Vikings cornerback Captain Munnerlyn tackled wide receiver Chris Givens 17 yards shy of a first down marker, forcing the Rams to punt with five minutes left in the third.
Munnerlyn jumped up and held his fist up at the Rams bench, signifying the fourth down stop to the opposing team.
“That’s just me,” Munnerlyn said this week. “Everybody knows that just Captain.”
That’s just how the Mobile, Ala. native plays, and has always played, the game. Munnerlyn has been a known trash talker and one of the few among the Vikings corners, a position known to have confident players like Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, Patriots cornerback Darrelle Revis and Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson.
“I always talk a little bit,” Munnerlyn said. ‘I always try not to let guys get in my head, so I just got to say something back. I let my play do the talking, especially when I make a couple plays I’m going to let you know about.”
While players on both sides were getting chirpy last week, Munnerlyn did a lot of talking. The 26-year old and oldest starter in the secondary felt he backed it up, however, as the Vikings didn’t allow a touchdown in the 34-6 victory.
“When guys start talking to me, I feel like I have to make a play,” Munnerlyn said. “That’s how I make them shut up and make them respect my game.”
Heck, Munnerlyn even will jab at his teammates, referencing his previous matchups against the Vikings as a member of the Panthers for his first five seasons in the NFL.
“I had to let them know about that,” Munnerlyn said. “Even when we played those guys, I had to let them know. ‘I was in Carolina, we did you like this.’”
Whether it’s wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson or Givens, in last week’s case, Munnerlyn will open his mouth after plays and get in his comfort zone.
Hate it or love it, that’s just Captain.