And the blitzes.
"It will depend on the game plans, but, yeah, I probably do call more blitzes" than predecessors Mike Tomlin and current Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier, said defensive coordinator Fred Pagac. "That's a part of what I do."
Pagac's signature game came as interim defensive coordinator at Philadelphia last Dec. 28.
The Eagles were in the hunt for a first-round bye in the playoffs. Quarterback Michael Vick still was an NFL MVP candidate. And the Vikings were out of the playoffs and stuck in a hotel an extra two days because of the weather-delayed game.
The final score was stunning and went a long way toward removing the interim tags for Frazier and Pagac. With Pagac throwing every blitz he could think of at Vick, the 14-point underdog Vikings won 24-14, bouncing back from a 40-14 loss to the Bears the week before.
Vick had three turnovers while being sacked six times and knocked down eight more. Cornerback Antoine Winfield was a relentless rusher off the edge, finishing with two sacks, a strip and a fumble return for a touchdown.
"That," Winfield said, "was a lot of fun."
The Vikings won't abandon a core philosophy that relies on their front four to rush the passer while the back seven plays a disciplined zone coverage. But Pagac -- the man they call "Pug" -- will be looking for reasons to blitz more, whether it's blitzes to disrupt an elite passer or zone blitzes to break the rhythm of a strong running game.
"You don't want to just blitz to blitz," said Pagac, a 34-year coaching veteran entering his 11th season in the NFL. "There's a reason for it. That depends on the game plan."
And, sometimes, the personality of the coordinator.
|Philadelphia - WP: R. Hernandez||2||FINAL|
|Washington - LP: D. Fister||1|
|Seattle - LP: R. Elias||1||FINAL|
|Baltimore - WP: W. Chen||2|
|Texas - LP: J. Williams||2||FINAL|
|Cleveland - WP: D. Salazar||12|
|Colorado - LP: F. Morales||2||FINAL|
|Detroit - WP: J. Verlander||4|
|Cincinnati - WP: M. Latos||5||FINAL|
|Miami - LP: J. Cosart||2|
|San Francisco - WP: R. Vogelsong||5||FINAL|
|NY Mets - LP: J. Niese||1|
|LA Angels - WP: M. Shoemaker||5||FINAL|
|Tampa Bay - LP: J. Hellickson||3|
|NY Yankees - LP: C. Capuano||3||FINAL|
|Boston - WP: A. Ranaudo||4|
|Minnesota - LP: C. Fien||8||FINAL|
|Chicago WSox - WP: J. Guerra||10|
|Toronto - LP: A. Loup||1||FINAL|
|Houston - WP: J. Veras||3|
|Milwaukee - WP: W. Peralta||7||FINAL|
|St. Louis - LP: A. Wainwright||4|
|Kansas City - WP: J. Guthrie||1||FINAL|
|Oakland - LP: S. Gray||0|
|Pittsburgh - WP: T. Watson||9||FINAL|
|Arizona - LP: B. Schultz||4|
|Atlanta - LP: M. Minor||1||FINAL|
|San Diego - WP: E. Stults||10|
|Chicago Cubs - WP: K. Hendricks||8||FINAL|
|Los Angeles - LP: D. Haren||2|
|NY Giants||8/3/14 7:00 PM|
|Indianapolis||8/7/14 6:00 PM|
|San Francisco||8/7/14 6:30 PM|
|New England||8/7/14 6:30 PM|
|Cincinnati||8/7/14 7:00 PM|
|Seattle||8/7/14 8:00 PM|
|Dallas||8/7/14 9:00 PM|
|Sporting Kansas City||1|
|Saskatchewan||8/2/14 6:00 PM|
|Saskatchewan||8/7/14 7:30 PM|
|Edmonton||8/8/14 6:00 PM|
|Hamilton||8/8/14 9:00 PM|
|Ottawa||8/9/14 6:30 PM|
|Winnipeg||8/12/14 6:30 PM|
|Aug 8 - vs. Oakland||7 pm|
|Aug 16 - vs. Arizona||7:30 pm|
|Aug 23 - at Kansas City||7 pm|
|Aug 28 - at Tennessee||7 pm|
|2014 regular season|
|Sep 7 - at St. Louis||Noon|
|Sep 14 - vs. New England||Noon|
|Sep 21 - at New Orleans||Noon|
|Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta||3:25 pm|
|Oct 2 - at Green Bay||7:25 pm|
|Oct 12 - vs. Detroit||Noon|
|Oct 19 - at. Buffalo||Noon|
|Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay||Noon|
|Nov 2 - vs. Washington||Noon|
|Nov 9 - Bye|
|Nov 16 - at Chicago||Noon|
|Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay||Noon|
|Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina||Noon|
|Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets||Noon|
|Dec 14 - at Detroit||Noon|
|Dec 21 - at Miami||Noon|
|Dec 28 - vs. Chicago||Noon|