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Vikings looking at several linebackers to play the middle

Henderson Getty Images

The Vikings need a middle linebacker.  They opted not to use any of their three first-round picks on a middle linebacker.

So, for now, they’re looking at multiple internal candidates for the job.

Erin Henderson remains the favorite to move from the outside to the middle, where his brother, E.J., once held the job.  Coach Leslie Frazier mentioned some other possibilities during a Friday chat with reporters.

Audie Cole is a part of that as well,” Frazier said.  “Tyrone McKenzie is one of the guys we’ll take a look at and Michael Mauti, the guy that we drafted, as well.  We have some options, but Erin is definitely one of those guys we’re talking about.”

One guy the Vikings aren’t publicly talking about, but who necessarily has at least been a topic of behind-the-scenes discussions is long-time Bears icon Brian Urlacher, who remains unsigned.  Urlacher had some contact with the Vikings and a few other teams before the draft, we’re told.  If/when Urlacher’s price drops, the Vikings could drop him into the starting lineup in Minnesota.

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31 Responses to “Vikings looking at several linebackers to play the middle”
  1. jathefuture says: May 4, 2013 3:52 PM

    It’d be sweet to have a guy in the middle who already has some chemistry, like Henderson. But Urlacher would be nice.
    ______

    Those uniforms in the picture are the ones we should have gone with

  2. nomoreseasontix says: May 4, 2013 3:59 PM

    Be patient…. Rolondo McClain will be available shortly. Cheap.
    Ha!

  3. somatg3 says: May 4, 2013 4:14 PM

    Agreed- the new uniforms are junk. the road unis dont have the shoulder striping anymore. the matte helmets look cool.

  4. filthymcnasty1 says: May 4, 2013 4:15 PM

    Daryl Washington would be a good fit in MN.

  5. boobschannel says: May 4, 2013 4:23 PM

    as much as i hate to admit it, i think that with the amount of nickle the vikings will likely play this year, i think they’ll probably sign urlacher just before or during training camp. he’d likely only be on the field about 30-40% of the time anyway.

  6. mianfr says: May 4, 2013 4:35 PM

    Pundits love to freak out about the 4-3 middle linebacker spot, but the Giants won two Super Bowls without any super solid (or expensive) players there and it didn’t seem to be in spite of that, either. There’s also a reason those guys don’t go in the first round.

    Oddly enough, they’re more important (schematically; you obviously need a guy to make that tackle in the 4-3, I’m just saying it’s easier to find a guy who can do that reasonably well) for the 3-4 set, where they’re essential to what the 49ers do on defense.

  7. Norseman says: May 4, 2013 4:43 PM

    Erin Henderson has the inside track, provided Gerald Hodges is good at WLB, which I think he’ll be an upgrade.

    Audie Cole and/or Mike Mauti could surprise, however. Mauti won’t really have a chance to compete until training camp, so he’ll have to be ready to make a big impact come late July.

  8. kmossg says: May 4, 2013 4:56 PM

    I agree with a lot of the comments here, in 2009 when the Vikings defense was probably the best it has been in the last 10 years or so, they had an aging EJ henderson out there, who ended up fracturing his femur, so Jasper Brinkley played down the stretch. Honestly, with Sharif Floyd and Kevin Williams plugging up the middle, it shouldn’t matter who is out there.

  9. spiderperv says: May 4, 2013 5:00 PM

    Good thing they traded 3 high/mid round picks for a receiver with “potential” with a pop gun arm QB throwing to him. Rick Davis is a magician.

  10. inyofaceagain says: May 4, 2013 5:02 PM

    Audie Cole had 2 consecutive INT for TD in a preseason game last year. Let the kid have a shot

  11. skolvikings58 says: May 4, 2013 5:17 PM

    Why so much hate on the new uniform’s! They are, simple…but are sharp at the same time. Ponder will become a good game manager this season I think, he wont be a “Elite” QB, he does not have to be. With the tools around him( not weapons) this is the year he better get it done, or he is as good as gone.

  12. spiderperv says: May 4, 2013 5:22 PM

    Manti could’ve set up the Vikes with an imaginary Super Bowl trophy.

  13. slayisland says: May 4, 2013 5:38 PM

    Oh cool he must be Passing tha ball too!

  14. seaeagle707 says: May 4, 2013 5:51 PM

    Just remember to check with John and Pete first, if its a young guy or two. The Hawks may want them in a couple of years.

    Oh, and try to keep them healthy, okay?

    GO HAWKS!!!

  15. rajbais says: May 4, 2013 5:53 PM

    How about Karlos Dansby???

  16. bobnelsonjr says: May 4, 2013 6:31 PM

    There is more than a doughnut hole in the middle of that defense. They desperately need to add talent at outside LB, the line, CB, and safety not only at the starting positions but depth players as well.

    While they will be desperately watching the waiver wire for anything that comes along, we won’t know what the viking defense looks like until they add players available after the final cuts.

  17. minnesotablizzard says: May 4, 2013 7:25 PM

    Interested to see Hodges on the outside in the Vikings cover 2…I guess the Vikings feel the same way

  18. Carl Gerbschmidt says: May 4, 2013 7:55 PM

    If Erin Henderson is the MLB, Vikes are no better than 6-10.

  19. whatjusthapped says: May 4, 2013 8:02 PM

    If the Vikings can spend a 1st round draft choice on a WR who spent a total of 1 semester playing college football, the GM must be pretty comfortable with his limited choices at middle linebacker.

    Urlacher will never play for the Vikings, #1, he wants too much money and the Vikings have precious little cap room after blowing most of it on oft-injured Greg Jennings, and #2, Urlacher realizes he might have one to two years left and since he wants to win a Superbowl, the last team he will sign with is the Vikings who never won a single one, lost 4 and are 0-5 in their last 5 NFC Championship games. If he wanted to play with a bunch of choke artists, he could have just as easily stayed in Chicago.

  20. mjhutmkr says: May 4, 2013 8:31 PM

    Sign both Karlos Dansby and Demeco Ryans!!

  21. lnfinite says: May 4, 2013 8:35 PM

    With or without a good MLB, Rodgers will be spending a lot of time on his back. The front 4 of the Vikings will be licking their chops looking across at a weak Packers offensive line. Fact.

  22. pleazenufalready says: May 4, 2013 9:00 PM

    Damn, click on a story about possible MLBs for the Vikes and run into a butthurt troll reunion on the message board….what’s the matter boys, mommy not home to bake you some cookies?

  23. bla bla bla says: May 4, 2013 9:14 PM

    Every time I see the name Erin Henderson, I’m reminded of the Vikings fans on here that thought they were clever by misspelling Aaron Rodgers’ name with the feminine spelling of “Erin.”

    It makes me smile.

  24. ppdoc13 says: May 4, 2013 10:06 PM

    Is EJ gone? Just doesn’t have “it” anymore. He was a very underrated LB from Maryland. His vrother filled his shoes at Md, wouldn’t surprise me to see it here but I never thought Erin was as close to a really good MLB as his older brother

  25. anarchopurplism says: May 5, 2013 1:28 AM

    Who is Rick Davis?

    Spielman is the MN GM

  26. ejmat2 says: May 5, 2013 2:19 PM

    spiderperv says:

    Good thing they traded 3 high/mid round picks for a receiver with “potential” with a pop gun arm QB throwing to him. Rick Davis is a magician.
    ——————————————————
    3 High mid-round picks? First of all, the 2nd round pick was traded for a 1st rounder so in essence they only traded a 3rd and 4th round pick. In case you are wondering they received their 7th round pick back in a trade with TB later in the draft.

    The fact is getting a WR was a need and getting one of the most explosive available was a good move. I would gladly give up a 2nd, 3rd, 4th round pick to move up to the 1st to get a guy with that type of potential. ALL draft picks are crap shoots so there is nothing wrong with what they did here.

    You quote the work “potential” as if to say their 3rd and 4th round draft picks were something more than potential.

  27. tokyosandblaster says: May 5, 2013 3:44 PM

    lnfinite says:
    May 4, 2013 8:35 PM
    With or without a good MLB, Rodgers will be spending a lot of time on his back. The front 4 of the Vikings will be licking their chops looking across at a weak Packers offensive line. Fact.

    —-

    You probably think you sound authoritative when you say “fact,” as though there is no argument against it.

    When, in reality–where fans of winning teams live- we don’t call drunken, baseless meanderings “fact.”

    Here are some facts:

    The Packers have the best player at the most important position in the game of Football. As long as he is healthy, the Packers are the favorites to win the division.

    The Vikings added talent, but they still have one of the worst players at the most important position in the game of football. As long as that is still the case, NO ONE will worry about the Vikings.

    The shelf life of running backs isn’t very long. The wheels are more likely to come off on Adrienne HGH Peterson than they are for Aaron Rodgers.

    90% of the world laughs at the Minnesota Vikings and their fans.

    Minnesota Vikings fans (all 7) think they’ve won every super bowl ever.

    Enjoy futility, and ignorance. I’ll go ahead and bask in the glory of “fact.”

  28. ejmat2 says: May 5, 2013 4:51 PM

    @ Tokyosandblaster:

    Good “facts”. Your post is so hypocritical it’s pathetic. Although I agree with a lot of what you typed it is NOT fact that Rodgers is the best at his position. It’s arguable, not fact. But, I do admit he’s right up near the top. Same with Ponder. It’s NOT fact he is the worst. In fact, believe it or not, he was rated right at the middle of the pack last year when looking statistically by QBR. Although I disagree and think he was one of the worst, it is not FACT as you say it is.

    Even with all that said and the FACT is correct the Packers are favorites to win the division just remember this. With one of the best QBs in football the Packers only beat out the Vikings (with one of the worst QBs in football) last year by one game. FACT! Another FACT is the Vikings beat the Packers once with those two playing last year and it is also FACT the Vikings only lost the other regular season game against the Packers due to two INTs in the endzone by said QB. Other than that, The Vikings handled the Packers that game.

    By the way, the Vikings would have won the division if it weren’t for those 2 INTs. So to say you don’t have to worry about the Vikings is as I said earlier, HYPOCRITICAL by all sense of the word.

  29. ejmat2 says: May 5, 2013 6:12 PM

    Continuance of Tokyosandblaster:

    Let’s talk about your other “facts”

    1) The shelf life of running backs isn’t very long. The wheels are more likely to come off on Adrienne HGH Peterson than they are for Aaron Rodgers. – This is true so I’ll give you that. However, it’s not like the Packers know how to stop him though, do they. He ran for over 500 yards against the Packers last year. The FACT is Packer fans were happy they kept him to 99 yards even though everyone knew he’d be getting the ball more times than not.

    2) 90% of the world laughs at the Minnesota Vikings and their fans. – You care to show me the link for the so called “fact”?

    3) Minnesota Vikings fans (all 7) think they’ve won every super bowl ever. – I personally know hundreds of Viking fans and none of which are delusional enough to thing the Vikings have won one superbowl never mind every. So you are wrong on two counts with this one statement.

    Maybe you should get your own FACTS straight before you critique someone else’s FACTS.

  30. tokyosandblaster says: May 5, 2013 8:05 PM

    Oh. Those two interceptions gave the packers the division?

    I can think of a couple other things that even made it close; most notably the fail Mary vs Seattle.

    Hypocrisy is something you should call fellow Vikings fans out on as well. They all say packers fans live in the past, but the talk about how Peterson ran really well vs the packers last year, so he will do it again this year.

    They say that the Packers players taken in the draft are going to be busts, but Patterson is going to be better than randy moss.

    I can’t wait to see you start pointing out this dreadful hypocrisy among your own fan base. Until you do, you’re no less hypocritical than I am.

  31. ejmat2 says: May 6, 2013 11:36 AM

    Yep those 2 INTs gave the Packers the division. Crap happens during the season and believe me, the Vikings had their share of bad calls. However, the call against Seattle could have gone either way and if you look at the breakdown of the tape and pictures it does show that Tate actually made the “catch” prior to Jennings.

    Jennings clearly ahd the ball first. However he was up in the air. tate grabbed the ball while in Jennings arms which gave both of them posession. However, the difference is Tate had both feet on the ground before Jennings. Therefore, Tate made the “catch” before Jennings. By rule a player must come down with posession of the ball with either 2 feet in bounds or part of their body.

    Now we can talk about hypocracy. Let me be the first to say I will call out any Viking fan that make idiotic remarks. I personally hate that. So please don’t come to me with that. Next, I called YOU out for your so-called “facts” when all YOU did was stat speculations and falsehoods. You had one valid fact about the playing life of a RB vs a QB. So quit projecting YOUR hypocracy towards all Viking fans. If you can find one post where I personally was hypocritical or stated non-facts as fact, please feel free to share with me. I’m sure you won’t find it. So, to your point. Yes, you are much more of a hypocrate than I am.

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