A position switch has Brandon Fusco motivated heading into training camp.
Fusco chatted with Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press about moving from one side of the offensive line to the other.
*After three seasons playing right guard, Fusco shifted to left guard for the 2015 season. He started all 16 games but admits his performance was lackluster. *
*The six-year veteran is back at his old position, playing right guard, and is excited about training camp getting underway Thursday in Mankato. He will battle Mike Harris, who started all 16 at right guard last fall, for the starting job. *
"I feel like I've got an extra chip on my shoulder this year," Fusco said. "I've got a lot to prove to people after not having the year last year that I wanted. I know it wasn't up to par as to the standards of Viking football or myself. I just want to show everyone that I can still play."
Fusco was part of a Vikings offensive line that started the same five players every game last season, the only NFL team to do so.
Minnesota hired Tony Sparano as offensive line coach this offseason and targeted Alex Boone, who is expected to play left guard, when free agency opened.
Vensel: Anticipation high for cornerback position battle
Matt Vensel of the Star Tribune is going through position-by-position previews for training camp, and recently focused on the defensive backs.
Vensel said the group has loads of depth and that the starting cornerback spot opposite Xavier Rhodes should be a fun competition between Terence Newman and Trae Waynes.
Cornerback Trae Waynes, the team's top pick in 2015, played sparingly as a rookie because Newman refused to relinquish his starting gig in his first season in Minnesota. No, that is not a reason to worry about Waynes. That being said, Waynes, who played pretty well in some late-season cameos, is not a lock to be in the starting lineup at the start of this season. He is going to have to unseat Newman, who is back on another one-year deal. This battle is going to be a fun one to watch.
Vensel also said Rhodes, who had one interception last season, is a prime candidate for a breakout season.
Xavier Rhodes has all the tools needed to become one of the NFL's top cover men. But the fourth-year cornerback has yet to put it all together. After a promising second season in 2014, he got off to a slow start in 2015 before stabilizing in the season's second half. Entering the fourth year of his five-year rookie contract, Rhodes can make himself a lot of money by finally taking the leap in this pivotal season.
Rookie Alexander ready for grind of training camp
Adam Fisher of the Naples Daily News took a peak at a few local Southwest Florida players who are headed to various NFL training camps.
Vikings cornerback Mackensie Alexander, Minnesota's second-round pick in 2016, was featured in the piece.
Though Alexander is approaching his professional career with the humility of a small town kid, he has the confidence of the star he's always been.
While at Immokalee, Alexander was ranked the No. 4 recruit in the Class of 2013 by ESPN. At Clemson he was considered one of the best defensive backs in the country and was expected to be a first round pick in the NFL Draft before the Vikings took him in the second round, No. 54 overall.
Alexander has known nothing but success on the football field, and he expects it to continue in the NFL – which includes competing for a starting spot on Minnesota's defense.
"We've got great players, so I'm going to have to compete with those guys," Alexander said. "It's going to be fun competing and helping the team. As much as they need me to be on the field, I'll be out there."