View images from the inaugural Polaris Vikings Winterfest, which was held in Duluth to benefit the Vikings Children's Fund.
DULUTH, Minn. —A great element of Polaris-Vikings Winterfest is the up-close and personal interaction that fans, Vikings players and alumni enjoy during a weekend of activities.
In addition to raising money for the Vikings Children's Fund, the event also allowed an opportunity for Vikings.com to catch up with players roughly six weeks after Minnesota's payers departed Winter Park as 2015 division champions.
Here are highlights from Chad Greenway, Stefon Diggs, Adam Thielen, Cordarrelle Patterson, Shamar Stephen and Jerick McKinnon.
— Greenway drew a lot of enthusiasm from a spirited crowd as a guest on the *9 to Noon *show on KFAN Friday morning. Greenway has expressed a desire to play one more NFL season and hopes that his 11th is with the Vikings, the team that drafted him in 2006. Greenway said in a media interview that the combination of things going so well for the Vikings in 2015 and him staying healthy, have him wanting return to the Vikings as they move into U.S. Bank Stadium.
"We had such a fun time with this football team and the guys we have there," Greenway said. "Obviously, the needle is pointing in the right direction for us, talent-wise and where we're at as an organization. The new stadium opening up is such a cool thing. I'd love to be able to play in that. I haven't been shy to announce I want to finish my career as a Viking. I think that's obviously my mantra, but you can't do that without putting quality football on the field. Knowing I've done that and had a good year, I think I feel good about coming back for another one."
— Diggs said he's enjoying the opportunity to have a full offseason workout program that doesn't involve spending time on trying to maximize performance in timing and testing drills that are emphasized at the combine. Instead, he's focusing more on drills that will be more transferable to the gridiron and added a new element to his routine:
"I've started yoga," Diggs said. "It's good to be stretched and loose all the time."
— Thielen is on the mend from shoulder surgery. He played through an injury the last couple of games but wanted to "clean it up" this offseason.
"Everything is going to plan. The surgery went well, and I'm coming around," Thielen said. "I feel good right now and am working hard to get back and make sure everything else is ready to go."
— Patterson has reunited with Steve Calhoun, a trainer Patterson worked with before his rookie year. Calhoun's clients include Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph, Cardinals receiver Michael Floyd and Chargers receiver Keenan Allen.
"I just approached this whole year way different than what I've been doing," Patterson said. "I'm a lot more focused, and I'm just trying to work on my craft, getting in and out of breaks and trying to get the timing good with Teddy [Bridgewater], trying to get the timing and pattern down-pat."
— After a promising rookie campaign that included 55 tackles (coaches' tally), Stephen's second pro season was halted by a toe injury. He went on season-ending injured reserve before the Vikings visited the Lions on Oct. 25 but stayed connected with the team. He said his recovery has gone well and he liked what teammates accomplished.
"This is a great group. We have some great veterans: Linval Joseph, Sharrif Floyd, Everson Griffen, Brian Robison," Stephen said. "It's great to watch them, learn from them, work with them and learn the fundamentals and technique that they have and try to use it to enhance my game."
— McKinnon has been alternating workouts with weights with some speed training and focusing on some mechanics, saying he's "making sure I don't get rusty."
McKinnon and Vikings running backs will be coached by Kevin Stefanski, who is moving from coaching tight ends. McKinnon said the familiarity with Stefanski will be a good thing.
"Coach Stefanski knows us well, and we know him well," McKinnon said. "I think it will be good. I'm really excited to work with Coach Stefanski. That will be another way of me learning more about route running as well, especially with how I came on at the end of last year."