First-round draft pick Laquon Treadwell worked hard to overcome a severe injury en route to the NFL.
Now a member of the Vikings, the wide receiver told Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press that he's feeling healthy and has some lofty goals for the 2016 season.
Treadwell looks back at his injury as a blessing in disguise because he says it made him work harder. While still in the hospital following surgery, he stopped taking pain medication because he wanted to use how he felt then for motivation.
Tomasson wrote that Treadwell had a transition period at the beginning of the offseason but felt confident about his progress at the end of spring.
"The playbook was different, the speed was different, the routes were different, so it was me just locking in and giving it my all every day,'' Treadwell told Tomasson. "But it should be hard. If it's not hard, you put yourself in a (Hall of Fame) gold jacket the first week. I embraced the challenge of getting better every day and trying to see how much better I can be.''
With training camp kicking off in Mankato this week, Treadwell said he's set big expectations for himself and the Vikings heading into his rookie season.
"My expectations for myself is to start,'' Treadwell told Tomasson. "I don't hold myself to low standards at all by any means. So when I get to start, helping the team win, try to win Rookie of the Year. Pro Bowl. Super Bowl.''
Sharrif Floyd gives back to hometown with free football camp
Before returning to Minnesota for training camp, Vikings defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd spent some time giving back in his hometown of Philadelphia. Viking Update's John Holler wrote about Floyd's community involvement* *through a free football camp called "Brotherly Love Camp."
"Since I started playing football, I've always been wanting to give back to my community and the communities around me," Floyd told Holler. "A lot of the kids haven't had anything for the last couple of years and we decided to have a really big camp. It was all free. We had a lot of great people and influential people come from around the city and spoke to the kids."
Having been through tough times as a child himself, Floyd said he drew from his own experiences as a kid growing up in Philadelphia to try to impress upon kids at his football camp that there is life beyond the boundaries that they've come to know, and people who care about them and understand where they're coming from because. In Floyd's case, he's been there himself.
"I think the big push behind it was just knowing that a lot of these kids only know their neighborhoods and their schools," Floyd told Holler. "A lot of them don't even know that there is a college called the University of Florida or a football team called the Minnesota Vikings, where I'm from. It was just to give them a different look on life and let them see that it's more than just Philadelphia out there. You've just got to be willing to fight for it."
While in Philadelphia, Floyd also hosted a charity auction for the family of a fallen police officer.
ESPN's Kevin Seifert remembers Denny Green
While celebrating the grand opening of U.S. Bank Stadium, the Vikings family simultaneously mourned the loss of former Vikings Head Coach Dennis Green, who passed away Friday morning. ESPN's Kevin Seifert, who covered the team while Green was in Minnesota, remembered the coach and his colloquiums* *in an article Friday. Seiffert wrote:
His sole focus as a coach was to build a cocoon around his program to maximize the team concept. He communicated in short, bite-sized phrases, calling them examples of "Harrisburg wisdom" from his Pennsylvania hometown. They were memorable and, in one way or the other, let players and coaches know he had their back.
"Yesterday's news" was his way of saying, "It's going to be OK" to the player and/or coach who screwed up in that 1999 game. Sometimes he told players to keep their "hands on the plow." Often, he encouraged them to "stay on the high road."
*He told them the Vikings were unbeatable "when we play like we play when we play." He advocated a life led by the "three F's": faith, family and football. The key to winning, he said, was "to plan your work and work your plan." *
Seifert said he remembered Green's demeanor and the way he looked out for his players. Seifert wrote that Green was a "guardian of the [players'] sanctuary. A number of former Vikings players reflected on Green's legacy after his passing, including former center Matt Birk.
"You think of all the things he did in his life," Birk told Seifert. "He coached at Stanford and Northwestern and then two jobs as an African-American in the NFL when it was pretty rare. He believed in himself, and that permeated to all of us in Minnesota. That's what you want in a leader. He wanted to win, make no doubt. But all of that stuff he said, it was on purpose to take the heat off the players. He wanted us to believe in ourselves."