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.
Tags: Albert Young, Toby Gerhart
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