EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (WCCO) – The Minnesota Vikings know they have some issues.
They also know they have some areas where they should expect to be good, like the secondary. But so far this training camp, they don’t think it’s been as good as it should be.
The Vikings know they should be good on defense, in large part because of the front seven. Also in large part because of the back four, an athletic and experienced secondary.
“It all depends on what we do. You can’t just roll it out every year no matter who you have, no matter how long guys have played and what we’ve done in the past,” safety Harrison Smith said.
Smith and Xavier Rhodes have been rewarded with big contracts. For Rhodes, that helps free him on the field to only focus on football.
“I’m just really passionate about it allowing me to just be who I am on the football field and that’s an aggressive person,” Rhodes said. “Be out there, be aggressive and take all my frustration and anger out on the field.
But so far in August, this group feels about out of sync. It’s hard to explain, but they are aware.
“I mean it’s been good and bad. We’ve come out and we’ve played well, we’ve practiced well. Then we’ve had some bad practices and we’ve played bad,” cornerback Terence Newman said.
Maybe the biggest question isn’t whether or not the secondary is performing well in the preseason, but whether or not the Vikings are finding a new menu. New things that they can use and ways to take advantage of a veteran group.
Now is the time to look at new ideas without the burden or regular season results.
“Some of the things that happened in the game or the first game, we’re making things and if we don’t like it when we see it in the games we’ll throw them out,” Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said.
They have two-and-a-half weeks to work it out, to be what they have to be for the regular season.
“You’ve got to consistently do things that are asked of you from the coaches and consistently play well,” Newman said. “That’s something that we definitely can work on and that’s what we’re trying to get accomplished going forward.
The Vikings starters will play at least a half on Sunday night at 7 p.m. at U.S. Bank Stadium against the
San Francisco 49ers in their final real tune-up before the regular season opener on Monday night, Sept.11, in a game you can see on WCCO.