EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (WCCO) — It might be the offseason, but the Minnesota Vikings management and coaching staff worries about the offensive line 365 days a year.
This week, they get to take a closer look at new offseason additions, and hope there is an upgrade to a dismal 2016. Last year, there were many reasons the Vikings went sideways.
At the top of the list, a beat up and often beaten offensive line.
“I think you’ve got to play tough together. It’s easy to say you gotta play tough, but then you go out there and do it. You all have to be on the same page. You have to talk a lot,” offensive lineman Alex Boone said.
So they tried to fortify it via free agency, and hope that a new energy follows new personnel.
“This time is absolutely critical especially for the younger guys, the new guys. Just to learn the offense, to know what we’re doing out there so we can play fast on Sundays,” Mike Remmers said.
This will not be the most talented group in the NFL, so therefore, it puts a premium on work. And working together, and becoming a unit. That’s where the sum is greater than the parts.
That’s what they want, a team within the team.
“Well that’s the key to offensive line play is certainly each guy has to block their own guy. But I think the hallmark of what makes a good offensive line is really how well they play together,” offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur said.
The early observations? So far, so good.
“I see a lot of promise and I see a lot of guys taking charge. Riley (Reiff), (Mike) Remmers, you’ve got Nick (Easton) in the middle, Joe (Berger) moving out to guard. It’s a big O-line,” Boone said.
Because no one want’s a repeat performance of last year.
The Vikings are also very high on third-round draft choice, center, Pat Elflein from Ohio State, who has that tailor made attitude to step in and play right away. He could also play guard, so definitely some much needed new faces on that offensive line.