By David McCoy

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Talking to Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer during training camp, WCCO’s Mark Rosen asked him if there was one thing about his team that kept him up worrying at night.

“Well, last year we didn’t run the ball worth a lick,” Zimmer said to Rosen.

Well, coach — consider that problem solved, thanks to rookie sensation Dalvin Cook.

The Vikings have gone from worst rushing offense in NFL last season to one of the best. Rookie running back Dalvin Cook is second in the NFL with 288 rushing yards and third in total yards from scrimmage with 370.

What Cook has done through three games isn’t just really good — it’s the best. No Vikings rookie running back has ever gotten off to a better start, running for more yards in his first three pro games — not even Adrian Peterson.

“It’s too early, man,” Cook said. “The things I look at are the wins and loss columns. We ain’t getting those W’s, — none of that matters. So that’s what I really look at — the wins and losses. All the stats and everything can add up, I just want to win.”

It’s not supposed to work like this for rookies, to be so effective so early. It’s especially impressive for a three-down back — a triple threat in rushing, receiving and pass protecting — one of the toughest skills for rookies to handle.

Speaking of tough, last week 67 of Cook’s 97 rushing yards came after contact…

“It’s all about will, man. It’s just all about going out there and just wanting to make the play,” Cook said. “Nothing comes easy. Nothing ever in life comes easy. It’s all hard work, man. And every week, I’m gonna put my hard hat on and go to work.

Their ability to run the ball has transformed their whole offense.


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