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Riley Reiff's Impact? Vikings Teammates Sound Off

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Riley Reiff is perfectly fine letting his play speak for himself.

Reiff's teammates, however, have plenty to say about him.

"Riley's tough," said Vikings quarterback Case Keenum. "He's just a good old country boy that — he's almost mean, and you like having tough, mean guys on your team.

"Now once you get to know him, he's a great guy, and I love him," Keenum added. "But he's a guy that you want on your side, and I'm glad he's back there protecting our backside."

And whether Reiff has been called upon to protect Keenum or Sam Bradford this season, the left tackle has excelled through six games.

According to Pro Football Focus, Reiff is one of three left tackles with 150-plus pass blocks and zero sacks allowed in 2017.

"He does a little bit of everything," said Vikings tight end David Morgan. "The guy is a great player; he leads first by example. He does all the little things that are right, and people take notice of that.

"He's not a make-a-speech type of guy, but he's a guy in the huddle who is coaching people up and getting people going," Morgan added. "He does it in his own way, but he does a good job of it."

Reiff was the 23rd overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft and spent the first five seasons of his career with the Detroit Lions.

He signed with the Vikings as a free agent in March, quickly winning over his teammates as he was named one of six team captains in September.

"He brings a great demeanor to the [offensive line] room," said Vikings left guard Jeremiah Sirles. "He brings that fighter mentality, that I'm-not-going-to-put-up-with-anything mentality.

"We've rallied behind him being one of our captains," Sirles added.

Reiff has brought stability to a position that saw the Vikings start three different players at left tackle in 2016. Minnesota lined up five different players at that spot in all.

But he's also brought an attitude to an offensive line that has improved in both the passing game and rushing attack. 

The Vikings have given up the third-fewest amount of sacks (nine) in the league and rank 12th with an average of 117.2 rushing yards per game.

Teammates rave about his work ethic and fighter mentality, said Reiff has added an element of toughness up front.

"Riley is just a tough [guy], man. That's the best way I can put it," Sirles said. "He's going to go out there and wrestle people; he's going to fight people. It might not look pretty all the time, but he's going to find a way to get it done."

Added Morgan: "He plays nasty. He gets after people. He plays with a chip on his shoulder. He goes out there and competes every play. You see him out there, he finishes plays and gives people that extra shot, that extra push. Nothing dirty, he just plays the right way. People see that, and it gets everyone going."

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