Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Norv Turner wants a 'physical presence' at fullback

Posted by: Matt Vensel under Vikings Updated: July 27, 2014 - 10:34 AM

Should Jerome Felton expect a different or decreased role with Norv Turner running the offense?

It’s a fair question considering the Browns, whose offense Turner coordinated last season, used two-back formations on just 5.2 percent of their snaps in 2013, according to Pro Football Focus. That was one of the lowest figures in the league, though the Browns didn’t exactly have a bruiser like Felton -- or any established fullback for that matter -- and they also played from behind a lot.

But the Vikings, who used two backs on 24.1 percent of their snaps a season ago, have this Peterson guy who I hear is pretty good, and he can be even more dangerous when someone is plowing a lane for him. That’s why Turner is saying that the Felton should still have a role here.

“He is going to have to block and block,” Turner said. “We talked the other night to our team, we need to have a physical presence. Jerome brings that type of presence, and we are still going to have a certain percentage of two backs in the backfield, or spread out with the two backs in the backfield, that personnel group, if it gives the team problems. ... I think that there’s game situations where you need to have a fullback that can go pound it a little bit.”

Even he again uses the fullback sparingly, a good one is invaluable in short-yardage and goal line.

Felton, a 2012 Pro Bowler, will have youngster Zach Line nipping at his heels down in Mankato. But regardless of whether they keep Felton, Line or both, Turner says the fullback will have a role.

“When we are playing the way we are capable of playing, we are going to be a physical running team,” Turner said. “We’re going to be a power running team.”

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NY Mets 3 FINAL
St. Louis 2
Pittsburgh 4 FINAL
Atlanta 2
Miami 7 FINAL
Washington 11
Detroit 4 FINAL
Philadelphia 4
Minnesota 6 Bottom 9th Inning
Baltimore 5
NY Yankees 7 Bottom 9th Inning
Houston 0
Tampa Bay 2 FINAL
Boston 3
Baltimore 4 FINAL
Toronto 2
Cincinnati 5 Bottom 5th Inning
LA Angels 3
Chicago Cubs 1 Bottom 2nd Inning
Kansas City 0
Los Angeles 1 Top 2nd Inning
San Francisco 2
Chicago WSox 0 Bottom 2nd Inning
Cleveland 1
Milwaukee 0 Top 3rd Inning
Oakland 0
Seattle 0 Bottom 2nd Inning
San Diego 3
Texas 0 Top 3rd Inning
Los Angeles 0
Colorado 2 Top 2nd Inning
Arizona 0
Arizona 0 Top 2nd Inning
Colorado 0
Houston 99 FINAL
Washington 91
LA Lakers 50 3rd Qtr
Brooklyn 61
Minnesota 22 2nd Qtr 8:18
New Orleans 34
Philadelphia 5 1st Qtr 9:56
Cleveland 2
Detroit 5:00 PM
Miami
LA Clippers 5:00 PM
Boston
Dallas 6:00 PM
Indiana
Memphis 6:00 PM
San Antonio
Oklahoma City 8:00 PM
Phoenix
Washington 2 3rd Prd
NY Rangers 2
Calgary 4:00 PM
Nashville
Boston 4:00 PM
Carolina
Detroit 4:00 PM
NY Islanders
Florida 4:00 PM
Ottawa
Anaheim 6:00 PM
New Jersey
Chicago 6:30 PM
Winnipeg
San Jose 6:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Michigan State 72 1st OT 1:26
Louisville 68
Gonzaga 4:05 PM
Duke
Philadelphia 4:00 PM
Chicago
Toronto FC 6:00 PM
Real Salt Lake
(7) Florida State 74 FINAL
(3) South Carolina 80
Villanova 70 FINAL
West Virginia 75
Michigan 57 2nd Half 3:52
Southern Miss 48
Temple 4:00 PM
Middle Tennessee
Siena 4:00 PM
Louisiana
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UCLA
(5) Baylor 7:30 PM
(2) Notre Dame
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami NoonX37-35
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago NoonX13-9

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