MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — When you share a backfield with a former MVP and an electric early-round draft pick being compared to Darren Sproles, it’s easy to fly under the radar.
But Matt Asiata has never been one for the limelight anyway.
“Just go out there and do your job and, you know, execute with the plays,” Asiata said. “I was just trying to get better every day.”
Asiata is a quiet guy, but his coaches and teammates have had lots to say about how impressed they’ve been with his training camp.
“I like Matt,” said Head Coach Mike Zimmer. “Matt is a guy that’s extremely dependable, he’s a good blocker, he can do a number of things. He catches the ball good out of the backfield, he’s got great vision in the running game and he’ll be a valuable addition to this team.”
Adrian Peterson says he only seems to be giving Asiata compliments during practice.
“He’s a heck of a runner, you know,” Peterson said. “He’s just versatile, he’s been helping his team out for a good minute now.”
With Toby Gerhart now in Jacksonville, the back-up running back job is an open competition, and early indications have Asiata out in front of Jerick McKinnon.
Maybe that’s because Asiata is taking the same approach as he did three years ago, back when he was even further under the radar as an undrafted free agent.
“The same mindset, you know, coming in as a free agent,” Asiata said. “I got to make the team.”
Asiata is originally from Utah, where he played college football.