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Vikings Offensive Line Should Provide Camp Battles

Perhaps the best position battles to watch during the 2016 Verizon Vikings Training Camp will be along the offensive line.

The Vikings were the only team in the NFL to start the same five players — Matt Kalil at left tackle, Brandon Fusco at left guard, Joe Berger at center, Mike Harris at right guard and T.J. Clemmings at right tackle — in every game last season.

Minnesota beefed up its options along the line by signing left guard Alex Boone and right tackle Andre Smith during free agency.

Veteran center John Sullivan has returned after missing the entire 2015 season due to injuries.

The group will be led by new offensive line coach Tony Sparano, who was Miami's head coach from 2008-2011.

Substantial Stats

The Vikings have plenty of experience among their linemen.

Eight players have started an entire 16-game season.

Kalil, Fusco, Berger, Sullivan, Harris and Clemmings have all done it with the Vikings. Boone accomplished the mark with San Francisco, and Smith did so with Cincinnati.

Notable Quote

With a handful of fresh faces in the meeting room, the offensive linemen focused on bonding and becoming a cohesive unit during the offseason.

"Coming from a different team, at first I was kind of nervous about how I was going to fit in, but then when you get here you realize the guys are great," Boone said. "They all want to play football and they all want to have fun.

"That's the most important thing in this league, and I've always believed that," he added. "Coming into a locker room like this where everyone's really close, tight-knit, they can have a fun time but still know when to work, that makes the best of a team."

The Depth Chart

Clemmings was a fourth-round pick in 2015, and Austin Shepherd was a seventh-round selection last year.

Minnesota native Carter Bykowski missed last season with an injury, and guard Isame Faciane was on the practice squad.

Zac Kerin was picked up as an undrafted free agent in 2014.

Center Nick Easton was acquired in an October trade with San Francisco, and tackle Jeremiah Sirles was picked up in a trade in September.

Minnesota used a fourth-round pick this past April on guard Willie Beavers out of Western Michigan.

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