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Minnesota Vikings FB Zach Line is Gearing Up for His Second NFL Season

As an undrafted free agent, Zach Line beat the odds and made the Minnesota Vikings active roster. This season, he is coming off an injury, and looking to impress once again at his second training camp in Mankato.

Last year, Line’s rookie season couldn’t have started better. He broke off a 61-yard touchdown on his first touch in a preseason game. It was looking like the Vikings were getting a steal when Line signed as an undrafted free agent.

The Vikings converted Line from a running back to fullback, and by Week One, the former Southern Methodist star was in the mix to receive real playing time. Jerome Felton was serving a two-game suspension, and Line was battling Rhett Ellison at the fullback position. Line appeared in three games (caught one pass for eight yards), but an injury cut his rookie season short placed, that placed him on injured reserve. 

Now, Line is healthy and ready to make another strong impression on the Vikings. ESPN 99.1′s Sam Tastad caught up with Line last year in Mankato, and talked to him again a few weeks ago.

ST: How are you feeling after your rookie season and offseason shoulder surgery? 

ZL: “It was a new thing for me, having to sit out a year, but it was good to grow into the team a bit, getting to know some guys and get comfortable with the area. I was able to get a condo for the wife and I, but I feel healthy coming off shoulder surgery. Ready to roll.”

ST: What did you learn from playing and blocking for Adrian Peterson last year? 

ZL: “Adrian’s a hard worker. So, I’ve always been a hard worker and it was nice to work with a guy that really wants it. Where he’s at in his career and how many things he’s done to keep doing what he’s doing inspires younger guys like me.”

ST: Has your second training camp been different? 

ZL: “You know going it you kind of have the expectation of what is going to happen. It helps you out, where last year you come in like a deer in the headlights and try to make plays.”

ST: Describe your feeling when you scored in the preseason in 2013? 

ZL: “It was awesome. Obviously you got to make splash plays want to make the team. You got to make an impact. So, being able to do something when I had the ball in my hands was helpful. This year, I am looking to do the same thing then stay healthy throughout the season.

ST: Looking ahead to the 2014 season, do you have any season expectations for yourself? 

ZL: “I don’t know. I got to see how things go in camp. Coaches have a plan for you and you have to mold into what they want you to be and exceed their expectations. Right now, I am just worried about training camp.”

ST: First impressions for new offensive coordinator, Norv Turner?

ZL: I love the offense. I mean it’s got to be hard for a defense to stop. Just watching is hard. When you are in there, you don’t see all the details going on with the play. When you are standing back and looking at it, it’s pretty awesome to see.”

ST: What is first-year head coach, Mike Zimmer showing you?

ZL: I like Coach Zimmer. He’s a really good football coach and I’ve had good football coaches in the past. You know what a good coach is and he’s got it going. He’s taking care of the players and making sure we are pleasing ourselves. Has discipline and is making us a better team.”

ST: As a team, what should fans expect from the Vikings? 

ZL: I feel like we have good team chemistry going on. I really like the coaching staff. I feel like they have a good thing going here. I want to be part of something special. Playing outside, everything’s changed. Things can only go up.”

***For comments and story ideas, email Sam at tastadsam@gmail.com, and follow him on Twitter @samtastad.
Sam Tastad/ESPN 99.1

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