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Final Roster Rundown: Running Backs And Specialists

Posted by Mike Wobschall on July 27, 2012 – 9:12 am

Friday marks the first practice of 2012 Verizon Vikings Training Camp and, appropriately, the final part of our Roster Rundown series. The series concludes with a look at the Vikings RBs and specialists…

Running Backs
Even with both Adrian Peterson and Toby Gerhart coming back from knee injuries, RB is a position of strength for the Vikings. There aren’t many teams with a better one-two punch than the Vikings. Gerhart has fully recovered from his knee injury, and he’ll shoulder the load for Peterson until he’s back at 100% health as well. Gerhart would be a starter for many NFL teams, so the job is in good hands while Peterson finishes up his recovery.

Depth at the position will be important for the Vikings in 2012 for reasons mentioned above, and Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier said the team is looking for a back with all-around skills to have as the third option. Guys competing for this role in camp will include undrafted college free agent Derrick Coleman, four-year veteran Lex Hilliard and youngster Jordan Todman. 

The Vikings designs at FB are uncertain at this point. Draft pick Rhett Ellison could play the part, but there are others who are actually listed as FBs on the roster as well (Ellison is listed as a TE). Ryan D’Imperio is a returning veteran with solid special teams ability as well, Matt Asiata was with the Vikings during last year’s camp and returns this year as well, and five-year veteran Jerome Felton will be around to increase the competition. Aside from how each of these players perform during practice and preseason games, the determining factor in this competition will be how the team plans to use the FB.

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Specialists
The Vikings go into 2012 Verizon Vikings Training Camp with starters in place at the specialists positions. Cullen Loeffler returns as the team’s long snapper, Chris Kluwe remains at punter, and Blair Walsh enters camp as the kicker. Together, Loeffler and Kluwe boast 17 years of NFL experience, so they are great mentors for Walsh as he embarks on his rookie season. It’s important for each of these players to perform well in their individual roles, but it’s also important for them to work well together. I have no doubt they’ll be able to do just that.


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Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 50 Comments »


50 Responses to “Final Roster Rundown: Running Backs And Specialists”

  1. By viks8&8 on Jul 27, 2012 | Reply

    Horrible update. Lets see some pictures of the team taking the field or maybe a short video of the walk through. C’mon Wobs your better than this.

  2. By Troutdaddy on Jul 27, 2012 | Reply

    Toddman should be a a good addition. If Peterson still has issues, i think this kid can be a solid RB. Matt Asiata is also going to be a solid addition. I am looking forward to see how they both gel. Looking for some highlights frm them.

  3. By RichardA1 on Jul 27, 2012 | Reply

    Great time for Gerhart to establish himself as the high draft choice he was, besides being a oh hum running back who does basically nothing but average running! Offense, running back, this has got to be the year Ponder does something, gives us something to believe in, is he a bust? nothing supernatural yet out of him, he is being kind of showboatish, reminds me of J. Namath, that or he is being the perfect gentleman, I hoope he inproves and he is just not all talk! I’m on the Solomon Elimimien train….it is now the high speed rail train, comming to a town near you! Brinkley, Henderson should stay take note, would’nt be long now if he is going to show his talent! Drekar……
    noftify me of follow up comments via email does not work on this site for me

  4. By Carl K on Jul 27, 2012 | Reply

    Richard- Gerhart averaged almost 5 yards per carry last year. HE CAN GET THE JOB DONE. He may not be flashy like AP… but he will “oh hum” right over your #%$!

  5. By Frederick Jones on Jul 27, 2012 | Reply

    Toby Gerhart has been a great running back for the Vikings. He can get it done, if there is a decent OLine in place.

    Let’s not have anymore RUNNING BACK SACKS, and if we do, blame it on the line!!!

  6. By Spencer on Jul 27, 2012 | Reply

    Dont know what you’re talking about Rich, Gerhart is a stud.

  7. By sandiamond on Jul 27, 2012 | Reply

    Official from Frazier: Everson Griffen has been moved to linebacker for all of training camp
    Everson weighed in at 258 / top shape and very eager to play one of the LB positions

    So be it!………………

  8. By Frederick Jones on Jul 27, 2012 | Reply

    Perhaps Everson Griffen could be the next Butkus!

  9. By sandiamond on Jul 27, 2012 | Reply

    Richard1A, that Elim train just took another detour!

  10. By sandiamond on Jul 27, 2012 | Reply

    Fred, we’ve been hollerin for a mean&nasty linebacker and we finally got one!!

  11. By rory from n.w.ark on Jul 27, 2012 | Reply

    PLEASE, ALL NON BELIEVERS EXIT THE SHIP!!! JUMP INTO THE SEA WITH THE REST OF THE SHARKS!!! IF YOU CANT SEE THIS IS THE MOST EXCITING SEASON COMING UP,,,A COMPLETE CHANGE OF ALL PAST ATTEMPTS TO WIN ,A COMPLETE NEW CONCEPT THAT WEVE NEVER SEEN BEFORE,KEEPING THE BEST OF THE VETS WITH A UNBELEIVABLE MIX OF ROOKIES AND FREE AGENTS AND HAVING FAITH IN OUR TEAM ,OUR COACHES AND OWNERSHIP,,,,THE BEST FAN BASE IN THE NFL,THAN AGAIN GET OFF THE SHIP!!! THE SHARKS ARE WAITNG..,.,…

  12. By Frederick Jones on Jul 27, 2012 | Reply

    @Sandiamond,

    We would have some weaknesses in the defense, but the improved coverage by the defensive backs would allow for even more pressure on the quarterback, and you know what that means.

    Even the Vikings 1969 defense had some weaknesses.

  13. By sandiamond on Jul 27, 2012 | Reply

    yes sir Fred. If the DB’s can lock down the receivers better then the linebackers can blitz more = QB chinguards in-the-turf

  14. By Frederick Jones on Jul 27, 2012 | Reply

    I like Peterson’s attitude about wanting to get on the field. It shows the positive will to get healthy again.

    However I hope the Vikings have enough sense to bring him in very slowly. If he does play in the first regular season game he should be limited to 5 carries or less.

    Ultimately the doctors know best, not Fred, but that is my gut feeling. This injury has ruined the career of many players. Let’s not mess around too much!!!

  15. By celticvikingwarrior on Jul 27, 2012 | Reply

    THE 1969 MINNESOTA VIKINGS DEFENSE MAY HAVE HAD 1 OR 2 POSITION PLAYERS WHO WERE NOT THE BEST TO EVER PLAY THE GAME, HOWEVER THEY HAD NO “WEAKNESSES”…..

  16. By Vikingsfan on Jul 27, 2012 | Reply

    I love how the vikings faithful are some how thinking that Toby Gerhart has done anything? He is not a threat and people dont plan for him he is not even as good as chester taylor was for the vikings. He is slow to the hole has no moves in the open field and for a big back his running is soft no threat to break a big run. He would not be a starter for any team in the NFL period. So I dont know why these people that makes these articles always act like he is the best back up in the league he is a nobody! Untill he proves otherwise please dont hype him up its annyoing!

  17. By Vikingsfan on Jul 27, 2012 | Reply

    You say he had almost 5 yards a carry, but he was not even handed the rock enough for him to have proven that he is any type of threat. I could name plenty of no name runnings backs with few carries that have 4.5 per carry or more its not hard for NFL backs to do with a few carries. Nothing about him screams out watch out we have to stop this guy he could really hurt us he benefits from people not having to put 8 or 9 in the box because they are not worred about him. When he is in the game they rather just force ponder to beat them in air which last season was quite impossible for him to do.

  18. By RichardA1 on Jul 27, 2012 | Reply

    uh huh, you could of driven a 18 wheel semi truck through some of those holes, thanks to the offense doing there job, still waiting for him to prove it. I see him get the ball and he get like 1 yard, not very impressive! I’m running out of resons to like him, why? because he’s white? not saying he can’t develope into a great running back. The mighty might Solomon Elimimien train a detour? only to pick up more and more people,,,,if the vikes and him work together, he gets playing time and plays the way he can, its time for a new awesome defense nickname!!!

  19. By sandiamond on Jul 27, 2012 | Reply

    live practice is on the site now for about an hour

  20. By sandiamond on Jul 27, 2012 | Reply

    http://www.vikings.com/media-vault/training-camp/2012/camp-live-stream.html

  21. By bobbyj723 on Jul 27, 2012 | Reply

    I am an optimist but have a sprinkle of common sense added in. The optimist side of me says they put 7 – 8 in the box and make Ponder prove he can pass successfully. If so, then they put 6 in the box and Toby or eventually AD breaks some long ones. The optimist side of me says if we can control the ball, our Defense will do enough to surprise some people.
    The Common Sense side of me says we haven’t proven we can do either with AD down so we won’t know what to expect. And if we don’t control the ball, we lose 10-12 games. This is a tough pill for me to swallow so I am rooting for the optimist side of me. Viking fan since I was 10 …. 46 years of bleeding purple!

  22. By Carl K on Jul 27, 2012 | Reply

    Gerhart carried the rock 109 times. AP carried it 208 times, Toby got 1 touch to every 2 touches for AP.

    Oh and Gerharts’s longest run last year was 67 yards to AP’s long of 54.

    Yeah, not hard to do in the NFL… What a joke!

  23. By Spencer on Jul 27, 2012 | Reply

    WTF- THe Olympic Ceremony is on now but NBC wont show it till 8pm EST!!!

  24. By Spencer on Jul 27, 2012 | Reply

    Good looks sandiamond!

  25. By celticvikingwarrior on Jul 27, 2012 | Reply

    For what it’s worth Phil Loadholdt look’s really REALLY LEAN, like he’s lost 20+ lbs.

  26. By sandiamond on Jul 27, 2012 | Reply

    Sherels lead punt returner. Kerry Taylor, Bobby Felder,Jarius Wright and Bryan Walters working as the second unit

  27. By Spencer on Jul 27, 2012 | Reply

    I agree celtic- Loadholdt use to be fat, now he looks smooth!

  28. By Vikingsfan on Jul 27, 2012 | Reply

    How many runs of 20 yards or more does Toby have? Let me answer that for you not even close to any of the starting runningbacks in the NFL how does that souns for you?

  29. By RichardA1 on Jul 27, 2012 | Reply

    Toby looks like if the jole that is suppose to be there aint there, he just runs into the blocking and gets nothing.

  30. By Vikingsfan on Jul 27, 2012 | Reply

    Sound

  31. By celticvikingwarrior on Jul 27, 2012 | Reply

    WR # 15 Kerry Taylor is going to be very, VERY HARD TO CUT….he may not be able to slip through to the P.S.

  32. By Vikingsfan on Jul 27, 2012 | Reply

    I know Kerry Taylor I played against him in Highschool here in Az very good player.

  33. By Parody on Jul 27, 2012 | Reply

    Vikingfan – You better check your stats before you go around spewing your hatred, lest your ignorance be called out by another blogger.

    Chester Taylor better than Toby Gerhart? In what regard? In 2008 and 2009, when we had championship teams, Taylor ran for 399 and 338 yards in 101 and 94 carries averaging 4.0 and 3.6 yards per carry, respectively. That was with McKinnie giving his only Pro Bowl performance in 2009, Steve Hutchinson completing a 7-year streak as an All Pro blocker and Phil Loadholt giving the only good performance of his career.

    In his rookie and sophòmore year, Gerhart ran for 322 and 531 yards in 81 and 109 carries averaging 4.0 and 4.9 yards per carry, respectively. That was with no respectable play at RT, McKinnie playing poorly enough in 2010 and fattening up so much that he got cut in favor of Charlie “I can’t block your grandmother” Johnson, and Hutchinson’s play dropping off enough that the team cut him in a cost saving move in favor of Charlie “Bütt-Fücking” Johnson!

    Chester may be the better blocker, (I have no way of comparing that skill) but Toby is CLEARLY the better runner.

  34. By sandiamond on Jul 27, 2012 | Reply

    Now I see why fans are so disgusted with McKinnie. He’s gone awol(nowhere to be found) and the Ravens have cut-off contact with him and are slapping down fines according to the cba agreement . Plus they are out 500k/ in-shape bonus

  35. By OTKalil2012 on Jul 27, 2012 | Reply

    McKinnie must have figured with Culpepper retired…Maybe they both could buy a boat and sale on like Minnetonka together again ??..

  36. By OTKalil2012 on Jul 27, 2012 | Reply

    *sail..

  37. By OTKalil2012 on Jul 27, 2012 | Reply

    *sail on lake Minnetonka…

    Time to put the keyboard down for awhile..

  38. By Carl K on Jul 27, 2012 | Reply

    Sandiamond- is Josh Robinson not returning punts anymore?
    Chris Carr has punt return skills too?
    Maybe Frazier just wants those 2 to focus on the corner position?

  39. By sandiamond on Jul 27, 2012 | Reply

    McKinnie has no nfl agent. The team states his absent excuse comes from a ‘chiropractor’

  40. By sandiamond on Jul 27, 2012 | Reply

    Carl, I guess it is too soon jumping in the return mix right now. Report out he just pulled a hammy or something so it may be further down the road

  41. By Spencer on Jul 27, 2012 | Reply

    Oh boy

  42. By Parody on Jul 27, 2012 | Reply

    Sandiamond – How did he pull his hammy? Did he get arogant and use the stairs instead of the elevator?

  43. By Parody on Jul 27, 2012 | Reply

    Spencer – Is that a good “oh boy”! for Simpson cause he beat out your hero, or a bad “oh boy” because you are realizing that your hero is having trouble covering a 2nd-teir WR?

  44. By Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus on Jul 27, 2012 | Reply

    What moronic nonsense on the board today! Seriously. Gerhart is a very good and competent runner– and I recall a few times he plowed through a number of defenders– he is strong and deceptively nimble– he seems to hit a wall, then all of a sudden he adds a couple yards. I like Toby– we are very competent at running back while AP recovers and heals.

  45. By Matthias on Jul 27, 2012 | Reply

    Robinson (CB) injured?

  46. By Spencer on Jul 27, 2012 | Reply

    Parody- he just came back from prison…it was bound to happen sooner or later- hes rusty.

    And now that J-rob has a hamstring injury…that means its Bobby Felders time to shine!

    GO FELDER!

  47. By sandiamond on Jul 27, 2012 | Reply

    Jrob injury might just be a tweak. If a tru hamstring pull then he might be out 2 weeks. He was covering Wright or Taylor on the pass play

    The He\\ with our cornerbacks returning kicks!! We can’t afford to start losing them

  48. By sandiamond on Jul 27, 2012 | Reply

    Jrob injury might just be a tweak. If a tru hamstring pull then he might be out 2 weeks. He was covering Wright or Taylor on the pass play

    The He\\ with all these cornerbacks returning kicks!! We can’t afford to start losing them

  49. By Lloyd Santee on Jul 27, 2012 | Reply

    To say Gerhart isn’t a solid back is unfair. He has had the opportuntity to prove what he can do yet, although when given the chance he did pretty well. He reminds me alot of Tom Rathman or maybe Allstott(maybe that’s a stretch). Give him the”rock”and prove himself. I couldn’t agree more with earlier ballcontrol comments. They have to be able to threaten the big play in order to scare people. That’s what makes good teams great. I’ll settle for good this year. SKOL VIKINGS!

  50. By 72viktul on Jul 29, 2012 | Reply

    being a ball control off. gives us our best chance to keep games close,keep dff. fresh and win aka ravens in the dilfer years

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