Vikings have high hopes for what Sheldon Richardson can do for team’s defensive ends
The Minnesota Vikings already had one of the most formidable defensive fronts in the entire league even before they went out and signed former Pro Bowl defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson this offseason. With Richardson now in the fold, the Vikings have high hopes that their great defense could get even better with his ability as an interior rusher.
Defensive coordinator George Edwards envisions Richardson as someone who could have a significant impact in terms of taking away the attention defensive ends Everson Griffen and Danielle Hunter receive from their opposition.
“Hopefully, we can get him in some one-on-one situations with the personnel that we have,” Edwards said to Alex Marvez and Bill Polian on Sirius XM NFL Radio. “A lot of times, we’re starting to face where they’re concerned about our defensive ends Everson Griffen and Danielle Hunter, where they’ll double them a lot of times, and they’ll end up singling us inside sometimes. So we want to, hopefully with his skill set, be able to take advantage of teams that want to try to do that and, hopefully, pull some of those double teams off our ends in critical situations like third down and those types of deals.
While clearly a top talent, Richardson hasn’t quite been able to live up to the immense potential he showed during his sophomore season in the league. Over the last two seasons (30 games in total) with the New York Jets and Seattle Seahawks, he’s registered a mere 2.5 sacks.
Perhaps playing in that Vikings D-line alongside those attention-grabbing defensive ends may finally unleash that Richardson who dominated as a second-year player. If that is the case, then the Vikings defense will get that much more difficult to contain this season.