Top 25 Vikings of 2014: No. 24 LB Larry Dean


Over the next few weeks we will reveal the top 25 current Vikings players, counting them down Casey Kasem-style from 25 all the way to number 1. Let’s continue the countdown with the man at #24, linebacker Larry Dean.

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Let’s salute the special teams ace, the unheralded man who runs like a maniac down the field and makes the tackles that save the team a little of that precious “hidden yardage.”

Why is it called hidden yardage by the way? There’s nothing hidden about the yardage you gain or lose on special teams. Those yards count the same as yards gained/lost on regular plays, do they not?

True fans appreciate the importance of the special teams ace. Viking Nation embraced Heath Farwell, the ultimate special teams stuffer.

Larry Dean may not be quite on Farwell’s level, but he’s the closest thing the Vikings have to a stuffer of that caliber. He proved that last year by racking up four special teams tackles in one game against the Ravens.

Two special teams tackles in one game is a lot. Four is ridiculous. That’s all about effort (and your team having to kick a ton).

Larry Dean’s effort has been consistent throughout his career, and his improvement has been steady. He’s grown over the years into a valuable specialist and a leader. And that’s why the one-time UDFA linebacker scored a new contract with the Vikings this offseason.

Dean won’t be in the mix to start at linebacker, but you know he’ll be mixing it up on special teams, all year, game after game. The unsung Larry Dean isn’t unsung around here. He’s the No. 24 player on the Vikings roster.

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