Vikings already making puzzling offensive line decisions

(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) /

Will the Minnesota Vikings ever solve their offensive line problems?

During this year’s training camp, the Minnesota Vikings will be attempting to figure out which group of players will make their offensive line the most successful.

If this sounds familiar, it’s because it is. Fixing their offensive line has been an offseason priority for the Vikings for more than a decade now.

Every time it seems like Minnesota is making progress with the position group, it turns out to be too good to be true. This year, it appears to be more of the same for the Vikings and their offensive line.

Plans for the 2020 Minnesota Vikings offensive line revealed

On Wednesday, Vikings offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak spoke to reporters and he shared some interesting details regarding the team’s plans for the offensive line this season.

When speaking about the position group, Kubiak made it sound like Minnesota will be rolling with four of the same starting blockers that they trotted out on the field last year. And yes, this includes Riley Reiff at left tackle and Pat Elflein at left guard

"“As we line up today, we have four of our five (starters) back and somebody will end up playing the (right) guard position.We’ve got four of those guys back, and it shows when we go to walk-through. Those guys have been playing together, working together.”"

Kubiak also shut down the possibility of Reiff moving inside to guard and the Vikings offensive coordinator expects his team’s starting left tackle to, “have a great year,” in 2020.

As for the opening at right guard in Minnesota’s starting lineup, Kubiak revealed that Dakota Dozier, Aviante Collins, and rookie Ezra Cleveland will be competing for that role this summer.

The Vikings used a second-round pick on Cleveland in this year’s NFL Draft and he spent the majority of his time as an offensive tackle in college at Boise State. So it’s a little odd that Minnesota is already using Cleveland in a spot where he has very little experience.

The fact that Kubiak revealed the Vikings are basically going to roll with the same starting left tackle and starting left guard this season is a little mind-boggling.

Minnesota’s offensive coordinator said he thought Reiff played, “really well,” last year. If allowing five sacks and getting flagged for eight penalties like the Vikings left tackle did in 2019 is playing really well, then Kubiak might want to adjust how he evaluates offensive linemen.

Then there’s Elflein. No Minnesota offensive lineman struggled more than he did last year and it apparently didn’t matter much to the team’s coaching staff since it appears that he’s just going to step onto the field in Week 1 with the same starting job at left guard that he had last season.

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Maybe the fact that the Vikings are returning four of their five starters on the offensive line from 2019 will actually turn out well for the team this season. But why should anyone expect that to happen when the group isn’t exactly coming off a year full of good performances?