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Bleacher Report – Vikings

Rodney Adams working to become more than just a playmaker

By Matthew Coller

At the University of South Florida, Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Rodney Adams’ route tree was pretty simple: Either run a screen or a “Go” route. That’s about it, save for the occasional hitch.

His college team worked with the limitations of their quarterback and did their best to get Adams in space, but that didn’t help the young receiver get much experience going down the field.

“There’s a big difference,” Adams said. “At USF, I was more so like a bubble runner and jet sweep runner. Coming here, learning how to create separation is a big change. I’m still learning every day.”

Over his three years as a regular in the Bulls’ lineup, 1,433 of Adams’ 1,978 career yards came after the catch, according to Pro Football Focus. He also rushed 40 times for 380 yards and seven touchdowns during that time span.

“The route running, I’m still improving on it,” Adams said. “Stefon [Diggs], Adam [Thielen], [Jarius] Wright, Mike [Floyd], they are teaching me a lot and it’s a work in progress.”

It appears that if Adams has a role in this year’s offense, it will be more in the mold of Cordarrelle Patterson’s playmaking role than as an all-around receiver. In the Vikings’ first preseason game, Adams caught two of three passes thrown his way – one being a screen pass at the goal line that resulted in a touchdown. He also rushed once for a 14 yard gain.

Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer said that his 6-foot-1, 190-pound rookie is in the lead – along with seventh-round pick Stacy Coley – for a depth receiver spot.

Part of his value could be on special teams. Adams has taken both kickoffs and punts. He was only a kick returner in college, so returning punts is an adjustment.

“I’ve come a long way with catching the punts,” Adams said. “When I first got here, it was terrible. I couldn’t track the ball as good, but it took practice. There’s really no trick to it, you just stay square and track the ball.”

The Vikings’ second preseason game could go a long way for Adams toward determining his position on offense and whether he will be Patterson’s replacement as a kick returner.

The post Rodney Adams working to become more than just a playmaker appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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