Skip to main content
Publish date:

Zone Coverage: Film study: How Michael Pierce can replace Linval Joseph

We'll all miss "Linval Hungry," but Pierce can fill in and maybe be better.
Linval Joseph

No one will argue Linval Joseph was the catalyst to flipping a league-worst 32nd ranked defense into the NFL’s number one statistical unit under Mike Zimmer. After three surgeries in two seasons and nearing 32 years old, Joseph’s play slipped off drastically over the past season and a half, and the Vikings rushing defense slipped off as well because of it.

The drop off in play forced the Vikings’ front office to move on from Joseph. In return, the Vikings plucked Michael Pierce of the Baltimore Ravens, who quietly has turned into one of the better nose tackles in the league thanks to his stout run stopping ability at 345 pounds. 

According to PFF, Pierce has performed in the past like one of the top five nose tackles in the league, helping the Vikings upgrade at the position while actually saving several million dollars from Joseph’s contract.

Watch the full film breakdown as we go in depth on the transition from Joseph to Pierce and the impact it will make on players like Eric Kendricks and enhance Mike Zimmer’s play-calling possibilities, specifically on early downs as a run-stuffing nose tackle.

Next Up

Target store

Target unveils deals for 2-day 'Cyber Monday' event

The promotion kicks off Sunday, November 28.

Screen Shot 2021-11-27 at 9.59.30 AM

Edina police warn of recent burglary trend targeting garages and vehicles

The Edina Police Department is increasing patrols in affected neighborhoods in response to the trend.

Screen Shot 2021-11-27 at 9.03.06 AM

Charges: Man shot Uber Eats driver making a delivery in Cottage Grove

Otis Donnell Shipp was charged with second-degree attempted murder after turning himself in on Wednesday.

Screen Shot 2021-11-27 at 7.36.14 AM

Waterfront hotel in Duluth sustains damage in kitchen fire

Authorities estimate the damage at around $75,000.

Screen Shot 2021-11-27 at 7.15.18 AM

Large groups of thieves target 2 Twin Cities Best Buys on Black Friday

It bears similarities to the flash-mob style thefts seen recently in California.

Karl-Anthony Towns

Timberwolves' winning streak snapped at five games

The Wolves' bid for their longest winning streak since 2014 came up short.

Screen Shot 2020-08-14 at 6.45.53 PM

Teen arrested over fatal shooting of 5-year-old boy in Brooklyn Park

Police say the teen was filming a social media video while handling a gun.

Joe Biden

President Biden coming to Minnesota to promote Bipartisan Infrastructure Law

Tuesday's trip follows passage of the $1.2 trillion Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal.

Kirill Kaprizov

Kaprizov gets into the holiday spirit to rout Jets

Kirill Kaprizov's four points led the Wild to a 7-1 victory.

Kirk Cousins

Coller: Cure to Vikings' disrupted season lies in an explosive passing game

The Vikings go to San Francisco knowing that a win would be a huge boost to their playoff hopes.

Related

Michael Pierce

How Michael Pierce's contract changes after opting-out of season

The big man signed a three-year deal with Minnesota.

Everson Griffen

With Michael Pierce out, Vikings need Everson Griffen back

Griffen has reportedly expressed interested in signing with Green Bay.

Michael Pierce

Coller: Michael Pierce is a breath of fresh air for the Vikings

Matthew Coller writes a weekly Vikings column for BMTN, with more of his work found at Purple Insider.

2018_0121_Eagles_Away_Playoffs_NFCChampionship_0080

Vikings' Linval Joseph undergoes knee surgery

Joseph's knee injury isn't severe and he could be back this week.

Michael Pierce

Reports: Vikings' Michael Pierce to sit out season due to COVID-19

That leaves a gaping hole in the middle of Minnesota's defensive line.