The Minnesota Vikings made a few splashes in the first day of free agency, one of which was former Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Emmanuel Lamur. At this point, it seems as though he is going to be the Vikings’ starting weakside linebacker, unless the team re-signs Chad Greenway (the two of them would then likely compete for the spot).
Lamur knows that nothing is going to be given to him and he is going to have to earn a starting role.
“Just go out there and compete,” Lamur said in a conference call Thursday. “Trying to start, that’s going to be the main goal right now.”
Coming from Cincinnati, Lamur knows how Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer works. Zimmer was the Bengals defensive coordinator during Lamur’s first two years in the NFL, so the linebacker knows exactly what he is getting.
Zimmer is the straightforward coach that tells it like it is. If a player isn’t playing the way Zimmer wants him to, he’ll call them out and they have to earn everything they can get. At the same time, though, Lamur knows that Zimmer is able to bring the best out of nearly everyone and he is the No. 1 reason Lamur decided to sign with the Vikings.
“Well, first things first, the reason why I came here is because of Zimmer, simple as that,” the linebacker said. “He’s a good coach, he brings the best out of players and I wanted to play for him.
“He’s smart. He’s intelligent. You could see that right away. He’s very bright, very aggressive as a coach and that’s the coach you want to play for. A players’ coach.”
On the field, Lamur likes to think of himself as a playmaker, utilize his speed to make plays on the ball and believes the fact that he played some safety in college helps him out in that area.
Lamur suffered an injured knee in the final game of the regular season last year, which caused him to be placed on injured reserve and miss the Bengals’ postseason appearance. For a player that relies on his speed the way Lamur does, a knee injury can be tricky to come back from, but he said there is no need to worry.
“My knee’s 100 percent,” he assured. “Lets move on from that. All the rumors are fake.”
At the least, he passed his Vikings physical on Thursday.
As things sit right now Lamur could be the team’s starting weakside linebacker. It’s also possible he will get the chance to compete with Anthony Barr and Eric Kendricks for some sort of role in the nickel defense, since his strength is as a coverage linebacker.