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Vikes RB coach: I believe Dalvin Cook wants to be great


Among the top-tier running backs in this year's draft class, Florida State standout Dalvin Cook represented the great unknown.

Asking a position coach this time of year for clarity is often unreliable. Relentless optimism underscores the period between early May and August -- before any of a player's true flaws are revealed to his NFL coaches. However, Vikings running backs coach Kennedy Polamalu is expecting success.

"I've always been around young men who are learning their way," Polamalu told the Star-Tribune. "I have a feel for the support system they need. Dalvin is serious. He's got a kid on the way any day. It's early, but I believe he wants to be great."

Cook added: "I feel like we're off to a great start. We're off to something special."

The story, which traces Polamalu's winding journey into coaching, is well worth your time (Kennedy is the uncle of Steelers legend Troy). For now, it should also give Vikings fans hope that they'll have a formidable two-headed monster in the backfield this season more than willing to replace Adrian Peterson.

While Leonard Fournette and Christian McCaffrey are in position to have a larger impact during their first year, Cook and Latavius Murray have the opportunity to reshape what has been a fairly standard approach to the running game in Minnesota over the last decade.

Together, with Polamalu, the tandem could produce a refreshingly different brand of football if the offseason optimism persists.