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Lunchbreak: McKinnon Still Learning Nuances of RB Position

Jerick McKinnon has tallied 1,348 rushing yards and four touchdowns on the ground in his three seasons with the Vikings.

And although the running back will enter his fourth season in Purple in 2017, McKinnon said he's always looking for tips and advice to help improve his game.

McKinnon, who lined up at running back, receiver, and quarterback in an option attack at Georgia Southern, recently talked with John Holler of Viking Update about what he's learned so far in his pro career.

Holler wrote:

*McKinnon came to the Vikings as a late third-round pick who was a college option quarterback and could be used as a weapon in the Vikings offense, but not necessarily one with a defined role, especially with Adrian Peterson in front of him. *

*He has been asked to be a rotational starter in two of his three seasons and he has viewed his experience as an apprenticeship by fire, still in the process of refining his game. *

"I'm still learning all the time," McKinnon said. "When I came into this league, I never really played running back, so I had a lot to learn. I've had a lot of help from the coaches and the other guys in the (running backs) room about how to be a professional and how to handle my assignments. That's been the biggest improvement I think I've seen in my game."

McKinnon led the Vikings in carries (159) and yards (539) in 2016 and added a pair of scores on the ground. He also set career highs with 43 receptions for 255 yards and two receiving touchdowns.

TE Morgan recalls rookie season with Vikings

Tight end David Morgan carved out a role for himself as a rookie in 2016, providing a blocking element in the running game and faring well on special teams.

And once Minnesota's season ended on Jan. 1, he escaped the cold weather for a West Coast vacation that included stops in San Diego, San Francisco and Portland. 

Morgan recently caught up with Jennifer Fierro of the, Morgan's hometown newspaper in Marble Falls, Texas, to chat about his January road trip and plans for the offseason.

Fierro wrote:

For Morgan, who played at the University of Texas-San Antonio before he was drafted, it was the first time he was able to take a vacation like that. The summer of 2010, before his senior year in high school, was spent driving across the state of Texas for football camps and up-close looks from college scouts.

After he graduated high school, he headed to San Antonio for summer conditioning and classes and took little time for anything else.

Last January, he moved to Atlanta to prepare for the NFL Draft, which was April 30. He was selected No. 188 overall in the sixth round by the Vikings. 

"It was the first time I had definite time off," he said about the West Coast trip. "I wanted to do something fun."

Morgan, who is now back in Texas, said he's going to train in the Lone Star State before returning to Winter Park in April for organized team activities.

Morgan, who had one catch for four yards in 2016, that he's looking forward to improving and continuing to learn the NFL game, especially under Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph.

Although Morgan, who had been a starter since the seventh grade, is eager for more time on the field, he said he couldn't have asked for a better mentor than Rudolph, who was drafted in the second round by the Vikings out of Notre Dame in 2011. He's given Morgan helpful advice on preparation and professionalism.

"It's been a different role, coming in to play behind someone who's been established," Morgan said. "That's part of it. My role, whatever it is they ask, that's what I'm going to do in any way to complement (Rudolph) and make my team better."

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