What Vikings' fans have known for awhile, the rest of the NFL got to see last night; Kyle Rudolph is an elite NFL tight end. All I kept hearing when Rudolph would make catch after catch from Al Micheals and Chris Collinsworth was,"Kyle Rudolph" and "We're seeing more tight ends like this." Well no sh*t; they both obviously didn't know much about the Minnesota Vikings' pro bowl tight end, and why should they; it's not like it's their job,oh wait yes it is. I used to like Collinsworh a few years ago. He just comes across as a prick now, and like a good friend of mine said. 'I shouldn't know who the announcers are rooting for within the first five minutes.' At least his bias wasn't so apparent in the Pro Bowl like it is in all the Sunday Night football games. I think someone handed him Kyle's stat sheet after about his third catch, so more could be said than,"catch by Kyle Rudolph."
Rudolph finished the game with 5 catches for 122 yards and 1 TD, with the longest catch of the game(52 yards from Eli Manning), was enough to give him the MVP for the Pro Bowl; great job Kyle, those who didn't know, now know exactly who you are.
Drew Brees obviously enjoyed having Rudolph for a target. The guy is 6'6" or 6'7" and will catch anything three and a half feet over his head; which means even if for some reason he doesn't, there is no threat of an interception. Eli Manning identified Kyle's talent quickly as well, and both are probably still thinking of ways to get him on their respecting teams.
A lot of coaches and players both are thinking and saying, 'Ponder is fortunate to have him for a tight end on the Vikings.' There is the obvious question though,"Why was he not utilized like this throughout this past season?"
We all saw the ups and downs for Ponder in 2012. What gives us as fans hope, was when he was at his lowest point, he climbed out of the slump he was in, and finished strong in the end, when it counted most. I, for one want to see those kind of numbers Rudolph had last night in at least every other game from now on. Can Ponder and Musgrave(if he is the OC in 2013) give him his due opportunities to do so? I would like to say,'I think so,' but I don't know.
There looks to be a similarity of the beginning of 2009 with now in 2013; a solid all around team with questions surrounding the quarterback position. I was a big fan of Visante Shancoe and wanted him to stay last year, but wow; he is no where close to what Kyle Rudolph is. No disrespect to Shank at all, Kyle is just that good. Rudolph will make things easier on Harvin and Peterson(won't that be dangerous to watch), as well as Felton, Wright and Ellison to do their jobs.(Yea I said Ellison; I'm looking for him to have a great year).
Look for Kyle Rudolph to have his best year as a pro this coming season, and I would dare to say by far. Utilizing him properly-JUST THROW HIM THE BALL!-should help Percy Harvin and Jarious Wright bring along the eventual new WRs and climb out of the basement in passing offense. Glad we got him, because I think he is one of the most important keys if Ponder is going to unlock the door to becoming a true NFL QB.