Linval Joseph happy to have Shamar Stephen back with the Vikings

(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) Linval Joseph
(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) Linval Joseph /

Linval Joseph is well aware of what defensive tackle Shamar Stephen brings to the Minnesota Vikings and is excited about reuniting with his former teammate.

When the Minnesota Vikings let defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson walk in free agency this offseason, the question of who would fill the massive gap at defensive tackle was one the team needed to address.

Thankfully, the franchise was able to bring back a former starter who had some success with both the Vikings and the Seattle Seahawks when they brought back Shamar Stephen, who wore purple and gold for four seasons.

While he may not have the same kind of name recognition as Sheldon Richardson, Stephen brings a lot to the table for Minnesota. Plus, he has one member of the team’s defensive line excited about his return.

According to SKOR North, “The Big Goon” Linval Joseph is quite excited about the return of his former teammate and spoke about what it means to have him back with the Minnesota Vikings.

"“Shamar is my guy. The last four years he’s with us, last year he’s with Seattle, him coming back and bringing back that presence. He’s another guy who loves to coach too. He will help all the young guys to be as good as him because we need each other.”"

That’s quite a bit of praise coming from one of the more celebrated nose tackles in the NFL. The fact that Joseph knows his recently returning fellow defensive lineman well and understands what to expect could be a huge benefit since they can play off that familiarity.

Linval believes that having Stephen back in the lineup will be a big help this year, praising his work against the run in Mike Zimmer’s defense. But he does so much more than that and Joseph continued to heap compliments on him.

"“He does a lot of things that don’t really get credit. He’s a big part of this team. He was the last four years. We got far when Shamar was here, last year we took a step back because we didn’t have Shamar. Having him back, leadership, him being in the room, his effort every day, we’re a better team.”"

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The signing of Shamar Stephen may have gone under the radar for fans of the Minnesota Vikings with all the big names changing places this offseason, but that doesn’t mean bringing the defensive tackle back won’t have a huge impact of the team’s defense this coming season.