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Strong OL play can boost Vikings' chances

Pro Football Weekly
Week Seven defensive rankings
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Week Seven defensive rankings

People aren't discussing how the Vikings are going to shock the world in the NFC North, but they can take strong measures of improvement with a few key upgrades. One would be on the play of the offensive line.

Last season, C John Sullivan was an anchor, and ORT Phil Loadholt was sometimes a force in the run game. Other than that, there were a lot of ills.

Charlie Johnson was game at left tackle but ultimately overmatched. By moving him to left guard and drafting OLT Matt Kalil, it could make two positions better. So far, Kalil has shown promise along with some nerves and hesitation. Still, insiders believe he will be a solid performer by the end of his rookie campaign.

Other upgrades could happen at right guard, where Anthony Herrera had a poor season. Either Brandon Fusco, who has the job now, or Geoff Schwartz, who was the favorite to win it before getting hurt, should represent an upgrade. Both younger players offer more power, plus a little nastiness — something last season's unit lacked.

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