Let the position battles begin, especially at wide receiver.
As training camp kicks off this week, Matthew Coller of 1500ESPN.com recently wrote that he is most looking forward to seeing who emerges in a crowded group of wide receivers over the next month.
Coller wrote that the group is headlined by Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen, who combined for 160 catches for 2,125 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2017. After that, however, "everything is up for grabs."
Coller noted that the jockeying for the No. 3 spot could be between Kendall Wright and Laquon Treadwell.
The Vikings signed veteran slot receiver Kendall Wright this offseason. In minicamp, he ran mostly with the second team. With Thielen and Diggs both adept at lining up in the slot, Wright shouldn't be considered a dead lock to make the team or earn significant playing time.
Same goes for Laquon Treadwell, who saw his playing time decline toward the end of 2017. The 2016 first-round pick is entering a make-or-break season following a 20-catch sophomore season. Salary cap implications make it unlikely the Vikings would release Treadwell, but his playing time and role will be determined by his camp performance.
Coller also wrote that Stacy Coley could be primed for a bigger role with a strong showing in training camp and the preseason.
Coley had an outstanding 2017 preseason, catching 10 passes for 165 yards. He made the roster and stuck there for the entire year but rarely saw the field. The 2017 seventh-round pick from Miami was targeted just once in his rookie season. With good route running skill and potential as a deep threat, Coley could challenge the veteran players if he takes a step forward.
Sports Illustrated remembers Sparano's love for family, coaching
Tony Sparano will be remembered for his love and devotion to his family.
Sparano, who spent the past two seasons as the Vikings offensive line coach, passed away Sunday morning at the age of 56.
Jenny Vrentas of Sports Illustrated wrote about Sparano over the weekend and noted that he was known for his passion for coaching and the love he had for his family.
No matter where his coaching career took him — a winding road that started as the offensive line coach at the University of New Haven, where he had been a four-year letterman at center — his family was the one constant. During Sparano's one-year stint as the Jets offensive coordinator in 2012, he got to know his quarterback, Mark Sanchez, over dinners prepared by Jeanette. Their daughter, Ryan, taught him how to text so that he could communicate with his players. And both of their sons followed in dad's footsteps: Tony Jr., is an assistant tight ends coach for the Jaguars, and Andrew is the offensive coordinator/offensive line coach at Feather River JC in California. Sparano leaves behind four grandchildren.
Sparano spent time with the Cowboys, Dolphins, Raiders and Jets during his coaching career before landing in Minnesota in January of 2016.
Vrentas wrote that Sparano's impact on current and former players — many of whom paid tribute on social media — will not be forgotten by those who knew him.
Sparano's most distinctive attributes might have been his thick New England accent, or the dark sunglasses he wore even indoors as the result of a cooking accident while working at a fast-food restaurant as a teen. But the way he treated his players was his most important and significant attribute as a coach — and he will be remembered by that after his passing.