By Mike Max

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — P.J. Fleck takes inventory every day, every practice, at every drill.

What he sees is a team far from a finished product, with a long way to go.

“Well I think we’re becoming mature, if that makes any sense. We define maturity as when doing what you have to do becomes doing what you want to do,” Fleck said.

They’ve added some wrinkles, like a leadership council to help stay in touch through upperclassmen.

“I’ve had the privilege of being on his leadership council where we meet once a week and we get to talk about different leadership topics. It’s been an absolutely life-changing experience. Just, to get to pick his brain about different topics on leadership,” kicker Emmett Carpenter said.

It’s the culture. So is a high-tempo practice.

“The conditioning, the practice. How we practice is so much different from last year or any years that I’ve ever played football. Everywhere we go it’s a sprint,” running back Shannon Brooks said.

Changing culture is one thing; changing quarterbacks is yet another. Mitch Leidner is gone and they’ve, for now, replaced him with two. Some say if you have two, you don’t have one. No one seems to know right now who the favorite really is.

Related: Former Gopher Mitch Leidner Was Working For Bite Squad Before Vikings Signed Him

Yes, that trigger position that the coach insists is a battle because they’re both impressive.

“But as we go through the year, you know, you’d like to settle on one, but if they both continue to play at a high level, they’re both going to continue to play,” Fleck said.

But this camp is about a new plan, one that has not come to fruition yet.

“I still don’t think we’re this connective, knowing everybody inside and out, doing it for each other all the time type team yet, but we’re close than we were when we started training camp,” Fleck said.


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