MANKATO, Minn. (WCCO) — The one area where the Vikings are lacking so called veteran leadership is in the secondary.

The departure of Antoine Winfield to Seattle took care of that, which creates an opportunity for Chris Cook to assume a new role after needing to grow up off the field more than on it.

His first three years in the NFL haven’t gone nearly as planned. You’d expect more from a second-round pick. This year? it’s about reaching those expectations.

“This is one of my better camps,” Cook said. “I’ve improved technically and I got the defense down.”

This is the final year of Cook’s rookie contract, and he has yet to record an interception.

He’s also missed more games than he’s played due to suspensions and injuries.

“I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been in at training camp,” Cook said.

The Vikings will need his quality play.

“We’re counting on him in a big way and we hope he has a big season,” coach Leslie Frazier said. “Now it’s a matter of going out and getting it done.”