Irv Smith’s blocking ability has surprised the Vikings

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Immediately after the Vikings drafted tight end Irv Smith in the second round of this year’s draft, the main topic of conversation was about whether the team would part ways with veteran Kyle Rudolph.

That conversation went on for a while, but Rudolph wound up signing a contract extension to remain with the team for years to come. That means talk of Smith replacing Rudolph was replaced by talk about how the two players can complement each other in the Minnesota offense.

Assistant head coach Gary Kubiak offered a suggestion on that front during a Thursday press conference. Kubiak was asked about how much the team is missing blocking specialist David Morgan while Morgan is on the physically unable to perform list with a knee injury.

“I think Irv has surprised us. We saw a smaller, athletic player but he’s really on the line of scrimmage surprised some people,” Kubiak said.

The more things Smith can do on the field, the better for the Vikings’ ability to avoid a predictable offensive approach over the 2019 season and the better for the rookie’s chances of making a sizable impact right off the bat.

15 responses to “Irv Smith’s blocking ability has surprised the Vikings

  1. This obviously has been the missing piece, now for sure the Vikings are going to the Superbowl and unlike the first four times, this time they are going to win it.

  2. Another team surprised about how good their guys are. This brings the total to 32.

  3. I don’t know how good Irv will be this year but he’ll get plenty of opportunities. Tyler Conklin will, too. Their main role is to catch passes but it would be great if they could show some skill in the blocking area, too. The nice thing about running two tight ends that can catch out there on a regular basis is the other team doesn’t know if it’s a run or a pass. It’s a run formation but there are five receivers in the game. Some teams have a pass-catching tight end and a run-blocking tight end and whoever is in the game pretty much tells you what they’re going to do.

  4. No doubt Smith is a talented player, but watching him in training camp its obvious he has a ways to go before he sees much playing time on Sundays. 4 or 5 times he lined up in the wrong spot and his position coach was in constant communication with him between plays. They are asking a lot of him, and he is clearly swimming mentally. Will be fun to watch once he can go full speed and be in the right spot.

  5. I’m more interested to hear how sound his route running has been, because he didn’t seem to get open too much in his first NFL pre-season game.

  6. Blake Martinez just peed himself.
    It’s flattering that out of all the teams the Vikings will face in 2019, you’re only focused on one. But seeing as how Martinez is one of the league leaders in tackles I’m sure he will be fine against a rookie TE.

  7. Conklin is coming along as well. They probably will move on from Ruddy and a few other vets next year to free up some cap space.

  8. @purpleguy
    He has some wiggle, that is clear from watching him in practice, but with him thinking so much about where to line up, etc. I doubt he is focusing as much on route precision like he will once he doesn’t have to think so much. Rudolph looks markedly faster this year as it looks like he dropped 20 lbs or so. Comparing the two, Rudolph clearly gets more separation at this point. Jury is still out on how “good” Smith will eventually be. I know I’m going to take Rudolph in fantasy as I can get him pretty low and he should have a great year.

  9. whatjusthapped says:
    August 15, 2019 at 4:11 pm
    This obviously has been the missing piece, now for sure the Vikings are going to the Superbowl and unlike the first four times, this time they are going to win it.


    I don’t know if this has been the obvious missing piece, but it makes me want to say “pieces are in place………..”

    Super Bowl homeboy!!!!!!!

  10. Take all the Vikings in Fantasy. Chad Beebe especially. He is the Michael Jordan of professional sports and will lead our team yet another 1970s Division Championship, the Super Bowl of sports!

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