Ready or not, T.J. Clemmings is a starter once again.
A year after struggling with stunts and speed rushers as Phil Loadholt’s replacement at right tackle, Clemmings will replace Kalil on the left side, where defenders move even faster and Clemmings is even less experienced.
But that’s OK. At least according to Clemmings, whose experience at left tackle is limited to the Senior Bowl in 2015, offseason practices and this preseason.
“It’s getting better,” Clemmings said of his work on the left side. “I’m lucky I had all spring and a couple reps at camp on the left side, and a couple of preseason games on the left side. So I’m pretty comfortable right now.”
Clemmings started all 17 games at right tackle as a rookie, but was replaced when the Vikings signed Andre Smith via free agency. Clemmings then beat out Jeremiah Sirles for the top swing tackle job. Sirles now becomes the swing tackle.
“My technique in general on both sides has gotten better since last year,” Clemmings said. “And my understanding of what we do as an offense is a lot better than last year. So a lot of the mistakes I made last year, I probably won’t make this year.”