Thursday, June 30, 2016

Defense

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Terence Newman Wants to Re-Sign
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press is reporting a source close to Terence Newman said the 37-year-old cornerback wants to return for another season with the Vikings.

Newman signed a one-year, $2.25 million contract before last season, and will become an unrestricted free agent on March 9. Up to this point, he has declined to say if he will retire or return for another year. If he does play in 2016, he will be the oldest defensive player in the NFL.

It’s likely the Vikings would welcome Newman back with open arms. He’s a Mike Zimmer favorite, and while he isn’t the same player he once was physically, Newman played well as a starter in 2015 and provided critical veteran leadership at corner. Ideally, he would step into a smaller role next season—similar to what we’ve seen with Chad Greenway—while Trae Waynes or another player assumes the starting job and Newman is relied on for depth and versatility.

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Photo provided courtesy of Vikings.com

Don’t you love the NFL offseason?  If you thought the wait for the NFL draft was bad, we’re currently experiencing the worst part of the year for football fans. For those finding ways to supplement your withdraws with another type of football, I’m jealous. For myself, in hopes of filling the void, I’ve watched and re-watched the practice highlights looking for something to stand out.  I’ve also done a great deal of thinking around the current depth chart, trying to predict where the 2014 Vikings will make their greatest strides.

When looking at a defense full of holes in 2013, it isn’t difficult to identify the area in need of the largest improvement. Second to only the Philadelphia Eagles, the Vikings ranked 31st in total passing defense in 2013, surrendering an average of 287 yards through the air per game. To throw salt on the wound, the Vikings allowed 37 passing TDs and a completion percentage of 64.7%, a completion percentage so high that only 6 quarterbacks averaged a higher number for the 2013 season.

The Vikings secondary wasn’t just the weakest spot on the field, it made an opposing quarterback look like a pro bowler week in and week out.

The defensive collapses were frustrating to watch. Each week, fans watched in agony as the defense gave up more 3rd & long completions, some of which cost the Vikings wins and ultimately cost Head Coach Leslie Frazier and staff their jobs. There is no quick fix for a defensive unit as broken as the Vikings secondary. Was it the scheme or the personnel? Let’s take a closer look at how General Manager Rick Spielman has addressed the troubled secondary entering the 2014 season.

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