Carl: Defensive Line
I try not to get overly excited about preseason games, but the Vikings’ defensive front certainly impressed me the most in the Hall of Fame Game. Andre Patterson is entering his second season as the defensive line coach for the Vikings, and he just might have all the pieces in place to consistently control the line of scrimmage on any given Sunday. Last season, the Vikings front four featured three new starters in Everson Griffen, Sharrif Floyd and Linval Joseph. After one preseason game this year, I’m beginning to believe the sky might be the limit for this talented unit. Tom Johnson, Shamar Stephen, Justin Trattou and Danielle Hunter are also playing very solid football, which will tempt Mike Zimmer to actively rotate guys during the regular season. Like I said, it’s only a preseason game, but I liked seeing the quickness off the snap, active hands, and the physicality to collapse the pocket and close running lanes.
Brent: Jabari Price
I’m not sure I’d use the word “impressed,” but the player who flashed for me was Jabari Price. Going into training camp, I was unsure of Price’s fit with the team – especially with a two-game suspension looming. However, Price’s play against Pittsburgh caught my eye mostly because he seemed to play faster and with more physicality than I remember last year. Now that Price is on the radar, I am interested to see how far he can push Captain Munnerlyn. We know Zimmer likes Price’s versatility, but can he be trusted enough to play full time in the slot? Munnerlyn seems to be in an odd spot with this team, and thoughts about him being an early-season cut linger.