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Vikings Roundup, 8/13: Zimmer 'They Better Get Better'

MANKATO, Minn. — The Vikings on Thursday are wrapping up their 50th training camp in Mankato.

The team held a morning practice that could have been a period to the nearly three weeks of holding camp at Minnesota State University, Mankato but ended with more of a question mark-exclamation point combo that drew the ire of Head Coach Mike Zimmer.

Often described as refreshingly blunt, Zimmer let it be known to his team and in a media session that he didn't see what wanted from his team.

"We finished up our last day at Mankato, I want to thank Minnesota State. They've done a great job with their facilities here and welcoming us to their campus," Zimmer said in his opening statement before continuing with, "That was a terrible practice. It was not up to my standards and they better get better quickly or there's going to be a lot of heck going on."

Zimmer was asked what he didn't like about practice and said "everything."

He was asked if there were any positives today and responded, "Yeah, we're going home."

The last statement wasn't a reflection on Mankato, about which he said:

"We have a great tradition of coming down here, the facilities are good, the practice fields are fantastic, the training room is great, we've got a great weight room – everything about it is great," Zimmer said. "We probably don't deserve to be here if we practice like that."

Zimmer, who earlier in the week, pointed out multiple things about the way the Vikings played against the Steelers Sunday in the Hall of Fame Game, said "good teams don't" look ahead too far into the future, like leaving camp before it's officially broken.

"Good teams focus on the task at hand," Zimmer said. "They don't care what's happened the last 13 days, they worry about today and they worry about getting better. That's what good teams do."

Veteran Chad Greenway said the overall review of training camp is that it was "great" despite the less than ideal final practice.

View images from the final practice of 2015 Verizon Vikings Training Camp which took place on Thursday.

"It kind of leaves you with a bad taste in your mouth," Greenway said. "I feel like we have had a great camp. Honestly, our tempo has been great, we've competed very well, even in the days coming back off a break, where last year, we weren't there. We've found a way to create tempo and make fewer mental mistakes and just kind of be better. It stinks to end on this note, but kind of thinking back as a whole, I thought we did a good job. We have a long ways to go.

Greenway made it clear the Vikings plan to continue working once they arrive at Winter Park.

"Training camp is far from over. It's just training camp in Mankato is over so you're kind of thinking about getting back home," Greenway said. "It didn't play any part for me personally. It's just another chance to come out and compete. That's the mentality we want."

Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater said he thinks the Vikings will bounce back with a purpose. They have a morning session at Winter Park Friday before facing the Buccaneers at 7 p.m. Saturday.

Quality PT: Bridgewater played one series in the Hall of Fame Game and completed 5 of 6 passes for 44 yards of a possession that lasted more than five minutes.

He said he didn't have an estimate of how much playing time he would have against Tampa Bay.

"Right now, I don't know what the playing time is going to be like, but I'm just going to be excited to get back out there with my teammates to compete against a new opponent," Bridgewater said. "We look forward to just operating, playing fast, starting fast, finishing drives, executing at a high level once we get out there and just staying on the football field."

Home again: Greenway said he's looking forward to making his 10th home preseason debut and continuing to move toward the season.

"Obviously another chance to strap up against somebody else, which is great, at home, which is nice, and just another opportunity for us to check another preseason game off the list and move forward and see where we can go," Greenway said. "I'm sure we'll have a little more game plan installed this week than we had the previous week, so we'll see how we can handle it and mentally how we do it and physically as well and hope to get the win."

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