Vikings tight end Irv Smith Jr. talks about his ‘very high expectations’

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Vikings tight end Irv Smith Jr. has been tabbed as a potential breakout candidate for several offseasons now. That makes sense — Smith has shown flashes of promise but has had a fairly limited role.

With Kyle Rudolph gone, though, Smith can take the tight end one reigns and become more of a focal point in the offseason. Smith talked about his potential in 2021 with NFL Network’s Good Morning Football on Thursday. Here’s what he said:

“I have very high expectations, especially for myself,” Smith said. “I don’t want to put an exact number out there because I don’t want to say ‘I’m gonna score 15 touchdowns or however many,’ but it’s gonna be a lot. I’m going to be scoring a lot, making a lot of plays and helping my offense in any way, helping my team. I just want to be able to be a playmaker out there, whether it’s in the run game, pass game, scoring touchdowns, making a key block, whatever it is. I just want to, at the end of the day, win a Super Bowl and have the accolades that I want for myself at the end of the year.”

So Smith is keeping it team-oriented, but he’s still setting the bar high. However, Rudolph could end up being replaced by multiple people.

This offseason, Mike Zimmer said he doesn’t foresee a bigger role for Smith, but rather, for Tyler Conklin. Conklin played pretty well in a limited role, but he could end up taking Smith’s old spot in the offseason.