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Vikings Shift Focus To Training Camp After Stadium Opening

MINNEAPOLIS —Mike Zimmer's phone has been buzzing of late.

The Vikings Head Coach helped celebrate the grand opening of U.S. Bank Stadium on Friday but admitted his players are chomping at the bit to get back to work. 

"(We're) very (excited)," Zimmer said. "You know, we've been off for about five weeks since OTAs got over, and it's way too long.

"I've actually had a couple of players text me and say, 'Coach, this vacation's too long.' We're excited to get back together," he added. "We have so much work to do."

Minnesota opens its 51st Training Camp at Minnesota State University, Mankato next Thursday. It will be the third installment under Zimmer.

The Vikings report to camp on Thursday and will have their first practice on Friday. Minnesota will hold 10 practices before heading off to Cincinnati for a pair of practicesessions with the Bengals.

The teams will square off on Aug. 12 in the first preseason tilt for each team.

"I think ("Voice of the Vikings") Paul Allen told me we have a game three weeks from today – it's the first preseason game," Zimmer said Friday. "That kind of puts it into perspective right there."

With the Vikings coming off an 11-5 season and an NFC North title, Zimmer said neither he nor his team have rested on their recent laurels of success.

Zimmer said he's excited to see how his team grows and improves while in Mankato.

"[Coming in healthy] is a good thing, but we still have to perform well and have to do things right in order to perform well," Zimmer said.

As Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman marveled at the 1.75 million-square-foot facility, he admitted there was a certain buzz about heading to the grind of training camp.

"Every year you get excited to go down to training camp and get ready for a new season," Spielman said. "But to sit here today and see this building open up, it just puts that much more excitement getting ready to go down to Mankato next week.

"We're staying focused on what we have to do to get ready to open up this new building," he added.

Just like any other training camp, Spielman noted, the time spent in Mankato will be filled with hard work.

"We're very excited about the direction of this football team," Spielman said. "By no means is anyone satisfied for what we were able to accomplish last season."

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