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Minnesota Vikings Podcast Episode 54 Highlights: Running Back Mike Boone On Taking Advantage of Opportunities

Whenever he's been given any sort of opportunity in the Vikings offense, running back Mike Boone has answered the call.

As an undrafted free agent out of the University of Cincinnati in 2018, Boone made a statement during his first preseason, finishing fourth in the league with 195 rushing yards and adding 88 receiving yards.

Boone almost mimicked his 2018 preseason performance during last year's preseason when he rushed for another 196 rushing yards.

On the heels of stepping into a bigger role at the end of 2019, Boone joined the Minnesota Vikings Podcast to discuss his outlook entering his third season in Purple.

"I reflect on this journey a lot," Boone said. "Going into Year 3, it's a blessing. That just goes to show the details, the film work and the offensive line. I can't forget about those guys and put it all on me. Every chance my number is called, I just try to be there and help out however I can."

Boone played on special teams and sparingly on offense early in 2019 but was ready to go when Dalvin Cook went down with an injury during Week 15's matchup in Los Angeles against the Chargers.

"That's just being prepared," Boone said. "I have to give a lot of props to Coach Kennedy Polamalu. He prepares every one of us to be ready for a situation like that. That's kind of our routine, to prepare like you are that starter."

Boone rushed 13 times for 56 yards and two touchdowns in the 39–10 win, amassing his first career scores.

Boone started the final two weeks of the season against Green Bay and Chicago with Cook and Alexander Mattison inactive.

Boone broke free for a 59-yard gain on the first drive and scored his third touchdown of the season in the game.

"That first run felt good. After that I was like 'OK, let's go!' " Boone said.

Boone rushed 17 times for 148 yards and a touchdown during the 21–19 loss.

He finished the season with 273 yards on 49 carries, which was good for an impressive 5.6 yards per carry.

Can Boone put up those kinds of numbers with more consistent carries in the Vikings offense?

"However it goes, I definitely think I can," Boone said. "Just being consistent with the small details will put me in the position to continue having those types of games or making those types of runs. Whenever my number is called, I just make it my job to be there."

Here are four more highlights from Boone's appearance on the Minnesota Vikings Podcast.

1. Watching and learning from Cook

Boone has had a front-row seat to watch Cook's progression to becoming a Pro Bowler.

What makes Dalvin so great?

"Man, you just can't tackle the guy," Boone said. "It's hard to get him on the ground. His feet are always churning. He's just a special back. Speed, vision, he's just a complete back in my eyes."

Boone is just a tick older than Cook, who turns 25 on Aug. 10, but he's been able to learn from his fellow Florida native.

"He actually helped me coming in here," Boone said. "He taught me a lot. Man, when I first got here, he told me 'just be yourself and focus on the small details.' That stuck with me, and it's taken me real far. Those small details are what keep us consistent."

2. Boone's best trait as a running back

When asked what his best trait is as a running back, Boone took a second to think about it and laughed.

"I like to consider myself a good one-cut back," Boone said with certainty. "As a running back it's good to have that in your backpack to just make a cut and run it north. I kind of feed off that and do a lot of training in the offseason to try and consider myself a great one-cut back."

3. Playing wide receiver in high school

Growing up in Macclenny, Florida, Mike Boone was not known as a running but instead a record-setting wide receiver at Baker County High School. He caught 57 passes for 1,068 yards and 18 touchdowns as a senior and set a school record with 211 receiving yards in one game.

Former University of Cincinnati Offensive Coordinator Eddie Gran asked Boone to make the switch to running back at the next level.

"I guess he saw it in me," Boone said. "He saw the running back potential in me, and he made the change. I was with it. I was for it and positive about it. It's worked out well for me, so obviously he was right."

Boone said his experience at the wide receiver position helps his game as a running back in the NFL.

"It just helps make me that much more versatile," Boone said. "It makes me confident to run whatever route catching the ball out of the backfield and just kind of puts me at a little advantage going against linebackers. Me being used to going against defensive backs, now you're going against linebackers and safeties."

4. His relationship with Kirk Cousins

Boone said he's also learned from Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins.

"Kirk's a great guy, man," Boone said. "Every time I see him around the facility, he just chops it up with me. He just puts me on a lot of game, football-wise, making sure my head is right with formations. He just kind of took that big bro role and makes sure I am on track."

Boone said Cousins is a little different in the huddle than he is in the TCO Performance Center hallways.

"When it's time to play ball, it's time to play ball, and you just see that in Kirk," Boone laughed. "The saying 'You Like That?' you just see that when it's time to play."

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