After catching a 51-yard touchdown pass Saturday,
Through two preseason games, Rudolph has caught five of six targets for 111 yards and a score.
Rudolph began the game by recording a 17-yard catch on the offense's fist play from scrimmage but kicked things up on the third drive, hauling in a 51-yard touchdown to give the Vikings a 10-7 lead. Rudolph is adapting well to the new offensive system, and he could be a big-play threat for the Vikings as teams load up to stop Adrian Peterson.
Rudolph has lost about 15 pounds and is expecting a bigger role this upcoming season. His 2013 season was cut short because of a broken left foot. He caught 30 passes for 313 yards and three touchdowns in eight games last season.
"Becoming more explosive in and out of cuts, that was the big emphasis for me, going back and watching a ton of (Cleveland) Browns tape (when Vikings offensive coordinator Norv Turner was the coordinator there last year)," Rudolph said.
"I've always watched a lot of (San Diego Chargers tight end) Antonio Gates (who played for Turner from 2007-12), and I don't know that there's anyone as good as him at getting in and out of breaks. That's been the big point of emphasis for me the whole year, and getting the weight down has helped a ton, I think. I feel like I run a lot smoother than I did at 275."
Rudolph is entering the final year of his rookie contract. He said Tuesday that the team, which still has approximately $10 million in salary cap space after a busy offseason, has not approached him about a contract extension.
"I've really enjoyed my time here, from the top down, in our organization," Rudolph said. "I think we have the best owners in football. They're willing to do anything for us to win. Everybody in the front office, the new staff, I really like the direction this team is going in. I'm excited to be a part of that future."
Rudolph is hoping to bounce back after he was limited to eight games in 2013 because of a fracture in his left foot. He caught 30 passes for 313 yards and three touchdowns before injuring his foot in a Week 9 loss to the Cowboys.
He has been studying tape of the Browns from last season so he can get a feel for how he will be utilized in new coordinator Norv Turner's offense. Tight ends such as Jay Novacek, Antonio Gates and Jordan Cameron produced impressive numbers in three different decades with Turner calling the plays.
"I hope to fall in line with that," Rudolph said. "I'm excited to get into this offense."
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