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Phil Loadholt, Not Percy Harvin, the Key to the Vikings' Offense

MOBILE, AL - JANUARY 24:  Phil Loadholt #79 of the North team during the Under Armour Senior Bowl on January 24, 2009 at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Alabama.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images for Under Armour)
Joseph GuntherContributor IMay 22, 2009

Percy Harvin and his versatility give the Minnesota Vikings more options in the offensive playbook this season, but the most important newcomer is second-round draft pick Phil Loadholt.

The 6'8", 343-pound offensive tackle will man the right tackle position for the Vikings, a position that has been a revolving door since Brad Childress took over three years ago.

Former second-round draft pick Ryan Cook has been the starting right tackle, but the former center looked out of position.

If Loadholt lives up to the hype that came with him to the University of Oklahoma, the Vikings will be able to use the right side of the offense.

Loadholt will allow the Vikings to run off the right side. This, in turn, will force the defense to cover sideline to sideline, and not just load up the offense's left.

Once Loadholt locks onto the defender, it is over. If defenders load up the offense's left on plays called for that direction, the Vikings' running backs will have the cutback as an option with Loadholt collapsing the line to open the right edge.

The Vikings playbook will open up not with more plays and trickery, but with two sides. Last season the Vikings ran the ball to the right side, just to show that it was an option. The plays just did not work before, but Loadholt will allow them to be successful this season.

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