Vikings mini camp is in the books, and Training Camp is in the offing, coming to a TCO Performance Center near you in August. This is the first off-season for the new Vikings regime of general manager Kwesi Adolfo-Mensah and head coach Kevin O’Connell, and thus far it is far different than what we have experienced in the previous Mike Zimmer years or really any prior to that. With a barbecue, Twins game trip and TopGolf outing as parts of the itinerary, it is safe to say we are in a whole new era of Vikings off-seasons.
But that is all fine and good up to the water’s edge, as they say. When camp ends and the games begin, this new off-season era or epoch will only be epic if the Vikings break out of the gates with several winning efforts in the first quarter of the season. Win and you can do whatever team-bonding events you can imagine. How about a charter boat on Lake Minnneto. . . ? Well, maybe not.
Mark Craig of the Star Tribune isn’t a big kumbaya kind of guy, so he will be on the Vikings Territory Breakdown podcast to douse the grill and shank a seven-iron out of bounds. Craig will also address the acquisition of new linebacker Andre Mintzie, who the Vikings picked up from Denver. Another Ed Dontell disciple in the house. The linebacker unit is going to change this season for Minnesota, and Craig joins VT senior writer Joe Oberle to discuss if it will be better than in the past.
They will look at the depth of the defense in general, which has gone through a major overhaul this off-season. I hope all the players were wearing name tags (or at least jerseys) at the team bonding events so they can become familiar with each other. And the pair of Vikings Territory Breakdown scribes will even offer their thoughts on the Vikings’ biggest strength and weakness on the team this year—prognostications that are sure to crash and burn like a hot dog rolling into the coals. Stop by to hear their thoughts and bring them back to us when we reach the water’s edge. And finally, tune in to hear Oberle’s latest and greatest fear for Minnesota sports fans. If this comes true, it could be the end times for all our professional sports hopes. How is that for a tease?
- Linebackers, Defensive End or edge Rusher