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Bleacher Report – Vikings

Zimmer appreciates new CB Hughes’ aggressiveness

By Matthew Coller

On draft night, Minnesota Vikings GM Rick Spielman reiterated a core philosophy of head coach Mike Zimmer: You can never have too many cornerbacks.

The Vikings selected UCF cornerback Mike Hughes, who allowed just a 44.2 QB rating into his coverage (per Pro Football Focus) and finished last season with four interceptions. Draft analysts cite his aggressiveness as of the reason for his success. Asked about a report that indicated Hughes had a tendency to gamble, Zimmer said:

“If you’re not aggressive you can’t play for me anyway. I don’t know if it’s gambling or aggressive, that doesn’t bother me at all. I’ve had a few aggressive corners in my day. I’d rather tell them whoa than no.”

The Vikings’ head coach did not indicate whether he expected Hughes to become the Day 1 starter and noted that selecting a corner was not an indictment on 2016 second-round pick Mackensie Alexander.

Zimmer said that having more quality corners could give him a chance to get creative in certain situations.

“I’ve always kind of tinkered around with maybe having one safety and four corners, things like that, so it’ll give us some flexibility in some of the nickel packages,” Zimmer said.

While the fact that Zimmer’s team does not have a locked-in nickel corner would lead to speculation about Hughes starting inside, he pointed out the challenge of a rookie to start in the slot.

”The nickel position is a hard position just because of the zone pass-off concepts, the man-within-your-zone concepts that we do,” Zimmer said. “Understanding blitzes and all the different things that they have to do, it is more difficult, more time consuming. Just have to be quicker in there as opposed to on the outside.”

Hughes does not have a great deal of experience. He was a regular starter for only one season, playing 13 games with UCF.

The post Zimmer appreciates new CB Hughes’ aggressiveness appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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