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Lunchbreak: Keenum, Heinicke Eye Backup QB Role

One of the most interesting position battles to watch during training camp will be the backup quarterback job behind Sam Bradford.

The competition includes Case Keenum and Taylor Heinicke, as the pair will head to Mankato looking to gain the edge on one another. Teddy Bridgewater is continuing his rehab and is not cleared to practice.

Chad Graff of the Pioneer Press recently chatted with Keenum and Heinicke about what they expect over the next few months.

*Before Thursday's final minicamp practice, both Keenum and Heinicke said they welcome the quarterback competition as the first round between them nears an end and attention turns to training camp in July and preseason games in August. *

*For Keenum, it's a chance to show his experience as a 24-game starter in the NFL gives him a leg up on backing up Bradford. *

*And for Heinicke, it's a chance to rebound from disappointment last season when he needed ankle surgery two weeks before training camp. *

"Last year was some unfortunate circumstances," Heinicke said. "But I'm excited to get down there (in Mankato) this summer and put on the pads and grind and get through a preseason with these guys."

Heinicke signed with the Vikings as an undrafted free agent in 2014.

Keenum has 5,224 career passing yards with 24 touchdowns and 20 interceptions.

*Since their competition won't really pick up until training camp, Keenum has used last month's organized team activities and this week's minicamp to get familiar with his new receivers after spending last season with the Los Angeles Rams. *

*He said that's the toughest part of adjusting to a new team, and part of why he said he has thrown more incomplete passes during these practices than normal. *

"You may miss a few during the spring that you normally don't miss because you're testing guys out and trying to get them to know what we're thinking during certain coverages," Keenum said.

Bowen: Vikings among NFL's most underrated teams

ESPN.com released its post-draft power rankings a few weeks ago and had the Vikings slotted at No. 21.

ESPN writer Matt Bowen thinks that's too low of a spot for Minnesota to be in.

In a recent article highlighting the most underrated teams in the league, Bowen listed the Vikings as a team to watch out for in 2017.

Bowen wrote: 

The Minnesota Vikings (21st) weren't going to completely fix the offensive line issues in one offseason, but they added some new pieces up front in a West Coast system that caters to quarterback Sam Bradford's skill set. The game plan in Minnesota should be to get the ball out quickly in the passing game, while also running the ball with Latavius Murray and rookie Dalvin Cook. With a defense under Mike Zimmer that can create chaos for opposing quarterbacks, the Vikings should be in the playoff discussion this season.

The Vikings started 5-0 in 2016 before finishing with an 8-8 record.

Minnesota's defense ranked third in yards allowed per game (314.9) and sixth in points allowed per game (19.2).

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