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POLL: Who wins the starting MLB spot for the Vikings?

audie cole jasper brinkley
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Poll: Vikings MLB Starter (6 member(s) have cast votes)

Who will be named the week one starter at MLB for the Vikings?

  1. Jasper Brinkley (4 votes [66.67%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 66.67%

  2. Audie Cole (2 votes [33.33%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 33.33%

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#1 Aj Mansour

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Posted 27 August 2014 - 02:44 PM

Head coach Mike Zimmer has all but told us that the starting middle linebacker position is a two man race between Jasper Brinkley and Audie Cole. At this point in the preseason, who do you think the coaching staff will name as the starting MLB and do you agree with their decision?

#2 Joe Oberle

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Posted 27 August 2014 - 05:34 PM

I think it might be shared in certain situations, as both have different talents: Brinkley as a run stopper and Cole in coverage. I am not sure how you do that since the mike might come off the field on third down so Barr and Greenway can stay in. Regardless, I do believe Brinkley starts against the Rams.

#3 Bo Mitchell

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Posted 27 August 2014 - 06:58 PM

Agreed. I think Brinkley has the job to start the season... but maybe a big game Thursday helps sway things for Cole. Interesting battle.

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#4 DocBauer


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Posted 27 August 2014 - 07:15 PM

Agreed. I think Brinkley has the job to start the season... but maybe a big game Thursday helps sway things for Cole. Interesting battle.

Almost exactly what I was going to say!

Each guy has their strengths and weaknesses, I think we all recognize them: Brinkley a better thumper in the box, Cole longer, more range, better in pass defense. I think they're both about the same blitzing, despite Cole's better overall speed simply due to a shorter burst range involved. Cole is also younger, but not by much, so there really isn't an older, sage veteran vs an up and comer for a rebuilding team scenario to fall back on either.

Neither guy figure to be a consistent 3 down LB. Therefore, advantage Brinkley it appears. However, teams don't just run on 1st and 2nd down and then decide to pass. Thursday is only one more game, but clearly there is a battle going on here not finalized. Interesting that Cole hasn't started, but has actually taken more snaps. I think a good game, hitting the right hole, not getting bulldozed or beaten badly, I could see his length and range being the deciding factor come week 1.

#5 TheLeviathan



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Posted 27 August 2014 - 08:45 PM

Man this team needs linebackers, good lord.

#6 DocBauer


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Posted 27 August 2014 - 09:13 PM

They do.

But Barr is the real deal. Imagine what he might do when he really figures things out!

I've read a lot of opinions about Greenway being a well below average player the past couple of seasons despite his tackle totals. And I can't say I disagree, especially last season where he seemed slow and out of position and made a large majority of his tackles well beyond the line of scrimmage. But I have to say, I've been surprised and pleased with his play this pre-season. He looks years younger suddenly.

It's early, but Hodges also looks like a completely different player than last year. How much of that is natural learning and development, and how much is the new staff and scheme I don't know. But if he keeps it up, we might have a young, athletic LB ready to explode in the next season or so.

Watts is also a young mystery. But I like what I've seen so far. He seems to be around the ball, and no question he has massive speed and athleticism. Now, strength, toughness and overall instinct need to be proven. But if these two continue to develop, we could have a future starter and a nice backup/special teamer to work with.

I believe Cole's range and athleticism makes him our best MLB for the present. Especially if Joseph and the other DT's can keep OL off him. But MLB could easily be a top 3 round draft priority next draft.

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