By Mike Max

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Minnesota Vikings are starting to count down to kick off. Their season opener against the Atlanta Falcons is Sunday.

Philosophically, they know they’ll make a commitment to run the football. That means they will make a commitment to running back Dalvin Cook.

READ MORE: Vikings’ Dalvin Cook Ranked As Top 10 Running Back In NFL

Training camp is in the rear-view mirror. Cook, like so many, is ready to move on to the real thing.

“It’s been great. Just getting with the guys and just having fun, and building team chemistry and just putting this thing together,” Cook said.

He did what he wanted to do, notably broke the long one that told him. He’s back and he’s ready. It’s what comes with those gigantic runs.

Dalvin Cook (credit: CBS)

“It was good, man,” Cook said. “Always get the running game going early … Really just working hard, and it felt great.”

He’s now a veteran, and that means there are nuances, like working with the same people.

“To be able to block for him, you know, we’ve developed tendencies to know, you know, when I cut this way he’s going to follow me this way,” said fullback C.J. Ham. “I mean, it’s just nice to have a back like that where I pretty much just have to get in the way and he does special things.”

And he runs behind a newly-configured offensive line. That matters, and that motivates.

“To see him break out like that, you know, what he been through, you know, the ups and downs, we all happy for him,” said tackle Rashod Hill. “We all glad that he do it the way he does because, you know, it save a lot on us, too [laughs]!”

That might be his ticket: A healthy body and a good offensive line.

“We’ve been working, you know, extra hard in this training camp, off-season programs, we’ve been putting in a ton of work,” Cook said. “The season is right around the corner. You got to polish this thing up and keep it going.”

Mike Max