The Vikings have a hall of fame safety in Harrison Smith who makes big play after big play. Since drafted in 2012 he has been the Vikings swiss army knife, he is able to cover the field as a deep safety but also come up into the box to blitz and stop the run.
Mike Zimmer might’ve been a poor guy and had character questions, but he did know how to call a defense, teams would have to game plan around his violent blitzes and head scratching schemes, He knew how to use Smith as a weapon, bringing him into the box and blitzing him and covering it up as another play.
This year has been the exact opposite, He is being used purely as a deep satfey, which he is very good at but not for the price tag he comes with. You could have brought back Xavier Woods for the same role, Donatell is rendering Smiths best skills useless.
In 2018 Smith has 32 Blitz’s to go alone with 8 pressures, In 2019 he has 30 blitz’s and 1 pressure, in 2020 he had 33 blitz’s and 7 pressures, in 2021 he had 40 blitz and 6 pressures. This year through 13 games he has 4 blitz’s and one pressure. A staggering difference and very problematic.
His ability has been well known and Donatell needs to use it better. With Smith’s ability to blitz the QB and create pressure you would think they would use him, 13 weeks into the season I don’t think a change will come, however it would help the Vikings defense out tremendously.