Vikings Defensive Coordinator Alan Williams met with reporters after Monday morning’s walk-through and made an interesting, common sense disclosure. He explained that some of his second team defenders can expect to get some playing time with the first team defense on Sunday night in San Francisco.
“You want to see if a guy can execute against good-on-good, and I think that’s one of the things that we’ll try to do this week is make sure the guys that we are looking at get good-on-good,” Williams said. “Believe me, the 49ers have enough depth in their roster that we’re going to get good-on-good with our first two groups.”
It makes sense when you think about it. First off, not every starting spot has been decided on the Vikings defense. And for the positions that have been decided, it’s nearly as important to have a quality backup in place behind that starter because football is a game of attrition and you can never have enough quality depth. The best way to tell if a potential backup has the ability to fill in as a starter in a pinch is to have that backup play against starters to see how he handles his responsibilities – that’s what Williams referred to when he said “good on good.”
So who are the guys who can expect to get some spot duty with the starters? Williams wouldn’t mention anyone specifically.
“Just our second-team unit that we’d like to see them get some spot duty in good-on-good,” Williams said. “Not anybody specifically, but we look to see when a guy makes a play, who it’s against and what the matchups are to see if a guy can execute against some of the better or some of the first and second-team guys.”
While Williams won’t offer any names, the rest of us can take a guess at a few of them. How about linebacker
Williams was asked about all three of those players, so we’ll provide his commentary on each of them below. But I’m also curious who the fans think could provide the Vikings with quality depth behind starters. Which “bubble” players do you want to see play with the starters in Sunday night’s game? Let us know by leaving your thoughts in the comments section below this entry…
On Desmond Bishop: “He played well. There were some plays where he played downhill. He had some good tackles and I think if you talk with him he’ll tell you there were some plays that he left out there on the field which can be expected with the first extensive full action that he’s had. What we are looking for is to see if he can improve on those things that he didn’t do so well and correct those and get better. That’s really with all of the guys, can they improve this week with a full week of game planning knowing typically what we’ll see and execute the defense?”
On Bobby Felder: “He didn’t have a lot of coverage plays or a lot of pass plays that were at him in terms of coverage. He was in the nickel spot and that’s where I think Bobby flourished, being inside. He had a couple of tackles, a couple of hustle plays and that’s what you’re looking for, not specifically one thing in terms of coverage. We just want to see if a guy’s in place when we call the defense, when he has a play at him, can he make the play? Bobby made the plays that were at him. Now we always say that if we give you two reps and you make two good plays, we’ll give you four reps and see if you can make two more plays. And if you did well, we’ll give you two more. We’ll see if we can get Bobby some more reps to see how he does.”
On Marcus Sherels: “They call Sherels the machine or the mechanic. He comes in and he functions and he functions well. The neat thing is he’s a dependable guy, special teams, on defense, inside, outside. We kind of know what we have there, we have a dependable guy that can make plays for us. So we feel good about Sherels also in every phase that he plays for us.”
Also, here are a few observations from Monday’s practice…
-- Left tackle
-- Bishop played well on Friday night and many expect that he’ll eventually be the starter after signing with the Vikings as a free agent just before training camp, but
-- A guy who we don’t mention much in this space is safety