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Rookie Doesn’t Secure Starting Role

jamarca sanford

On Sunday, all of the Vikings faithful were keeping one eye on Jasper Brinkley at all times to see how he would do in the starting lineup.

Even with one eye on E.J. Henderson’s replacement, it was hard not to notice seventh round pick Jamarca Sanford flying around and making plays as he replaced second year player Tyrell Johnson after he suffered a concussion against the Cardinals.

Sanford was second on the team with six defensive tackles.  He didn’t let his old duties go by the wayside either, as he led the team with three special teams tackles.  The Vikings secondary also had their best outing of the year, holding the Bengals to only 103 passing yards. 

When combined with the well documented struggles of starting safeties Madieu Williams and Tyrell Johnson, Sanford’s impressive performance led some of us to think he might have played his way into the starting lineup.

This week, that won’t be the case.

“Right now, Tyrell has been hurt, he’ll come back and be the starter,” Childress said. “Jamarca, great experience to start a game and know that you don’t miss a step with him. It’s hard to read into the future on what the competition looks like. By nature, being No. 2 behind a No. 1 there is always that push.”

I’m not always sure what the heck Brad Childress means when he speaks, but it sounds like Tyrell Johnson gets his job back if he comes back this week.

If he doesn’t come back this week, however, then Sanford will have another chance to prove he is the right guy for the job.  And if he performs well again, then perhaps Childress won’t be able to ignore the fact that his 7th round pick of 2009 is out playing his 2nd round pick of 2008.

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60 Responses to “Rookie Doesn’t Secure Starting Role”

  1. Adam Warwas says:

    For Fran: A comment in VG must have a minimum of 15 characters. We have had trouble with spam in the past (the blue pill kind, not the kind I eat for breakfast on Sundays) and that setting has cut down on it greatly. It is for the better.

  2. bigjohnny84 says:

    What has Tyrell done to keep his starting job? Answer- not much. What has Sanford done to win a starting job? Answer- make plays and do his job pretty good. This is such a no-brainer to me. The pass defense has its best game of the year and Chili wants to insert one of the biggest problems back into the mix. Makes no sense at all.

  3. B. Grant says:

    All this talk of eating crow… anyone gonna give the coach a little love for this prediction last Saturday???

    B. Grant
    December 13th, 2009 at 9:06 am
    Vikes by 10, 27-17 over the Bengals. We return to smash mouth FB, shutting down the run and showing better control of the line on offense. AP goes over 100 and scores twice. I think the crowd is really going to be amped today.

    I’m not right that often, so when I am I gotta gloat a bit.

    The penalites are still drinving me nuts, guys. Gol darn we shoot ourselves in the foot a certain number of times each game!!

    • starrc10 says:

      December 14th, 2009 at 7:21 pm

      You know who doesnt suck at prediction. Coach Grant… its like he knows. Do you think he could be Eric Magnusonof the Minnesota Supreme Court? Or perhaps he is Ed Hochuli? Maybe he really is Bud Grant, he probably has some free time when hes not lazing around at Winter Park telling Childress to grow a beard? Eh? Eh?


    • starrc10 says:

      I did not turn a bling eye to your prophetic ways. You were incredibly right about the offensive line…

  4. jeege says:

    I love Childress. I have since he took over.

    The thing that is so great about his press conferences is the tongue in cheek nature of his responses.

    He never says anything straight up. There is always some twist, or vague attempt at humor involved.

    The day he lets loose in a press conference and gets really upset is a day that Vikings fans will rue. It will mean things aren’t going well or as planned.

    May that day be long in the future.

    • Fran the Man says:

      You love Childress?? So, YOU’RE the one!
      Seriously, I’ve been as hard on that guy as anyone but I’ll admit, lately he hasn’t screwd up a whole lot so he’s starting to grow on me. Now if we could just get him a speech writer to write his comments for him. . .

      Hey Coach, good to see you here.
      Those were some pretty good predictions you had, almost as good as Tombs (The big, fat liar)

  5. CO Vike Fan says:

    I’ll trust the coaches on this decision – it’s relatively easy to game plan around a rookie for a game, but I’m guessing they still see some holes in Sanford’s play that will be exposed with a game or two on tape.

  6. c.carterhof says:

    While you were right about the win Coach…Vikes won by 20, not 10.

    But if you feel the need to gloat, then gloat away!

    Sanford was 2nd in tackles? Wow, nice job kid! I say Johnson needs another week to let that head heal.

    “It’s hard to read into the future on what the competition looks like. By nature, being No. 2 behind a No. 1 there is always that push.”
    WHAT does that mean anyway.

    • jeege says:

      “It’s hard to read into the future on what the competition looks like. By nature, being No. 2 behind a No. 1 there is always that push.”

      My interpretation:

      “Hello writers at the presser. You would like what? You would like to know whether my long term plans are to start Johnson or Sanford? Yea…I’m not going to tell you that. You know I’m not going to tell you that. Why bother asking? Here, I’ll feed you a line that you can print, but don’t expect any more than this.”

      I also think he means that he’s not an idiot and that if Sanford starts to outplay Johnson, he’ll start over Johnson. But maybe there are reasons that it hasn’t happened yet. Things that fans aren’t seeing.

      I’m with you all though, I liked Johnson coming out of the draft, but he hasn’t really shown much dominance at this level. Seems as though Sanford is more primed for the spotlight.

  7. c.carterhof says:

    December 13th, 2009 at 12:18 am
    Welcome to the gab Coach, Good to have ya here! Antoine has been my favorite current Viking for years.

    I think he makes a difference. Tho I dont like the “gut feelin” I have about this game.

    I think it’s gonna be a very close hard fought game, home crowd is gonna help.

    22-20 Vikes win, on a last second Longwell FG. And I am 10-2 on Viking prediction’s this year!-

    Ok, so maybe I should gloat a little too. Antoine did make a difference, and the home crowd did help.

    • bigjohnny84 says:

      CC I wouldnt toot that horn to loudly if i were you. You were right on the fence on this one, but your gut did take you in the right direction. So cc gets a little toot.

  8. Tomb says:

    Well fine, since we’re all tooting our own horns, check out my prediction from last Friday:

    December 11th, 2009 at 11:13 am

    I predict the Vikings will win this game 30-10. Moreover, I believe Favre will only be OK, he’ll throw one TD, but it will be countered by one pick. AD will finally be unleashead a little, he’ll get over 100 all purpose yards, but will stopped just short of 1000 rushing yards, somewhere in the nineties I would guess.
    Brinkley will be OK, but the real meat will come from Sanford, whom I would guess will be third, maybe even second on tackles.
    Oh, and Winfield will have a great game. I’m guessing Harvin won’t play finally.

    …and lastly, Childress will say something weird in the postgame presser.

    • bigjohnny84 says:

      Hey Tomb is your evil twin posting again? I seem to remember you agreeing with Adam and saying we were going to get beat even worse than Adams prediction. I hope I’m not in the twilight zone.

      • Tomb says:

        Well actually, I posted that the Vikings would get beat by a large margin. It was humiliating, and I’m trying to bury the truth in a malestrom of ardent denial and carefully manifested lies. So far, I’m about as effective as Mike McCarthy trying to cover up his moobs.

        It just aint’ workin’

  9. Viking John says:

    Sanford needs to keep fighting for the job. Competition will bring out the best in both players. Freds is most likely upset that he went down in FF. Good job this year Freddie.

    Go Vikes

  10. bigjohnny84 says:

    Kudos to coach on his predictions before the game. I remember my prediction was 28-14 Vikes.

  11. bigjohnny84 says:

    Tomb manned up and ate his crow yesterday and now he’s in denial? Tomb there are people who can help you. VG needs to hire an inhouse shrink to help us deal with things. And Tomb the truth shall set you free

  12. bigjohnny84 says:

    Tomb for president of Nambla

  13. bigjohnny84 says:

    Coach that would be very funny if it wasnt so true.

  14. starrc10 says:

    Coach (everytime I address a comment to you it reminds me of the guys in the beer commercials asking questions with random press conference bits):

    How can you be up at Midnight on a Monday? Were you out designated-driving McKinnie and Cedric home from the club?

  15. B. Grant says:

    I don’t sleep much, starr. I’ll rest when I die. Besides, gotta get the granddaughter’s toybox done by Christmas.

  16. Tomb says:

    Speaking of the Chicago Bears, I heard they were mathematically eliminated from not only this year’s playoffs, but next year’s as well.

    Cutler is a pussy.

    I hope the Steelers whoop the Pack.

  17. B. Grant says:

    Tomb – you ARE a question mark.

  18. B. Grant says:

    Packers, Schmackers. We kicked ’em twice. Let ’em dream. The best thing they did this year was give the Bucs their only win. They have a grand total of 2 wins vs. teams with a winning record. Still have games at Pittsburgh and at Arizona, and still have Mike McCarthy as head coach. Congratulations on moving up to second place in the four-team division, Pack!

  19. Viking John says:

    Freds had a good FF team. Peyton Manning, Chris Johnson, Thomas Jones, Wes Welker, Dallas Clark are just of few of the good players he had. Buster got lucky and beat him.
    Freds gets to drink 45’s now without the headaches. Go Vikes

    • bigjohnny84 says:

      Gee Freds does have a good FF team. Would expect no less from my pal. Thanks John.

    • B. Grant says:

      (Wow. You can say buster on this blog!)

      So Freds is absent as he licks his wounds, ‘eh? Well I got bounced too – wasn’t my fault that most of my guys went belly up in the same week.

    • Nume says:

      I was up by 45 points after the first game this week, with my opponent only having 2 players left to go… unfortunately they were Deshaun Jackson and Chris johnson, who scored over 30 fpoints each, and I lost by 15.

  20. Adam Warwas says:

    Just saw that the Rams released guard Richie Incognito. Don’t know about you guys… but I wouldn’t mind one bit if the Vikings signed him to get a jump start on solidifying the O-Line.

    I know, I know… the rams trash?!?! But it appears that the reason he was cut was over a dispute with the coach. His performance couldn’t be TOO bad given the success Steven Jackson is finding.

    What say you?

    • B. Grant says:

      Well, pretty good chance he is a step above Ryan Cook. Beyond that I couldn’t say. Are you lookin’ to bounce one of the current starters, Adam?

      • Adam Warwas says:

        No, I like our starting guards… But Incognito would be mostly a good competitor during next year’s training camp.

        Remember Herrera can play center, and may be an upgrade over Sully at this point (not too happy with Sully this week).

        So Hutch, Herrera, Incognito may be a more solid interior… though he may struggle with our blockign scheme… not sure. Don’t get/have to watch the Rams very often.

        His temper is his worst trait… but being on a quality football team has a way of making those issues disappear.

      • bigjohnny84 says:

        Coach I guess great minds think alike

      • Tomb says:

        Herrera can play center? I did not know that.

        Why have they never tried Radovich at guard?

    • bigjohnny84 says:

      Adam why does that name sound familiar? He could sure take Cooks position.

    • Tomb says:

      Dick Incognito. GREAT porn name.

      Adam, you figure we don’t get nearly enough personal foul flags?

  21. B. Grant says:

    Wonder what the desk clerk says when he checks into a hotel?

    “Name on Reservation?”


    “Uh, huh. Really, sir. I need a name.”

  22. Nume says:

    Lol. Was he a recent draft pick or something? That name sounds very familiar to me as well.

  23. Tomb says:

    Nume, fifth year. Here’s some deetz on the madman:

    Incognito started all nine games in which he played for the Rams in 2009. He was waived on December 15, just two days after committing two 15-yard personal foul penalties and engaging in a verbal confrontation with Rams head coach Steve Spagnuolo in a 47-7 loss to the Tennessee Titans.[6]

    [edit] Controversy
    On November 4, 2009, Sports Illustrated polled 296 NFL players and found Richie Incognito to be the seventh dirtiest player in the NFL behind players such as Hines Ward, Albert Haynesworth, and Joey Porter, [7] a distinction stemming from multiple on the field incidents over the years that have resulted in numerous personal fouls and fines. In one such game on Oct. 12, 2008, against the Washington Redskins, Richie was fined $35,000, eight thousand dollars more than his game check, for three separate in-game incidents that included a personal foul for “repeated verbal abuse of a game official”, a major facemask penalty, and an illegal chop block.[8]

  24. Tomb says:

    Damn it, from PFT:

    It has been a trying couple of weeks for the Henderson brothers.

    The Vikings announced Tuesday that backup linebacker Erin Henderson has been suspended for the next four games for violating the league’s policy on performance enhancing substances.

    The news comes just six days after Erin’s brother E.J. was placed on injured reserve following a gruesome leg injury suffered on Sunday Night Football.

    Erin was active against the Bengals Sunday, recording his first two tackles since Week Eight. He will be eligible to return to the team after Minnesota’s first playoff game.

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