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Earlier this week both Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier and Defensive Coordinator Alan Williams discussed the importance of creating turnovers as a defense. Judging by Tuesday’s practice at 2013 Verizon Vikings Training Camp, the Vikings defensive backs heard the message.
Several Vikings defensive backs got their hands on passes on Tuesday.
Safety Andrew Sendejo nabbed the first interception of practice, settling under an overthrown pass from James Vandenberg in the first team period. Cornerback Josh Robinson had the best interception of the day on a toe-tapping play along the sideline after he jumped an out-breaking route, and fellow cornerback Marcus Sherels got in on the mix as well when he undercut a route by Jarius Wright to intercept a pass thrown by McLeod Bethel-Thompson. Later in practice, Sherels registered a pass breakup (PBU) when he got his hands between the football and LaMark Brown on a comeback route and then toward the end of practice Sherels climbed the ladder to deflect a pass from the outstretched arms of Webb.
There were several other standout plays registered by Vikings defensive backs on Tuesday. During one-on-one drills, safety Mistral Raymond under cut a shallow crossing route by Joe Webb to knock the ball away and cause an incompletion. Cornerback AJ Jefferson made an impressive break on a quick out route and Bobby Felder recovered after getting beat deep by Rodney Smith to eventually knock the ball out of Smith’s hands as the two were falling to the ground near the end zone.
Those are the kinds of plays that will yield the kind of improvement Frazier and Williams are demanding of the Vikings secondary in 2013.
“We need to turn the ball over, that’s been a point of emphasis all camp, we need to take the ball away,” Williams said. “Offenses are doing a better job of making sure that they’re not putting themselves in bad situations. With that we still have to take it away, and that will be a big point of emphasis, so that we can get the ball back to our offense, and score on defense.”