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Brian Robison Helping Groom Danielle Hunter for Bigger Role

Brian Robison knows it's all hands on deck this season for the Vikings.

The 10-season defensive end recently talked with Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press about youngster Danielle Hunter, a second-season defensive end whom Robison is helping mentor on and off the field.

Robison said he'll do whatever it takes to make sure the Vikings defense has success.

*The Vikings will look to get Hunter on the field more this season than the 392 snaps he had in 2015. Hunter really came on at the end of last year, having [3.5 of his 6.0] sacks in the final four games. *

*Increased time from Hunter could come at the expense of Robison, who was second on the defense last year with 898 snaps. Robison is willing to be versatile to help the situation. *

"If you look at it, Danielle is on our starting nickel, so he technically is a starter (already),'' Robison said. "It's all relative of how you look at it.

"Like I said, for me it's about winning the Super Bowl. And if that means I've got to kick down inside, do some rushes inside and give our team the best opportunity to have the best four rushers that we can have, if it means that I've got to play some linebacker stuff and things like that, then I've got to do that.''

Robison tallied 5.0 sacks in 2015, the fourth season of his career he had at least that many in a season.

Vensel: Vikings defense looks the part in first day of pads

Matt Vensel of the *Star Tribune *posted some news and notes from Sunday's practice, the first one the Vikings held in full pads.

Vensel said Minnesota's defense, a group that allowed just 18.9 points per game last season, looked the part early on.

(Vikings Head Coach Mike) Zimmer's defense won this day, in large part due to his defensive line, which could be one of the NFL's best this season. The front four often got a jump on an offensive line that is being shuffled daily. The Vikings continue to rotate at center and right tackle when their first-team offense is on the field. (Sunday), it was John Sullivan and Andre Smith at those positions, respectively.

Vensel also noticed an ironic connection as former Wisconsin quarterback Joel Stave and former Minnesota wide receiver Isaac Fruechte, who hail from rival Big10 schools, connected for a deep touchdown pass.

(Stave) did produce one of Sunday's highlights, though, when he connected with former Gophers wide receiver Isaac Fruechte on a deep ball down the right sideline. That throw was wobbly, but it was on the money as Fruechte beat cornerback Melvin White for a long touchdown.

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