His Time Is Now

After serving primarily on special teams for six years, strongside linebacker Lemanski Hall is getting his first prolonged shot as a starter and playing smart defense.

Lemanski Hall played a key role on special teams in his first season with the Vikings in 2000. This season the veteran has taken over as the starting strongside linebacker.

"I knew coming into it this would be a good situation for me," said Hall, who was tied for fifth on the team in tackles with 11 entering Sunday's game at New Orleans. "You want to take full advantage of the opportunity they give you. You just go out and play hard and hopefully what you do on the field, the coach will see it and say, ‘This guy can play.' I appreciate (Green) giving me this opportunity. I just have to continue to get better each and every week. I'm almost like a rookie at that position. I'm learning on the go. I'm enjoying it."

How tough is it for Hall to learn on the go? "This is my eighth year," he said. "I pretty much know what to do. It's just a matter of the little things I can't make mistakes on. I just go with experience. That's what I'm talking about, the experience part of it. I'm not a dumb athlete. I'm not a dumb player. I can catch on pretty good. It's just the experience of what the offense might be trying to do to you. That's the thing I'm kind of slow on at times."

Hall feels he is playing on an improved defense this season. "We want to be the hammer, not the nail," he said of the team's more aggressive philosophy. "That's our job to go out and make things happen. We want to force the offense to make decisions and want to put them in situations where they have to pass the football. Stop the run and make them pass.

"There is a lot of confidence. We like this style. It's an aggressive approach. You want to put the pressure on them and make them make mistakes. The more mistakes they make the less mistakes we make and we have a better chance of winning the game." VU

Viking Update Top Stories