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Lunch Break, August 20: Zimmer Hoping To Find Right Balance On Defense

Posted Aug 20, 2014

Zimmer tries to balance sturdy and exotic Defense

Despite playing in only two preseason games thus far, new Head Coach Mike Zimmer has already shown glimpses of what the Vikings revamped defense can do. Ben Goessling of ESPN profiled the defense and it’s new look here:

Anthony Barr has played linebacker, rushed the quarterback standing up and moved into a defensive end position on passing downs. Everson Griffen has played left end and right end. Brian Robison has rushed from the left end spot and moved inside. The Vikings have dropped several different linemen into coverage, they've shown a three-safety package in their nickel defense and they've been unafraid to blitz safeties like Harrison Smith.

There's probably more coming, from a coach who sent a defensive back on a blitz 75 times while he was the Cincinnati Bengals' defensive coordinator last year, according to ESPN Stats & Information. That figure was the 10th-highest in the league, and was nearly double the number of times (41) the Vikings blitzed a cornerback or safety. But as effective -- and as entertaining -- as different looks can be, Zimmer says he won't overdo it to the point he runs the risk of diluting a player's focus.

Look for Zimmer to continue to show a little more variety during the third preseason game this Saturday against the Kansas City Chiefs while the starters are expected to play a longer than the first two contests.

Quick Hitters

- Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway and wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson lent a hand to Star Tribune’s Mark Craig and Matt Vensel for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

- Brian Murphy of the Pioneer Press writes about the Vikings two-minute drill against Cardinals.

- Take a look into Viking Update’s Tim Yotter’s notebook, including Adrian Peterson won’t play in the preseason.