During this camp, Carlson said he still gets many family members and friends coming to watch, and it's important that he make more of a contribution.
"Coming off the injury (at Seattle), I know he was frustrated," said Rudolph, who was friends with Carlson back at Notre Dame. "He was looking for a fresh start, and it seems likes every time he started to show what he could do, something happened to knock him back."
The Vikings have shown several multi-tight end formations, trying to take advantage of the size and strength of the threesome, who are asked to catch, block and protect. Carlson is a little smaller than the other two, though he put on weight during the offseason, but he's more agile, complementing the other options quite well in the short passing game.
Offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave said that Carlson's athleticism allows him to line up wide, disguising a two-receiver set with a three tight end formation. He's also being used as an H-back.
Carlson is eager to contribute in any way, just as he was at this point last summer. Now fully healthy, Carlson could surprise those who were underwhelmed by his first season in Purple.
"I worked hard to prepare for this," Carlson said. "It's a work in progress, but I'm trying to do what I can do, whether it's make a catch or make a block that springs a big run."