Originally posted on The Viking Age  |  Last updated 10/13/11

NEW ORLEANS - JANUARY 24: Phil Loadholt #71 of the Minnesota Vikings checks on teammate Brett Favre #4 after he was injured on a play against the New Orleans Saints during the NFC Championship Game at the Louisiana Superdome on January 24, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
It’s been a long time coming for Phil Loadholt, but the massive offensive tackle is finally beginning to fulfill the promise he showed when the Vikings drafted him in the second round out of Oklahoma.Thrown into the fray as a rookie in 2009, Loadholt held his own, helping protect Brett Favre on his way to one of his best statistical years. Things went backward in 2010 however, not just for Loadholt but the entire offensive line. 2011 looked like it would be a much better campaign for Loadholt, especially after he showed up in camp in the best shape of his life, but early struggles had many observers whispering that maybe his potential would never be realized. False starts and glaring blow-bys plagued the third-year man, leading some to speculate that his starting job might be in jeopardy.Then Sunday’s Arizona game happened. Loadholt looked dominating in his run blocking for Adrian Peterson, and performed better than usual in pass protection. The uber-wonks at Pro Football Focus gave...
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