March 20th would have been Karl Kassulke's 74th birthday, and in purple and gold celebration, let us take a look back to the 1969 season and a record setting performance by the Viking defense that still stands. No doubt when Bud Grant viewed film of the Viking secondary from previous seasons, he watched in dismay at how poorly they played man coverage. Grant needed a season to continue evaluation as Minnesota struggled through a 3-8-3 year in 1967.
Paul Krause was a natural zone defender, and his arrival in Minnesota, along with the experience
The results you ask? Here
Safeties Kassulke and Krause received some All-pro recognition, and were joined in the secondary by left corner Earsell Mackbee and right corners Ed "Bozo" Sharockman and Bobby Bryant.
Former starter Dale Hackbart was a key to success as a hybrid linebacker/safety, sometimes in a nickel coverage. The starting linebackers Roy Winston, Lonnie Warwick, and Wally Hilgenberg played their underneath zones to perfection (very rarely blitzed). However, none of the back seven was chosen for the Pro Bowl.