May 20, 2024

How scouting influenced the philosophy of Brian Flores How Brian Flores' defensive philosophy can help the Steelers defense - Behind the Steel Curtain

The defensive coordinator for the Vikings has fitted the pieces together by concentrating on the strengths of his players.

AGAWAN — On defence, defensive coordinator Brian Flores used twenty different players in Sunday’s 27-19 victory over the New Orleans Saints. Linebacker Nick Vigil and special teams specialist NaJee Thompson were the only active defenders who did not play defence.

A number of young players who have shown noticeable development throughout the season were highlighted in the victory against New Orleans. To name a few:

— Centre back The player with the highest PFF grade on the field was Akayleb Evans, who let no passes into his coverage.

Mekhi Blackmon, a rookie, participated in 36 plays, allowed two catches, and intercepted a pass.

— Andrew Booth Jr. played 17 snaps with no catches against him, continuing his trend of increasing snap totals.

UDFA — Ivan Pace Jr. filled in for Jordan Hicks for 56 snaps.

— DJ Wonnum followed Derek Carr on a scramble from behind with a key sack.

Josh Metellus and Cam Bynum improved significantly from the previous season, grading well once more as they have throughout the season.

Figuring out what causes certain results is one of the hardest things in football. Why have so many younger players come forward this season? Is it the plan? Is that the plan for development? Is it the inevitable development of draught picks who, given more time, would have eventually become good players?

It doesn’t seem coincidental that there has been a youth movement in the Vikings under Flores, whose philosophy is to find roles that fit the individuals.

“I tell our guys this all the time: Opportunity is what separates a backup from a practise squad player or a starter from a backup,” Flores remarked. “Those who put in the proper preparation, like Metellus, come to mind as the first person who leaps at the chance to seize an opportunity and succeed. DJ [Wonnum] has demonstrated that to you.

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