By Josh Zimmer
Over the two days of practice and walk through sessions held in camp, the offense has been showing some new wrinkles in their passing concepts and their pre-snap formations under Offensive Coordinator Norv Turner
Prior to this season, the Vikings offense showed signs of what we’ve seen however never had a full opportunity to utilize the scheme. In Turner’s first year, they showed signs of multiple formations pre-snap only to have to go through the Adrian Peterson situation. Having to teach an overload of pre-snap adjustments to a rookie quarterback is not the ideal situation to be in. The team also had a bevy of injuries to the offensive line.
Last season, with the return the best running back in the NFL as well as a majority of their starters, the offense showed more of an emphasis on the short to intermediate passing game with one tight end a key fixture to the formations. However, the offensive line continued to show struggles and the passing game in terms of their formations become less exotic. This year however, the Vikings are back to showing some of the old wrinkles and are continuing to show an emphasis of adjusting the formation prior to the start of the cadence.
As an example, the Vikings could come out in “12 personnel” or one running back and two tight ends. However, rather than showing tour traditional formation with the tight ends in line, we’ll see more of a spread look after the huddle breaks. Arif Hasan of Cold Omaha, believes that the reason could be so that Teddy can have the ability to see the defense better which could become an indicator as to what they may call or could even audible out.
Once the formation is set, Teddy may yell a dummy call, which completely changes the formation. The new formation could become multiple sets (Ace, King, Queen, Jack, Down), depending on what is called. They also utilized more full house looks, motioning an extra tight end to become an H/full back. From here, a handful of play could be run but the misdirection of the blocking scheme is what is becoming more noticeable the more you watch.
In terms of their passing concepts, this year the emphasis has been more about stretching the field vertically with the tight ends. Hasan also mentioned that it appears that some of those routes up the seams have an option. It appears to be the same amount of play action as previous years, only Teddy hasn’t been hesitant on attacking downfield. We’ve also seen more flood and levels concepts in so far, which has been a pleasant sight to see.
Continuing through the week, my attention will remain of the offensive schemes and formation groups that we’ve been seeing.