Lunch Break


Zach Line Found a Rhythm in 2015

Posted Jan 15, 2016

Zach Line did not fly under the radar in his college career at SMU.

During his three years in the NCAA, Line was a combo running back and rushed for 4,185 yards on the ground and 47 touchdowns.

He ranks second behind NFL Hall of Fame running back Eric Dickerson on the school’s all-time rushing list.

Line was sought out and signed by the Vikings as an undrafted free agent in 2013.

After starting four games in his first two years in the NFL, Line’s transition to the full back position in the pros, made him a key component of the Vikings offense in 2015.

John Holler of Viking Update writes that Line found a rhythm in the Vikings offense this year.

Almost by design, fullbacks are meant to be seen, not discussed. They do the dirty work of the offense. Where most offensive players look to avoid contact, Line seeks it out – looking to give a little payback to defenders by taking the fight to them.

But Line is quick to point out that he is more than just a human battering ram. His role in the offense can be vastly different from one game to the next, depending on the opponent, at times being asked to do more for the offense than be a glorified offensive lineman wearing a running back’s number. That has given him an edge that can be used in varied ways in the offense.

“I think my role changed week by week,” Line said. “Sometimes it was taking on 3-4 defenses with the big D-ends. Other weeks, I was getting the ball more. I think having that versatility helped me out this year.”

Line saw action in all 16 games this season and started in five. While being a catalyst in Adrian Peterson’s third-career NFL rushing title this season, Line scored three touchdowns himself.

Line rushed for 10 yards on six attempts this year and caught six passes for 95 yards, including a 49-yard gain in the Vikings 28-19 victory over the Lions in Week 7.

“When you’re an undrafted guy, you have to prove people wrong,” Line said. “Basically, there are other guys in front of you and you have to work your way up and prove yourself every day. It was definitely harder and it was incremental. The incremental part was just earning their trust. Every time I got a play, I tried to make the most of it. I still do that, whether it’s in practice or on game day. It doesn’t matter.”

Quick Hitters

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The Vikings have numerous options for the second safety spot, writes Eric Oslund of Viking Update.

Sid Hartman of the Star Tribune writes that Zimmer, new offensive line coach Tony Sparano have a coaching history.