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with Sean Jensen and Don Seeholzer

Stop back often because Sean and Don regularly posts updates to your comments. Leave your comments and questions by clicking on the comments link below each post.






Monday, September 17, 2007

Harris vs. Henderson

One of the difficult offseason decisions was to let middle linebacker Napoleon Harris walk.

There was concern about whether E.J. Henderson could handle the job as well as Harris did last season.

But Henderson has played at a high level thus far. So how do the two stack up heading into Sunday's showdown?

Here is a look at their stats:

Harris leads the Chiefs with 20 tackles, and he also has one sack and one interception.

Henderson is fifth on the Vikings with 14 tackles, and he's tied for the team lead with two sacks.

I can't speak for Harris. But Henderson has done an excellent job around the line of scrimmage. The only area of concern is his ability to cover the deep middle, a key responsibility for the Mike linebacker in a Cover 2 defense. Harris didn't hit as hard as Henderson, but he was an effective pass rusher, and, with his speed, did a nice job in coverage.

Did the Vikings keep the right guy?

Weigh in.

8 Comments:

Blogger KaleJ said...

I liked Harris last year. Seemed he didn't get much pub for the type of plays he made.

But watching E.J. this year, I am impressed by his "see to do" as Chilly calls it. When he sees the hole, he fills it in a hurry. I love the way he hits also, but you may be right in the coverage liability. He escaped being burned once yesterday when the pass was overthrown or out of bounds. But I remember thinking how his guy was open.

12:46 PM  
Blogger Tom said...

I think that we kept the right guy. It allowed Greenway to get in, and he'll continue to get better. It also allowed Henderson to return to his natural position and not have to learn something different to get Greenway in.

12:47 PM  
Blogger Sean Jensen said...

Tom,

You bring up a good point. Greenway did/ does factor into all this.

But like I said, they had to choose between Napo and E.J.

I'm curious to see how they play Sunday.

1:45 PM  
Blogger Andrew E. said...

We aren't playing a traditional Cover 2 anymore. We're blitzing a fair set, which we needed to because even Deion in his prime couldn't cover forever.

Napo was better down the field, but I think that the scheme has evolved some--of course, EJ was resigned before the switch in DCs--and plays a bit more to EJ's strentghs.

4:21 PM  
Blogger Paul said...

I was really impressed with the play of napo last year...meaning he was not as terrible as i thought. he was athletic and seemed to make plays for this team. he didn't make all the plays or the spectacular plays, but was a solid piece of the D. he finally showed the potential that the vikes have been trying to sell since the moss deal.

EJ was a legit playmaker last year at the will backer spot..he was everywhere. i have to admit i really questioned moving him inside this year based on his terrible track record in the past. i guess thats why i am on the outside looking in....the "triangle" at winterpark had it figured out. he has been a stud so far this season making big play after big play.

napo vs. ej? hmmm...i think i would have prefered napo and ej rather than ej and greenway. don't get me wrong, i really like greenway as a player, but he is a rookie and still has a lot to learn about the nfl-this viking D will not be as dominant with him in there this year...maybe in the years to come. This move to not resign napo was financial restains mainly...they have a lot of $$$ wrapped up in greenway so i guess he has to play...but i would have loved to see napo still here...maybe not sign a no name tight end to a kings ransom and keep proven playmakers...hmmm, just an idea.

10:41 PM  
Blogger Andrew E. said...

I'm the first to admit that Shiancoe's mother wouldn't have given him the K that he received.

However, Greenway was drafted before Napo had his first productive season since his rookie year in Oakland. I'm sure that if Chilly & co. knew the kind of year that Napo would have, they wouldn't have taken Greenway. But, No. 1 picks are drafted to play, so it wouldn't make sense to spend the cash to resign EJ and Napo (the year after signing Leber) and then have one of those four be a back-up.

So while I agree Shiancoe was vastly overpaid, I can understand wanting to spend one's cap dollars on players who are on the field.

2:01 AM  
Blogger Paul said...

after last year...i had visions of a hybrid 3-4 defense in certain situations with ej, napo, leber and greenway. sounded like a potent group. i am a firm believer that you can never have too many good football players on your roster...plus, napo wasn't even that expensive...the contract he signed with kc was very reasonable i thought...i can roll with the backers we have now - they are a better then average group as a whole barring any injury.

11:29 AM  
Blogger DeafEars said...

I believe EJ is a better athlete, I liked Harris, but EJ is clearly a better physical talent.

4:18 PM  

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