Kyle Rudolph: Improved blocking a “silver lining” to reduced receiving role in Minnesota

Sport

Tight end Kyle Rudolph made no secret of his feeling that he had more to offer the Vikings as a receiver than they asked him to do in the last couple of years, but the decision to change his role wasn’t without an upside.

Rudolph revealed that positive when he was asked about the drop in catches over the last two seasons during his first press conference as a member of the Giants. Rudolph said it was a result of the team’s design to feature Irv Smith more in the passing game and that the change forced him to work on his blocking.

“It’s simple, you can just look at my role and what I was asked to do,” Rudolph said. “Just turn on the tape and watch what I was doing. A silver lining to that is, you look at the first eight years of my career and I was really only known as a pass catcher. . . . I’m extremely competitive and it forced me to go one of two ways. I could have either complained about it or I could have taken it as a challenge to improve that aspect of my game. It’s funny going throughout the free agency process and getting feedback from teams and hearing how good of a blocker they thought I was. That was just so foreign to me because my whole life blocking was something that I really had to work on and never did well.”

With Saquon Barkley returning from a torn ACL and an offensive line that has some questionable spots, the Giants will welcome any help they can get on the blocking front while also finding a way to use Rudolph’s other skills to help their offense.