New Vikings offense could mean new heights for Kyle Rudolph

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The guy who once was named the Pro Bowl MVP could be heading for an All-Pro season.

Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph, a consistently solid performer since joining the Vikings via round two of the 2011 draft, could be on the verge of a major increase in production. As noted by Andrew Krammer of the Minneapolis Star Tribune in a column that takes a close look at the team’s tight end depth chart for 2018, new offensive coordinator John DeFillippo’s history suggests a very bright future for Rudolph.

“What [DeFilippo] was able to do in 2015 with [Browns tight end] Gary Barnidge, and then obviously last year [Zach] Ertz had an unbelievable year in this system,” Rudolph said, via Krammer. “It’s not just us. Obviously, he’s had great success with tight ends. What he is able to do with all the playmakers and all of the chess pieces that we have on offense, it’s been a lot of fun to see.”

Beyond Rudolph, the team’s other tight ends will need to be ready to contribute. Per Krammer, Eagles third-stringer Trey Burton nevertheless took 300 snaps last year. Vikings No. 3 tight end Blake Bell, in contrast, had less than half that amount.

Bell will need to fend off rookie Tyler Conklin to have a chance to be the No. 3 option again this year. At the top of the depth chart, however, there’s no question that Rudolph is the guy. And Rudolph could end up topping his career year of 83 catches for 840 yards and seven touchdowns in 2016.

35 responses to “New Vikings offense could mean new heights for Kyle Rudolph

  1. About time they got a real offensive coach instead of that bum Shurmur. Right. Uh huh.

  2. This is pretty interesting… and possibly frightening.

    The interesting part is that Mike McCarthy also loves to utilize the TE position, as does Joe Philbin, but they haven’t had anybody really good since Finley got hurt (other than the half a year Jared Cook was here and healthy). It will be fun watching how the two offenses stack up at TE as well as what opportunities are created for other guys in both offenses.

    The frightening part is that Rudolph is no joke and whatever questions guys have about Cousins (myself included), he’s extremely good at the short and intermediate throws. That doesn’t mean he can’t throw long with better weapons than he’s had but it does remain to be seen. Either way, he’s done well in the short/intermediate game with nothing at all. What’s he gonna do with a guy like Rudolph? Add all that to the fact that for the past few years, even crappy big bodies in the middle of the field had pretty much free reign vs Capers’ soft zones and it could get ugly. Could, I say. I’d like to believe it won’t happen with Pettine’s defense and the new taller, faster defenders but I’m not nearly crazy enough to think a glaring, black hole of suck will be fixed overnight. The new kids may or may not even be able to play at this level. I think it’s possible, and I’m hopeful, but I won’t believe it until I see it.

  3. A new offensive coach that’ll take Rudolph’s career to new heights that didn’t call plays last year….right.

  4. I’m very excited to see what Kyle Rudolph can do with the Eagles this year. If he has a big year the Birds can win the NFC again!

  5. One correction Cabbage: Cousins did well with nothing at all?? Rudolph is a big body who’s tough on smaller defenders, but still a Clydesdale compared to Jordan Reed and Vernon Davis.

  6. I can’t wait.
    Nothing better than taking the best TE in the NFL and giving him one of the most innovative football minds to reinvigorate his career.
    Any question why the Vikings have the best organization in pro sports.

  7. RockYouLikeaVikingcane says:
    July 22, 2018 at 10:02 am
    I can’t wait.
    Nothing better than taking the best TE in the NFL and giving him one of the most innovative football minds to reinvigorate his career.
    Any question why the Vikings have the best organization in pro sports.

    ———
    With Jimmy Graham now on the Packers Rudolph is not even the best TE in the division let alone the entire league

  8. Kirk Cousins lead his team, as a starter, to a .450 win/loss record with a rating of 93. How did he command such a huge salary? Media hype. All he needed was more talent around him, right? Vikings win 8 games this season.

  9. As a Vikings fan I am nervous about next season. First of all as many teams that reach this level step back as do forward. While I hear positive things about the “locker room guys” you always hear that stuff. It is a new QB, and and a new OC and some sort of newish oline combo. The schedule is tough right out of the gate and everyone else in the north got better too. So while I am excited about the changes, I am nervous about a regression. I love reading stuff like this, but won’t feel comfortable until we change some of this potential into production. SKOL Vikings, fingers crossed.

  10. A lot of defenses will likely focus on stopping Diggs and Thielen, and rightfully so. Having a good short to intermediate game with Rudolph, Dalvin Cook and perhaps Treadwell (maybe…) would certainly give the Vikings offense another gear, another look.

    Like a lot of Vikings fans, we are more worried about the offense and the offensive line, than anything else on the team. If they had been able to perform vs the Eagles last year we might not have had our defense on the field for over 34 minutes.

    IF (and its a huge IF) Cousins does really well in this new offense, and IF he gets Dalvin Cook back good as new, this offense will be really good. Coupled with a great defense this team could go far again this year, and hopefully to the first Super Bowl in far too many years.

  11. nflfollower says:

    Lots of new parts here… law of averages suggests regression to the mean.
    ###

    We had several new parts last year – including a new QB after game 1.

    The Vikings got better than the previous year – not worse.

    Not saying that the Vikings will do better than 13 -3 in 2018 – but I don’t see them being what a person would call significantly worse.

  12. Instead of all the shiny toys..the Vikings might wanna fix that offensive line that had Keenum running for his life in the NFC Championship game last year.

    And maybe that defense that Nick Foles laid down too.

  13. numba1minnysportsfan says:
    July 22, 2018 at 9:34 am
    Yah n we all no he’s the best TE in the leage n always has Ben n always will b cuz he’s a Viking

    Haha haters! We r the best team ever!!

    ///////////////////////

    Lonely pack fan needs attention

  14. nhpats says:
    July 22, 2018 at 10:13 am
    RockYouLikeaVikingcane says:
    July 22, 2018 at 10:02 am
    I can’t wait.
    Nothing better than taking the best TE in the NFL and giving him one of the most innovative football minds to reinvigorate his career.
    Any question why the Vikings have the best organization in pro sports.

    ———
    With Jimmy Graham now on the Packers Rudolph is not even the best TE in the division let alone the entire league

    ******************
    Jimmy Graham, Ha Ha, don’t make me laugh, Ha Ha!
    He’s old and slow. Not to mention he’s a Packer so you know he sucks!
    The rest of the NFL better just get used to the Vikings return to dominating the league again.
    The best organization, the most up to date and best facilities, the most innovative coaching staff training the best and most talented roster.
    Look what our current QB did with the Redskins, can you imagine how good he can be with all the Vikings talent. Brady who?
    Yeah, I said it, Brady Who?
    The Vikings are back and they have the best team in the NFL.
    Deal with it.

  15. Well maybe now Rudolph can justify his sizable contract. With the team working to re-up Diggs and Barr, I don’t see Rudolph as being as valuable as these two.

  16. Rudolph had a great year in 2017, but (once again) slowed late by injury. Rudy’s only limited by his speed, but he’s actually pretty athletic as witnessed by some of his end zone grabs. He’s money, and with Cousins and this offense no one will be surprised if he has a monster season.

    Keep an eye on David Morgan, who is a scrapper. With Kirk throwing this dude could take full advantage of Rudolph’s absence. The rookie RT can catch too. =) Fun time to be a Vikings fan!

  17. RockYouLikeaVikingcane says:
    July 22, 2018 at 11:19 am

    The rest of the NFL better just get used to the Vikings return to dominating the league again.
    The best organization, the most up to date and best facilities, the most innovative coaching staff training the best and most talented roster.
    Look what our current QB did with the Redskins, can you imagine how good he can be with all the Vikings talent. Brady who?
    Yeah, I said it, Brady Who?
    __________________________

    Alan Light says:
    July 21, 2018 at 7:23 pm

    World class people are part of the world class Viking organization…best facilities, coaches, front office,owners, roster and human beings. Rest of the league needs to try to catch up.

    __________________

    Are you guys the same person, or are you all really this delusional?
    Is it something in the water West of the river, or what?

    Hmm…where to begin….if one is to return to dominance, shouldn’t one be dominant first?

    I lifted the, World Class human beings, comment from a Mike Hughes’ story, I guess being suspended from North Carolina amid sexual assault charges doesn’t detract much for character in Barneyland. (For the record: Not ridiculing the draft selection, just the ironic comment.)

    Also, I’ve been on record as stating that I believe Cousins is a good QB, but he’s been known to struggle against the better teams in the league, and to compare him in any light to Brady, or really any of the upper echelon QBs in the league is pantently ridiculous.

    Otherwise yes, you guys are simply the best in every conceivable way possible.
    I’m sure all of your “insightful” comments will look just great in the Viking trophy case.

  18. I usually enjoy a little tit for tat on these threads. BUT the Vikings and packers bs is getting old and tired. Neither one of them are as good (or bad) as they think.

  19. It’s ironic that GB fans are responding to a fake Viking fan (GB troll making obvious ridiculous statements) post and don’t realize it. Probably sitting right next to each other at the bar and don’t know it.

  20. The Vikings have a garbage offensive, no QB, no RBs, no WRs and of course >>> ZERO Championships!

    ZERO.

  21. Ryan says:
    July 22, 2018 at 1:24 pm

    Let’s remember…its the Vikings, they’ll figure a way to regress.

    _________________________

    That’s rich kid!

    Let’s also remember this chooch above is a freaking Lions fan. The worst team in the history of the NFC, Browns of the NFC.

  22. Another year another “Kyle Rudolph could break out” story. At this point he is what he is: 400-600yds 3-8TDs. Not saying thats bad, but he isn’t going to turn into Gronk/Kelce because of the QB. Hope I’m proven wrong, but not worried about it.

  23. Rudolph is too slow to be elite, but he has decent hands, runs good routes, can block okay, and will be effective in the red zone. I doubt the Vikes will get much more out of him than they already have. While the Pack grossly overpaid for Graham, he will be the better TE — not necessarily based on talent (given his age/injuries), but because the Pack has a better QB and O-line (the only areas in which the Pack is superior).

  24. Rudolph won for the Eagles last year and still plays for the Vikings. DeFilippo had very little to do with Zack Ertz last year as he was the Eagles QB coach. Vikings are coming to Lincoln Finincial again this year and philly can’t wait. Just kidding Viking fans you got another used QB for that outstanding defense.

  25. milkcan44 says:
    July 22, 2018 at 9:55 am

    One correction Cabbage: Cousins did well with nothing at all?? Rudolph is a big body who’s tough on smaller defenders, but still a Clydesdale compared to Jordan Reed and Vernon Davis.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    I stand corrected. I shouldn’t have said “nothing” but Cousins is going to have more weapons at his disposal than what he’s had in the past; and if Cook didn’t lose anything with the injury and/or if Diggs develops some consistency, it could be a lot more. I don’t think anyone could put a question mark on Thielen at this point and despite what’s been said above, Rudolph is extremely solid.

    Add the changes in Chicago and Detroit to my first post and it’s shaping up to be a very exciting year in the NFCN.

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