Minnesota Vikings: Toby Gerhart Looks Strong Behind Adrian Peterson

Justine BrownCorrespondent IIAugust 18, 2011

MINNEAPOLIS - NOVEMBER 21: Toby Gerhart #32 of the Minnesota Vikings carries the ball against the Green Bay Packers at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome on November 21, 2010 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Selected in the second round of the 2010 NFL draft by the Minnesota Vikings and following a stellar career at Stanford University, running back Toby Gerhart entered his rookie season a year ago with high expectations.  However, Gerhart's career started off a little slow, rushing for just one touchdown and 322 total yards during his rookie campaign.

Disappointed with how 2010 played out, Gerhart enters this season much more comfortable and prepared to be a suitable and an impact backup to star running back Adrian Peterson.  So far, Gerhart has looked sharp in preseason and training camp, notably displaying pretty footwork and good run blocking ability.  After getting hit a lot by his own teammates in practices last season, Gerhart spent the offseason working on his speed as well.

With Adrian Peterson missing a few days early on in training camp due to the birth of his son, Gerhart was able to get a number of extra reps with the starters, something that will likely benefit the second-year player.

Vikings offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave intends to revolve much of the offense around Adrian Peterson, but has plans for Gerhart in the mix as well.  With both players having different skill sets, Musgrave has created plays designed specifically for Gerhart that will compliment his abilities.

Although the Vikings are still rebuilding and enter this season with a new quarterback and a completely different look to their offense, the running back position should be one that the team does not have to worry about.