For the first time in, well, maybe ever, it doesn’t appear the Vikings have any desire to try and move Andrew Sendejo out of the starting strong safety job.
In fact, it sounds like the scrappy, overachieving former undrafted player has grown on the coaching staff and his teammates. That tends to happen when numerous attempts to upgrade that position all have ended with Sendejo still standing.
Going back to the final three games of coach Mike Zimmer’s first season in 2014, Sendejo has started all 31 of the games he’s been healthy enough to start. He has missed seven games because of injuries, including the season finale a year ago.
“I tell you one thing about Sendejo,” defensive coordinator George Edwards said earlier today. “He’s a true professional. He’s very consistent, day in and day out, of you know what you get with him. That’s a credit to him with his accountability not only to his teammates but to us as far as what we do schematically. Calls and communications, all those things. I think everybody knows his accountability and what he brings to the football field.
“He’s a tough, physical football player who does a good job for us.”
Sendejo, who turns 30 on Sept. 9, was fifth on the team in tackles last season. The year before, he missed three games and still finished second in tackles with 100.
“I think the big thing is he pays attention to all the little details,” Edwards said. “He’s going to do everything you say about a professional. He’s going to eat right, he’s going to take care of his body. He’s going to get rest. He’s going to be in his playbook and go from the classroom to the field. You’re going to see it, hear it exactly the way we put it in. I think that makes everyone around him comfortable. One thing about him is when the ball turns over, he’s going 100 miles per hour, which is what we’re trying to emphasize. Everybody being aggressive and getting to the football.”
No, he’s not perfect. He doesn’t have ideal speed and sometimes can get fooled when he reacts too quickly and bites on a fake.
“We all have things we got to improve on,” Edwards said. “But he’s got a lot of strengths he brings to the table.”