Last week, Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said he was hoping Week 2 of the preseason would be a âbigâ week for the four strong safeties he said he wanted to take a look at.
Based on one of Zimmerâs press conference answers earlier today, it sounds like it wasnât a big week for Chris Crocker, Kurt Coleman, Andrew Sendejo and Jamarca Sanford.
Reminded that he mentioned those four specifically heading into the Cardinals game, Zimmer was asked his thoughts after the 30-28 win on Saturday.
âThere was Crocker, when he was in there, he didnât get a lot of action,â Zimmer said. âColeman did some good things, he missed a tackle. Sendejo did some good things when he was down close to the line of scrimmage.
âBut for me evaluating the safety is not when they are down by the line of scrimmage. Itâs when they are back and when they have to cover guys and when they have to get in there and we didnât get in as many of those situations the other night as I had hoped, whether it was because of what they were doing or what they were calling.â
Zimmer was interrupted with another question before he got to Sanford.
Later, Zimmer was asked what he looks for in a strong safety.
âAbout the same as the free safety,â he said. âI mean, we try to be interchangeable the best we can. Our guys have to be up in run support, they have to be back in coverage, they have to be able to get on some slot receivers, they have to be able to blitz.
âWe arenât looking for one-dimensional guys. Weâre not looking for the old in-the-box safeties. Then they have to have intelligence. Really, we want all of our guys back there to be basically the same guys.â
Robert Blanton, who was handed the job to lose at the start of camp, returns to practice today for the first time since pulling a hamstring during the fourth practice. Heâll join the others at a position thatâs still open.
If one had to venture an educated guess, Crocker would be the frontrunner because heâs been with Zimmer going on eight seasons and has essentially come out of retirement three straight years to play for him.
Of course, Zimmer first has to determine how much is left in Crockerâs 34-year-old legs.