Veteran Henry Jones, who signed with the Vikings after Robert Griffith's injury, got the start at strong safety in the victory over Tampa Bay. But Jones admitted he still had plenty to learn about the Vikings defense.
"There is still stuff to learn because we didn't run a full package against Tampa," said Jones, who was released by Buffalo during training camp. "There are still some things I don't know about this defense, and I still have to learn it. I'll spend (time) learning some things and getting used to all the adjustments."
Jones was told on the Wednesday before the Buccaneers game that he, and not Don Morgan, would get the start. "Most of the time I was just reacting" during the Bucs game, he said. "There are going to be instances where you have to be thinking when the offense starts moving because the defense has to make adjustments. Those are times when you have to think quick and react. But most of the time I was reacting. I feel pretty comfortable."
Long before he became the Vikings' top defensive player, Griffith was a key part of the special teams unit. He has continued to play on special teams at various times and was injured while covering the game's opening kickoff at Chicago.
Gary Zauner, the Vikings' special teams coordinator, said it's not unusual for starters to play on special teams and he does not foresee the Vikings changing their philosophy on who they play on the various units.
"Did you see (Derrick) Brooks, Tampa Bay's All-Pro linebacker, playing on kickoff returns (in Week 3)?" Zauner asked, fully aware the answer was yes. "All of the teams we have played have three or four starters on special teams. Carolina had two starters, Chicago had five starters. It's not unusual. It just so happens an injury happened to Griff. Griff understands why he's on special teams. I brought him in, gave him his first chance and he still likes playing on special teams.
"I'm sad (an injury) happened to Griff, but there is nothing you can do. … I think we are going to be smart in what we do. We were smart when we used Randy (Moss on special teams). But when it comes to the playoffs and big games we are going to use whatever personnel it takes to win." VU
Jones Making Immediate Impact
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