View photos of the setup of the practice fields at the TCO Performance Center for fans to watch practices at Verizon Vikings Training Camp later this week. For tickets, visit vikings.com/trainingcamp.
Although the Vikings are coming off a 13-3 season and an appearance in the NFC title game, the organization's sole focus is on the upcoming 2018 season.
The franchise has plenty of tools at its disposal to be ready for a strong season, including the opportunity to come to work each day at Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center.
Jim Souhan of the Star Tribune recently wrote that having such a top-notch facility can only help the Vikings going forward.
As training camp begins, the Vikings look like they've never looked before. The TCO Performance Center is massive and spectacular. It is home to an impressive museum, a state-of-the-art weight room, four full-sized grass practice fields, a small stadium and an indoor field built with a roof that will not obstruct the highest of punts.
The 2018 Vikings can boast a world-class stadium, a world-class facility, and one of the NFL's highest-paid quarterbacks. They have won 32 regular-season games over the past three seasons despite their projected starting quarterbacks at the beginning of the past two seasons playing in a grand total of six quarters.
Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer and his players have been adamant that the facility certainly won't win the team any games on the field.
But the chance to work and improve and learn in such a sparkling venue can only help the preparation and focus for the upcoming season.
Souhan said that the opportunity to win is now for the Vikings.
When the team takes the field for its first full practice Saturday and the new gates officially open, fans can sit in built-in stands overlooking the four fields. They can tour the museum, buy gear and dine at food trucks.
Rookie Badet has confidence in his speed
Jeff Badet had 108 catches for 1,785 yards and 10 touchdowns during a college career that was split between Oklahoma and Kentucky.
The Vikings rookie wide receiver said the one constant he brings to the field is his speed.
Badet chatted with Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press on the first day of training camp and showed plenty of confidence in his ability to zoom around the field.
Badet, who signed with the Vikings as a rookie free agent, ran the 40-yard dash in 4.27 seconds at Oklahoma's Pro Day in March. He said on Wednesday's first day of training camp his speed will be plain to see soon enough.
"I know I'm the fastest guy on the Vikings," said Badet, who caught 26 passes for 400 yards last season for Oklahoma. "I'm very fast."
Badet, who took part in the Vikings' rookie minicamp in early May, suffered a high right ankle sprain May 22 on the first day of organized team activities and sat out the rest of spring drills. He said Vikings rookies know about his speed, but he's anxious to show it off to veterans, who practice for the first time Saturday at the TCO Performance Center in Eagan.
"Some of the guys already know, but some of the vets, they haven't seen my speed yet, so I've got to show them," Badet said. "We were having conversations (during the spring) and the guys were saying (cornerback) Trae Waynes is fast, but guys haven't really got to see my speed yet because I got hurt, and I'm ready to display that soon."
Badet spent the first three years of his career at Kentucky before transferring to Oklahoma for his senior season in 2017. He played in 48 career games with 30 starts.