Vikings Players Interested In Defensive Changes

Dec 23, 2012; Houston, TX, USA; Minnesota Vikings defensive coordinator Alan Williams coaches against the Houston Texans during the fourth quarter at Reliant Stadium. The Vikings won 23-6. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports

With a new head coach, a new philosophy could come into play.  The play of the Vikings on the defensive side of the ball last season left a lot to be desired.  They ranked at or hear the bottom of the league in nearly every defensive passing statistic.

So, it’s no surprise that a new system could be in place for the members of the Vikings defensive squad.  However, it appears as though the player are willing to embrace that kind of change.

Sep 22, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings safety Jamarca Sanford (33) reacts after giving up a touchdown during the second quarter against the Cleveland Browns at Mall of America Field at H.H.H. Metrodome. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

“It depends on what the new coach, how he looks at us overall,” Vikings safety Jamarca Sanford said. “How he wants to put different players in different positions, however he looks at. Whether he goes to a 3-4 or a 4-3, I’m all for it as long as I’m a part of it. I feel like we kind of need a change around here because I’ve been here for five years and we’ve been running the same thing,” Sanford said. “Not saying it didn’t work, but a change can be for the good.”

Defensive end Brian Robison is also ready for a change in defensive strategy.

Sep 9, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings defensive end Brian Robison (96) reacts after recovering a fumble during the third quarter against the Jacksonville Jaguars at the Metrodome. The Vikings defeated the Jaguars 26-23 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

“Any type of change can be good,” Robison said. “It’s just one of those deals that, it’s all a matter of how you embrace it. If you go out there with a positive mindset, and make the best of it, it can always be a good thing.”

Harrison Smith knows one of the major problems with the Vikings defense over the last couple years came from giving away too many games in the closing minutes.

Dec 30, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings defensive back Harrison Smith (22) rests during an official time out in the second quarter of the game with the Green Bay Packers at the Metrodome. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

“Two-minute; two-minute,” safety Harrison Smith said of what needs to change on defense. “Yeah, that’s it. That’s how you win. If you’re going to lose games in the NFL, it’s two-minute, all the way.”

Vikings players know that they’ll have to prove themselves and their worth to the team again.  Different coaches can see talent in different ways and utilize them differently.  Some players are interested in the opportunity to re-invent themselves.

Dec 30, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen (97) and defensive back Jamarca Sanford (33) against the Green Bay Packers at the Metrodome. The Vikings defeated the Packers 37-34. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

“Just being on the same coaching staff, you get kind of comfortable because the coaches know you,” Sanford said. “And being with a new coaching staff is like you got to come in and prove yourself again. So I look forward to it. Every year I come in I’m trying to prove myself no matter who the coach is. I’m going to approach this offseason the same way. It’s going to bring out the best in each and every player in here, to come back next year ready to play because nothing’s set in stone. The depth chart is going to be in sand, so you got to come in and prove to the coaches that you the right guy for their scheme and you’re ready to go.”

Whether the next defensive scheme is a 3-4, 4-3 or whatever it may be, this team is ready to makes any necessary changes to be competitive.  If that means some players changing positions or the team changing the scheme entirely, the next Vikings head coach will have a big challenge ahead of him when it comes to fixing this team’s defensive squad.

Topics: Brian Robison, Harrison Smith, Jamarca Sanford, Minnesota Vikings

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