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.


Pro Bowler Felton hopes he's found long-term home with Vikings

Posted by: Mark Craig under Vikings, NFC, Adrian Peterson Updated: December 31, 2012 - 5:45 PM

After four relatively non-descript years in Detroit, Carolina and Indianapolis, Vikings fullback Jerome Felton is hoping he has found a long-term home as the lead blocker for Adrian Peterson. Now, it’s just a matter of that one-year contract he’s playing under.

“I mean, I would hope [I’m coming back],” he said. “I feel good about it. Obviously, we have a good thing going here and I want to be here. So hopefully everything works itself out.”

Felton is only 26, so he fits the Vikings’ youth movement. He also made his first Pro Bowl, proving that it can be sunny even in Peterson’s shadow.

With the top four running teams and six of the top eight making the playoffs this season, including the No. 2 Vikings, Felton believes his position might not be heading toward extinction after all.

“I was talking to [FOX analyst and former Cowboys fullback Daryl] Moose Johnston a few weeks ago when they were doing our game and I was saying, ‘Man, keep pumping up the fullback. We’ve got to bring it back,’” Felton said. “It’s a cyclical league, so I think it will come back. I think the run game is important. I think everybody knows that and you always hear about it, you always hear people say it. You look at the teams that just pass the ball, outside of maybe the Patriots this year, they struggle sometimes. So I feel good about how we’re built and I feel good about the running game.”

Peterson fell eight yards short of Eric Dickerson’s single-season rushing record of 2,105 yards this season. He’s made it a goal to get the record next year. Sounds good to Felton.

“I think he’s got it,” Felton said. “I told him after the game, ‘Man, if I’m back here, we’re getting that record next year.’ So, obviously we knew the most important thing was making the playoffs, but we feel like we’ll get that record next year.”
 

Felton a deep threat?

Felton didn’t just block on Sunday. He also pulled in a 17-yard reception.

“Actually, I was talking to Coach [Bill] Musgrave [the offensive coordinator] after the game when we were walking out to the parking lot,” Felton said. “And he was like, ‘How about that Seattle?’ And I was like, ‘Seattle?’ Thought he was talking about the Seahawks. I was like ‘What do you mean?’ And he’s like ‘Seattle.’ That’s the play we called. And as the ball was in the air I was like, ‘Hold on, is that coming to me?’ So ya know, I caught it. I tried to revert to my old days. I did a little something with it. But it was interesting.”

Felton was asked if he was surprised that cornerback Tramon Williams gave him an extremely soft cushion.
“Hey, I can go deep too, now,” he said. “Don’t sleep on me.”

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