Blanton The Latest To Thrive In “Next Man Up” Philosophy

Posted by Mike Wobschall on October 12, 2012 – 6:11 am

The Vikings defense has played a prominent role in the team’s current three-game winning streak. Over the past three games, the Vikings have allowed fewer than 300 yards of total offense and just 11.0 points per game. Big-time performances from big-time defenders such as Chad Greenway and Antoine Winfield have paced this impressive string of defensive performances.

There’s another factor that has played a significant role as well: depth at several positions.

Starting S Mistral Raymond went down with an ankle injury early in Week 2, so Jamarca Sanford stepped in and the defense didn’t miss a beat. Starting LB Erin Henderson missed 2 games due to a concussion, so Marvin Mitchell stepped in to start in the base defense and Jasper Brinkley assumed a role in the team’s nickel package. Jared Allen was forced out of action for one play deep in Vikings territory during the 4th quarter at Detroit, so Everson Griffen answered the bell and registered a key sack of Matthew Stafford.

“We tell all the guys, ‘You’re a play away from being in there starting and starting for a long time and playing for a long time.’ All the coaches get their guys ready to play and we’re not going to make excuses for rookies or first-year, second-year players going in,” Vikings Defensive Coordinator Alan Williams said. “We still have to play winning football and I think that’s the mentality of the team, of the guys and of the coaches, that no matter who’s in the ball game, we’re not going to dumb it down, we’re not going to water it down.”

The latest example of this for the Vikings? Robert Blanton, who was suddenly thrust into action during last week’s game against the Tennessee Titans when starting S Harrison Smith was ejected from the game. Previously, the reserves who stepped into a more prominent role were veterans. Williams was asked if he had to say anything in particular to Blanton before sending him into the game because he’s a rookie.

“Not a word,” Williams said. “Our expectations are the next guy, if one guy’s down, the next guy goes in, nothing needs to be said. There’s nothing that’s needed to be said, guys are expected to go in and not do anything special. Do your job. There’s no extra pressure, you don’t have to be the guy that you’re replacing. Do your job and that’ll be good enough for us to win.”

And that’s what Blanton did. He jumped right into the action and, once again, the Vikings defense didn’t miss a beat. The Vikings held Tennessee scoreless until the 4th quarter and came away with a resounding 30-7 victory. Blanton finished with 5 tackles, 1 tackle for loss and 1 pass break up.

Asked what stood out to him about Blanton’s performance, Williams said: “The poise, the calmness, the plays that he made. He didn’t look like a rookie, but that’s a credit to him as well as Coach [Joe] Woods, in terms of getting Blanton ready.

“We’re going to keep moving and guys are going to have to do what they’re capable of doing and that’s what Blanton did.”

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Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 32 Comments »

32 Responses to “Blanton The Latest To Thrive In “Next Man Up” Philosophy”

  1. By vikingstruefan4life on Oct 12, 2012 | Reply

    I think that next year blanton will maybe be a starter… he has the right size… I think he need to become a hard hitter like Smith and winfield and he need to get better in coverage.. he will be a starter next year

  2. By vikingstruefan4life on Oct 12, 2012 | Reply

    Leslie frazier said that Josh Robinson is becoming a great tackler,and that he is gettn more playn time and will be the starter soon.

    Harrison smith is a very hard hitting safety and very physical
    Jamarca Sanford is a ball hawk. He jus need to come up with the interceptions when he touches the ball. If so he could have atleast 6 before u know it..

    Antoine winfield. And chad greenway are tackling machines..

    If everyone else on the team play like those guys then we cn be the best defense in the league

  3. By JE on Oct 12, 2012 | Reply

    I think they should sign Steensma. Park your modified and get back into football!!! Cmon Steenie, lace em up and stick a hat on somebody!!

  4. By JE on Oct 12, 2012 | Reply

    Blanton, along with all of our other rookies has looked good. Just another feather in Rick Speimans hat. To Speiman,Studwell and coaching staff i tip my hat.Great draft just keeps looking better by the week!!!

  5. By Ricky on Oct 12, 2012 | Reply

    Dear Coach Frazier,
    Beat the Redskins! Kick their butts! I want a touchdown! My folks like the Vikings. Please, I want the Vikings to win all the time. Play good, run for the touchdown, get after them! Good luck on Sunday’s game.


  6. By glen on Oct 12, 2012 | Reply

    I’m not sure that remark has the depth consistency and complexity to warrant calling it a philosophy.

  7. By H.M.G. on Oct 12, 2012 | Reply

    It continues to look like a great draft and the coaching staff is looking better because of it.

  8. By JE on Oct 12, 2012 | Reply

    I have to believe that the work ethic of Adrian Peterson coming off the injury had to rub off everyone on this team. The young players had to see how dedicated this great player was to be ready to go week one. What a fine example he has been for our young players!! AP is a true professional!!!

  9. By Ozzinator on Oct 12, 2012 | Reply


  10. By Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus on Oct 12, 2012 | Reply

    What is with Biden laughing and mocking all the time?

  11. By Mike B. on Oct 12, 2012 | Reply

    I will have to agree with JE, but add in the rest of the Veterans. They are setting the tone for the rest and it’s working.

  12. By BlueBird7 on Oct 12, 2012 | Reply

    I would say, because he is debating a Clown. Titus.

  13. By Frederick Jones on Oct 12, 2012 | Reply

    jones didn’t get to comment on the O line in the previous blog, so he will blog here.

  14. By Frederick Jones on Oct 12, 2012 | Reply

    It’s exactly as jones told many of you…if the O Line plays better…the offense will be better. That has been the case, and we only added one WR, Simpson, who has been largely missing so far.

    The offensive line is underrated as far as it’s influence on the offense.

    The good news is, they are young, and should get better, especially in p@ss blocking!

  15. By Frederick Jones on Oct 12, 2012 | Reply

    Tennesee beat the Pittsburgers.

    So perhaps the Vikings beat a real NFL team when they defeated the Titans.

  16. By T.HARRIS on Oct 12, 2012 | Reply

    Vikes on 3,1 2 3…VIKES

  17. By BlueBird7 on Oct 12, 2012 | Reply

    Jones, you can say “pass” now.

  18. By Frederick Jones on Oct 12, 2012 | Reply


    I don’t know about Biden, but did you notice in the presidential debate, the candidate waiting to speak acted as if the opponent was hilarious? Both Romney and Obama had smirks on their faces the whole time they were not speaking.

    That is another reason why jones does not like either candidate. But ya gotta vote for sumbudddy!

  19. By Fran on Oct 12, 2012 | Reply

    No, pretty sure the Titans suck. Pittsburgh is nothing to brag about this year. Especially on offense.

  20. By Frederick Jones on Oct 12, 2012 | Reply

    Actually Bluebird I enjoy the p@ass!

  21. By Frederick Jones on Oct 12, 2012 | Reply

    Besides, Bluebird, never trust with a post!!!

  22. By Frederick Jones on Oct 12, 2012 | Reply

    jones must admit that Sullivan has looked good the last two games. He is not allowing RB Sacks (which are the OLs fault 99% of the time), and I see him pushing people out of the way rather than getting knocked on his b u t t like last year!

  23. By Frederick Jones on Oct 12, 2012 | Reply


    I can’t remember which variation of p@ss you cannot say. Not all of them work, and I have no interest in learning which ones do or which ones don’t.

  24. By Frederick Jones on Oct 12, 2012 | Reply


    That may be true.

    The way Roethlithesberger (sp) has had to run around the last two years, their O Line obviously stinks.

  25. By Frederick Jones on Oct 12, 2012 | Reply


    Apparently you can say Ch@rti@n now too. But C. Ponder works for me!

  26. By Frederick Jones on Oct 12, 2012 | Reply

    Jones would like to see Webb in a game too. But playing him now might start a QB controversy. So you don’t do it.

  27. By Frederick Jones on Oct 12, 2012 | Reply

    Jones has observed that football coaches sometimes play people when they are injured. Sometimes it’s better to punt, and let the reserve play even if it costs you a ball game.

    Hamstrings are the worst. Even trainers often don’t know when the guy can come back.

    But playing Peterson if he is not 100% is a mistake.

    The Vikings do have 2 good back up RBs to play if he is not healthy. They will gang tackle AD more than anyone else, he must be strong in all areas for the game!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  28. By RichardA1 on Oct 12, 2012 | Reply

    Berzerk Towel waving here! Go Vikes!

  29. By BlueBird7 on Oct 12, 2012 | Reply


    C.Ponder works just fine for you? Me too. But I still like to say J.Webb.

  30. By BlueBird7 on Oct 12, 2012 | Reply

    Every once in a while, Titus, once in a while.

  31. By Boblocruse on Oct 13, 2012 | Reply

    wave that sum bish Richard!!!!!!

  32. By fackdapack on Oct 13, 2012 | Reply

    keep it up kings

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