EAGAN, Minn. (KTTC) – Today was the first official day of training camp as it was the first day of full team workouts for the 2019 season.
Optimism reigned at the TCO Performance Center with players eager to wash the taste of last year’s 8-7-1 season out of their mouths.
Last year, the Vikings entered the season with a mountain of expectations as they tried to add a few key pieces to a roster that was one win away from a Super Bowl berth in 2017.
When the dust settled, the Vikes missed the playoffs, but tight end Kyle Rudolph says last year was last year, and none of that matters now.
“In this league it’s hard to maintain consistency year in and year out. If you think because you had a good year the year before that you can just kind of roll the ball out there the next year and win football games, you’re wrong,” said Rudolph. “With that said, if you have a down year the year before that has nothing to do with the 2019 Minnesota Vikings.”
The biggest key for the vikings to make the leap they need is improvement from quarterback Kirk Cousins.
On the surface, Cousins looks like everything you’d want in a quarterback – tossing 30 touchdowns last season to just 10 interceptions. But if you dig a little deeper, you’ll find that he was just 1-6 against teams above .500 last season, and is just 5-25 against winning teams in his career.
However, wide receiver Stefon Diggs says things are different in Year Two with Captain Kirk.
“That second year, you try to make a leap, and the best way to really do that is invest the time as far as like on the practice field,” said Diggs. “We got guys that want to work. Kirk wants to be great. He has a thing about his craft. He’s serious about it, same with me, same with receivers in our room. So [we’re] just trying to build off of last year. A lot of bad things happened, so we can build off them and learn from them and grow.”