The Vikings entered their season-opener against the New Orleans Saints with just 3 healthy CBs and a new starter at S in Husain Abdullah. Considering the Saints boasted last year’s #1 scoring offense and #4 passing offense and were also returning most of their starters, the Vikings secondary had a tall task at hand.
But Leslie Frazier’s defense rose to the challenge, holding Drew Brees and Co. under their average passing yards per game from a season ago and giving up just 14 points. The Vikings secondary was beaten for a long TD on the game’s 1st series and there were lapses in other junctures of the game, but by and large the Vikings secondary held their own.
A few days removed from the game, Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress explained that he saw some positives from the secondary.
“I thought those guy did some good things, all the way around, whether it was Lito (Sheppard)playing at the right corner, Asher Allen swinging back and forth,” Childress said. “I thought they did some good things, particularly in terms of tackling. I saw Asher show up and be able to stick a knife in some things and Lito had a couple nice tackles as well. Antoine is Antoine.”
Both Winfield and Husain Abdullah had nice open field tackles against some of the Saints best playmakers, and Sheppard forced a key incompletion on a 3rd down pass to force a punt.
One of the reasons the Vikings had just 3 healthy CBs entering Week 1 is because 2nd round rookie CB Chris Cook injured his knee during the 4th preseason game. He’s expected to miss multiple weeks but he was able to return to the practice field on Monday with his teammates.
Childress indicated the rookie CB isn’t 100%, but it’s a good sign nonetheless that Cook is working his way back into the mix.
“He just went through some individual periods,” Childress said. “He doesn’t look completely comfortable. As always, it’ll be how he comes back in and treats and how he shows back up tomorrow. But he did some football specific stuff today out on the grass during individual (period).”
Tags: Asher Allen, Chris Cook, Husain Abdullah, Lito Sheppard
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One of the notable characteristics of the Vikings season-opening 53-man roster is that the team kept just 4 WRs. I say “just 4 WRs” because last season’s opening-day roster included 6 WRs and WR was considered one of the team’s deeper positions entering training camp.
But perhaps the Vikings are considering adding someone to the depth chart. The Star Tribune’s Judd Zulgad reported on Sunday that the Vikings are planning to work out 4 WRs this week at Winter Park. Zulgad identified the 4 as Sam Aiken, Reggie Brown, Ruvell Martin and Demetrius Williams.
Although Childress didn’t confirm – nor was he asked – the identity of the 4 WRs being brought in, the Vikings head coach did say bringing in street free agents to take a look at them is more a matter of routine than a search process.
“It’s a thing that we do every week,” Childress explained. “We usually bring people in to try to get a look at them. We’ve had numbers of people through here to look at, whether it’s the offensive line [or] whether it’s in the secondary.”
Childress indicated the players would arrive in Minnesota Monday night for a workout on Tuesday. Childress has some familiarity with Brown from their days together in Philadelphia. Vikings fans may remember Martin’s name because he is a former Green Bay Packer. Aiken is a former Patriot and Williams is a former Raven.
Whether or not any of them are future Vikings remains to be seen. For right now, Childress and the Vikings will begin the process of familiarizing themselves with the free agent WR and potentially with players at other positions as well.
“What it does is it gives us a mind’s eye picture of what those guys look like should we require somebody down the road,” Childress said. “Not just wide receivers, I might add. That’s not the only the people that are coming in here.”
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