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Bleacher Report – Vikings

Matt Kalil plays the blame game, says Vikings’ O-line coaches did not demand excellence

By Judd Zulgad

Matt Kalil had a chance to take responsibility for the drop off in his play at left tackle over his final four seasons with the Vikings.

The fourth overall pick in the 2012 draft, Kalil made the Pro Bowl as a rookie and looked as if he would be the long-term solution at one of the most important positions on offense. But Kalil’s play slid in his second season and between injuries and ineffectiveness he qualified as a bust by the time he departed for Carolina after last season.

That came after he played in only two games in 2016 because of a hip injury.

So what did Kalil do when presented with a chance to own up to his forgettable time in Minnesota? He took a shot at the Vikings.

In a mostly feel-good story in the Charlotte Observer about Matt and his brother, Ryan, who plays center for the Panthers, Matt Kalil praised Panthers offensive line coach John Matsko. In doing so, he let it be known how he feels about former Vikings’ offensive line coach Jeff Davidson and current positions coach Tony Sparano.

“(Matsko) is the first guy I’ve played for that kind of demands excellence from his offensive line room,” Matt told the Observer.

The Vikings did fire Davidson a few years back, and the injury-plagued line was a mess with Sparano coaching it last season. Nonetheless, it’s a bad look for Kalil to be blaming anyone but himself.

Despite Kalil’s struggles, the Panthers signed him to a five-year, $55.5 million that includes $31 million guaranteed in March.

That’s pretty good considering Kalil gave up nearly six sacks, 40 quarterback pressures and committed seven penalties per season during the past four years, according to Pro Football Focus.

We should soon find out if Kalil’s performance was a coaching issue or if the former Southern Cal star is simply a big bust who struggles to accept responsibility for his performance.

The post Matt Kalil plays the blame game, says Vikings’ O-line coaches did not demand excellence appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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