Defensive tackles Sharrif Floyd and Linval Joseph, the Minnesota Vikings' starting tandem, weigh a combined 640 pounds. Call these massive men whatever you want -- space-eaters, gap-pluggers, run-stuffers -- but they'll tell you it's all about "small ball."
That's what the Vikings call their interior D-line responsibilities, according to the team's official website. Floyd and Joseph must be careful to mind their gaps and hold their ground while doing battle in the trenches.
"Since we came back for OTAs, that's been the emphasis," Joseph said. via Vikings.com. "We call it small ball. Everybody has to do their job. Your play is going to come to you when it's time to make your play."
Both Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer and offensive lineman Brandon Fusco have noticed an improvement in Floyd so far in training camp, per the team's website. That's good news for the more seasoned Joseph, who relies on Floyd to be on the same page as him.
"Playing next to Sharrif is good because that's my guy and you have to play off each other, just like all the other D-lineman," Joseph told Vikings.com. "From last year to this year, we bonded a lot more and know exactly what we have to do to get the job done."
In their first season together, Floyd and Joseph combined for 89 tackles and 7.5 sacks. The interior duo should be even more imposing in 2015.
(h/t Minnesota Vikings)