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Lunch Break, 10/8: Keeping Teddy Upright

Ideally, what a NFL team would like to pair with their possible franchise quarterback is someone to protect him, and particularly his blindside. With quarterback Teddy Bridgewater taking over the reins under center, left tackle Matt Kalil says he has Teddy's back.

Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press profiles Kalil's season thus far and where the third-year USC product feels he is at this moment in the season:

*As the starting left tackle, Kalil plays a key role in preserving the health of rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. After sitting out one game due to a sprained left ankle, Bridgewater is expected to make his second career start Sunday against Detroit at TCF Bank Stadium. *

"I think it's exciting to protect a guy that can make a lot of plays and that can do some great things in that backfield," Kalil said Tuesday. "For my job, it's as simple as give him some time and he's going to make plays. It's as easy as that. So I consider that a challenge, and I love challenges."* *

Entering the season, it didn't appear there would be many issues concerning Kalil's ability to protect Bridgewater. Kalil made the Pro Bowl in 2012 as a rookie, and his so-so performance in 2013 was attributed by many to playing on a bad knee.* *

*Kalil admits he was "lagging a little bit" in training camp after missing spring drills because of knee surgery and that hampered his confidence some. After five games, the website Pro Football Focus has him rated as the third-worst tackle in the NFL out of 68. *

*At least that's better than where Kalil had been ranked. After three games, he was last. *

*"I really don't listen to media stuff, because if I did, I probably would retire by now," Kalil said. "But I've been playing a lot better (recently).I feel a lot more comfortable out there. *

*"I'm building my confidence back up. ... I have people tell me, 'I don't know why you're just getting blasted (by the media).' I don't read that stuff because if you do then you're definitely going to get down on yourself. I know what I have to do as a player. I'm more than confident in my ability and what I can do." *

As Kalil noted, he has been playing better as of late, which is good news for Vikings fans as the young signal-caller and the offense look to get the Vikings back on track.

Quick Hitters

  • Via Mark Craig of the Star Tribune: Vikings coaches usually find relief in Lions.
  • Tim Yotter's look at the recent Vikings roster moves: Vikings add safety, QB, WR to practice squad.
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