5 things Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer must get right in 2020

(Photo by Jorge Lemus/NurPhoto via Getty Images) Mike Zimmer
(Photo by Jorge Lemus/NurPhoto via Getty Images) Mike Zimmer /
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(Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images) Irv Smith Jr. and Kyle Rudolph
(Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images) Irv Smith Jr. and Kyle Rudolph /

Solve the tight end riddle

Having two immensely talented individuals at the tight end position is a rare luxury to have in the NFL and it is something that Mike Zimmer will have to come up with a plan to get the most out of.

Both Kyle Rudolph and Irv Smith Jr. proved their worth in the offensive scheme in 2019. But some would argue that they were not utilized fully as the likes of Stefon Diggs, Adam Thielen, and Dalvin Cook demanded the lion’s share of the touches from Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins.

Wide receivers such as Diggs and Thielen on the outside leaves plenty of opportunities available in the middle of the field. This is something Minnesota showed glimpses of making the most of in 2019 without ever really using it on a consistent basis.

The potential of Smith as a pass-catching tight end seems to be limitless after an impressive rookie campaign. While Rudolph’s importance both in the red zone and on third down proved vital as he was a trusted source for Cousins to call upon in times of need.

They complement each other really well and if Zimmer can get his offensive coaching staff to conjure up more plays that make Smith and Rudolph an even greater presence on the field at the same time, then it is going to not only increase their impact but also free up more space for Diggs, Thielen, Cook, and anyone else who comes in as the Vikings’ third wideout during the offseason.

Both Smith and Rudolph are a tough matchup for opposing linebackers. So it is important that Zimmer and new offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak make the most of this duo while both are still on the roster, whether that upsets the other pass-catching duo on the roster or not.