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.
“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.
“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.
“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.
“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.