Emmanuel Lamur is in his second year with the Vikings after spending his first four seasons with the Bengals.
Lamur has taken advantage of opportunity, earning a job with Cincinnati in 2012 as an undrafted free agent out of Kansas State, during which time Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer was the Bengals defensive coordinator.
A signee of Minnesota's during the 2016 offseason, Lamur has played in 29 games for Minnesota, mostly on special teams and as a reserve linebacker.
Born in West Palm Beach, Florida, Lamur is of Haitian heritage and has made helping people in the impoverished nation a priority. He also has a passion for giving — time, money and advice for young people — closer to home year-round.
Ironically, Lamur's most impactful play of 2017 involved taking. Lamur recovered a punt that was muffed by Browns punt returner Bryce Treggs.
The play led to Minnesota's first score at Twickenham Stadium and kept Cleveland from building momentum after an early score.
We caught up with "E-Man" for a Timeout.
Q: How are Coach Zimmer and Bengals Head Coach Marvin Lewis most alike?
A: They're both competitors, they both want to win and they care about their guys. They expect everything from each player: to come out, practice hard and give it their all on the field. They're both defensive coaches, so they take pride in that side of the football. Aggressive, gap-sound, technique-sound, all of those things.
Q: What's the biggest difference between Coach Zimmer and Coach Lewis?
A: Wow, I've never really emphasized that. I think Coach Zimmer is "old school," right? But Marvin Lewis is the same way. They're different in their coaching style but have a lot in common.
Q: When you started working with Coach Zimmer, did you think he'd become a good head coach someday?
A: He was already a good coach. Now, he's becoming one of the greatest in my eye. He just continues to get smarter and smarter each year. That's what it's about. I'm sure he takes pride in his job, and he expects that out of us, too, to get better when we're on the field. You see it throughout the years. The numbers don't lie.
He continues to build the team and have a successful year and bring everyone together, not just the players but also the coaching staff. He does a marvelous job of learning the game and [sharing his wisdom] so we can see what he sees and … not just going out there and playing, but understanding why we're calling certain plays in certain situations, what we're expecting on this down, out of this formation, all of the things that come into play, "These are the things that matter." He's a great teacher.
Q: Anthony Barr hasn't missed much time, but you've filled in for him a bit. How have you stayed ready?
A:Not only staying ready physically but mentally, just taking in every detail because when you're a backup, you don't really get as many reps. That means you've really got to be attentive to the little things, pay attention to details and technique. … It's definitely been a challenge, but at the same time, it's been humbling for me. I want the best for them, and we're doing well right now. I can definitely say we've done a good job and the coaches have done a great job of coaching each and every individual, not just the starters. Salute to the coaches for that.
Q: You've played a bigger role on special teams. What was it like to recover the fumble by the Browns in London?
A: Coach Zim' always emphasizes for special teams players to make plays. Not just offense or defense but complementary football: offense, defense and special teams. We take pride on special teams, just coming out here and giving an opportunity for our team to win. Special teams play a major role in field position and all of the things that come with it.
Q: You have a twin brother, Samuel. What was it like to grow up a twin?
A: It was amazing, just getting twin jokes, but it's definitely been a blessing. I definitely feel special. He's helped me out with life, too, having a partner to share life with, play football with, play video games with. Little things like that matter. I had a brother who was always there alongside me.
Q: What has it been like to create the bond within this team and have this season?
A: It's definitely been a blessing. It's been a lot of learning experiences. This year has been one of the greatest because we're close as teammates and we do everything out of love and believe in each other; not only that, but we hold each other accountable and expect each individual to get his job done. Once we come together, nobody can break us, because when a team is together, we have each other's back. We not only perform on Sundays but in practice. It all starts in practice. This has started since OTAs, coming together, doing [off-field] activities together and just learning about one another. It wasn't just always about football. It was about coming together and sharing life. That puts trust in one another. We're really close together, and one of our biggest things that we do here is take pride in saying, "family," because family comes together in good times and bad times. I truly believe that's what brings us closer together, being vulnerable with one another.
Q: Describe what your goals are with The Lamur Charity (thelamurcharity.org).
A: It's empowering kids through [teaching] life skills and helping out kids in need. A majority of them are orphans and kids that are unable to sign up for a team or anything like that. Our charity is an extra boost. We give these kids hope and have guys from the pros come out and share wisdom with these kids because we know the youth is the future. It's only right to share my wisdom and knowledge with these kids. What good does it do if I'm holding everything in? It doesn't make the world better, so I definitely believe in the youth and helping out people.
I'm big with my faith also. I try to share the Gospel with them, too. We talk to different athletic directors and commissioners to find out what we can do long-term to help these kids through life and education. At the end of the day, we have to be there for them. Sometimes these kids lose hope and lose focus. We try to teach them to not lose focus in life. Always uplift them and let them know that God has blessed each and every individual in this world to become something in life and to have an impact in this life.
Q: It's clear that you have an authentic, giving heart. When did that start for you?
A:I always felt since I was a kid, just having grace for others and compassion. Sometimes they just want to be heard. I felt like I was called in this world to serve. I love doing it because football has helped me out so much with different cultures and learning how to interact with different individuals and everybody coming from a different family dynamic and different places. It opened my mind to a lot of things, and I'm just so grateful for that because I have an opportunity to use this platform and share and manifest that, love and exemplify that, the body of Christ to these people and also to the players.
I really believe the world is going to become a better place. We just have to love on one another. As long as we instill that on to people and live by faith — not just saying it but also living by it. At the end of the day, people want to see what you're doing. If you exemplify that and show them that you love them … uplift them, use encouraging words, call them here and there. Maybe they just need somebody to talk to or anything like that. It's always been in my subconscious to give back and help and apply my wisdom and share what I've been through and what's helped me out. The kids are the future, and they matter. Everybody matters. It doesn't matter who you are, Latino, Hispanic, black, white, purple. We're all one, and I truly believe that. I'm all about love and just giving back.