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Sanford Could End Up Being The Steal Of 2009

Vikings seventh round flier of 2009 is backup safety Jamarca Sanford.  The word “backup” may be removed from his title fairly soon if he keeps saying all the right things off the field and producing a defensive intensity on the field.

Sanford played about 20 snaps with the starting defense in the Vikings regular season finale against the Giants.  Sanford made an immediate impact by bringing down the Giants ball varrier for a loss and delivering a big hit.

“Big hitting is something I love whether I’m doing it or see someone else do it,” Sanford recently told the Star Tribune. “It gets me going. Flying around, making plays, throwing your body around, there’s nothing like it.”

Perhaps the biggest impact Sanford made so far this year was a negative one.  When he was “flying around” against the Cardinals, Sanford inadvertently delivered a season-ending injury to starting linebacker E.J. Henderson.

That is football, though, and Sanford’s intensity on the field is typically a refreshing change from the generally boring play of Tyrell Johnson and Madieu Williams, the Vikings current starters at the safety position.

Sanford admits that he has improved greatly in the latter half of the season, and noted that he was unprepared to enter the week two game after Williams got temporarily sidelined.  Sanford has improved so much, that he is finding himself in the middle of a post-season position battle, which is a very unusual scenario for a playoff team.

While Brad Childress has said with no uncertainty that Tyrell Johnson will be the starting strong safety, I don’t see the Vikings being overly-patient in a post-season game if Johnson struggles in coverage or tackling.

I noticed a discussion in previous comment sections that concluded that sound tackling is a must if the Vikings want to beat the Cowboys.  With that being the case, one has to wonder how short Tyrell Johnson’s leash will actually be on Sunday.

Sanford has done enough this season that it is pretty much a given that he will be battling for the starting position in next year’s training camp.  From the glimpses we’ve seen this season, it is possible that 10 years from now we all look back and say “Wow, he was a seventh rounder, what a steal!”

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10 Responses to “Sanford Could End Up Being The Steal Of 2009”

  1. Todd says:

    Do you think by saying Johnson will be the starter Childress is covering up that Sanford might really be taking the most snaps. He just seems awfully certain of Johnson & I do mean Awfully. Could Childress be that smart? I think it would change how a offense plays us on some plays

  2. Viking John says:

    We need the best players on the field. Doesn’t matter if they are 1st rounders, 7th rounders or free agent signings. This is the playoffs and we need to win.
    Cowgirls suck
    Go Vikes

  3. starrc10 says:

    Has anyone asked Chilli-pepper about Mad-eee-ooo’s starting status? Maybe Tyrell will get moved on over? Is that a crazy transition to make in the playoffs (Playoffs?!)

  4. CalVkg says:

    from the strib, what they’ll do (winfield thinks he’s a LB, lol) –

    Another benefit of having Winfield in the slot is that he can have a greater impact in run support. He is one of the top tackling cornerbacks in the league and brings a physical presence against the run. That could be particularly important Sunday against a Cowboys offense that ranked No. 7 in rushing this season and has three talented backs.

    “I’m closer to the line of scrimmage, playing like a linebacker,” he said. “I think that’s one of my strengths.”

  5. Lost Viking says:

    These young safeties only get noticed when they apply big hits or make an interception.

    Overall safety play has improved greatly from 2008 season. Safeties sometimes take the rap when linebacker coverage drops off.

    Whether we’ll need aggressive playmaking from secondary on Sunday is worth debating. Aside from Winfield we haven’t seen much of that

  6. Brett says:

    I am incredibly nervous about this game.

    Can’t wait – go vikes!

  7. Fragile Freds says:

    Doesn’t Dallas have some fancy shmancy kick off guy that kicks really deep into the end zone every time? Let’s hope Coach Chilly gives Cheech the green light to bring those kicks out. Fred doesn’t think the Cowboys will kick short (to Dugan) to avoid Cheech. They will trade off the risk of a good return, kick deep and force our guy to run the extra 8 or 9 yards if he chooses to come out.

    Freds says let the pot smoking migrane suffering rookie of the year take the kicks out of the end zone and make something happen.

    • Tomb says:

      It pains me to say it, but I fully agree with the Smooter.

      Furthermore, I say that dynamic little freakazaoid should have a carte blanche to do what he wants when the ball is in his hands.

      I have spoken. My name is Tomb, and these are my words.

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