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Doland Lineman at Vikes Camp



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At Vikings Training Camp in Mankato, fans come to see players like Adrian Peterson and Jared Allen.  But right alongside those stars are guys like Bill Noethlich, a free agent rookie just looking to make the roster.

Bill Noethlich says, "Meeting and working with the guys I've been working with has obviously been spectacular and it's been an experience, but I'm just trying to come out here and work as hard as I can and see what happens after this."


Noethlich is an offensive tackle from Doland, who played his college football at SMSU.  But his small town, Division II days are behind him now as he tries to adjust to the NFL.


Pat Morris, Line Coach says, "We kinda treat them all the same.  He's thrown right in the mix, I mean, obviously he's got to work on his technique.  He's going against guys that he probably never went against in his division."


Even with Pro Bowlers like Steve Hutchinson and Bryant McKinnie standing around him, Noethlich isn't star struck.  Instead, he's trying to learn from the best and impress his coaches at the same time.


Pat Morris says, "Everything's new, the language is new, so he's gotta go detail-by-detail, he's gotta do some extra work, because the playbook is bigger and all those type of things, so I mean, I'm pleased with his effort, but he's got a ways to go."


Making the team may be a long shot, just like it is for any undrafted free agent.


Noethlich says, "There's still a lot of things I need to work on still, but you know, they always have something to correct you on."


But even his coaches admit, there's no telling how good he can be.


Pat Morris says, "A lot of linemen that have been in this league have been on practice squads for two or three years before they finally make it.  It's gonna take a transition and some make it faster than others.  Blocking is blocking, so everybody's got it.  It's just a matter of him getting used to the speed and the timing and him used to getting where he needs to be technique-wise."


From Doland to Marshall to Mankato, Bill Noethlich has come a long way.  But he still has a little ways to go in the NFL.


At Vikings Training Camp in Mankato, Jason Anschutz, KDLT Sports.

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