Minnesota Vikings quest for taller cornerbacks irked Munnerlyn


Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer seemed frustrated with the defense at times last year.  In fact, one aspect of the team’s defense seemed like a particular sore point for the former defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach: the height of his cornerbacks.

Nov 30, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings cornerback Captain Munnerlyn (24) laughs while preparing for the game against the Carolina Panthers at TCF Bank Stadium. The Vikings win 31-13. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

The first real big comment from Mike Zimmer came following the contest between the Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears last year, when the taller wide receivers of the Bears absolutely tore up the Minnesota defense.  He said “I can’t make these guys taller.”  Then, prior to the 2015 NFL Draft, Zimmer repeated his statement about the height of his cornerbacks, saying “You can probably write it down that we’re not going to take any 5’9″ corners here.”

While those words made complete sense to Minnesota Vikings fans and sounded like a solid approach to improving the defense, they weren’t encouraging words to everyone.  According to an article on the 1500 ESPN website, at least one of the cornerbacks on the current roster heard those words and took them personally.

"“I took it a little bit personal,” Minnesota Vikings cornerback Captain Munnerlyn said. “At the same time, they came and got me last year in free agency. So, 5’9″. What can I say, I just live with it, go out there and play football.”"

Captain Munnerlyn played a huge role in the team’s defense last season, playing over 1,000 defensive snaps.  He shows the physical ability to be a strong and effective cornerback when not physically outmatched.  He plays bigger than his size, but even he can be overshadowed by the massive wide receivers and tight ends in the NFL today.

With the drafting of Michigan State cornerback Trae Waynes and emergence of Xavier Rhodes under Mike Zimmer, the Minnesota Vikings have two taller cornerbacks in place and can now have some more flexibility with Munnerlyn and the other smaller cornerbacks on the team’s roster.

Fans seemed disappointed in his 2014 campaign which found him netting two interceptions, defending four passes, and accumulating 60 total tackles while playing in all 16 games for the team last year.  Hopefully, being able to be used in different situations can help Munnerlyn be more effective for the Minnesota Vikings.

Next: Minnesota Vikings 2015 Game By Game Previews

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