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Renovated Vikings defense ready to play for real

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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) - - The Minnesota Vikings have been remaking their defense since Mike Zimmer took over this season as head coach.

They've made several changes to the lineup, with seven new starters in their base scheme. Their system is a lot different, too, using more man-to-man coverage, blitzing and disguises than in the past.

Improvement on last year will hinge on many of those offseason acquisitions and recent promotions. The Vikings gave up the most points in the NFL in 2013.

Several spots were still in competition into the final exhibition game: middle linebacker, strong safety and nickel cornerback. Zimmer said after practice Monday he's decided which players will start at those positions, but he declined to announce them.

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