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July 20, 2004

Linebackers

donthom.jpg
Please Mr. Thomas, don't hurt me!
One thing I am sick of hearing about is the "question mark" people claim the Vikings linebackers will be this year. Truthfully, I will take this "question mark" over last year's pathetic squad any day. Consider last year the Vikings started Chris Claiborne (a decent player who should have a better year), Henri Crockett (thank goodness we've already released him, what a stiff), and Greg Biekert. Now, I will agree that Biekert was an intelligent player and that he provided a healthy amount of leadership to the team as a whole, but he was the slowest linebacker I have ever seen. Seriously, he couldn't stop a running play to the outside if he was told what play the other team was running and he was given a two week head start. It was painful to watch.

Given that last year's linebacker corp was so awful, we should expect a great deal of improvement this year. I mean, there is only one way to go compared to last year, and that is up. Sure, our linebackers are young, but they are fresh. I also have a feeling that this Tabu nightclub fiasco will serve to motivate Henderson and Nattiel to prove their critics wrong. Henderson especially. According to some NFL scouts, Henderson really excelled in nickel situations last year, and that while there may be some growing pains with his new role as starter he should be fine over the long run.

Having said all of this, the guy I am really looking forward to watching is Dontarrious Thomas. Again, according to NFL scouts Thomas has great range, is fast (he was nicknamed "Reindeer"), and is a great open field tackler. So, to recap, we have Claiborne to solidify the unit, Thomas and Nattiel on the other side, and Henderson to man the middle. And apparently we have Rod Davis to back him up. Really, I don't worry about this year's young talent. Anything will be an improvement over last year.

Posted by snackeru at July 20, 2004 7:30 AM | Vikings

Comments

I agree. While the linebackers might be a little young, I think they will play with energy. I loved Biekert, but agree that he was incredibly slow. One of my fondest Viking memories was seeing him intercept Favre two times in 2002. With the improved defense, and a healthy Moss, the NFC North is ours! Skol Vikings!

Curt in Grand Forks (who reminds everyone that the road to the Super Bowl begins in Mankato in 10 days!)

Posted by: Curt Hanson at July 20, 2004 8:36 AM

Methinks you doth protest too much on the linebackers Shane. An unproven bunch with their what, 4th defensive coordinator in 4 years? Not going to cut it this year. I see them struggling while trying to grasp the system. Also, that is a really pathetic cut and paste job on the Favre head. But much like the Vikings team, you are passing off an obviously defective product and then touting how great it is.

Curt, the road to the SuperBowl does go through Mankato indeed. You can drive on US-14E to I-35 to US-18 to IA-27S and head in a general southeasterly direction and eventually the road will lead you to Jacksonville, where you can watch the Packers play and win the Super Bowl.

Posted by: Cheesehead Craig at July 21, 2004 12:20 PM

Hey Shane, I think that you and I, along with a carton of eggs, need to visit Cheesehead Craig's house following the Viking victory over the Pathetic Packers on Christmas Eve! Nothing says "Holiday Spirit" quite like egging the house of a Packer Backer!

Curt in Grand Forks

Posted by: Curt Hanson at July 21, 2004 3:49 PM

Yes, Curt, good idea. Packer backers like egg nog don't they? It will be extra fresh for Cheesehead Craig on Christmas Eve!

Posted by: Shane at July 21, 2004 4:18 PM

Wow, have to say that I am stunned at the total lack of class by you two that you would egg my house. I shouldn't be too surprised though. Shane does work at the U of M, where rioting and destruction of property are not only condoned, but one can actually minor in them.

Posted by: Cheesehead Craig at July 21, 2004 9:05 PM

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