Even with a solid “live” practice on Tuesday morning and then several periods of good pad-crunching action, it’s hard for observers to get a true gauge of where interior linemen are in their development as NFL players. To this point, though, Vikings offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell seems pleased with how DeGeare’s 1st NFL training camp is progressing.
“Chris is a big boy,” Bevell said of the 6-4, 335-pound rookie. “He is a strong, physical guy. He has a really good anchor down inside. I still see the wheels turning a little bit. There are times when you can speed things up a little bit. I like what I see out of him. The physical ability, the balance he has, he does a nice job.”
Bevell’s comments don’t appear to be hyperbole. When starting LG Steve Hutchinson has been out of action so far during camp, it’s been DeGeare who’s slid in to replace the perennial All-Pro.
“I know Hutch is that solid number one,” DeGeare said, “but it’s always good to get extra work in with the first-team defense. That’s part of the process and the more I can get the better.”
When DeGeare was selected by the Vikings in the 5th round of the 2010 NFL Draft, the book on him was that he had great position flexibility because he is able to both guard and tackle. But for now, DeGeare says position flexibility is not his focus.
“I feel like down the road it (position flexibility) is, but right now I want to get comfortable with my position” DeGeare explained. “They don’t want me swimming and trying to learn a bunch of positions. We’ll see what happens from there.”
The Wake Forest product explained that the key to learning a position in the NFL is knowing the playbook thoroughly, including the adjustments to protections that can be made along the offensive line, and also getting a lot of reps in practice to get a feel for the pace of the game.
As I finished up my conversation with DeGeare, I asked him who the toughest challenges were on the Vikings defensive line. Aside from the Williams Wall, DeGeare named DTs Letroy Guion and Jimmy Kennedy as beasts who provide a good challenge up front. Of course DeGeare (Wake Forest) and Guion (Florida State) go back a couple of years to their days together in the ACC.
Tags: Chris DeGeare, Darrell Bevell
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