Vikings expecting more from O-line

Posted July 29, 2010 @ 8:35 p.m.
Posted By Eric Edholm

The Vikings' offensive line mostly got a pass in 2009 because of the overall success of the offense. The team scored the second-most points in the NFL, gained the fifth-most yards and was excellent (44.8 percent) on third-down conversions. So what's the problem? A closer look at the tape from last season reveals some inconsistencies. OLT Bryant McKinnie dominated at times but was dominated himself at others, and far too often. ORT Phil Loadholt cut down on early mistakes around midseason but reverted back to bad habits down the stretch. And the interior didn't have its best collective season, either. C John Sullivan might not have the girth to handle big tackles and make a big push in the run game. ORG Anthony Herrera is hardworking but clearly was set back by shoulder surgery before last season. And stalwart OLG Steve Hutchinson did not have his best season, also fighting through an injured shoulder. The team believes it should be healthier and, in the case of Loadholt and Sullivan, better prepared with more experience. But it will be crucial to watch how this unit progresses for continued offensive success in '10.


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