Competition At Running Back

The Vikings spent considerable money in the offseason to revamp their running game. But one of the training camp battles is going to see what sort of role the different running backs will have and how well they take to them.

In 2005, the Vikings' plan of attack on the ground was to get Michael Bennett 300 carries and 1,200 yards. That clearly didn't happen, but the ground game has taken on a much different look for 2006.

Chester Taylor remains atop the team's RB depth chart, but the roles of the Vikings running backs are far from defined. It would seem that Jim Kleinsasser has been pushed back to a more traditional tight end role with the signing of fullback Tony Richardson. But the changes don't stop there.

When Mike Tice was head coach, he harped on the fact that Mewelde Moore wasn't an every-down back. Despite being successful when handed those duties, Moore has had a series of injury problems that have slowed his progress. At the same time, Ciatrick Fason has been inconsistent as the team's short-yardage back -- a job he was forced into because of the lack of options.

In an ideal world, Taylor will be the go-to featured back with Fason as a change-of-pace, Moore as a third-down speed option and Richardson as blocker and receiver. That's the plan for now. It could all change with one popped hamstring, but, for the time being, it's a running back committee that is one of well-defined roles. Let's see how long it lasts.

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