With organized team activities and minicamp practices in the books, a handful of weeks and training camp are all that stand between the Vikings and their 2016 season. Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer holds the bar high for his team, and the players have high expectations for themselves, as well. Their ultimate goal is to win the Super Bowl.
Thirteen NFL teams have yet to add a Super Bowl victory to their resume, including Minnesota. NFL Media's Adam Schein last week wrote about the nine squads most likely to win their first Lombardi Trophy. Schein ranked the Vikings at No. 4. He wrote:
*Can you imagine if Adrian Peterson carries the Vikings to the Super Bowl after all the tough losses this franchise has endured? That would be special. *
*Mike Zimmer's Vikings are hardnosed and strong on defense, with a bevy of emerging studs (Anthony Barr, Eric Kendricks, Xavier Rhodes) complementing a group of established stars (Harrison Smith, Everson Griffen, Linval Joseph). Minnesota needs Teddy Bridgewater to even out his play and take over some games for the offense to reach the next level. *
Schein said the Packers will once again pose a difficult challenge in the NFC North, but Minnesota has its own arsenal.
[The] Vikings have the run game, defense and coaching necessary to make a playoff push.
Schein's full list is as follows:
Not included in the list: Chargers, Titans, Eagles and Browns
E.J. Henderson continues to embrace youth football director role
Linebacker E.J. Henderson played his last game for Minnesota in 2011, but his career with the Vikings was far from over.
Jim Gehman, NFL Player Engagement Insider, caught up with Henderson to talk about Henderson's role as the Vikings youth football manager, a position he assumed in 2014.
"The opportunity was the first position that they had open up in that area as far as youth football," Henderson told Gehman. "I thought it was a good fit. I was still looking to fill up all my time throughout the day in the field that I was used to, working with kids in athletics and football. So it kind of all fit my brand."
Henderson is busy throughout the entire state of Minnesota, hosting football camps for area youth. From the Twin Cities, to Mankato, to Rochester, to Duluth, Henderson enjoys reaching out and teaching kids about exercise and teamwork. Henderson also put on an NFL Flag Jamboree at Winter Park and a Women, Win and Football event at the U.S. Bank Stadium preview center.
"I like being around the kids and not in the office all the time," Henderson told Gehman. "I love still being around the NFL and cheering for the Vikings. Being on the business side, I see the intricacies of not just what goes on in the locker room, but on the business side. I get to see the ins and outs of how the operation side works.
"Working with the kids, I always enjoy that. They always give me energy," Henderson added. "Not being in the office all the time, and being around the Vikings and around NFL football. Those are three things I really enjoy."
Cordarrelle Patterson Makes 'NFL Top 10 Long Plays' List
A number of long plays across the league have made highlight reels over the years. Over the weekend, NFL Network released a video highlighting the top 10 long plays in NFL history. Viking Update's Tim Yotter wrote about the list and Cordarrelle Patterson's placement on it.
Patteron's 109-kickoff return for a touchdown in 2013 came in at No. 6 on NFL Network's list. Yotter wrote:
Patterson fielded the kickoff against the Green Bay Packers in the middle of the end zone nine yards deep, picked up blocks in the middle of the field at the 15-yard line, and finished running wide open down the left sideline. It's a record that can only be tied, not broken.
Topping the list were Tony Dorsett's 99-yard rushing touchdown in 1982, Jacoby Jones' 108-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in Super Bowl XLVII and James Harrison's 100-yard interception return for a touchdown in Super Bowl XLIII.