Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Blanton, Brinkley still top depth chart
By Ben Goessling
MINNEAPOLIS -- Though Minnesota Vikings coach Mike Zimmer wouldn't reveal his starters at strong safety or middle linebacker when he was asked about them on Monday, the Vikings' unofficial depth chart would suggest little has changed at those two positions.
The Vikings listed Jasper Brinkley as their starting middle linebacker and Robert Blanton as their top strong safety before their Week 1 game against the St. Louis Rams, keeping both players in the same spots they occupied throughout the preseason.
Depth charts are worth about as much as the paper they're printed on, of course (and in this case, we're looking at an electronic version of the chart), but the listing at least suggests the Vikings haven't changed their thinking on the two positions since the end of the preseason.
Brinkley figures to come off the field in passing situations, and his strength against the run keeps him ahead of Audie Cole for now. And if Blanton can show the instincts in coverage that led the Vikings to put him in their first-team defense during organized team activities and minicamp, their safety concerns might be alleviated for now, especially against a Rams offense that could sputter with Shaun Hill replacing Sam Bradford at quarterbakc.