The Minnesota Vikings will have a much different look from the previous season’s squad. The team features many new faces and coaches, but perhaps the biggest difference is the team’s attitude and direction. One of the biggest changes will be along the defensive line. It has been reported that the Vikings will showcase a rotating line to get a lot of pressure on quarterbacks disrupt plays in the backfield. There are three new starters along the line in Everson Griffen, Sharrif Floyd, and Linval Joseph.
Sep 22, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd (95) against the Cleveland Browns at Mall of America Field at H.H.H. Metrodome. The Browns defeated the Vikings 31-27. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
While all three new starters on the defensive line will have to prove themselves, Sharrif Floyd has very big shoes to fill. This will be his first time starting the season as a designated starting defensive tackle. The man who had the job before him was Kevin Williams. Williams had been a part of the Vikings for 11 years before becoming a free agent this offseason. While in Minnesota Williams accumulated 60 sacks, 331 tackles, 5 interceptions, 8 forced fumbles, and 2 defensive touchdowns.
One man who doesn’t seem too concerned about Sharrif Floyd is new Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer. Fox Sports’ Brian Hall had a great quote from Zimmer about his new starter, Sharrif Floyd:
"“It’s hard for me to comment about last year very much because I wasn’t here and I don’t know what they were doing. All I can really comment about what has happened this year and I’ve seen him progress. He’s another one of those guys — like I was talking about with Xavier — you talk to him about something in the meeting about ‘he’s got to do this better, do that better,’ and you see him working on it.”"
Zimmer went on to praise Floyd even more:
"“Sharrif’s doing a great job. He’s improved tremendously. He’s using his hands well. He’s a very dedicated kid. He’s done a great job in the weight room as far as changing his body and his strength levels. He shows great quickness. We’re very, very excited to have him. I look for him to have a good year.”"
Head coach Mike Zimmer ha a history of making star players out of his defensive tackles. This is proven by looking at the Bengals’ Geno Atkins and Cowboys’ La’Roi Glover. If Sharrif Floyd can stay healthy, he could be a major piece of this Vikings defense for a long, long time.