EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (WCCO) — As the Minnesota Vikings prepare to play the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday, fans might wonder how much the players have left in the emotional tank.
At least last season there was constant drama the final seven weeks. But the players say it’s really not that difficult to stay motivated.
For one thing, there is the constant study of rookie quarterback Christian Ponder’s progress.
“I see him improving every week, he’s getting better and the more experience, the more reps he gets, he’ll get better and better … he can throw it and he can run it,” said wide receiver Devin Aromashodu.
As much as fans despise how money affects a sport, it might be the fans best friends because the players have something they have to play for and they are scrutinized for their effort as much as technique.
“We’re paid to go out there and win each and every weekend, regardless of what your record is,” said Vikings center John Sullivan. “So obviously going out and winning championships is the ultimate goal and that’s not a possibility at this point but our job is still to go out and win games.”
If you’re looking for true motivation for the team in the last six weeks, it starts with money. In a league that’s filled with non-guaranteed contracts, that should be enough.
As head coach Leslie Frazier searches for ways to keep them interested, he reminds them of that time in life when the NFL was just a dream.
“It’s so important; you can’t get caught up in the circumstances. You really got to focus on doing your job every week that you go out there and enjoy doing what you’re doing,” said Frazier. “We talk all the time about, just think back to when they’re teenagers or young kids. This was their dream to play in the National Football League.”