Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph was limited to eight games last year because of a broken foot, an injury that helped the Vikings finish on the wrong side of .500 on the way to clearing house on the coaching staff.
While that made for a pretty miserable season, the end result could wind up being good for both Rudolph and the Vikings offense. Norv Turner is on board as the team’s new offensive coordinator and there’s a long history of successful seasons for tight ends under his tutelage. Rudolph has spent time this offseason watching tape of tight ends from Jay Novacek to Jordan Cameron to further his understanding of what Turner wants from the position.
“Some guys have that unique ability to have the feel for a game and dial up huge plays,” Rudolph said, via USA Today. “I really noticed watching a lot of Cleveland Browns tape last year, when you’re watching the course of the game, you can see that with Norv. He has such a great feel for dialing up plays at the right time, and I feel like he will really do a great job of making sure the ball’s in the hands of our guys on the outside. We’re going to throw it around.”
The group of tight ends that Turner has coached to big seasons has a range of sizes and styles and he’s been able to put them into the right spots to make the best use of their abilities. If he does the same for Rudolph, the tight end could have a breakout season and the Vikings should have a strong group of receiving targets with Cordarrelle Patterson and Greg Jennings also on the roster.
Whether they have the quarterback to take advantage is the biggest question of the Vikings’ season, but Turner’s confident that all will work out on that front.