RB Young prepares for the opportunity

Albert Young (Scott Boehm/Getty)

With the Taylor and Tomlinson free-agent show done and gone from Minnesota, the Vikings could turn their attention internally toward running back Albert Young. He appreciates the confidence the team has shown in him and he's looking forward to the opportunity.

The Vikings' failure to land LaDainian Tomlinson means the defending NFC North champions could end up looking internally to fill the spot vacated by running back Chester Taylor.

Albert Young, who spent 2008 on the practice squad and was the No. 3 running back on the depth chart last season, had little opportunity with Adrian Peterson and Taylor in front of him, but with Taylor now in Chicago, Young has a chance to play an important role in 2010.

Even as the Vikings courted Tomlinson — he decided to sign a two-year deal with the Jets — coach Brad Childress went on a Twin Cities radio station and said he has plenty of confidence in Young.

In fact, Childress said that he and quarterback Brett Favre talked about Young when the two spent time together at Favre's home in Mississippi recently.

Young had 12 carries for 53 yards in 2009 and played on special teams.

"Probably not enough has been said about Albert Young," Childress said on KFAN Radio. "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 knows that no matter what is said about him, he's still going to have to produce if and when he's given the opportunity.

"I feel I have a pretty good relationship with Brett because our lockers are so close," Young 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 talking good than bad. But I don't want to get too caught up in the rhetoric."

Whoever fills Taylor's role will have a difficult job because he was far more than just a backup. Taylor often replaced Peterson in third-down situations and was adept in pass protection and as a receiver.

"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."

NOTES

  • Vikings vice president of player personnel Rick Spielman was among the NFL personnel officials in Tallahassee, Fla., this week to watch Tim Tebow's Pro Day at the University of Florida.

  • The StarCaps trial between the NFL and Vikings defensive tackles Kevin and Pat Williams has wrapped up in a Minneapolis court. A decision isn't expected until this spring. Although the loser is likely to appeal, this will be the first indication whether the Williamses' will have to serve four-game suspensions that the NFL handed down against them in December 2008.

    QUOTE TO NOTE: "I'm definitely going to play football again. I really don't think that's a question at this point barring some freak occurrence. But I'm definitely going to play football again. It's just a matter of will I be back in July or August." — Linebacker E.J. Henderson, who fractured the femur in his left leg in December, leading to questions about whether he would return.
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