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Training Camp Battle - MLB
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Who will be the starting MLB out of training camp?
Jasper Brinkley
32%
 32%  [ 9 ]
Audie Cole
25%
 25%  [ 7 ]
Mike Mauti
39%
 39%  [ 11 ]
Other
3%
 3%  [ 1 ]
Total Votes : 28

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vikingsrule


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2014 10:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Id still take Cole's upside over any MLB on the roster. He has nice athleticism and is already a pretty good coverage guy. Cole needs to improve as a run defender, but having a big guy like Joseph in the middle will help. I really like Cole as a WLB in Zimmer's scheme but WLB is probably Greenway's position when the season opens.

Mauti is a long shot to start and I wouldnt be surprised if he fails to make the final 53. He isnt versatile and he isnt the athlete that MN may desire from its backup LBs.

I would say these five are almost a lock to make the team.

Greenway (WLB)
Barr (SLB)
Brinkley (MLB)
Cole (MLB/OLB)
Hodges (OLB)


Dean, Watts and Mauti will be competing for one or two spots. Will MN carry 6 or 7 LBs? With Zimmer's preference for having deep depth along the Dline, we may see an extra DL to replace an extra LB. Especially if guys like Cole and Hodges can prove to be able to play multiple spots.
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Dolmonite26


Joined: 05 Jan 2014
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2014 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jshowers wrote:
Also, draft position =/= talent. Even when healthy, Mauti wasn't special athletically. His game is based on being a strong technician with good instincts and always giving 100% effort.


This.

What I saw of him was an average, at best, athlete who has very good instincts and a propensity to be around the ball. These are good skill obviously, and could help him win the starting job (simply due to the field of competition), however at this point I wouldn't put a lot of stock in him being a future impact player.

The most troubling thing I saw was that he didn't show a lot of functional strength, and was eaten up by blocks at times, even those from FB's. This is an immediate red flag to me, regarding how he'll preform as a Zimmer MLB. He just doesn't seem like a good thumper type.
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SteelKing728


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2014 4:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This looks to me by far the worst group of players on our team. We need an immediate upgrade next offseason.

For right now, I see Brinkley being the starter, with Cole backing up Barr, and Mauti being the primary backup MLB.
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wcblack34


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2014 4:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SteelKing728 wrote:
This looks to me by far the worst group of players on our team. We need an immediate upgrade next offseason.

For right now, I see Brinkley being the starter, with Cole backing up Barr, and Mauti being the primary backup MLB.


Yeah, I wouldn't be upset to see us go MLB and LG with our first 2 picks next year (assuming we don't sign a couple of good free agents).
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perrynoid


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2014 5:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wcblack34 wrote:
SteelKing728 wrote:
This looks to me by far the worst group of players on our team. We need an immediate upgrade next offseason.

For right now, I see Brinkley being the starter, with Cole backing up Barr, and Mauti being the primary backup MLB.


Yeah, I wouldn't be upset to see us go MLB and LG with our first 2 picks next year (assuming we don't sign a couple of good free agents).


The benefit of your approach is that we should be able to get the best LG or MLB of the draft with our 1st round pick, since they are under-valued positions. I would not be surprised in next years draft to see us go CB in round 1, and LG/MLB in rounds 2 and 3, however.
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Yfz01


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2014 6:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

vikingsrule wrote:


Mauti is a long shot to start and I wouldnt be surprised if he fails to make the final 53. He isnt versatile and he isnt the athlete that MN may desire from its backup LBs.

I would say these five are almost a lock to make the team.

Greenway (WLB)
Barr (SLB)
Brinkley (MLB)
Cole (MLB/OLB)
Hodges (OLB)


I disagree with you completely. Hodges looked much worse than Mauti in camp / preseason. I also think Mauti is a better athlete than you're giving him credit for, injuries being the one concern.
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swiss_vike


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 6:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jshowers wrote:
Also, draft position =/= talent. Even when healthy, Mauti wasn't special athletically. His game is based on being a strong technician with good instincts and always giving 100% effort.


All correct. Still he was at least twice the project than either Brinkley or Cole. He was the leader on their team, had incredible instincts and played side to side. Brinkley was a hard hitter, that's it. Cole was a hybrid LB coming out and always mediocre as a talent.

It wasn't just ESPN who pegged Mauti in the first 2 rounds. It was many others as well. (Including myself, based on his tape)

I have no doubt that when he's healthy, he's going to start in the middle.
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Last edited by swiss_vike on Mon Jul 21, 2014 6:49 am; edited 1 time in total
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swiss_vike


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 6:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dolmonite26 wrote:
The most troubling thing I saw was that he didn't show a lot of functional strength, and was eaten up by blocks at times, even those from FB's. This is an immediate red flag to me, regarding how he'll preform as a Zimmer MLB. He just doesn't seem like a good thumper type.


I wonder where you got the idea from? Certainly not from his college tape. From pre-season last year? Probably.

And if you compare the 'thumber' skills from Cole and Mauti, Cole doesn't even get close. He was taken out of plays by TE's and heavier WR's.
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Krauser


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 8:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In terms of the young guys:

I don't think Cole holds up against the run nearly well enough to be a MLB. He got pushed around in the Lambeau game, Lacy had a field day (didn't help that Greenway was also terrible). He showed some nice things as a blitzer. I wasn't impressed with him in coverage, in terms of making plays on the ball (the winning TD to the TE at the back of the end zone in the Ravens game went over him), but he was good in space in terms of keeping plays in front of him and making tackles to limit longer gains.

I think he's best suited to be a OLB, but I'm not sure he's talented enough to be a long-term starter. This year, he could be a nickel LB alongside Greenway, if Barr's rushing from the LOS (standing or at DE). He could also play SLB instead of Barr in base defense if the rookie struggles to improve his play reading and ability to work through blocks. Long term, Cole might be a decent replacement for Greenway as WLB, but even then he'll need to be more solid against the run. If Greenway gets hurt this year, they're probably better off with Cole filling in than anyone.

Mauti is a MLB. I don't doubt his talent compared to Brinkley (a 7th rounder himself), but I don't get the sense that he's any kind of elite prospect. He played well enough in preseason last year, and apparently did well enough behind the scenes to beat out Cole at one point (when Cole was cut). Mauti was supposed to get some snaps at MLB at the end of the year, but Frazier never got around to it. So it's reasonable to think he can play. Even so, this year, he's much less of a sure thing than Brinkley. If Barr ends up playing a lot, I think they'll want to minimize inexperience in the other LBs. Long-term Mauti could still end up as the starting MLB and/or as a long-term backup and special teams contributor.

I don't know where the optimism for Hodges comes from, it sure wasn't on the field last year. He looked lost in preseason and was never reportedly considered to get on the field, even when Bishop got hurt and Mitchell was no better than pretty bad. He's not some elite athlete either, ran a 4.78 40 at the combine. I guess the idea is that he's good in space because he used to be a safety but he just looked completely lost in preseason. Maybe another year will do the trick, but I'm not holding out hope -- OLB isn't a position that usually has a long learning curve, you're either good enough or you're not. Only way I think he's likely to stick with the team is if he beats out Dean as a special teamer, decent chance of that.

Watts is the athlete that Hodges is supposed to be, based on the numbers if not the tape (never really seen him play). If they're keeping a hybrid nickel LB/S who can fly around the field and contribute on special teams, I think he'd have the advantage.
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swiss_vike


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 10:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fair assessment, Krausser. I agree.

In any case, our LB corps is mediocre at best. Then again, I think that Zimmer is best with Linebackers and they usually do very well in his schemes. We had 3 (three) LB coaches at times under Frazier, and no one (outside early Erin) ever got better. I'm glad Singletary and Pagac are gone. Might well be that the new staff will heavily improve this unit.
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Dolmonite26


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 4:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

swiss_vike wrote:
Dolmonite26 wrote:
The most troubling thing I saw was that he didn't show a lot of functional strength, and was eaten up by blocks at times, even those from FB's. This is an immediate red flag to me, regarding how he'll preform as a Zimmer MLB. He just doesn't seem like a good thumper type.


I wonder where you got the idea from? Certainly not from his college tape. From pre-season last year? Probably.

And if you compare the 'thumber' skills from Cole and Mauti, Cole doesn't even get close. He was taken out of plays by TE's and heavier WR's.


In the few games i watched, I remember seeing him get washed out of a few plays and it worried me a bit. However, this is really my only complaint on him (I probably come off a little too hard in my first post) and I think that the MLB job will turn into a 2 man race between Brinkley and Mauti.

I do like Mauti's instincts, leadership, and motor and I love how he can play side to side. He is also pretty good in coverage so that could give him an edge over Jasper.
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Klomp


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2014 11:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Andrew Krammer ‏@Andrew_Krammer 6m
LBs coach Adam Zimmer emphasized the MLB position is a wide open. "Looking at Chad, Brinkley, Mauti..Audi a little bit." #Vikings
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Heimdallr


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2014 11:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Based on how things have played out in training camp it seems like the depth chart is pretty well established:

WLB| Chad Greenway, Gerald Hodges
MLB| Jasper Brinkley, Michael Mauti
SLB| Audie Cole, Anthony Barr
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Freakout


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2014 11:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I actually think they are really hoping to move Greenway to the middle. Have him wear the headset, get everyone lined up, and lead that unit.
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rpmwr19


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2014 11:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Freakout wrote:
I actually think they are really hoping to move Greenway to the middle. Have him wear the headset, get everyone lined up, and lead that unit.

While ideally your MLB would do that, he doesn't have to be the base MLB to do that.

He's already running as the nickel MIKE which means he's likely going to have the green dot even if he's the base WILL.
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