One of the many pleasant developments in the Week One victory over the Jaguars was the heavy usage of TE Kyle Rudolph. Heavy, as in he played every offensive snap. It shows that the Vikings have serious plans to use him as a primary offensive piece, and not just while WR Jerome Simpson sits another two weeks with a suspension.
Rudolph figured heavily into the plans as both a detached and in-line tight end. The Jaguars showed some respect for him by putting a corner on Rudolph, often in man coverage, and rarely letting him run free without some sort of bump at the line.
It was a successful pass-catching debut for Rudolph, but his blocking technique remains a serious work in progress. Although he has the frame to be effective in this part of his game, the fundamentals just are not there yet. You might see more of John Carlson, once his knee improves, and rookie Rhett Ellison, once he gains the confidence of the coaches for an increased role.
- Kyle Rudolph
- Jerome Simpson