Having stand-out defensive players such as LB E.J. Henderson, DE Jared Allen and CB Antoine Winfield on the field for the Vikings often causes the center of attention to focus on said players. With that in mind, the Purple’s young crop of safeties is determined to make sure that they will not be overlooked and maybe even have some of the limelight focused on them.
Even with much of the focus on the secondary centered on newly-acquired CB Lito Sheppard and rookie Chris Cook, this group of safeties has made their presence known throughout the first 4 days of training camp.
Seven-year veteran Madieu Williams youngsters Tyrell Johnson and Jamarca Sanford have found themselves practicing with the 1st-team defense for the majority of camp while 3rd-year S Husain Abdullah has rotated often with the 1st and 2nd units. Both Williams and Sanford made a number of defensive stops during Monday afternoon’s practice. Many of those stops occurred during 7-on-7 drills, which heavily favor the offense since there is no pass rush on the QB and a plethora of receivers to choose from.
Williams signed with the Vikings prior to the 2008 season and has been a regular starter when healthy, leading Vikings DBs and ranking 4th on the team with 76 tackles in 2009. Johnson started all 15 games in which he played during the 2009 season, his 2nd in the league, and Sanford has only 1 career start to his name but continues to play well both on defense and special teams.
Williams, Johnson and Sanford appear to be the front-runners in earning a starting role at S, but I wouldn’t count out any of the other 4 safeties on the roster – Husain Abdullah, Colt Anderson, Eric Frampton and rookie Terrell Skinner – as all of them have shown flashes of great defensive play throughout training camp.
I didn’t get a chance to catch up with any of the safeties today but I’ll keep tabs on them tomorrow and hopefully get a view words after Tuesday’s practice, so stay tuned right here on vikings.com.
Tags: Jamarca Sanford, Madieu Williams, Tyrell Johnson
Posted in All, CJ Siewert | 5 Comments »