Linval Joseph excited for a new role with the Chargers

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

During the 2016 and 2017 seasons with the Minnesota Vikings, Linval Joseph was able to rack up a total of 7.5 sacks and 27 quarterback hits. But during the last two years, Joseph was only able to accumulate four sacks and 10 quarterback hits.

Now, there were multiple factors that contributed to the former Vikings defensive tackle seeing a decline in his pass-rushing production during the last two seasons.

Not only did Joseph have to deal with a few different injuries, but Minnesota also utilized him less in passing situations. Instead, the Vikings went with a more youthful pass-rushing package that resulted in the veteran defensive lineman watching from the sidelines.

The former Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle is excited to rush the passer more.

Joseph is now with the Los Angeles Chargers and a big reason why he chose to sign with them is the opportunity to be a pass-rusher more than he has in the recent past with Minnesota.

The former Vikings defensive tackle recently revealed what the Chargers told him during their efforts to sign him.

"“They’re saying just be ready to pin your ears back and get after that quarterback. I’m very excited about that. My whole career, I’ve been waiting for an opportunity to do that, and I finally got the okay that that’s what I’m going to be doing more than just being an absorber. I’m excited to put my hand down and kick my foot back and get off the ball like I used to do in college.”"

Despite Joseph’s excitement, expectations for his performance in 2020 should still be kept fairly low. While he’s still a massive force in the middle of the defensive line, he’s certainly not the game-changing type of player he was just a few seasons ago with Minnesota.

Perhaps a change of scenery could be what Joseph needs though. If Los Angeles can figure out a way to get the most out of the veteran defensive tackle in 2020, then he’ll be worth the $9.5 million they’re paying him this year.

Joseph was a great defensive tackle for the Vikings during his tenure in the Twin Cities. If Minnesota wasn’t desperate to create cap space this offseason, they probably would have kept him around for at least another year.

But the Vikings needed money and they obviously felt comfortable enough about their defensive line depth to send Joseph packing. For the first time since 2013, Minnesota’s starting defense won’t feature the big, 329-pound defensive tackle.

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Will he be able to revitalize his career with the Chargers? Or will his performance in 2020 signal his time in the league is coming to a close sooner than later?