Vikes Serious About Using 3-4?

The Vikings have been hinting that they will use a 3-4 defense situationally this season. But, if the developmental camps have been any indication, the 3-4 may be more than just a passing fancy.

Developmental camps are more than just a chance for new players to get to work their way in with new teammates. It's also a chance for coaches to implement some of their policies.

A couple of years ago, VU noticed at developmental camps that the Vikings had switched the positions of all three starting linebackers -- a move that eventually blew up in their faces. This year, the interesting switches have been at LB again, but for a different reason.

Linebacker has been a weakness of the Vikings in recent years. That is about to change. Between injuries, acquisitions, the draft and free agency, a lot will be different when the Vikings break training camp in early August -- and it could change the team's look on the field. A year ago at this time, the Vikings didn't have Greg Biekert, Raonall Smith (injured), Chris Claiborne, E.J. Henderson or Mike Nattiel. With all of them gunning for playing time this year -- and all but Nattiel hoping to win starting jobs -- the LB position has suddenly become a strength.

The Vikings have been working on variations of the 3-4, which could have Biekert and Henderson in the middle with Smith and Claiborne on the outside or have Claiborne and Biekert in the middle with Smith and Nick Rogers on the outside. The team will likely have to wait to do any full implementation, since Biekert has been sidelined during the beginning of team's development camps, but the indication is clear -- the 3-4 may be used more than just on a situational basis if the new players come together as coaches expect.

* VU has been told that in a base 3-4 defense, the Vikings would line Chris Hovan in the middle and he would be flanked by Kevin Williams and Kenny Mixon.
* Nick Davis, who was expected to be in a uphill battle to remain on the roster, may have missed out on any training camp fight. Davis, who is no longer listed as a wide receiver on the team's website (only as a kick returner), suffered a tear in his right shoulder and could be out until September. The most likely scenario is that he will be placed on injured reserve or made inactive once training camp starts.
* Former Vikings RB James Stewart pled guilty Tuesday to cocaine distribution and possession of several thousands of dollars of counterfeit money. He will be sentenced in October and faces up to 60 years in prison and a $2.2 million fine.
* Another former Viking in legal hot water is Anthony Carter. Over the weekend, Carter was arrested in Florida on charges of beating his wife and putting a .45 caliber handgun to her head. Carter has previously been arrested twice on charges of domestic abuse.

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