Aug 12, 2013; Latrobe, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers running back LaRod Stephens-Howling (34) participates during training camp drills at Saint Vincent College. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
1500 ESPN.com’s Doogie has been absolutely crushing the phones, digging up the dirt on potential Vikings free agent targets and tweeting the skinny to all us eager information-consumers out there.
Here’s a name to keep in mind per the ever-vigilant Mr. Wolfson aka the Adam Schefter of Minnesota: LaRod Stephens-Howling.
The free agent running back has been the subject of Vikings inquiries, says Wolfson, though no visit has yet been set up.
The obvious connection here is Kirby Wilson, who coached Stephens-Howling last year in Pittsburgh, and is now the Vikings’ running backs coach.
With Toby Gerhart leaving to probably start in Jacksonville, the Vikes are likely shopping around for running backs to at least bring into camp. Right now they have Matt Asiata, Bradley Randle and Joe Banyard.
Drafting a running back is also not out of the question.
Stephens-Howling, besides having an amazing name, has a little more experience than the players currently on the roster. He began in 2009 with Arizona after being taken in the seventh round, and stuck with the Cardinals through 2012.
In his career, Stephens-Howling has rushed for 670 yards and caught 58 balls for 545 yards and 3 receiving touchdowns. That receiving ability is probably key considering Norv Turner’s approach.
At 5-7, Stephens-Howling certainly looks the part of the scatback. He can also give you return ability in a pinch.
If Stephens-Howling does land a job, in Minnesota or anywhere else, his versatility will be what makes it happen for him. He could be a nice pick up for the Vikings and we’ll see if anything develops.