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Monday Morning Mailbag

Posted Jun 7, 2010

Do you have a comment or question? Send it to the vikings.com Mailbag! Every Monday during the offseason we’ll post several comments and/or questions as part of the vikings.com Monday Morning Mailbag feature. Although we can’t post every comment or question, we will reply to every question submitted.

To submit a comment or question to the mailbag, send an email to Mike Wobschall at wobschallm@vikings.nfl.net. Remember to include your name and town on the email.

I was wondering if you've noticed anything in OTAs or heard anything in the rumor mill regarding the FB position. The Vikings used Jeff Dugan once in a while at FB and I thought his blocks were much more solid than Fahu Tahi's. Dugan, also being a TE, has better hands as well. The Vikings also drafted Ryan D'Imperio and hope to turn him into a FB. What does this mean for Tahi?
-- Zach -Chicago, IL

This position is certainly one to watch as we go forward with minicamp this weekend and then training camp later this summer. To Zach’s point, there are a lot of names in the mix at this position and the Vikings could go any number of ways. I paid attention to this group of players during OTAs and I really couldn’t glean anything from those workouts.

What this means for Tahi is that he has some competition at his position and he’s going to have to earn a spot on the roster. His performance in the past and how valuable he’s been to the Vikings is probably a matter of debate, but it actually doesn’t matter. For what it’s worth, I think he’s been an important factor in the offense. What matters now is figuring out this position and how it will fit into the Vikings offensive scheme.

At this point I think you’d have to make Tahi the favorite to win the job, but there’s a long a way to go before final roster cuts. D’Imperio’s biggest hurdle is learning the position – he played LB in college. If Dugan can solidify himself as the clear-cut 3rd TE and then also continue to contribute on special teams, perhaps the offensive staff will rely on him to FB as well. It’s tough to say as of now, but this is a position battle to watch as we move forward.

Will the Vikings consider moving Toby Gerhart to FB? I know we have Tahi, and I think he's a decent FB, but it's just a thought. Gerhart seems to fit the mold of a FB. It probably won't happen, but what do you think?
-- Joe H., Sioux Falls, SD

No, I don't think that will happen. Gerhart's skill set is more of a pure RB than a FB. He obviously has the ability to run with the football and he's actually quite good coming out of the backfield as a receiver. He'll have to improve his blocking skills I’m sure and then of course he'll need to become more familiar with the offense. But Gerhart is a bona fide RB who will be productive for the Vikings in tandem with Adrian Peterson.

The NFL has a 53-man roster limit during the regular season. Out of those 53 guys, how many are eligible to play in the game each week? QB Sage Rosenfels, along with a few others,was inactive for most of the season last year. What circumstances or rules would allow an inactive player (such as Sage last year) to actually play in a game he was listed as inactive for?
-- Carl K., Huntington, IN

The 53-man roster is trimmed down to 45 on game day, meaning 8 players are listed as inactive. This decision is made by teams 90 minutes prior to kickoff of their game. Those 8 inactive players may not enter the game under any circumstance, with one exception. Typically, one of these 8 inactive players is the 3rd QB. In that case, a 3rd (or emergency) QB may enter the game but if he does so before the 4th quarter, the other 2 QBs listed on the roster may not play for the remainder of the game.

How well do you think the O-Line can mesh after being together for Year 2?
-- J. Charles

Chemistry along the offensive line is not an issue of concern for the Vikings in 2010. Last year’s starters paved the way for the NFL’s 2nd-highest scoring offense, 5th-ranked total offense and 8th-ranked passing offense. The line also had 2 Pro Bowlers last year in G Steve Hutchinson and LT Bryant McKinnie. All of that success came with a pair of 1st-year starters – RT Phil Loadholt and C John Sullivan who did a great job of stepping in and contributing. On top of that, remember that RG Anthony Herrera was dealing with shoulder and concussion issues for much of the season.

The Vikings offensive line took some heat during the season and they continue to do so this offseason. I’m not suggesting the line was perfect in 2009, but I also think they’re taking on a little more criticism than is fair.

With all of that said, I wouldn’t rule out the Vikings adding players to the mix this offseason who could help.

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