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QB Case Keenum Excited to Put His Stamp on Vikings

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. —Case Keenum has seemingly crisscrossed the country for the past few years as he — and/or his team — has relocated.

The quarterback started his pro career in his home state with the Texans in 2012 before joining the Rams in St. Louis in 2014. Later that season, he was signed by Houston off the St. Louis practice squad.

In 2015, Keenum was reacquired by the Rams in a trade with the Texans and started five games. He joined Rams teammates as they headed to Los Angeles in 2016 and started nine games last season.

But when Keenum arrived in Minnesota for a free agent visit, the 29-year-old saw an opportunity he couldn't pass up.

Keenum, whom the Vikings signed on Monday, told reporters on Tuesday that he's on board to do anything he can to help the Vikings going forward.

"The Vikings organization … everybody we met, getting picked up at the airport to being at the facility, going out to eat with coaches and staff, it seems like a first-class team," Keenum said. "From what I've heard, it comes from the owners.

"I'm excited to be a part of that, I'm excited to add my stamp on the culture that's already been built there," Keenum added. "My personal goal on any team I'm at is to make that team better. I'm ready to come in and compete. I'm going to come in and learn the offense as quickly as I can and focus on making this team better."

View images of Vikings new QB Case Keenum from his days with the Los Angeles Rams and the Houston Texans.

Keenum joins a quarterback room that includes Sam Bradford, who started 15 games and led the NFL with a record 71.6 completion percentage in 2016. Backup Taylor Heinicke is also on the roster, as is Teddy Bridgewater, who is recovering from a dislocated knee.

Keenum has some familiarity with Bradford as the two were teammates with the St. Louis Rams in 2014. Bradford tore his ACL that season, but Keenum said the two saw each other in meetings.

"I'm excited to get to know him even more and watch him work on the field," Keenum said. "I've watched him from afar, just on film, and been a fan of the game and his game and how he plays for awhile now.

"He's a heck of an athlete and has an incredible arm talent, so I'm excited to see it live and in person on the field," Keenum added.

Keenum will compete for a role under Vikings Offensive Coordinator Pat Shurmur, who is entering his first full season in that position.

The former University of Houston standout has completed 454 of 777 career passes (58.4) attempts for 5,224 yards with 24 touchdowns and 20 interceptions in 26 total games.

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"I've got a similar background in I guess what you could call the core of the offense," Keenum said. "Obviously it's different terminology, and there's different things they're trying to do specifically with different weapons that they have, but I've got a lot of familiarity with it.

"I feel like I'm speaking the same language in certain areas," Keenum added. "I'm still going to have to figure out quite a bit of the offense and convert it into my brain, but I'm excited to do that. It's a challenge, and I love learning, love playing football and practicing and studying. I'm excited to get to work."

Keenum joined the NFL in 2012 as an undrafted rookie with the Texans but didn't appear in a game until 2013. He spent all or parts of three seasons in Houston and two in St. Louis before the Rams moved to Los Angeles.

Keenum said he's learned plenty of lessons along his journey, many of which he'll apply to his new team in Purple.

"The one thing I tried to do … was just keep my head down and keep moving forward," Keenum said. "Just keep doing my job and doing what I do and not worrying about many external (factors).

"Just play like I know how to play," Keenum continued, "and be the best teammate, best player and best quarterback I can be. I'm excited about what it's taught me about where my career is going to go now."

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