Since the Vikings have posted only17 points in their last 2 games, a host of different aspects of the offense could be blamed for their current woes. Vikings Interim Head Coach Leslie Frazier mentioned that the offensive line is one area that is looking to improve in order to have an opportunity to win this Sunday night against the Philadelphia Eagles.
“We’ll have to play our best game on both sides of the football up front,” Frazier said during his Wednesday press conference. “In particular with our offensive line.”
As Mike mentioned in his “Setting The Table” segment, the Eagles defense is not as stout as other defenses the Vikings have faced this year, ranking 13th overall and 21st in scoring defense, but their front 4 features fluid formations that are always changing from play to play.
“The Eagles have a fast front,” Frazier acknowledged. “They do a great job of moving around and very seldom do they get stuck on the line of scrimmage. They are always moving. So our offensive line will be challenged probably as well as they have been in a game this season.”
The attributes of the Eagles front 4 that Frazier alluded to are obviously a hurdle the offensive line will have to overcome in order to improve, but this will all have to be done without their regular starting guards. Both Anthony Herrera and Steve Hutchinson are on injured reserve, and although the offensive line has been without both of them for 3 weeks now, it is still a struggle to find cohesiveness. Especially for C John Sullivan, who has been working with a different G beside side him since Herrera suffered a season-ending injury against the Packers over a month ago.
“It’s been a little bit tougher for him in some ways,” Frazier said of Sullivan. “But he’s responded quite well. There have been moments where he found himself, and this has been more of late, where he has to take control of our offensive line. More so than he would have if Steve were there or Anthony were there. It’s a different mindset for him, but he’s responded to it and I think that he’s become more confident as time has gone on and this is one of those weeks that he’ll have to become a captain for us on that offensive line.”
Losing an All-Pro player such as Hutchinson to injured reserve has a dramatic impact on the play of the offensive line, but Frazier mentioned that his replacement – rookie Chris DeGeare – has stepped in nicely.
“He’s gotten better,” Frazier said. “There’s been moments where he’s struggled, which we thought he would being a young guy and playing as much as he’s had to play. But overall, we’ve seen some consistency, we’ve seen him not back down to situations and we expect him to get better as time goes on.”
Injury-plagued or not, the Vikings offensive line will have to step up to secure a win against another team vying to clinch its division.
Tags: Chris DeGeare, John Sullivan, Leslie Frazier
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