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 mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Lions defensive line poses big challenge

Posted by: under Vikings, Lions, Brad Childress, Darrell Bevell, Vikings players, Brad Childress, Brett Favre, Darrell Bevell, Jared Allen, John Sullivan Updated: September 25, 2010 - 9:16 AM

The Detroit Lions enter Sunday's game against the Vikings ranked No. 30 in the NFL in total defense -- 27th against the run, 30th vs. the pass.

Those numbers suggest that as much as the Vikings have struggled offensively the first two games, they should be able to move the ball against Detroit.

However, the Lions overhauled their defensive line this season and that group will be a tough challenge for the Vikings offensive line. The Lions rank second in the NFL with nine sacks -- and eight of those have come from their line.

Detroit has three new starters on the line -- DE Kyle Vanden Bosch, DT Ndamukong Suh and DT Corey Williams. All three arrived via different paths.

Vanden Bosch signed as a free agent, Suh was the No. 2 overall pick out of Nebraska and Williams came in a trade with Cleveland.

Without question, the leader of that group and the entire defense is Vanden Bosch, the former Tennessee Titan who signed a four-year, $26 million deal this offseason. I'll have more on Vanden Bosch and Vikings defensive end Jared Allen online and in the paper later, but nearly every conversation about the Lions in the locker room this week started with Vanden Bosch's impact on that team.

Coach Brad Childress referred to him as the “Tasmanian devil.” Brett Favre said he has perhaps the “highest motor in football.”

“I don’t think there’s a time in the game where he ever comes off the pedal,” tight end Jim Kleinsasser said. “You know no matter what side of the field you’re on or what side of the play you’re on, he’s going to be go all-out coming after you. He’s a beast no doubt about it. He’s the kind of guy you want on your team. His intensity is just infectious.”
 
Vanden Bosch’s energy and ability to rush the quarterback sets the tone for the entire defense.
 
“It changes the mentality of their whole defense,” offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said. “You can see his energy every single play. The guy does not stop. Whether he’s doing a stunt, he’s spinning around in there, whether he’s chasing down wide receivers, running backs. I think the rest of the guys start to feed off of it.”
 
Center John Sullivan also knows he’ll have his hands full Suh, who already has two sacks and led the Lions with eight tackles against Philadelphia last week. Sullivan described Suh as “incredibly talented” this week.
 
“That’s just the way it is in the NFL,” Sullivan said. “You have to be ready to play talented guys every week.”
 

 

 

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