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Line Change: Vikings DL Rotation Proved Effective

Posted by Mike Wobschall on September 13, 2012 – 12:23 pm

Vikings Defensive Coordinator Alan Williams is new to Minnesota. But it didn’t take him long to find a beloved state pastime to use as an analogy in explaining one of his defensive philosophies.

Williams explained during training camp that he’ll use a rotation at defensive line throughout the season, comparing his substitution patterns to that of a hockey lineup.

“I said before that this is Minnesota, we’re going to have a hockey lineup so we need eight guys to come in and play for us and play well,” Williams said. “We’ll have guys that are rotating and we expect whatever that rotation is for guys to play winning football.”

The philosophy was in play last week in the Vikings season-opening win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Vikings four starting defensive linemen – DEs Jared Allen and Brian Robison and DTs Letroy Guion and Kevin Williams – took the bulk of the snaps, but Christian Ballard, Fred Evans, Everson Griffen and D’Aundre Reed were in the mix as well. Griffen logged 33 defensive snaps, Evans 18, Ballard 17 and Reed 4. The Vikings at one time actually had four defensive ends on the field at once, looking to apply pressure to QB Blaine Gabbert late in the game.

Were Vikings coaches pleased with the production of the defensive line?

“Oh yeah,” Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier said. “And the more I looked at the tape and saw the hits that we put on the quarterback, that was very, very encouraging because over time, generally, that makes a big difference. You’d like to get sacks but you definitely want to get some hits on the quarterback and we got a number of good hits on the quarterback.”

The main critique many had of the Vikings rotation plan was that the starters – namely Allen and Williams – would be off the field too frequently. But on Sunday it appears Vikings coaches found a good mix, as Allen was on the field for 75 snaps and Williams logged 64.

“I thought it was good for us and it’s something we have to continue to grow and develop and make sure the guys we do put in for our starters are really living up to the things that we expect,” Frazier explained. “But it was a good start for us, to be able to get that rotation going in a fashion we think will help us over the long haul.”


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Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 39 Comments »


39 Responses to “Line Change: Vikings DL Rotation Proved Effective”

  1. By OTKalil2012 on Sep 13, 2012 | Reply

    First !!!..

  2. By OTKalil2012 on Sep 13, 2012 | Reply

    I think the front four on Defense will be HUGE this week !!…

    Luck should be in for another LONG day…

  3. By TheValentine84 on Sep 13, 2012 | Reply

    I would like to see us utilize the four DE front on 3rd and long situations much like the NY Giants do with JPP. With a front like Allen, Griffen, Reed, and Robison we should be able to harass the QB with ease on 3rd and longs.

  4. By JE on Sep 13, 2012 | Reply

    You need at least 7 good defensive lineman and i think we have that.Guion is coming off a knee injury but looked ok last week. Hes only 25 and is a solid tackle. I really like Reed. He showed a real good bull rush when he played tackle and has the length and athletisism to play end. Robison was all over the field and we no what we have in Allen.Will see more this week against Indy.

  5. By JE on Sep 13, 2012 | Reply

    We did do just that last game valentine84.Thought it was pretty effective. We didnt get sacks but we put alot of pressure on Gabbert. I thought Gabbert played a solid game.W e are lucky to come away with the win!!!

  6. By JE on Sep 13, 2012 | Reply

    Ballard,Griffen and Reed all look like good young players up front for the Vikings. Great job Speilman getting some good young talent up front on D.

  7. By Bluebird7 on Sep 13, 2012 | Reply

    Wow, my compter blew up on me 2 weeks ago. Fnally have a used one to play around with untill the other one gets fixed First post since then!

  8. By JE on Sep 13, 2012 | Reply

    Well its good to have you back off the PUP list Bluebird7.Computers dont like it when you spell their name wrong. Hee Hee!!!

  9. By xvike on Sep 13, 2012 | Reply

    Indianapolis is in for a “LONG” day? Yeah i highly doubt it. C’mon be realistic here. Blaine Gabbert nearly picked apart the defense. BLAINE GABBERT of all people. Even though luck is a rookie, i still think he is better than gabbert. Jacksonville’s offense kept the vikings d guessing all day with the run game and the passing game. We were just fortunate they couldn’t get td’s in the redzone. The pass rush was non existent for most of the game. JA wasn’t even in the stat sheet! Allen got owned. Face it. Then cook gives up that td to shorts with 20 secs left. WAIT who?? SHORTS? cecil shorts III???!! who the f is that? The vikings were very fortunate to have won the game. Biased vikings fans, please don’t argue with me. 9/10 times, a team will lose down by 3 with 14 seconds left in a game and needing to go 30-40 yards for a FG. Thank god walsh saved the day. I still think the vikings are going to beat the colts, but i don’t think it’s going to be a blow out. I think luck will do well. I don’t think the vikings will win by more than touchdown.

  10. By Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus on Sep 13, 2012 | Reply

    Luck is better than Gabbert? Huh? Gabbert has played an entire season and has been coached to live to all the potential of his draft pick from last year. Remember, he was very highly ranked going into the draft– he just had a lot of growing pains. Luck is freshly out of college and his team is not good.

  11. By H.M.G. on Sep 13, 2012 | Reply

    Luck has one WR Reggie Wayne would have 2 but Collie likes to beat his brains in every other play. He has 2 nice TE in Allen and his old team mate at Stanford whos name I have forgotten.

  12. By H.M.G. on Sep 13, 2012 | Reply

    Luck does not have as many weapons as Gabbert but he is the better QB.

  13. By H.M.G. on Sep 13, 2012 | Reply

    The Colts OLine is shaky at best with Ijalana tearing his ACL. BRob should have fun.

  14. By larrywtimm on Sep 13, 2012 | Reply

    The defensive line will only be as good as the defensive backs allow them to be. Our secondary MUST play better or the d-line rotation will not be as effective as it could be. Hopefully things will improve. Chris Cook will get his “game sense” tuned and hopefully will not lose track of the ball in flight again.

    Also, while NO one is happy about the injury that AP suffered, I noticed that last week he did something that coaches have tried to get him to do for the last several seasons: he didn’t dance around at the line very much…instead he hit the hole with downhill determination. This slight change in style will make him even more deadly as the NFL’s best running back…and may cut down on the number of times he gets dropped behind or at the line of scrimmage.

    As far as Ponder goes, if he doesn’t come out as flat as he did last week in the first half, the vikings should be able to control the clock. The problem with last week was that our defense was on the field WAY too much. That has to stop.

    Prediction: Vikings 27 Colts 17

  15. By Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus on Sep 13, 2012 | Reply

    Anyone notice the past two years AD was hurt and both times were in Washington against the Redskins? And rumor has it the bounty system was in place in Washington when Williams (later of the Saints) was their D coach–
    I would be careful about playing AD in that game-

  16. By Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus on Sep 13, 2012 | Reply

    Will teams try to reinjure AD?

  17. By Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus on Sep 13, 2012 | Reply

    Will teams try to re-injure Adrian?

  18. By RichardA1 on Sep 13, 2012 | Reply

    I still can’t believe it! Jared Allen no sacks! maybe its the rotation? lets rotate everyone except him! is it to early to start blowing my horn, dawn my Vikings Hat, wear my Viking Garb close! here I go, Vikings Skol song playing on p.a. speakers as I drive to the Colts game.

  19. By Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus on Sep 13, 2012 | Reply

    Loadholt looks really good this season. He is playing inspired football.

  20. By H.M.G. on Sep 13, 2012 | Reply

    He is inspired by money.

  21. By Parody on Sep 13, 2012 | Reply

    I don’t think the rotation helped. The line was unable to do much of anything to Gabbert. On many obvious passing downs, he was sitting comfortably in the pocket and finding his receiver without getting rushed. Way too many 3rd downs were converted through the air without Gabbert hitting the ground. I’m calling that a fail.

    I expect them to look a lot better against Luck’s protectors, simply because they’re a very poor group. Hopefully that “improvement” won’t lull them to sleep for the San Francisco game. We’ll need all aspects of the defense to be at the top of their game to even have a hope against the 49ers. If we’re going to get the same production out of the D-line as we did in game 1, then we might as well forfeit the game now.

  22. By Bluebird7 on Sep 13, 2012 | Reply

    JE, Part of the blame on the wrong spelling of computer, is the fact this temp replacement has a worn out keyboard with a number of the white lettering all but gone…And it likes to skip

    Titus, I am sure that other teams with Saints mentality will go after AD.

  23. By H.M.G. on Sep 13, 2012 | Reply

    Coby Fleener is Luck’s other TE.
    Rudolph is better than him and Dwayne Allen.

  24. By H.M.G. on Sep 13, 2012 | Reply

    Titus want to race across the USA?

  25. By H.M.G. on Sep 13, 2012 | Reply

    Maybe not a race since I cot that fast. How about a push up contest?

  26. By H.M.G. on Sep 13, 2012 | Reply

    How many can you do in 2 minutes?
    Military push ups not the girly on your knee push ups.

  27. By H.M.G. on Sep 13, 2012 | Reply

    Ready 3… 2… 1… GO!

  28. By H.M.G. on Sep 13, 2012 | Reply

    45 what you get?

  29. By H.M.G. on Sep 13, 2012 | Reply

    Back started popping would have done more.

  30. By H.M.G. on Sep 13, 2012 | Reply

    Titus how is Gomer?

  31. By Ozzinator on Sep 13, 2012 | Reply

    Is there a way to watch the GB game tonight if you don’t have the NFL network?

  32. By Ozzinator on Sep 13, 2012 | Reply

    And why don’t I hear anyone talking about Mistral Raymond?…. sniff sniff

  33. By H.M.G. on Sep 13, 2012 | Reply

    Raymond had one good play that I seen. Not much else I guess.

  34. By odark30 on Sep 13, 2012 | Reply

    Bravo———–I like the hockey rotation. It should bring out these guys specialties. In turn, we will play them for specialized plays. Plus everyone gets the reps and learns from the time on the field.

  35. By OTKalil2012 on Sep 13, 2012 | Reply

    GO BEARS !!!…

    Prediction…

    Bears 31…Packers 24…

  36. By odark30 on Sep 13, 2012 | Reply

    Just for tonight………………..GO GB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  37. By Parody on Sep 13, 2012 | Reply

    Oz – This is how I’ve been watching NFL games for free on the internet. It’s a link to a link that streams all football games.

    Find and click the link for the game that you want. That will open a new window with the streaming site of the game. Don’t fall for the ads that try to trick you in saying that your computer doesn’t have the proper software. Just be patient and wait for a chance to close them.

    After you’ve closed about 3 or 4 ads, the video should be visible and you’ll be able to move it into full screen mode. After that, the video should run smoothly (more or less) for the duration of the game.

  38. By Parody on Sep 13, 2012 | Reply

    *I suggest using full screen because when I didn’t put it in full screen mode, ads would continue to cover up the video every now and then. Not so with the full screen.

  39. By Ozzinator on Sep 14, 2012 | Reply

    Thanks much Parody.

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