Defensive systems require players to deploy unique techniques to fit within the scheme. Vikings nose tackle Linval Joseph, a free agent signee in 2014 after four seasons with the Giants, is adjusting his approach, and Head Coach Mike Zimmer said Joseph's play Sunday against the Lions helped the defense perform better as a unit than it did the week before against the Packers.
View images from the Wednesday, October 15 practice at Winter Park.
Mark Craig of the Star-Tribune writes about Joseph's adjustment here:
We hear the word "technique" so many times that most of us are numb to what it actually means in NFL terms.
"Most people don't know what you're talking about," Vikings nose tackle Linval Joseph said. "People just think you get sacks, you throw touchdowns. But everybody from quarterbacks to kickers got to have a proper technique to play this game. If you do it 110 percent the way you're supposed to do it, it shows up in the game."
There's a reason Vikings coach Mike Zimmer singled out Joseph in his opening statement at Monday's news conference. And it went beyond Joseph's season-high eight tackles, career high six quarterback pressures and half a sack in Sunday's 17-3 loss to the Lions.
It had more to do with Joseph committing himself to Zimmer's technique. The Vikings as an organization weren't happy with how some of their defenders freelanced or reverted to previous techniques while being embarrassed 42-10 by the Packers on national television on Oct. 2. Joseph, who spent the past four years with the Giants, was one of the primary offenders at Lambeau Field.
"Every week, I feel like I'm getting better at the technique that's taught here," Joseph said. "Sometimes, I revert to things I did four or five years ago because I've been doing it that way all my life."
The technique for a Giants nose tackle is opposite from the technique Zimmer preaches. In New York, the tackles were taught to penetrate gaps. Here, they're taught to get their hands on the blocker and create a firm wall that closes gaps, takes away cutback angles and allows linebackers to flow freely.
Joseph told Craig he committed to the technique against Detroit and saw how it helped the defensive unit and himself make plays.
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