Vikings veteran defensive back Terence Newman could get comfortable at the safety position.
The 37-year-old started at safety in last Thursday’s 23-20 loss to Arizona and might be called upon in this role moving forward if regular starting safeties Harrison Smith (hamstring/knee) and Andrew Sendejo (knee) miss more time.
However, with Newman’s age arguably becoming a factor, a shift to full-time safety could be a long-term option. After being thrown into the position because of injuries last week, it seems making the change would be easy.
Newman is the oldest player on the Vikings’ roster and one of the oldest in the NFL.
“I think [safety is] definitely easier,” Newman said comparing it to cornerback. “You don’t have to run backwards, shift your body backwards if some dude is running full speed forwards, so in that aspect it’s definitely easier. But it’s a lot different in checks.
“Corner you just line up and play against the guy. But safety you’ve got all types of stuff, communications and checks and you have to move here and move there. It’s fun for sure and it can be mentally tougher than the corner.”
Does that mean Newman could see himself playing the position in the near future?
“All options are in play in the future,” he said before considering the idea of playing until he is 43. “I think I can still play corner. I can play safety. I’ll do whatever the team asks me to do. I like playing football. My biggest thing is trying to stay in the door. That’s the first and foremost.”
Newman had one tackle and broke up one pass on Thursday. Most of his comments on Monday argued that he is still young and athletic enough to play at a high level. Then when asked about playing in the cold he said “You don’t really have an advantage or disadvantage, unless you’re 37 and you’ve got old bones and joints.”
Oakland’s 39-year-old veteran defensive back Charles Woodson transitioned from cornerback to safety in 2012.