated. “I just have team goals. Win more games than we did last year. Hopefully we can go in and do that this year.”
Having no individual goals does not mean that he’s not improving himself. Rather, it speaks volumes to how much of a team-oriented player #54 really is. Brinkley also explained his feelings coming off a season in which he started the final 4 games of the regular season and the 2 playoff games, with a total of 32 tackles on the season.
“I’m definitely a lot more comfortable,” Brinkley said. “Now that I got a season under my belt, I got a lot of experience from last year. This year is a chance to better myself off of what I did last year.”
Even with Henderson spending most of the practice on Saturday morning with the 1st-team defense, Brinkley also saw plenty of practice time with the 1st unit as Henderson is easing his way back onto the field. During non-contact drills, Henderson played with the 1st team and during contact drills Brinkley stepped in.
With no sense of entitlement to a starting position, Saturday’s morning practice may be a common sight during the early games of the 2010 campaign for #54 and #56.
“Whichever role is best to help the team win I’m ready for,” Brinkley said.
Tags: E.J. Henderson, Jasper Brinkley
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