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Determined Rudolph Says He's 'Nowhere Near' Where He Wants To Be

MANKATO, Minn. (WCCO) – If you think you've been disappointed in Kyle Rudolph these last few years, you should hear what the 26-year-old tight end thinks as he enters his sixth season with the Minnesota Vikings.

"It's about taking my game to the next level, not being satisfied with the mediocre first five years that I've had," he said at training camp in Mankato.

That's about as self-critical as you'll hear a pro athlete get. It's a pretty good sign that Rudolph is as determined as it gets to take his game up another level.

"I'm nowhere near where I want to be in terms of my career," he said. "I think there's a lot to build on and I couldn't be more excited."

Two of Rudolph's five seasons were marked by injury. One of them ended in a Pro Bowl.

Last year, Rudolph's performance was affected by the struggles of the offensive line, where he was needed to block. As such, he wasn't catching passes from quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.

But a better line this season should mean a better year for Rudolph.

"There will be games where we play really good pass rushers, and I'll need to help out some," he said. "But hopefully, for the most part, we'll have that locked down and I can run down the field and catch balls."

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