Since his arrival, Vikings Head Coach Kevin O'Connell has said his new team's offense won't be a carbon copy of the Los Angeles Rams team that he helped win Super Bowl LVI last season.
"We were predominantly an 11 personnel team — that would be with three wide receivers on the field with a back and a tight end," O'Connell said when describing the Rams. "(With the Vikings) I hope to be more multiple, just based on the fact that we have the personnel to do that, from the tight ends to C.J. (Ham)."
Arif Hasan of The Athletic recently wrote that Ham, the Vikings lone fullback on the roster, could be a driving factor to Minnesota’s success on offense this season.
Hasan said O'Connell realizes there are several advantages to the Vikings using Ham as part of a traditional two-back scheme.
"C.J. can handle a lot," O'Connell said. "He's really able to take much more on his plate than the traditional fullback: A.) Because he mentally can handle it, but then B.) He's a dynamic player. To have the strength he has in the run game, the understanding to be able to do some unique run-game concepts with him and then ultimately use him as a weapon in the pass game."
Twenty NFL teams consistently used a fullback last season. Hasan said fullbacks like Ham can cause confusion for opposing defenses with their size, speed and strength. He wrote:
Ham's athletic ability and skill as a receiver could make him a dynamic weapon, not just a battering ram to open up holes for the running back. The Vikings clearly intend for Ham to run routes from the backfield and have implied he has the ability to run tight end routes, meaning we also could see him lining up on the line of scrimmage or in the slot.
Vikings CB Patrick Peterson Still Enjoys the Grind Heading into 12th Season
Patrick Peterson's accolades speak for themselves.
He is an eight-time Pro Bowler, a three-time All-Pro and is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame's All-2010s team. The Vikings cornerback is chasing a championship, though, and it is a main contributor as to why Peterson is still playing going into his 12th NFL season.
Matthew Coller of Purple Insider recently caught up with the veteran corner, who said he "treats his health and conditioning like a game within the game."
"I love grinding," Peterson said. "I love putting my body in positions to where I'm getting ready for the season. I love when I run 7 miles to see how my endurance is. I love waking up early in the morning to see if I can get through this workout. I love putting my body in certain situations [during training camp] to where when those situations pop up during a game or in the season I've already mentally prepared myself and been through those processes so it's second nature."
From an early age, Peterson has always been about sticking to that grind. He said he kept trying to find different ways to improve and work on his game.
View the best photos of Vikings FB C.J. Ham from the 2021 season.
"That's just how I was, it's just how I'm built, it's just instilled in me," Peterson said. "I've done it for so long that when I wake up in the morning my body already knows what to do."
After high school, Peterson could have attended any college football program. He ultimately chose LSU, wanting to form his own path as a defensive back.
"He put on that No. 7 and took it to a whole other level," Peterson's cousin Bryant McFadden said. "That was one of the main reasons he wanted to go to LSU. He wanted to create something for that university that was never done before, and that was magnifying cornerback play."
Peterson spent his first 10 seasons with the Arizona Cardinals and instantly made his mark. He earned first-team All-Pro honors as a rookie before recording seven interceptions in his second season.
Now, in his second year with the Vikings, Peterson is trying to prove he can still be effective. Last year, Peterson limited a completion percentage of passes in his direction to just 60 percent and a quarterback rating of under 90.
"My mind is still all into the game, my passion and my love is still all into the game," Peterson said. "As long as my body continues to hold up, I'm going to continue to play. I still feel like I can play at a high level."