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.


Rookie talks about adjustment to fullback

Posted by: under Vikings, NFL draft, Vikings offense Updated: May 20, 2010 - 7:15 AM

Ryan D'Imperio made a name for himself at Rutgers playing linebacker. However, the Vikings felt he would be best suited to be a fullback in the NFL and converted D'Imperio to that position after selecting him with the second of their two seventh-round selections in last month's NFL draft.

That means D'Imperio is getting some serious on-the-job training during the Vikings Organized Team Activities, which opened this week. After Wednesday's practice, D'Imperio answered questions about the adjustment. 

How is the transition going? “It’s going well. I’m learning a lot. The players are helping me out great, the coaches are working with me. I’m feeling comfortable with everything. I’m really starting to [grow].”

Is the footwork or mental aspect harder with this adjustment? “I would say it would be more of the footwork and then blocking instead of tackling. That’s the two biggest differences, I feel.”

Will the physical aspect of things be an adjustment with both positions seeing a lot of hitting? “We haven’t really been hitting. [Teams can't hit in OTAs.] We haven’t had the pads on really. It’s tough to say. It’s something I really haven’t done yet. … I’ll figure it out when we put pads on in camp. That’s when I’ll figure it all out.”

Starting fullback Naufahu Tahi was not on the field today. Does that help you because you get more reps? “It’s nice to just get in there and getting as many reps as possible. I’m learning a lot from experiencing it and I’m seeing it from a different perspective instead of just watching film, which helps a lot. It goes a long way.”

What was your reaction to the move?
“I told them right from the beginning that I’ll play anywhere. It doesn’t really matter where they have me. I just want to play.”

What type of experience do you have at fullback? “I played it in high school. That’s the only time I ever really played fullback."

How did you do? “I did very well. It was more of Wing-T offense so I carried the ball a lot more than I did blocking or anything.”

You signed a four-year contract this week. Is it nice to have that done? “It’s just one more thing out of the way. I don’t have to worry about it later, so now it’s just all focusing on football.”


 

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