Daniel House talked with Vikings defensive tackle Linval Joseph and learned more about his first training camp in Minnesota.
Updated: August 4th, 2014 6:02pm
By: Daniel House
At 6-foot-4, 323 pounds, Linval Joseph fits the mold of a true nose tackle. The Vikings signed him to a big contract in free agency to bolster the interior of the defensive line. Joseph, who spent four seasons with the New York Giants was arguably one of the most valuable free agent pickups for the Vikings this year. Early in training camp, you can can see the impact Joseph is making in the middle and it seems his disruptive edge is starting to rub off onto the entire defensive line. Joseph is excited to join the Vikings and is looking forward to watching this team come together.
"Great weather, good team so far, we are just trying to get everything to come together one day at a time, and just try to get better," Joseph said.
Joseph is entering his first camp with the Vikings, but he doesn't see much of a difference in approach at this training camp.
"Camp is camp, there's no really big difference. Like I said, it's a different atmosphere out here and I love it," Joseph explained.
Linval Joseph is looking forward to playing in Mike Zimmer's defense and is welcoming the physicality that will directly reflect playing in this scheme. Zimmer has a history of placing defenders in the best opportunity to make plays. Joseph is embracing this philosophy and looks forward to flourishing in this defense.
"I like it because it is very physical and you've got to have fast players and [Zimmer] makes opportunities for guys to make plays," Joseph added.
In the past, Joseph has shown his insane athletic ability, which perfectly compliments his huge frame. Not many nose tackles in this league can rush the passer and make athletic plays, but Joseph has proven himself in his career.
"I'm just trying to make plays, each way I can and if I have to bat a pass down, make a sack, make a tackle; I'm just trying to help the team in anyway I can," Joseph said.
Joseph has been working closely with Vikings defensive line coach Andre Patterson and he already is using his technique to improve as a nose tackle in this league.
"It's a blessing to work with [Patterson]. I've learned a lot so far with my hands and my feet and everyday my goal is to just get better," Joseph explained.
Linval has enjoyed watching the young defensive lineman grow since the first day they arrived and feels like all of the players have made significant progress early in training camp.
"All of them [have progressed]. From day one, from OTA's to now, just to watch them grow up. Everyday they do something better, they try to get better, and try to fix the problem they made yesterday," Joseph added.
Joseph just wants to see the team succeed and that will start by performing well as a defensive line. His ultimate goal is to see this team succeed, while performing at a higher level than last year.
"My top goal right now is more of a team goal. I just want us to do good as a defensive line and the whole team I just want to do better than we did last year," Joseph concluded.