INDIANAPOLIS – After 21 catches in his first two NFL seasons, the heat is on Vikings receiver Laquon Treadwell to live up to his first-round draft selection in 2016.
Speaking at the NFL scouting combine Wednesday, General Manager Rick Spielman said he’s hoping to see Treadwell make a “jump” next season. How that happens could be a matter of Treadwell’s own mental state, Spielman said.
“It’s going to be a big year for him. Hoping to see that jump this year,” Spielman said. “I know he does work extremely hard at it. He’s a pleaser. He wants to do good. You just got to learn how to relax a little bit and not press so much — enjoy playing. Don’t put so much pressure on yourself.”
Treadwell, who turns 23 in June, played a slightly increased role in the Vikings offense last season following a one-catch rookie year. His 35 targets ranked fifth on the team, which he turned into 20 catches for 200 receiving yards.
“You see when he does get an opportunity, I don’t think he’s dropped a ball,” Spielman said. “But also he doesn’t have a lot of targets in a game.”
Shurmur on Stefanski
Giants coach Pat Shurmur didn’t get his first choice for offensive coordinator after the Vikings blocked him from interviewing quarterbacks coach Kevin Stefanski for the position in mid-February. Shurmur eventually hired ex-Panthers coordinator Mike Shula.
“I think Kevin is a tremendous coach and obviously the Vikings feel the same way,” Shurmur said. “I think he has a bright future. He’s a good man and the Vikings did a good thing by keeping him — for the Vikings.”
Berger wants to play
Joe Berger had said he was leaning toward retirement following the Vikings’ NFC Championship Game loss in Philadelphia. After taking time to think, he has decided to play a 14th NFL season, a league source told the Star Tribune.
Berger turns 36 in May and led all Vikings players with 1,191 total snaps last season. The versatile interior offensive lineman can play guard and center. A return to the Vikings is possible, the source said, but he could have a handful of suitors, including Shurmur’s Giants.
Rudolph has surgery
Tight end Kyle Rudolph underwent surgery to repair the injured right ankle that hampered him throughout the end of the 2017 season, he said during a KFAN appearance. Rudolph, who tied Stefon Diggs for the Vikings’ lead with eight touchdown catches, initially injured his ankle Dec. 10 in Carolina. He didn’t miss a game for the third consecutive season.
“I knew it was inevitable to have it fixed,” Rudolph said on KFAN. “That’s what the offseason is for. The glamorous life of the NFL offseason. You roll around on a scooter.”