MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Vikings’ offensive line, as you might recall, struggled last season.
On the bright side, right tackle Brian O’Neill had a solid rookie season. He’s looking forward to building on it in year No. 2.
O’Neill was considered a developmental project when the Vikings drafted him last year in the second round.
But due to injuries and the struggles of others — not to mention his own rapid improvement — O’Neill was the starting right tackle by the mid-point of the season.
And he did not give up a sack the entire year, according to Pro Football Focus.
Now as he enters his second year, he’s grown a lot in not just the knowledge of the game but also actually grown — he’s bulked up.
“I think I’m in a much better place in terms of knowing how to use my body, too,” he said. “I think that’s kind of the big thing is knowing different angles, and kind of knowing where I’m gonna need to improve on from last year.”
The offensive line took a lot of the blame for last year’s struggles on offense, and frankly, for a reason. Outside of O’Neill’s individual success, the unit as a whole was not reliable.
And the unit took it personally.
“We don’t go into meetings saying, ‘This is what we did last year, this is what we’re going to do to be better.’ That’s not how we’re doing it. We’re worried about the 2019 Minnesota Vikings offense and the offensive line, and I’m just trying to be the best version of me in 2019. And the way we do that is by focusing on nothing other than tomorrow, and how to get better tomorrow. To be honest, this is this year, and this is this group, and we’re excited about starting from zero and getting going.”