The Vikings offensive line received its share of criticism last season, particularly as it related to the drop in production from the running game.

The Vikings finished 13th in the NFL in rushing at 119.9 yards per game. They ranked fifth in 2008 at 146.1 yards per game.

Coach Brad Childress, however, defended his line Wednesday when asked whether he believes that unit reached its true potential last season because of injuries to left guard Steve Hutchinson, left tackle Bryant McKinnie and right guard Anthony Herrera.

Childress said he feels the line received too much blame and not enough credit last season.

"A couple of those guys had procedures last year and obviously you had a new center [John Sullivan] and a new right tackle [Phil Loadholt]," he said. "I’m glad you asked that question because it gets bandied about. It depends on who you read. Somebody will say it’s one of the better lines in the NFL. Whether it’s just in the horizon that I look at locally, you might talk about them in a bad way, use their name in vain.
"I would point out that it was the second scoring offense [in the NFL]. ‘Yeah, but you didn’t run the ball as well.’ No, but we threw it better. You have to give something to get something. You can’t have it all ways. Rarely do you see the top rushing team be the top passing team or vice versa. Really all we care about is finding a way to get into the end zone and bottom line win the game. It will be good to have those guys all together again and healthy."

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