Vikings’ Adam Thielen Sends Strong Message After ‘Embarrassing’ Loss to Broncos

Adam thielen

Getty Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen said his team has a target on its back after defeating the Packers 23-7 on September 11.

Minnesota Vikings veteran Adam Thielen took Saturday’s loss to the Denver Broncos personally despite not touching the field.

Thielen, along with the top 32 Vikings players, sat out the preseason opener while Minnesota got a good look at how its second- and third-stringers would fare against the Broncos’ top unit for more than a half of football.

It was ugly.

The Vikings failed to score a touchdown and dropped a 33-6 loss at home. Thielen took the loss personally.

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 ‘That’s Embarrassing’

In a Monday press conference, Thielen was asked about how much responsibility he feels for the laissez-faire effort put forth on Saturday.

Thiele channeled the loss into a wake-up call for every player in the locker room.

“Every snap you take, whether it’s preseason or regular season, is your resume. You can do all you want on the practice field, but 32 teams don’t see what you do on the practice field,” Thielen said. “That’s the message to them: you might not always have your best games… You learn and take as much as you can from the bad games and try to apply it to the next game.”

After two joint practices with Denver where coach Mike Zimmer felt the Vikings performed well, Thielen attributed Saturday’s dud to lack focus.

“It puts a chip on our shoulder as well. You can’t just go through the motions. You can’t just come out here and say, ‘Oh, just another training camp day,’ because that’s what happens. You get embarrassed a little bit,” he said. “When it’s on our home field and we get beat the way we did, that’s embarrassing.

“That’s a great opportunity to take that and use that in practice today and going into the next preseason game. You gotta have the right mentality. You gotta prepare the right way every single day. People forget what you did yesterday. Today’s a new day.”

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Thielen Shares Candid Moment With Special Teams

While most of the players on the field on Saturday will be relied upon for special teams, Thielen harped the importance of special teams as a former gunner.

“Special teams, you have to have a different mindset. You gotta smack your head a couple times and fly around and cause havoc. It’s just a different beast. You gotta realize when you get in that game, it’s a different mindset,” Thielen said. “As a special teams player, you might only have 12 plays in a game. and how important every signal one of those plays is and trying to get them to understand that.”

Thielen’s age showed when several of his teammates didn’t know he got his start on special teams.

“I did talk to the group one time because I felt something on my heart that I was thinking about. A lot of them didn’t even know I played special teams. It definitely makes me feel old, but I really enjoy that part of the game,” he said. “I try to let them know I’m available anytime if they want to ask me questions. Just trying to make sure they know I did it. I’ve been in their shoes, and if they ever want to ask me questions, I’m available.”

Reflecting on getting only a handful of reps in the preseason his rookie year, Thielen’s gone through the ebb and flow of developing as an undrafted prospect in the NFL.

“Was I worried? Absolutely. I thought for sure I was getting cut — well, I did get cut,” Thielen chuckled. “It all worked out.”

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