E Point Perfect – Interesting and beneficial content

How Improved Is the Vikings Defense?


Jul 28, 2021; Englewood, CO, United States; Denver Broncos defensive coordinator Ed Donatell. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

After missing the playoffs for the second consecutive year, the Minnesota Vikings have made plenty of changes.

Among those changes was bringing in a new coaching staff. Their new defensive coordinator Ed Donatell will be running a 3-4 scheme, which the Vikings have not done since the 1980s.

Mike Zimmer was the team’s head coach for the past eight seasons and was always known for his defensive pedigree. In the past two years, though, Minnesota’s defense was amongst the worst in the league (30th overall last season and 27th the previous season). Not all that was on Zimmer, though. The injuries, especially Danielle Hunter missing all of the 2020 season and 10 games last season, played a role too.

Danielle Hunter's Impact on Vikings Defense Is Flabbergasting
Dec 23, 2019; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings defensive end Danielle Hunter. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sport.

Having Hunter healthy will be one of the keys to the defense this year. The team also signed linebackers Za’Darius Smith and Jordan Hicks, cornerback Chandon Sullivan. and defensive tackle Harrison Phillips. All nice additions, and maybe rookies Lewis Cine and Andrew Booth Jr could become good players too.

Minnesota did, however, lose Xavier Woods, who had a nice 2021 season. Camryn Bynum looked good in the two games he filled in for Harrison Smith. He and Cine should make for great competition at the other safety spot next to Smith.

Lewis Cine Got Tricked
Georgia safety Lewis Cine, who played at Everett High, was taken with the 32nd and final pick in the first round of the NFL Draft by the Vikings. BRETT DAVIS/ASSOCIATED PRESS

How improved will this defense be compared to the past two years? That will be very interesting to find out. If they can stay healthy for the most part, they could be a top-15 unit. It also depends on how fast the players pick up on the new scheme. New schemes take time to learn. Smith and Sullivan know the 3-4 defense from their Green Bay Packer days. If Hunter is healthy, can he be just as good in the 3-4? Either way, having him healthy would be a huge help.

It is hard to imagine this unit being amongst the worst once again this season. Crazy things happen in this league, though, especially with all the injuries. Top-15 is a possibility. Top-10 at the moment does not seem like a possibility, but again it is a crazy and unpredictable league.

In the end, changes were necessary for this franchise. We will see how those changes will go.


Source link

Related posts

Alas, Vikings Have Franchise TE.

There’s Trouble in Cheese Land

Kirk Cousins “Sent Home” from Practice

Today’s NFL Players Don’t Really Know How Good They Have It with Much Easier Training Camps

Former Vikings Coach Joins Falcons

Another Viking Earns Pro Bowl Kudos