Lunch Break

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Lunchbreak: Vikings Could Use Cook's Skills in Passing Game

Posted May 18, 2017

It remains to be seen how Vikings Offensive Coordinator Pat Shurmur will use Dalvin Cook in 2017.

But as Cook prepares for Organized Team Activities next week, ESPN’s Matt Bowen tossed out a suggestion as to how Minnesota could best utilize the rookie running back.

Bowen wrote:

The rookie from Florida State has the speed, vision and power to be a difference-maker in the run game for the Vikings. But don't overlook his pass-catching ability in the Vikings' West Coast offense. That gives him added value on third down and in red zone situations.

Bowen noted the Vikings could use Cook similar to the way the Chiefs used running back Jamaal Charles, who is now in Denver, in recent seasons. 

Bowen posted a highlight of Charles using his quickness to beat a linebacker out of the backfield on an out route that produced a touchdown.

Cook, Bowen noted, could be used the same way.

This is a high-percentage throw, but perhaps more importantly in QB Sam Bradford's case, it's a quick high-percentage throw. That's key in the Vikings' passing attack with an offensive line that struggled last season. Cook has the skill to win on these short to intermediate passes.

Cook had 79 catches for 935 receiving yards and two touchdowns in 38 career games at Florida State.

Cook holds Florida State’s single-season rushing record and broke Warrick Dunn’s career rushing record with the Seminoles. The two-time All-American totaled 4,464 yards and 46 touchdowns on 687 carries (6.5 yards per carry).

Vensel: Eagan headquarters will be impressive

The Vikings invited the Twin Cities media out to their new headquarters in Eagan on Tuesday for the first time since the groundbreaking on the site.

Reporter Matt Vensel of the Star Tribune attended the session and came away impressed.

Vensel wrote:

Having visited a handful of NFL facilities in my time covering the Vikings and previously the Ravens, I feel comfortable saying that when the TCO Performance Center opens next year, it will be one of the top facilities in the NFL. It will be modern and beautiful and will perhaps inspire awe.

And, needless to say, it is going to be a lot more useful than Winter Park.

Their current headquarters in Eden Prairie opened 36 years ago this week. It was considered top-notch at the time, but the Vikings outgrew it.

Vensel said the 40-acre campus that will have 277,002 square feet of indoor space will be an upgrade in almost every area, but noted the new indoor practice facility will be an obvious help to Vikings players and coaches.

Take for example their typical practice in the indoor field there.

Which coach Mike Zimmer arrived in 2014, he asked for a team meeting room where the entire team and coaching staff could all be seated. With no other space left in the building, the meeting room was squeezed into the corner of one of the end zones on that indoor field. Not ideal.

That indoor field is also under a roof that is about 75 feet high. That may sound like more than enough, but their punters can’t truly practice there because they too often bang balls off the rafters and kickoffs are no picnic either. So the specialists practice once a week at U.S. Bank Stadium.

The roof over the indoor field at TCOPC will be 100 feet high, and both end zones and the full 100-yard field will be available for Zimmer to use.

The Vikings are scheduled to move into the new headquarters in March of 2018.