OTA is underway across the NFL, and yesterday the media was allowed to practice the Vikings. Several journalists were tweeting throughout the practice. Fortunately, this allows us to begin to form our own opinions about the Vikings.
This is the first good look at the new looking Vikings. There are many things we can take away from this first look.
First of all, there is some news coming out of OTA. Eric Kendricks and Harrison Smith were not practicing. Smith was preoccupied with the birth of his first child, which is obviously far more important than football.
However, missing Eric Kendricks may be time-related. There is no question as to why he is not practicing with the team. He was doing some work off the field. Although Kevin O’Connell is scheduled for a press conference on Wednesday, we can learn more from this.
Still, we should not be overly concerned. Until it’s another “tweak” like Daniel Hunter a couple of years ago, the centerpiece will hit the field in September. That’s all that really matters.
Let’s take a look at some more interesting things we can collect from this practice session.
Rookie is not taking a snap to start
A big question for fans is, why aren’t the rookies starting? Well, first of all, you have to recognize that they are rookie. Nothing is being handed over to them just because it has been drafted. This is true even of the first round draft election Lewis Sean.
From Cine to Ingram to Booth to Asamoah all these swindlers have to represent them. This is how NFL teams work, regardless of what the fans want.
However, we should not be concerned. We are still four months away from meaningful football. That these rookies have a long time to win their job. Honestly, if they can’t win the job, do we want them to start?
We’ve all heard rumors that Jimmer hates rookies, which wasn’t true. However, our city has a new regime. So if the bad guys don’t start, then maybe we can assume that they’re not as good as the guy who won the job. Not that the head coach hated them because they were a Rocky.
The Vikings’ defensive front began to unfold
The big question this offseason was, what will this defense look like? There was a change of pace in the defense. The team has been wounded for two years in a row.
Now, Ed Donatel is in town, and he’s ready to take the team in a new direction. Which way is it? It’s about being creative with Daniel Hunter and Jaderius Smith.
This whole defensive scheme revolves around them. We should expect pass-racing concepts to be clearly designed to get one line after another with a lineman. Based on what was reported in the camp, what is happening.
The “base” package that Donatel is running is basically a 5-2-4. That means they have five defensive linemen, two linebackers and four defensive backs. When they switch to nickel, they run 4-2-5 packages.
However, the key here is where Hunter and Smith are doing the line up. In the base package, they are technically referred to as “linebackers”. The three linemen are Armon Watts, Dalvin Tomlinson and Harrison Phillips. This is what we wanted to happen and it is very important.
With three down linemen, the Vikings can use Hunter and Smith in formation wherever they wish. It’s exciting, because it will allow for some crazy exotic looks.
Hopefully, this new-look defense will bring the Vikings back into the conversation as one of the best defenders in the league. They have talent for this.
Mitch Massman is a lifelong Vikings fan. His first heartbreak was playing in the 1998 NFC Championship. His full-time job as an economic development professional in rural Minnesota. He imagines the Vikings winning the Super Bowl one day, but until then he will write about the Vikings. Follow him on Twitter skol_vikings3