NFL: With no L.T. for Vikings, Young awaits his chance
By Chip Scoggins
Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Albert Young said he tried to ignore all the media attention focused on the Vikings’ pursuit of LaDainian Tomlinson last week, but he kept getting reminders on his Twitter and Facebook accounts.
Tomlinson’s decision would directly affect Young, the team’s backup to star running back Adrian Peterson.
“I really didn’t have a feeling either way about it,” Young said. “That’s something that’s out of my control. ... The fact is, he’s not there. Who knows, they might bring in somebody else. They might draft somebody. I just look at it as a void that’s there and somebody needs to take it, and I’m working hard to do that.”
Young, the former Iowa standout who is entering his third season with the team, could replace Chester Taylor, who signed with the Chicago Bears as a free agent. The Vikings courted Tomlinson before he signed a two-year deal contract the New York Jets.
Vikings coach Brad Childress said Young should not be overlooked in the equation.
“Probably not enough has been said about Albert Young,” Childress said on KFAN Radio last week. “Albert Young is a guy that has developed here tremendously in the last two years. As a matter of fact, Brett Favre and I had a long conversation about him when we were down south, and he believes he’s got a chance to be a good back in this league.”
Young said he appreciated the sentiments, but tried not to read too much into them.
“I feel I have a pretty good relationship with Brett because our lockers are so close,” he said. “It’s good to have a quarterback that has confidence in you and a coaching staff that believes in you. But I have to do my part. It’s good to have that backing and I appreciate it. I would rather have them talkied on special teams.
The Vikings are encouraged by Young’s progress and potential, and Young said his game is “very similar” to Taylor’s. That will be key considering Taylor led all NFL running backs in third-down catches the past two seasons and was reliable in pass protection.
“I’ve been doing this for two years in the system, so I better be ready,” Young said. “The thing about the NFL is it’s just a matter of getting an opportunity to get out there. That’s the main thing. There’s a lot of good players out there. It’s just a matter of getting an opportunity to get on the field.”
That probably wouldn’t have happened if Tomlinson had signed with the Vikings. But Young is ready to make his mark regardless of his competition.
ey gave me plenty of reps. That’s all you can ask for as a player so that’s how I’m approaching it. I need to work on what I need to do. I’m not trying to be Chester. I have to stick to my game and use what he taught me and try and maximize this opportunity.”