By Mike Max

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Minnesota Vikings learned a little more Friday night in New Orleans: that training camp is about educating yourself.

The same goes for individual players. Pat Elflein has moved over about 18 inches, from center to guard, and he’s learning.

Some think of training camp as drudgery, but it’s football heaven for Elflein.

“Training camp’s definitely a grind and, you know, I love that part of it,” Elflein said. “I feel like that’s where you can really come together as a team and you can really get close with your teammates because those are the people that you’re going through this, you know, tough work with, so I love that aspect of it.”

It is different because his position is different. He converted to guard this offseason.

“The more reps you get at it, the more comfortable you get,” he said. “Now I’m just building confidence, building technique and, you know, just working hard at it every day.”

His change was to make room for Garrett Bradbury to play his former position, center, and they hope form a tandem.

“Garrett’s a really smart guy, and he’s really picking up our offense and like the nuances of the game at this next level, so I’m happy with him. He’s doing a good job,” Elflein said. “But I always try to give him some tips about my experience as a rookie center, but he’s doing a great job right now.”

What they know is what the coaches want– to commit to running the football and to keep running the football. That’s an offensive lineman’s dream come true.

“I feel like running the ball is important in this game,” Elflein said. “If you want to be able to win you have to be able to run the ball, and we stress that. So yeah, we like running it.”

Mike Max