EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) -Darren Sharper has more interceptions in his career than any other active NFL player. Shut out so far this season, he's trying hard not to act desperately.
After all, it's just his job - not his love life.
``It's kind of like going out to find a girlfriend,'' Minnesota Vikings coach Brad Childress said. ``The minute that you go out and find a girlfriend you want to make a wife, it's a bad thing to do. You'd rather just let it happen. What I'm saying with Sharper is that you better just let it happen. You don't want to force the issue.''
In the Tampa Two zone scheme employed by the Vikings, overaggressiveness by the safeties - who typically split the back of the field and are responsible for their half - can be costly.
Even Sharper, who has been to four Pro Bowls because of his nose for the ball, realizes that.
``But you see the Tampa Two defensive style works. It's effective,'' he said.
lp his team by causing a turnover or two cloud his judgment.
``I keep saying, 'Don't force things and let things come to you,' but things haven't come to me,'' Sharper said, adding: ``I'm just not going to force things. They'll come. They'll come. It has in the past, and it will happen.''
In his 11th season, fourth with Minnesota, Sharper is in the final year of a contract and the twilight of his career. His 53 interceptions are by far the most by players currently in the league, and he's tied for 21st all time. He has 10 career touchdowns, too, a potential source of points the Vikings have not been able to tap into this year.
Sharper had nine interceptions in 2005, before the Vikings switched to the Tampa Two. He had four in each of the last two seasons.
``The 27-year-old Darren was playing a different style that would allow him to do things,'' Sharper said. ``But now what I'm doing is I'm playing within the defense, and I'm going to continue to do that. I can't go out and risk certain things by things I might see or know. I'm going to play within the defense, and like I said, let the game come to me.''
Sharper hasn't dropped any potential interceptions. Quarterbacks simply haven't thrown to his side as much, even though he turns 33 next week and his impact has decreased.
ed to test an inexperienced player. Another factor has been the strong performance of cornerback Antoine Winfield, who often lines up on the same side as Sharper.
Overall, the Vikings have only four interceptions through seven games after totaling 15 last season.
``We're all frustrated by not getting picks,'' said cornerback Cedric Griffin. ``That's what we do. That's our job. That's why they pay us, to get picks. They're not coming right now, but like I said, when they do come, they come in bunches.''
This week would be a good time for that, with Houston's potent offense coming to town. Sharper predicted he'd dance for about 10 minutes if he finally pulled one in, acknowledging any potential fine ``might be worth it.''
Though Johnson has played well, Sharper will welcome Madieu Williams to the lineup next to him. After sitting out to rehabilitate a neck injury suffered early in training camp, Williams is expected to suit up and start for the first time on Sunday.
``I think we're going to work well together,'' Williams said.
Even if he gets an interception before Sharper?
``I'm rooting for him,'' Williams said. ``Everybody's ready for him to get his first one.

Recent NFL Discussions

2016 NFL Draft Props on Thu, Apr 2016 by Blade
NFL Draft Preview on Thu, Apr 2016 by Blade
Test on Thu, Apr 2016 by Blade
CG releases Divisional Odds on Wed, Mar 2016 by Blade

NFL Top Stories

Thumbnail Lockette retiring from Seahawks The Seattle Seahawks are losing another skill-position player from last year’s team as receiver Ricardo Lockette is expected to announce his retirement...
Thumbnail Dolphins securing the D-Line The Miami Dolphins are trying to make a push for the playoffs and they aided that on Saturday by signing Cameron Wake to a two-year...
Thumbnail Updated Super Bowl LI Odds The 2016 NFL Draft has now concluded. How did the draft impact the odds to win the Super Bowl next season?
Thumbnail Larmey Tunsil NFL Draft Prediction Once considered the top prospect in this year's class, how far will Larmey Tunsil fall in the first round of tonight's 2016 NFL Draft?
Thumbnail Myles Jack NFL Draft Prediction Will UCLA linebacker Myles Jack drop out of the top 10 tonight when the 2016 NFL Draft commences at 8:00PM ET?
More inNFL Articles  

NFL Team Pages