Free agency is barren, rookies are finding their new homes and contract disputes are becoming clear.
The Vikings shelled out nearly $50 million to reload a struggled defense that weighed down the league’s fourth-most productive offense in yards per game (393.3) a season ago.
With the defense refortified, Thielen is especially excited for the upcoming season.
“Every year, I’m excited at this time of year, but I truly can feel confident in saying this is the most excited I’ve been in a long time,” the Minnesota native said during minicamps. “Does that mean you’re going to have success? No. You gotta go out there and prove it and that’s what we’re trying to do.”
The latest Vikings news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Vikings newsletter here!
‘We Have to Do Our Job’
When asked about his thoughts on the Vikings front office’s job of bringing in veteran talent, Thielen said he couldn’t have asked for anything more from the suits of Minnesota and that it’s up to the players now to follow through on their end of the bargain of making a deep postseason run.
“It’s all you could ask for as a player. It’s our job to get better — the guys that have been here — we have to do our job of preparing and getting better and helping this team get to where we want to be,” Thielen said. “We don’t want to be at home sitting watching the playoffs. We want to be there moving on and making these Vikings fans happy.”
The defense reloaded at cornerback, signing Patrick Peterson, Mackensie Alexander and ex-Kansas City Chiefs corner Bashaud Breeland as the presumptive starting core in the secondary along with former Dallas Cowboys safety Xavier Woods. Sheldon Richardson and Dalvin Tomlinson‘s signings this offseason are expected to supply plenty of firepower in the interior pass-rush as well.
Meanwhile, the offense hasn’t seen many changes other than the anticipated rise of rookie left tackle Christian Darrisaw and third-round guard Wyatt Davis. The group will be under the direction of first-year offensive coordinator Klint Kubiak, who was hired this offseason after his father Gary Kubiak retired.
Thielen spoke highly of Klint, who was the team’s wide receivers coach and quarterbacks coach in the past.
“He’s the guy. He’s our leader. It’s his playbook. It’s his plays. He’s made slight adjustments trying to implement his offense. It’s not his dad’s or last year’s offense,” Thielen said. “This is the 2021 Vikings’ offense, and he’s done a good job of implementing that, preparing us and getting us ready to go for training camp.”
Die-hard Vikings fan? Follow the Heavy on Vikings Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors and content out of Skol Nation!
Thielen Weighs in on 3rd WR Battle
The No. 3 wide receiver has remained just as much a perennial question in Minnesota as the offensive line has been over the past several years.
While Thielen was not willing to name any favorites for the job, he did say that there’s plenty of weapons that could slide into that role and that the preseason will be contentious.
“We have a lot of different guys who can do a lot of different things. We’re in a great spot — we obviously have a lot of work to do — and guys are going to have to make plays when preseason games and training camp come around.”