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Assessing the Vikings Running Backs Going Forward

With the offseason in full swing, Matt Vensel of the Star Tribune is taking a look at each position for the Vikings.

View some of the best images of the running backs not named Adrian Peterson from 2015.

Vensel recently examined Minnesota's running backs, where he recapped the seasons of Adrian Peterson, Jerick McKinnon and Matt Asiata and projected how the Vikings might approach the position in 2016.

*Level of need: Low. With Peterson back for at least another season and McKinnon there as a change of pace, the Vikings are pretty much set here. If Asiata is not retained, they will need to find another back who can get it done in pass protection. But a replacement would likely come cheap. All that being said, if a potential bell-cow back were to fall to the Vikings after the first round, they could be tempted to take him given Peterson's age.*

*Stat that stands out: 17 — runs of 15 or more yards by Peterson in 2015, according to Pro Football Focus. Only Buccaneers back Doug Martin had more. After missing most of the 2014 season and turning 30 last offseason, Peterson showed he still had big-play ability in his return to the NFL.*

Dungy reflects on time in Minnesota

Tony Dungy is headed to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

While he made history as the successful coach of the Indianapolis Colts and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Dungy has ties to Minnesota, too.

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Dungy played quarterback for the University of Minnesota and was also a defensive coordinator for the first time in 1992 with the Vikings under Dennis Green.

Ben Goessling of ESPN.com looked at what Dungy had to say after he found out he was going into the Hall of Fame.

In a press conference after the Hall of Fame's 2016 class was announced this past weekend, Dungy said his time with Green, in particular, played a major role in his eventual success as a head coach.

"I would say going to Minnesota was special for me. Denny Green called me in 1992 -- he had just got the job there," Dungy said. "Denny was my special-teams coach in San Francisco [in 1979], so he knew me. He wanted me to run the defense, and we had some greatness -- Chris Doleman, who is in the Hall of Fame, John Randle -- just some perfect guys for what I wanted to do.

"But more than anything, Denny said, 'Hey, I'm going to show you how to be a head coach and what goes into it.' He mentored me, taught me and showed me the ropes. So, yes, I got to get a reputation, but more than anything, he showed me things. And I have to say this: When I got the job in Tampa -- we're in the same division, we're competing against them, and I would call Denny and say, 'Oh, it's a Monday night schedule, how do we do that?' And he would tell me because he wanted me to be successful.""

Dungy will be enshrined in Canton, Ohio, on Aug. 6, along with Modern Era inductees Brett Favre, Marvin Harrison, Kevin Greene and Orlando Pace, Senior Committee selections Ken Stabler and Dick Stanfel and contributor Edward DeBartolo, Jr.

Vikings have 18th-toughest strength of schedule

Although the Vikings schedule won't be released until this spring, Minnesota's opponents are already known.

Vikings.com took a look at the team's strength of schedule based off the 2015 record of upcoming opponents, and found the Vikings will have the 18th-toughest schedule this season.

John Holler of Viking Update noted the Vikings will have an easier slate in 2016 than the year before.

*Last season, the four teams from the NFC North had it about as bad as you could get it. With non-division games against the NFC West and AFC West, things couldn't have been much worse. The teams in the NFC West had a combined record 37-27 (a 58 percent winning percentage). The AFC West had a combined record of 33-31 (52 percent). *

*Things will be considerably different this season, as the teams from the NFC North will play the NFC East and AFC South. In 2015, the NFC East had a combined record of 26-38 (41 percent) and the AFC South had a combined record of 25-39 (39 percent) – a complete reversal of fortunes from what the Vikings were facing last season. *

While that drops the strength of schedule for the Vikings from 12th to 18th, the strengths of schedule for other teams in the NFC North fell even further than where they ranked in 2015, based on 2014 records.

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