Bowman comfortable with defense, division

Cornerback Zack Bowman is with a new team, but there are a few things pretty familiar to him – the defense and the division in which he'll be playing. He talked about his transition to the Vikings, the similarities, his previous role and his strengths.

Even in a different city, familiarity is a big part of Zack Bowman's new job.

After four years with the Chicago Bears, Bowman knows the NFC North Division. That was one of the main attractions for the cornerback to come to the Minnesota Vikings in March when Bowman became a free agent.

"It's in the same division so I'm used to playing against Green Bay and I'm used to playing against the Lions. Coming from Chicago, I'm used to seeing those guys every single day. So that was part of the attraction because I know the division."

The other familiar part is the defense. Both the Vikings and the Bears run a similar Tampa-2 defense as their base scheme. The concepts are the close, but there are some differences Bowman was getting used to during his organized team activities and minicamps with the Vikings over the past two months.

"It's very similar to what we had in Chicago. There's a few tweaks here and there," Bowman said. "There's different terminology. Different techniques and stuff that they use, but for the most part it's pretty much the same – alignments, formations – so it kind of helps out.

"In Chicago, we watched a lot Minnesota because there is a lot of similarities between the two teams. It's a good fit. Good fit."

Bowman spent the first four years of his career with the Bears, playing in 46 games and starting 16 of them. The majority of those starts, 12 of them, came in his second season, when he registered 66 tackles, 10 passes defensed and six interceptions.

"My second year, me and Charles (Tillman) matched up. Whenever Charles went down, I had to go and match up on the biggest receiver," Bowman said. "I'm used to guarding little guys, big guys. There were a few packages where I came in and played the dime or the nickel. I pretty much played all over in the secondary."

At 6-foot-1, 195-pound Bowman is the Vikings' second-tallest cornerback after Chris Cook. That height could come in handy when the Vikings go against someone like Detroit's Calvin Johnson.

Height was the first thing Bowman mentioned when asked about his strengths. Then came speed, and, finally, his hands.

With Cook and Bowman, the Vikings have height at cornerback. With Antoine Winfield and Chris Carr, they have veteran experience. With rookie Josh Robinson, they have speed. But, because of all the new additions to the roster in the secondary, there is no guarantee that Bowman makes the team. One month after he signed with the Vikings, they drafted Robinson in the third round, but Bowman said he tries to ignore the competition that is brought in to teams annually.

"Basically in the National Football League, you can't worry about the draft. Every year, they're going to draft a corner," he said. "Just about every team is going to draft a corner every year, so you can't worry about that. That's always a big need in the National Football League is corners. I try not to worry about that stuff because it's out of my control. The only thing that I can worry about is my performance on the field."


Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this story on our subscriber message board.



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Different techniques and stuff that they use, but for the most part it's pretty much the same – alignments, formations – so it kind of helps out. \"In Chicago, we watched a lot Minnesota because there is a lot of similarities between the two teams. It's a good fit. Good fit.\" Bowman spent the first four years of his career with the Bears, playing in 46 games and starting 16 of them. The majority of those starts, 12 of them, came in his second season, when he registered 66 tackles, 10 passes defensed and six interceptions. \"My second year, me and Charles (Tillman) matched up. Whenever Charles went down, I had to go and match up on the biggest receiver,\" Bowman said. \"I'm used to guarding little guys, big guys. There were a few packages where I came in and played the dime or the nickel. I pretty much played all over in the secondary.\" At 6-foot-1, 195-pound Bowman is the Vikings' second-tallest cornerback after Chris Cook. 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