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Updated: January 17th, 2014 2:53pm
Mike Zimmer says Vikings' base defense will depend on personnel

Mike Zimmer says Vikings' base defense will depend on personnel

by Derek Wetmore
1500ESPN.com
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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. - New Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer plans to have a heavy hand in the team's defense.

He comes from a defensive background, after all, and said that's where he feels that's one of his greatest strengths.

"I plan on it being very similar to what I've done in Cincinnati," Zimmer said. "It's always to going to be part of my little baby because that's kind of who I am and what got me here. So that will always be a big part of me."

It's too soon, though, to commit to a base defense, whether it's the 4-3 the Vikings ran last season, or switching to a 3-4.

"It doesn't matter what you do, honestly. It doesn't matter what system you run," Zimmer said. "Whether it's West Coast, run-and-shoot, the 4-3 or the 3-4, it's how you do it. Everybody speaking the same language and working together. That's what I learned."

He said the scheme will fit the players, not the other way around.

"Honestly, I want to fit our scheme to the players, to the best of their abilities," Zimmer said. "Like I said before, it really does not matter if it's a 3-4 or 4-3. As far as my philosophy, I want to stop the run and I want to hit the quarterback.

"So, however that is, if we've got to blitz I think we have a great blitz package. But I want to be fundamentally sound in what we do. There's teams that can go out there and make a lot of big plays, but they're not fundamentally sound. And then when the game gets on the line, they don't perform in the crucial situations of the game."

Derek Wetmore is the senior editor for 1500ESPN.com. His previous stops include MLB.com and the Minnesota Daily.
Email Derek | @DerekWetmore
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