O-Line Ole -- er, Oli -- and Phil Rauscher -- and coaching

I went back and looked at some Mattison highlights on last night, mainly to look at the offensive line play and especially Oli Udoh.

I think it's cool that he's named Oli, which sounds like Ole, which fits right into Ole and Sven in our home state. Sure, it's just short for Olisaemika but wth ...

I also think it's cool that he has a PFF grade of 72.4 which ranks him in Vikings-land in between JJ and Kendricks. Like who knew this guy who was struggling to find a spot as a backup right tackle could be a killer right guard?

Well, Phil Rauscher did. It makes me wonder if O-line coaching was a big part of the problem. Looking at the slow-mo and stop action on film, not only Oli but the entire O line was opening holes, working together, and NOT getting overpowered by Seattle's defensive line. Blitzes were picked up.

Which was .... amazing, refreshing, outstanding, surprising, encouraging and DIFFERENT. The screens were outstanding, well-executed, and reminded me of the screen game the Vikings have had at times in the playbook going WAY back, but have not used or used well for the last decade or more.

The Vikings O line overall is at 90% pass-blocking efficiency, which is FOURTH in the NFL. You kiddin' me?

What's different? Udoh is the only fresh face in the line, and a VAST improvement over Dozier. Other than that, it's the same guys, including our backup right tackle now holding down the fort at left tackle.

In '18 Tony Sparano died suddenly. Then next year Dennison came in as part of the package with Kubiak. I remember some stuff at that time about Dennison having some issues sometimes with how he dealt with players, and some questions about his coaching and schemes.

So, did it take Rauscher to come in and say, hey, Oli's a better fit at guard? Are the O line schemes different than what Dennison was employing? It sure looks different, more power blocking and combo blocks than what I think a zone blocking scheme looks like.

This is beginning to look like an offensive line that could play together for a few years and re-establish a tradition of offensive line play that we have not seen in Minnesota for a couple of decades.

Sure, Udoh has taken the ball and run with it. But in fact the entire offensive line is playing massively better than we ever saw under Dennison.

Right now, I'm giving some cred to Rauscher, too.

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