A lot of you have commented here on the vikings.com Blog recently that Vikings Defensive Coordinator Fred Pagac does not take a loquacious approach to his weekly press conferences. It’s true, Pagac does tend to hold his cards close to the vest.
But hey, he’s been a successful coach for a long time and you don’t keep at job as an assistant coach at Ohio State University for 23 seasons by divulging secrets and strategies. On top of that, let’s give him credit for not being one who spews out hyperbole just to pass time and give the standard, run-of-the-mill quote.
With all that said, there were a few interesting notes to come out of Pagac’s press conference on Thursday. Here they are…
Not surprised by Robison
There’s always a natural level of concern when a team loses a starter, and that was certainly the case for Vikings fans when DE Ray Edwards left the club via free agency this past offseason. Brian Robison, who had been an important member of the DL rotation since entering the League as a rookie in 2007, was tabbed as the replacement and he was even given a contract extension during the offseason.
Concerns about Robison not being able to replace Edwards have reduced, if not gone away, after the first 3 games. Robison is off to a good start in 2011, having tallied 11 tackles and 1.0 tackles for a loss, 2.5 sacks and 1 pass defensed. He’s gotten to the opposing QB constantly and has 10 QB hits.
Robison’s fast start may surprise some, but it doesn’t surprise his defensive coordinator.
“No, Brian Robison’s a good football player,” Pagac said. “He’s one of our top fifteen, sixteen guys on our football team. We expect those things out of Brian. He’s doing a good job right now.”
Williams right back into the swing of things
Last week marked the return of DT Kevin Williams to the lineup following a two-game suspension to begin the season. It’s no coincidence that the Vikings registered 5 sacks against the Lions in the same game that Williams made his return. When Williams is in the game, opposing offenses generally allocate two blockers to him each play, which gives other defensive linemen one-on-one opportunities. And, Williams was in the game a bit more than Pagac and the Vikings coaching staff expected against Detroit.
“Thought he did well,” Pagac said. “We’re happy to have him back. Obviously we think he’s a great football player, and we expect him to continue to improve as we go on.
“He probably played more than we thought (he would). He probably played probably fifteen, twenty snaps more than we thought he would’ve. But he was in great shape and he was able to go. Whatever he did during his two weeks off, he did a good job of staying in shape and working out.”
Asked if he expects Williams will have any limitations this week because of conditioning after missing the first two games or because of his foot injury, Pagac’s answer was (predictably) simple.
“He’s back to work.”
Encouraged by Everson Griffen
DE Everson Griffen has quickly become one of the Vikings best special teams players. And now he’s also starting to find a niche on defense. The Vikings have experimented with Griffen in a variety of roles on the defense, including standing him up as a LB or sorts.
Griffen was in this role occasionally against Detroit, and Pagac indicated he was satisfied with what he saw, but he’s also expecting improvement.
“I thought Everson did a great job in the game,” Pagac said. “He did a good job of rushing. What he did in the drop part of it was fine. We’ll continue to get better at that. It was one of the first times we did it with live bullets. We expect him to get better and better.”
Tags: Brian Robison, Everson Griffen, Fred Pagac, Kevin Williams
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