Backup RBs Are “2 And 2A”

Posted by Mike Wobschall on August 30, 2010 – 2:07 pm

Ever since Chester Taylor left the team via free agency to join division rival Chicago, Vikings followers have been trying to identify the individual who would replace the role of complementing Adrian Peterson. It is, after all, an important role given today’s NFL where a 2-back rotation is the way to go and it’s actually more common to have 3 solid RBs than 1 workhorse.

The search for Taylor’s replacement began with veterans such as LaDainian Tomlinson and Brian Westbrook and then continued through the 2010 NFL Draft. In the end, the Vikings went to training camp with 2nd round rookie Toby Gerhart and 2nd-year pro Albert Young, a guy who has risen from the practice squad and now figures to be a contributor this season.

It was Young who got the start for the Vikings 1st preseason game, with Gerhart being worked in slowly after that. And then on Saturday night Gerhart got the start. The 2 RBs have been sharing reps and as a result it’s never been clear who the true #2 RB is. And that’s because there will be no clear-cut #2 RB, according to head coach Brad Childress.

“I think it will be by week and who we are facing and what exactly we need out of a second running back,” Childress explained after practice on Monday. “If you remember last year, there were a number of games where we didn’t have a third running back up and from time-to-time that will happen when maybe we need another tight end up or need another rush guy. So those guys are 2 and 2/A.”

Time will tell exactly how the Vikings offensive staff deploys Gerhart and Young. My sense is that Young is more solid in 3rd down scenarios, specifically pass protection, while Gerhart provides a better presence in the run game, specifically looking at the inside zone running scheme.

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46 Responses to “Backup RBs Are “2 And 2A””

  1. By Derick on Aug 30, 2010 | Reply

    Albert Young isnt even as good as Ian Johnson
    He is nothing but a less talented Shone Green

  2. By Derick on Aug 30, 2010 | Reply

    2A should be Darius Reynaud

  3. By D-Rey on Aug 30, 2010 | Reply

    I agree…Darius could be a great 3rd down back. My biggest doubt was his ability to block (which remains an issue) but I have seen tremendous improvement this preseason. He has thrived at each position he has played. I hope he gets some chances this season in real 1st-3rd down situations as well as returning punts or kicks.

  4. By Loren on Aug 30, 2010 | Reply

    Lets just remember everyone thought the Vikes were in a mess last preseason,Then NFC CG Almost half the team in the PB including QB O.F. ROTY.Short of no SB it was a great team and will be again.Our D needs to be better on 3rd down so our O and AP get more chances.

  5. By Geo on Aug 30, 2010 | Reply

    Hopefully The Vikings will Go get a Known Good back up for Peterson Believe me when I say they Must Yes Must Have a Better Back up then they have now They will need Experience Should also Talk With Koren Robison and see if he might want to go at wide reciever for one more year he has great talent andstill has a few good years left Talk to him please We must have help for Our Belloved Brett He is the greatest Quarterback Alive So lets get him some help Adding A decent known good Running back to back up peterson is a MUst and a goodwide reciever like Koren Robison Who caught what ever bret Through at him wouldreally help to GEO.

  6. By Lito on Aug 30, 2010 | Reply

    Get a Randy Moss type of player and a HUMONGOUS Offensive lineman; and the Vikes will dominate!

  7. By Skol_Vikings on Aug 30, 2010 | Reply

    Meh, I think a 3 back rotation like that will work just fine. My main concern is the cohesiveness and the health of the OL.

    People may want huge linemen, but 350+ lineman tend to be injury prone, have shorter carrers, and aren’t super quick.

  8. By Derick on Aug 30, 2010 | Reply

    we are good at WR and at RB. We should trade for and pay center Logan Mankins. Sage and Young could give us some trading ammo. I love what Chris Cook is doing at CB. Our saftey play must improve if we are to be sucessfull. Asher and Lito need to be able to cover also. We will see a lot of spread offenses due to our stout run stopping.

  9. By mike on Aug 30, 2010 | Reply

    i would have liked to see brian westbrook or lt on this years team i think they were waiting to see if favre was going to come back, but it took too long and they both wentdifferent ways and there still is a good chance of finding a good 3rd down back renaud or young in a split job can handle it well …i hope make gerhart pass block and take sum of the wear and tear off the best back in the league!!!!

  10. By secondnature815 on Aug 30, 2010 | Reply

    Just give the ball to RB 1 and 1/
    A……Adrian and Peterson!

  11. By Bleeding_Purple on Aug 30, 2010 | Reply

    IMO we have what it takes at all the positions we just need the guys to step up, and I know they will. As far as Westbrook goes yeah he is a great 3rd down back but he hasn’t stayed healthy in any one season that he has been in the league. I think he played a total of 6 games last year? LT would have been a nice addition, but I think developing Gerhart will pay more dividends this season and in the long run. Once we get everybody firing on all cylinders there will be no stopping us. So, all you fair weather, band wagon jumping, know-it-all fans who probably never even played high school ball, you can take your seat at the back of the light-rail, and just shut up and enjoy the ride cause the next stop is SB.


  12. By Ryan Krause on Aug 30, 2010 | Reply

    Ian Johnson needs reps with the first or second team to show what he can do……….. most in shape, multi-talented running back they have…. besides AP

  13. By Ryan Krause on Aug 30, 2010 | Reply

    Oh, bye the way, Ian Johnson was on “practice team” last season……… he paid his do, and was faithful to the club. He was backing up one of the best duos in the leauge, GIVE HIM HIS SHOT! He could be a SOMEONE / somewhere else………. but he’s a Viking!

  14. By TKO on Aug 30, 2010 | Reply

    hey BLEEDING PURPLE, I read your post and all I got out of it was YOUR OPINION !! And that you want to insult anyone that doesn’t echo YOUR OPINION !! Who care’s if you played high school ball. That’s obviously as far as your talent took you. You will get alot further by voicing your opinion and saving the insults for the play ground. Good Day and GOOO VIKES !!!!

  15. By TWVIKE on Aug 30, 2010 | Reply

    Too bad our RBs dont play in the secondary, they have more talent. We are not set at all positions!

  16. By Bleeding_Purple on Aug 30, 2010 | Reply

    TKO just to clerify my insults are only directed towards the people that come on here acting like Vikings fans only to turn around and disrespect the people who are working hard trying to contribute to the team in anyway they can. Yeah some just aren’t good enough to make the contribution needed, but to be judged by people who can’t or won’t appreciate the blood and sweat they’re sacrificing for the team doesn’t sit right with me. The high school ball comment was intended to make that point, but I guess you can’t read inbetween the lines. So I hope me spelling it out for you helps.

  17. By TWVIKE on Aug 30, 2010 | Reply

    Bleeding green & gold if we do not get our HEADS OUT OF OUR BEHINDS! I was on the band-wagon when it had wooden wheels!

  18. By brody on Aug 30, 2010 | Reply

    ok we need to make a decision either sage or jackson we can’t keep 4 qbs and two kickers with the extra depth needed elsewhere i think we only need longwell and as far as the qb that goes package him with albert taylor and a lineman for a decent lineman who can block

  19. By vikings012 on Aug 30, 2010 | Reply

    Our RB’s should be 1) Peterson, 2) Gerhart, 3)Reynaud

  20. By brody on Aug 30, 2010 | Reply

    i agree vikings012 good depth chart for rb i feel bad for ian johnson though

  21. By Bigfan1 on Aug 30, 2010 | Reply

    D’Imperio and Reynaud look good, Toby’s hasn’t been as striking during preseason.

  22. By Randy on Aug 30, 2010 | Reply

    If Ian Johnson doesn’t make the team of 53 will he be back on the practice sq. Sure have to see him leave the vikings.

  23. By Rogerthevikefan on Aug 30, 2010 | Reply

    Dimperio over tahi for fullback. Give the nod to reynaud over young. Ryan and Darius can catch and run and block things the other two struggle at. These young men will help the team alot with special teams play and the things I said before give them a chance.

  24. By Carl K on Aug 31, 2010 | Reply

    Dimperio over Tahi. Reynaud over Young.

  25. By Malte on Aug 31, 2010 | Reply

    how do you know how great ryan d’ imperio is? you only saw him make 1 play. what if he aint that good at blocking? AP needs holes and tahi might be able to bring those holes..

  26. By Rogerthevikefan on Aug 31, 2010 | Reply

    With tahi you know you wont have a hole. He sucks he sould have stayed in cinci. Ryan has good hands and has a good camp and preseason. He has been in on more then 1 play. He has 2 catches one for a td the other for a first down. Watch the games closer and you will see he can contribute more the tahi.

  27. By MJ on Aug 31, 2010 | Reply

    Ian Johnson looks every bit as good as Gerhart and Young, if not better. Reynaud has more quickness than all three. Johnson should get his chance. Don’t know why he slid down so far. Maybe they don’t want to expose him to other teams and lose him. I think Gerhart was overrated and we shouldn’t have spent such a high draft pick on him. Time will tell. (1) Peterson (2) Johnson (3) Reynaud

  28. By Silverfox2dallas on Aug 31, 2010 | Reply

    Toby is clearly the 2A back and his agility as well as strength makes him the perfect 3rd down back, Darius is quite fast but he is never looking where he is going and is constantly loosing his footing. He is very fast but not reliable enough to have a secure running back position

  29. By Silverfox2dallas on Aug 31, 2010 | Reply

    and MJ you will see that Gerhart was perhaps the best steal we have gotten since Randy Moss, this kid should have one the heisman last year for carrying an entire team the whole year.

  30. By thekid on Aug 31, 2010 | Reply

    we have made our mistakes in the draft but then we started doing good and i figured it would all be over…until 2010 when we drafted an over rated FULLBACK in the 2nd round, mark my words gerhart will be worthless only way i see him playing in the future will be at the FB position

  31. By cesario suarez on Aug 31, 2010 | Reply

    Ian Johnson, Ian Johnson, Ian Johnson
    he can do both block and and rush up
    the middle, were talking about effeciency
    what wins championships, fiesta bowls, super bowls. Give the Boise State Alum,
    underdog, a chance. He won’t let u down.

  32. By Nathan Gillispie on Sep 1, 2010 | Reply

    Reynaud will be an explosive change of pace back. I was really hoping Ian Johnson would have shown better but sounds like it comes down to blocking.

  33. By dennis mcgonigal on Sep 2, 2010 | Reply

    ian johnson is a great athlete. listen up childress. you need him on ur roster. for the saints game. he will explode. give him a shot. this guy is a talented athlete and works harder than most. a heart like a lion and the strength of a bull with the speed of a cheetah. in game situations he will blow your mind. whats the worst? give hime one game, then waive him. put reynaud on the practice squad and call him back up if ian doesn’t work out. this guy has earned it!!!!

  34. By dennis mcgonigal on Sep 2, 2010 | Reply

    if he does great youll look like a genius childress.
    if he doesnt, you gave a guy a shot that the fans wanted to see. its a win win coach. win win

  35. By dennis mcgonigal on Sep 2, 2010 | Reply


    ur number 2 will come in and hold onto the ball

  36. By dennis mcgonigal on Sep 2, 2010 | Reply

    oh, and GO 49ers!!!! thank the old school brett for me being here. He’s all i got left of the glory years in san fran. IRONIC isnt’t it. #1 Favre fan. #1 niner fan. cant wait to see rodgers go down in flames against the vikes this year.

  37. By dennis mcgonigal on Sep 2, 2010 | Reply

    Favre?! throw me a line. the pass in the back of the end zone against san fran last year broke my heart! But great job brother. great job.


  38. By kevin on Sep 2, 2010 | Reply

    i remember back in 1998 then vikings had a great third down back in david palmer he also handled all the return duties … his ability to make people miss and quickness made him a great third down back,,,, imo that has to be darius reynad you can do so much with him in that position hand off screen or because of his wr experince split him out wide and get a huge miss match with a line backer having to cover him….

  39. By OldViking on Sep 2, 2010 | Reply

    First of all, Albert Young has worked his rear end off, knows the offense and blocking schemes inside out and can catch the ball, maybe Ian Johnson is as good, maybe he has paid his dues, but so has AY and not to denegrate IJ but I doubt they’ll suffer at that position, Darious Reynaud is better in the kicking game and wide receiver, than he is as a running back who has to step up and block linebackers. Look at AP’s attempt at blocking Patrick Willis, dismal, unless someone is willing and able to put his head in there to protect Fahvre, it doesn’t matter how much talent they have.

  40. By dennis mcgonigal on Sep 2, 2010 | Reply

    as far as blocking goes, it begins with the o-line.
    i think they did a pretty poor job last year. needs dramatic improvement. but, ur right about AP, his pass protection is dismal. for being so powerful, he sure seems like some very basic things are missing from his game. and he should be concentrating on those. hold on to the ball, and protect. the rest of his game is natural, i know he works hard but those should really be at the top of his list. yeah favre needs protection, i hope these guys didnt bring him back just so he could get his but kicked all year

  41. By Rogerthevikefan on Sep 2, 2010 | Reply

    The oline needs to get their heads out of their culective behinds and block so ap or ay or tg or DR don’t have to try and block 2 or more linebackers. Work harder so farve wont get broken

  42. By OldViking on Sep 2, 2010 | Reply

    I have seen schemes where a guard, center or tackle chips the rush LB, and then certain backs come up and literally clean their clocks, sometimes Tahi seems lost on who to pick up, when he does hit someone, they are H I T! I like the rookie, he blocks, he has good hands and is more mobile than Tahi, he would be a huge improvement on the passing game from the fullback position (as a receiver, he can actually reach above his head…lol)

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  2. Aug 30, 2010: Backup RBs Are “2 And 2A” | Vikings Stop Blog
  3. Aug 30, 2010: No Clear Backup Behind Peterson; Backups are 2 and 2A | Minnesota Sports Zone
  4. Aug 31, 2010: Toby Gerhart Or Albert Young? « Purple Pants, Green Jersey
  5. Sep 1, 2010: Vikings Blog

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