The Minnesota Vikings have recently told Outside Linebacker (Will) Erin Henderson, to bulk up, because going into training camp, he will be the holder of the starting Middle linebacker position. Erin Henderson has been going right to work on this though the off-season. He is reportedly tipping the scales at 248 Lbs and is still continuing to bulk up, until he’s in the 250-255 LBS range.
This has come as a slight surprise, because of the reports that were out there, that the Vikings had interest in bringing in former bears Middle Linebacker Brian Urlacher. I Personally cant say that I’m a fan of this move. First off, Erin Henderson has shown time and time again, that he is a huge liability in passing defense and this was at the Will linebacker position. His history doesn’t give me the confidence, that he will be able to get the job done in this passing league. From a run defender however, Erin is far better, then he is in pass coverage, but still, his run defensive skills are maybe a little bit above average at best. Overall though, Erin Henderson is a average, to maybe slightly above average Linebacker, who if he does end up as the starter. It wont be the worst thing in the world, but I truly believe, that the Vikings would be better off bringing in Brian Urlacher for a year to mentor the young Linebacking core. (Audi Cole, the Penn State duo: 4th round Gerald Hodge and 7th round Michael Mauti, Marvin Mitchell, and Tyrone McKenzie)
Now the only reason I’m not 100% shocked by this move, is because of the recent claims that Rick Speilman and the Vikings have made in the past 2 years and through their actions. They want to get Younger and faster at all positions and Erin Henderson is a cheaper and younger option, then going out and getting a Urlacher. Also, Erin has the most experience at playing Middle linebacker in the Vikings defensive system, which again makes this move not all that surprising. I really hope that Audi Cole, Michael Mauti, and Gerald Hodge bring their A game to training camp, (though Mauti may be a stretch at even being ready for training camp, as he’s rehabbing his 3rd ACL tear.) because Erin is really going to have to be pushed, to show us all, what kinda Mike Linebacker he can be, in a starting role.
Though there is the chance that Erin surprises this Viking fan and shows that, like his Older brother E.J. He definitely has the skills to be a very good and effective middle linebacker. This position for me, will be the most intriguing position battle to watch unfold during OTA’s. Regardless of how things turn out. I will be rooting and hoping for the success of whoever wins the starting job and the team in general like the crazy die hard Viking fan I am. SKOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!