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Additional Minnesota Viking Commentary

Larry Bird played the early part of his career at small forward.  In time, as he aged, he was moved to power forward, where even though he lost a step, he was still faster than his counterpart at power forward.  The point here is that the Vikings find themselves at a cross roads with both Cedric Griffen & Antoine Winfield and both of these unquestioned savvy players need to be moved to safety.  Griffin, as strong safety, to cover these sizable tight ends and Winfield at free safety as a multiple threat.  Let's not forget that when Griffin was drafted from Texas, he came to us as a safety.  It's in his blood.
There is no doubt that the weakest part of our team is the secondary.  Winfield has been on the injured list for two years now ... raising the red flag to jettison the problem and Griffen may have lost a step, like Bird. There is great pressure to toss the baby out with the bath water however both of these players are under contract and both can help us by maximizing their utility within this organization.  It all starts with ... this is how you can help this team.    What is without doubt is that when it comes to tackling ... they are both monsters out there ... an immeasurable commodity.
Winfield has always thrived in the center of the field in the nickel package, where his future has been projected however, his body-age exposes this plan as folly.  It's time to tap into and utilize his entire repertoire of experiences to confound the defensive look.  Winfield, in this free safety role adds, multiple complexities to the defensive scheme.  The quarterback will have to account for him as a part of a safety blitz package (Philadelphia), as a cover safety playing nickel, and as the deep zone safety.  This new free safety role adds a completely new level of complexity to the insertion of Everson Griffen into the defensive scheme.  It also removes a good deal of running back hits absorbed at the second level, adding to Winfield's longevity and more importantly, the probability of finishing a season.  Griffen, Griffin, & Winfield adds an unforeseen savvy skill set of complexity that includes coverage, combined with a menacing multiple threats.  It would present a completely different level that does not exist anywhere throughout the league.  These players are actively looking to regenerate their level of play back into the stratosphere, knowing that time is not on their side, and it is unequivocal that solidifying the middle in this way will do that very thing.  The bottom line is that age & treachery will defeat youth and skill every time ... and these two guys hold the key.    
What is undeniable is that both of these players are monsters when it comes to open field tackling, which bodes very well for the Vikings at safety.  Running backs reaching the second level want no part of either of these cats as they both are way too savvy at taking care of business.  More importantly, both have clearly demonstrated their football sense in general-ing the secondary.  Sound corner play comes from a strength up the center of the field.  The real in poor play quickly, there's nothing like a shot in the jaw from a player that's already battled in the trenches.

As for the corners, the draft might provide one (1) solid side to align with the hopeful return of Cook.   Allen & the return of the couched Sapp would be solid under the nickel & dime packages.  
The Viking Ghost Writer
January 12, 2012