The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Vikings News

August 6, 2013

Kalil having a good, quiet camp

All-Pro guard is more comfortable in 2nd season

MANKATO — Perhaps it's the best compliment paid to an offensive lineman, but few people seem to be talking about Matt Kalil at Vikings Training Camp.

The second-year left tackle got considerable attention as a rookie after getting selected with the No. 4 overall pick last year. But after starting all 16 games, blocking for most valuable player Adrian Peterson and keeping quarterback Christian Ponder fairly upright, Kalil may be the least of the Vikings' concerns this summer.

Kalil's certainly not coasting through camp, though.

"The bar is raised even more," he said. "I want to have the same performance or even go a notch above that and do even better ... I'll approach each season the same way.

"I've got a lot to learn. I'll never know everything; there's always something I can learn, always something I can get better at."

Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said Kalil wants to be the best player at one of the most important positions in the NFL.

Kalil sure got off to a good start. Playing every offensive snap last season, he was charged with just three sacks allowed, and the one holding penalty he was called for was declined. That kind of performance keeps the eyes on Peterson and Ponder. But it can't be overlooked as a key factor in the Vikings' turnaround, playoff season.

"I know our offensive line coach Jeff Davidson is really stressing to him how you have to keep improving in our league," Frazier said. "Guys are studying him on tape, just like how he studies defensive lineman.

"They are trying to come up with ways to have success against him. There are some things we are working on to help him improve. He has to understand that, and I think he does."

Kalil said he loves watching film and trying to make himself a better, smarter player.

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