Vikings running back Dalvin Cook this morning finished up his third training camp walk-through and final session with just the rookies and select players. Full training camp practices will kick off Thursday afternoon.
Andrew Krammer of the *Star Tribune *caught up with Cook Monday and covered a number of topics, including how he spent his break before camp and what his expectations are for the next two weeks.
Krammer mentioned that coaches have praised Cook's field vision, and the rookie said it's "what I pride my game on."
"It starts with your eyes, man. Once you put your body in the right position, that's when I let my talent take over," Cook told Krammer. "My speed, me just being athletic and versatile, so my eyes are the key to my game. I just think where I come from, you see a lot of stuff and you have to be aware of everything. That's just being aware of my surroundings. That's where I think my vision came from. It's bigger than football."
Krammer also asked if the Cook feels extra pressure wearing Purple in the wake of Adrian Peterson.
Cook said it's a situation similar to one he faced at the college level.
"Nah, people talk about it, but I don't," Cook told Krammer. "When I went to Florida State, they tried to make me fill Devonta [Freeman's] shoes. I just come in and be me. Eventually, my time will come. So I just come in, work hard, do everything the right way and keep my head down. As time passes, which it goes fast, my time will come, man. That light will shine on me."
Looking ahead through training camp and into his first NFL season, Cook said his biggest goal is establishing himself as a key part of Minnesota's offense and helping the Vikings make the playoffs.
From there, the sky is the limit.
"I think if we get in the playoffs, we have a big shot at winning the championship," Cook said. "That's all I want to do. I just want to win championships and win games. I think once we do that, all the accolades for myself will add up."
Added Cook: "When I came into Florida State, I never set goals for myself. I always said just make it to the field, get on the field. Just help my team win football games. Once I do that, all the accolades will add up."
Family helped Gedeon to football career
Ben Gedeon is one of three brothers who grew up on the gridiron but the first to be drafted to the NFL.
*Pioneer Press *reporter Chad Graff talked to Gedeon about the way family helped shape his journey to the big leagues. Graff wrote:
Backyard battles included 7-on-7 football games with neighbors and Wiffle ball games that could turn physical, especially for Gedeon, always the youngest and thus easiest to pick on. Basement boxing matches helped end disputes.
His older brothers enjoy reminding Gedeon of the days when they were bigger and stronger even as Gedeon works on playing linebacker in Mike Zimmer's defense.
But Gedeon told Graff: "They'll always be able to beat me up. It's a big brother thing."
Now participating in his first NFL training camp, and with his brothers cheering him on, Gedeon said making the final 53-man roster is in the back of his mind but that he's careful to take things one step at a time.
"If you start looking too far ahead, these days will really get after you," Gedeon told Graff.
Fixable issues, Bradford's stability key for 2017
After the Vikings were hit by a barrage of injuries during the 2016 season and finished short of the postseason with an 8-8 record, they've worked over the offseason to add depth, bolster the offense and enter 2017 a stronger squad than before.
Anthony Broome of *Viking Update *said that a number of things are intriguing about Minnesota's potential in the upcoming season and that a lot rests on quarterback Sam Bradford. Broome wrote:
[Bradford] answered a lot of questions about his play, setting an NFL record for completion percentage in a season behind an offensive line that was one of the worst in the league and an ineffective run game as the result of it.
Bradford's could be the steadying hand that the team needs to get back to the top of the NFC North standings and into the postseason.
Broome called the division "ripe for the taking," with Aaron Rodgers and the Packers being the biggest hurdle between Minnesota and the title. He opined that the Lions have improved since 2016 but that the Vikings are still "better on both sides of the ball."
Everything that went wrong last season is fixable, and the right leadership and roster in place is there to turn things around. The schedule is tough, but the chance at redemption and proving 2016 was an anomaly is going to be the biggest thing to watch this year.