The Minnesota Vikings have wrapped up their first stage of training camp. From here on out, most things will be referred to as "practices," as we're a week into the preseason. The Vikings were in Mankato for their training camp, and after 15 practices, they're heading back home. The Star Tribune had a quote from head coach Leslie Frazier and what he thought of the camp. He called it a "successful training camp," and then elaborated on why:
"We have some goals for what we want our offense, defense and special teams to look like," Frazier said. "We're taking on the characteristics we like to have as a team. We want be a tough team. We want to be a smart team. We want to be a disciplined football team. We're seeing that in the way we're practicing. I saw some of it in the San Francisco game. Now, it's a matter of are we talented enough to go out and do the things we have to do on Sunday. But I think the foundation is being laid to do it the right way. The rest of it has to come over time."
Minnesota certainly is a growing team, or at least their offense is. Second-year quarterback Christian Ponder is hoping to look much improved, especially with some new weapons like Jerome Simpson and John Carlson. Camp has mostly been about establishing which targets Ponder is going to be using mostly throughout the season. He needs a reliable target, just like any young quarterback.
In another piece, the Star Tribune did highlight one important thing related to that: the significance of tight end Kyle Rudolph. In which they look at 10 training camp revelations for the Vikings, the first one is that Ponder looks for Rudolph a lot in practice. Rudolph is a big tight end, and he's more confident than ever heading into this coming season. He's already spoken once about trying to emulate Rob Gronkowski of the New England Patriots. Anything approaching that level of play would be huge for Minnesota.