The Vikings will face a 3-4 defense for the first time during the regular season when they play host to the Cleveland Browns on Sunday at the Metrodome.
Minnesota is very familiar with the look, having used it on defense for a stretch early in the season, but the offense knows it will be a bit of an adjustment seeing it in a game. The Vikings also will go against a 3-4 team next month when they play Pittsburgh.
Quarterback Brad Johnson points out the Vikings did face two 3-4 teams in the preseason, having played the Jets and San Diego.
"We work on those things in training camp and minicamps, and you kind of play against the defense that you are going against (during practice that week)," Johnson said. "It's not a huge adjustment that you make, but they are slight.
"We have all played long enough to recognize those fronts and the things that come with it."
With three down linemen and four linebackers, the Vikings blockers will have to account for the extra linebacker and make sure that player is picked up.
"It is definitely an adjustment, but we're going to go off what the center calls, and normally the center takes us to where we need to go," running back Michael Bennett said of the protection schemes. "It's basically the same thing. You just have one extra linebacker. We'll treat them like maybe if they are out in nickel or something like that."
The most pleasant surprise for the Browns this season has been running back Reuben Droughns.
Droughns is 132 yards away from ending the NFL's longest streak of rushing futility. The Browns have not a 100-yard rusher since 1985, when Kevin Mack and Earnest Byner both topped 1,000.
Droughns' 166 yards against Miami ignited the offense and helped pave the way to the team's first easy win of the year a 22-0 rout.
"Running backs get into that groove," Browns coach Romeo Crennel said.
Droughns has been the offense's most consistent and best player all year long. Even Crennel admitted the coaching staff might have been a little slow to recognize what it had.
"Anytime you bring a new player in, you don't know exactly what you have," Crennel said. "Maybe there might have been a learning curve."