Marcus Sherels’ 64-yard INT return for a TD was the premier defensive highlight in last Saturday’s 20-7 preseason victory over the Seattle Seahawks. But the turning point in the game may have actually occurred on the following Seattle offensive series.
The Seahawks offense responded well to Sherels’ pick 6, driving the ball from their own 27-yardline to the Vikings 2 in 10 plays, setting up a 1st-and-goal situation just six feet from the endzone. But that’s where the Vikings defense bowed up and stopped Seattle RB Justin Forsett on four consecutive runs.
DT Letroy Guion was credited with 2 tackles on those four plays but his impact was even greater. He was a disruptive force in that series of plays and it did not go unnoticed by the Vikings coaching staff.
“One guy in particular, Letroy Guion, he lit it up in that situation,” Vikings Defensive Coordinator Fred Pagac said on Tuesday. “He did a nice job for us.”
Pagac is a true throwback and is not one to shower praise on his players. But he made a point to specifically mention Guion’s role in the goal-line stand and he also indicated Guion is expected to make an impact on the Vikings defense this season.
“We think Letroy is going to be a heck of a football player for us,” Pagac commented. “We’re anticipating him being a big part of our defense this year. He’s coming along and he has the athletic ability. He’s strong, has quickness and has toughness.”
Guion stands at 6-4, 303 pounds and plays primarily the 3-technique behind starter Kevin Williams in the Vikings defense. The Vikings drafted him in the 5th round (#152 overall) of the 2008 NFL Draft and he was inactive for 15 of the Vikings 17 games that season. But in 2009 he took a step forward by playing in 7 games and then he became a regular in the DT rotation last year.
Speaking of the rotation, Pagac was asked if he took extra pride in the goal line stand from Saturday because it was his second-team defense that was in the game taking on Seattle’s first-team offense. As I said earlier, Pagac is a throwback and is not one to provide much hyperbole. He made it clear that while the goal line stand was a feather in the defense’s cap, it’s also something that he expects his players to accomplish.
“Again, as far as our front’s concerned,” Pagac said, “we’re planning on rolling those guys all year long, so in my mind they’re a part of our ones so they’ve got to play hard all the time, too.”
Tags: Fred Pagac, Letroy Guion
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