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Minnesota Vikings want to keep Phil Loadholt on roster

In 2012, Adrian Peterson ran for the second-most yards in NFL history with the same five starters on the offensive line for all 16 regular-season games. That group allowed 32 sacks, 11th fewest in the league.

The Minnesota Vikings want to keep that crew together, and that starts with unrestricted free agent tackle Phil Loadholt.

"Phil Loadholt is a good football player for us," Vikings general manager Rick Spielman told the team website. "Our offensive line had a lot of wholesale changes up front, getting Matt Kalil, moving Charlie (Johnson) inside to left guard, the emergence of (John) Sullivan, who I think is a Pro Bowl center, the development of Brandon Fusco and Phil Loadholt. Our objective is to hopefully keep all those guys together for the next three, four, five years.

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"Continuity is a huge part of it on the offensive line because those guys have to work as one unit and they have to know each other inside and out. They work together on combination blocks, on picking up stunts and twists when they're in pass (protection) passing off. I think continuity is a big key to that. We'd love to keep Phil Loadholt, so we'll try to do everything we can to keep Phil Loadholt but we also have a lot of guys we'd like to keep."

Loadholt has started 63 of the Vikings' 64 games since being drafted out of Oklahoma in 2009. Peterson already has lobbied for his right tackle.

"I'll probably talk to 'em, just to get that guy in," Peterson told the St. Paul Pioneer Press in January. "He's just been improving each year. I've got to keep my arms around him this offseason as well, just to make sure he's staying on top of this game and he's working out and he's doing the necessary things to make someone want to bring you back as well. So I'll have my toe in somewhere."

Follow Kareem Copeland on Twitter @kareemcopeland.

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