Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.

Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.

Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.

How to fix the run defense

Posted by: Kent Youngblood under Vikings, Leslie Frazier, Vikings defense, Vikings players, Adrian Peterson, Chad Greenway, Leslie Frazier Updated: November 5, 2012 - 3:46 PM

 Differing philosophies?

In his Monday meeting with the press, Vikings coach Leslie Frazier talked at length about needing to improve his team’s run defense. He used phrases like returning to the drawing board and starting at square one. “Our defense doesn’t resemble the type of run defense we’re capable of playing,” he said.

Well, linebacker Chad Greenway sort of agrees, and kind of disagrees.

There is no question the run defense needs to improve after the three-game stretch the Vikings have been through. But having to essentially start over? Linebacker Chad Greenway might have an issue with that one.

“Obviously what coach says is the golden word,” Greenway said. “But, from our standpoint in the defensive room, it’s more about going out there and just doing our job a little bit better.”

This is a mantra that has been repeated by a number of Vikings players of late. Greenway said the tale the film study showed was a defense that “just a bit off.”

So a total rebuild isn’t necessary?

“Obviously we haven’t been playing well and we’ve lost a couple in a row,’’ he said. “So things are going to seem worse than they are. But the reality is we are 5-4 with every opportunity to win every game on the way out. So there’s nothing to say we don’t right the ship. You can’t be doom and gloom with seven games left. So, you know, I don’t buy into that.”

No matter how you word it, the Vikings showed they can stop the run earlier in the season, but have looked pretty porous of late.

“We have to stay the course and just do our job a little bit better, starting with myself,” he said. “Everybody does that across the board on this team (and) we’ll have a chance. Everybody just has to look at himself and say, ’Hey, what can I do better?’ ‘’

Greenway said he didn’t think the Vikings defense got out-muscled by Seattle. And he didn’t think the gap control was all that bad. But he did admit that what mistakes that are being made are costly.

“We just have to get this flipped and we have enough time to do it,” he said. “It has to start this weekend at home.”



--Geoff Schwartz continues to get a couple series a game at right guard in a rotation with Brandon Fusco. He’s also getting some snaps at tight end in a jumbo package the Vikings use on the goal line. He even ran a route Sunday.

But he doesn’t ever expect to actually touch the ball. He hasn’t in the pros, and he only did it once in college at Oregon.
“I had a three-yard run,” Schwartz said. “They pitched it to me by accident.”

--Adrian Peterson’s big day in Seattle had one Seahawks player gushing.  “I just respect him,” defensive end Red Bryant told the Seattle Times. “It’s not every day you’re on the field with a running back of that caliber. You hear about Jim Brown, Emmitt Smith, Walter Payton, Barry Sanders. Adrian Peterson is a first-ballot Hall of Famer. I can’t come up with enough adjectives to describe how special of a running back he is.” 


Baltimore - LP: W. Chen 1 FINAL
Boston - WP: J. Masterson 7
Chicago Cubs - WP: J. Arrieta 5 FINAL
Pittsburgh - LP: A. Caminero 2
NY Yankees - LP: C. Sabathia 1 FINAL
Detroit - WP: A. Simon 2
Cincinnati - WP: A. DeSclafani 6 FINAL
Milwaukee - LP: W. Peralta 1
Cleveland - LP: C. Allen 3 FINAL
Chicago WSox - WP: D. Robertson 4
Minnesota - LP: K. Gibson 1 FINAL
Kansas City - WP: E. Volquez 7
San Diego - WP: O. Despaigne 14 FINAL
Colorado - LP: J. De La Rosa 3
Oakland - WP: D. Otero 6 FINAL
LA Angels - LP: M. Shoemaker 3
Houston 7 Top 9th Inning
Seattle 5
Milwaukee 82 FINAL
Chicago 91
New Orleans 87 FINAL
Golden State 97
NY Rangers 2 FINAL
Pittsburgh 1
St. Louis 0 FINAL
Minnesota 3
Anaheim 5 FINAL(OT)
Winnipeg 4
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami NoonX37-35
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago NoonX13-9




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