Wong says: No doubt about it. He's a big-play, a big-impact type player. Any time anybody on the defense makes a big play or a big hit, it kinds of feeds the defense and fuels the defense. He is able to get in there and ignite us in a lot of situations. That's what makes him such a special player.
What about the addition of Dale Carter? What does he bring to the defense that the younger guys didn't, or where is he better? What is he like in the huddle? Is he a fiery leader or what kind of guy is he? Do you think his year-and-a-half off brought him a new appreciation for the game?
Wong says: He has a lot of experience, and also he's a phenomenal athlete and a phenomenal corner. He adds a lot of leadership that way, in terms of film study, route recognition and situations like that. He brings the secondary along, the younger guys along with that, and helps them understand different things offenses are trying to do from a passing situation. That's where I think he really is amazing and remarkable. (In the huddle) he's a very energetic player. He's a guy … you look at and he's having a lot of fun. That really carries over. He's a great competitor, as well. All those things I think he brings to the huddle. He's already said he's very thankful to be out there and be doing what he's doing. Any time you're away from something you love, I think you come back with that much more passion, kind of a mission in terms of playing and really enjoying every moment of it.
When playing Chicago and you look at Ted Washington and Keith Traylor and what they add to their defensive line in the middle, and the way they clear the way for Brian Urlacher, do you think the Vikings need that sort of presence in the middle in the future?
Wong says: Definitely those big bodies in Chicago, they take up a lot of people and that leaves the middle linebacker alone. But at the same time, we're kind of built for speed. Our idea is to get penetration, get into the backfield. It's a little bit different. Those guys are kind of two-gap players. It all depends on your defensive philosophy. For our defensive philosophy we really try to use speed and get the nose in the three technique to get a lot of penetration.
Middle linebackers are typically known as tough guys. Have you missed any playing time in high school, college or the pros because of injury?
Wong says: Not too much. The Chicago game I actually did have to come out of. My rookie year I got injured. But other than that, throughout my career I've been, knock on wood, very healthy.
When a guy misses games because of injury, like what happened with Griffith, how closely do those guys work with their backups to prepare them?
Wong says: Pretty close. It's definitely the goal of our team to win as much as possible, to win every game. With that being said, we seem to have the kind of players here that are not selfish players and they want what's best for the team. In whatever way they can help out with the younger guys, making calls and making plays, they generally do. He (the injured player) is there in practice. He'll definitely be in film (sessions), watching after practice and watching in meetings, and he's also watching tape of the opponent and helping pick up different subtle formation tendencies and plays that could come.
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