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2-Minute Drill: Get to Know Vikings G Dakota Dozier


EAGAN, Minn. — A little more than halfway through his first training camp in Minnesota, Dakota Dozier was asked to describe his experience so far.

His answer was surprising, as he didn't complain about the hot practices or long days or being away from his family.

Instead, Dozier said he actually embraced training camp, something you rarely hear from veteran players.

"I've really enjoyed camp. It's been really good to get back out here and start playing football again," Dozier said. "It's some new blood, new life for me. We're getting after it, and that's what I love.

"Camp is a grind, but it's something, mentality-wise, that you have to get yourself ready for," Dozier added. "If you have a more negative mindset for it, it becomes harder. I approach it that I'm going to have as much fun and be as positive as I can."

Dozier is in his first few months with the Vikings after signing with Minnesota as a free agent in April. He spent the first five seasons of his career with the Jets, starting seven of 37 career games.

He was reconnected with Vikings Offensive Line Coach/Run Game Coordinator Rick Dennison, who was in New York for the 2018 season.

"Free agency came, and for whatever reason I thought it'd be time to try something new," Dozier said. "When teams became interested, the Vikings reached out, and I knew Rico was here.

"I just gave him a call, and we talked and had a really good conversation with him," Dozier added. "I had him my last year with the Jets, and I really liked the way he coached and the man that he was. It gave me a sense of peace about the decision, but I also did my due diligence and took my visit, and it just immediately felt right."

Dozier has primarily spent time at left guard with the second-team offense, but he has moved around at times, jumping up to the first unit in a recent practice and also switching to the right side on occasion.

For the 28-year-old, it's just another way to show his versatility along the offensive line.

"Being a little bit older and going through some things I did with the Jets, I would play multiple positions," Dozier said. "At first, it can be kind of daunting. If you go from left guard to right guard, it's reverse footwork. You try not to get caught up with overanalyzing it.

"As long as you learn the play and not the assignment, and I know what everyone is supposed to do, it becomes a little easier," Dozier added. "The toughest part about it is the mechanics. You have to be real technical how your footwork is. It's another opportunity, and I want to do the best I can."

Here are three other topics that Dozier covered with

1. What do you remember most about your time from Furman University?

"My senior year, we started the year 2-4 but ended up winning six straight games and winning conference and winning in the first round before losing to North Dakota State," Dozier said. "For me, that being my last season, to go out on a championship note was pretty sweet.

"I would also put meeting my wife [in that category]," Dozier added with a laugh.

2. Oh, well now you have to tell that story…

"Going into my junior year, she was a freshman and was working for the sports medicine team. I saw a really cute face and got to know her, and we started dating after the season. I didn't expect that to happen, but it happened, and now we're married. It's awesome."

3. What do you like to do off the field?

"I love to hang out with friends. I've been grilling a lot lately and have a Big Green Egg, so I'm learning how to smoke and grill. I really enjoy playing different board games … I own like 18 different Monopoly boards."

18 Monopoly boards?!

"They're all different versions … Star Wars, the original one, some classics, my collector's edition. I really enjoy the game, but my family doesn't play with me a ton anymore because I'm a little aggressive about it. But I enjoy playing the game."