Vikings Kick Off Final Training Camp in Mankato, Spirits High For 2017 [Watch]
MANKATO -- There's a buzz around the University of Minnesota, Mankato campus this week as the Minnesota Vikings strap on their helmets for the final training camp in Mankato.
Thursday was the first day rookies and veterans hit the field together to gear up for the 2017 season. Safety Harrison Smith says everything that happens this seasons starts now.
"It starts with today. When we get on the field we want to do everything right," says Smith.
The Vikings spent a lot of the offseason focusing on the offensive line with the signing of veteran tackles Riley Reiff and Mike Remmers, as well as drafting Pat Elflein. Head coach Mike Zimmer says it's all about making the right pieces fit.
"The number one thing we want to do right now is to work on solid fundamentals, getting a strong foundation down and getting the right five guys upfront," says Zimmer.
Minnesota also has some new faces in the backfield. The team drafted Dalvin Cook in the second round of this years draft, and signed Latavius Murray from Oakland.
Returning back Jerick McKinnon says with the new competition he wants to let the coaches know he is still around.
"What ever the coaches have me do, I'll do it 100 percent. I'm entering year four and I still feel unproven," says McKinnon.
Vikings Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater also addressed the media for the first time since his horrific knee injury almost one-year ago. He says it's been a roller coaster of a year but is feeling great.
"Right now I'm taking it one day at a time. I can't look too far down the road, I have to live in the now," says Bridgewater.
Bridgewater will start training camp on the physically unable to perform list as he continues to rehab from his injury.
The Vikings will kick off the 2017 in two weeks when they travel to Buffalo for their first preseason game on August 10th. They will begin the regular season at home on September 11th against former Viking Adrian Peterson and the New Orleans Saints on Monday Night Football.
This year marks the 52nd season of training camp in Mankato. Next year the Vikings will host training camp in their brand new Eagan Facility.