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Vikings’ offensive line looks for bounce back year

Sports

EAGAN, Minn. (KELO) — The Vikings offense ranked near the middle of the NFL in most categories last season, but hope some new talent and reshuffling along the offensive line will help lead to more success.

Leading the way for the Vikings offensive line, will be Parkston native Riley Reiff, who enters his third season as the team’s starting left tackle.

“Riley is a man of few words. When he speaks, guys are listening. He provides a great presence to that meeting room, and he’s out here working,” Vikings Offensive Coordinator Kevin Stefanski said.

The only other veteran player among Minnesota’s starting five is seven-year pro Josh Kline. The former Tennessee Titan is slotted to be the Vikings’ starting right guard. The other three spots will be filled by third-year player Pat Elflein, second-year tackle Brian O’Neill, and this year’s first round pick, Garrett Bradbury.

“They’re young, they’re athletic, but they’re tough. They’re tough and they’re going to give it one-hundred percent every play,” Vikings Left Tackle Riley Reiff said.

Bradbury will enter his rookie season as the team’s starting center, pushing Pat Elflein to left guard.

“I think Pat Elflein is a team player. I couldn’t be more proud of that kid. He is all ball, and when we brought Garrett in here, and Pat moved over to left guard, he didn’t miss a beat,” Stefanski said.

Though it’s a new position for Elflein in Minnesota, he has experience at the position, as he played guard during Ohio State’s national title run in 2015.

“You got to be in the right spots and you got to be nasty. All those same principles apply at center or guard. But there’s just a few different things that guard you know, stands, and the footwork’s a little different, and there’s more space,” Vikings Guard Pat Elflein said.

With the retooling of the offensive line, and new Offensive Line Coach Rick Dennison, Minnesota’s lineman have high hopes entering the season.

“You know it comes down to fundamentals. We’re getting out here working, but you know, we’re having fun though,” Reiff said.

After a day off today, the Vikings return to practice on Wednesday, and open exhibition play August 9th at New Orleans.

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