Friday night's Minnesota preseason opener against Oakland continued former FIU defensive tackle Isame Faciane's attempt to make the Vikings as an undrafted rookie. A plus for him is that the Vikes plan to rotate defensive linemen, Seattle style, so they'll need several. The minus is obvious -- when you enter the first preseason game with 8:46 remaining, there's no few in the queue ahead of you.
In two Oakland possessions, Faciane blocked a pass, drew a holding penalty and generally showed good hustle in getting around the ball when the play went away from him. It does look like he needs to work on his conditioning as he seemed to lose his top two gears near the end.
On the block, the 6-5 Faciane got a little penetraion on the pass rush against Raiders guard Emmett Cleary, then did what d-linemen are supposed to do once progress is stopped: get your hands up.
Later, on a third down, he drew a holding penalty on Cleary, No. 62, for which officials indicted left tackle Erle Ladson, No. 68. In the official game book, Cleary benefits from mistaken identity begat by scrunched up jerseys. Video, as Floyd Gondoli told Jack Horner, tells the truth. Ladson took care of his assignment with minimal contact, a classic legal punch-thrust. Meanwhile, Faciane powered inside Cleary, who held on for quarterback Matt McGloin's life. The pulled jersey was obvious to all as Faciane spun away from Cleary. Flag.
I noticed two other plays that might work in Faciane's favor. He plugged the hole and took on the fullback block in the backfield, mucking up what turned into a 2-yard loss on a left side run. On a third and 10, Faciane bull rushed center Jerrod Shaw to Wisconsin and planted Shaw like a time capsule. Problem was, they wound up well past McGloin. Either Faciane forgot to grab McGloin as he rumbled past with Shaw, couldn't get his hands free or was getting his momentum subtly used against him by Shaw.
Tonight, defensive tackle Greg Hickman tries to make his way up the Detroit depth chart in a preseason game against Cleveland.