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Minnesota Vikings Confident Defense Will Be More Versatile In 2012

The Minnesota Vikings are confident they'll have an improved and much more versatile defense in 2012, a year after finishing 26th in the NFL in pass defense and 21st in total yards allowed per game. For a team that had fielded one of the best defenses in the league from 2006 through 2009, it's been a rough road back from mediocrity.

According to Jeremy Fowler of, the Vikings are looking to become more unpredictable this season after using primarily vanilla defenses last year:

"If we can keep our guys healthy, it should help us answer some questions when we play opposing offenses," Frazier said. "We think we can give people some different looks and try to be creative with some of the things we're trying to do."

The Vikings, under new defensive coordinator Alan Williams, will look to move away from the simplicity that plagued them in 2011. Due to injuries at key positions and inexperience at others, Minnesota was unable to keep up with the more potent offensive attacks they faced last season, frequently seeming unable even to attempt to match up with complex offensive packages.

A big reason for that was the lack of depth in the secondary, which forced the team to rely on simple schemes to avoid further exposing the defensive backfield. That often resulted in Minnesota being overmatched when playing primarily zone coverage. With the addition of rookie safety Harrison Smith and a much healthier secondary heading into season, the Vikings will reportedly look to play more man coverage, which would free up the front seven to be more aggressive in getting after the quarterback.

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Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.