Forget about the brutal Super Bowl odds Las Vegas insiders have given the Vikings, the team is bringing a brand new mindset to Mankato under head coach Mike Zimmer.
The goal is to be the best at everything, and that requires a change in thinking from when Leslie Frazier was in charge. Frazier was optimistic, but not quite like Zimmer.
“It’s no longer about trying to be a top-10 defense. It’s no longer about trying to make the playoffs,” defensive end Brian Robison told the Mankato Free Press. “Coach Zimmer will tell you straight up: ‘We’re not trying to make the playoffs.’ Your goal has to be, ‘We will make the playoffs. We will be the best defense in the league. We will go to the Super Bowl.’ Those are the type of things I’m talking about it. It’s just that the way we think is totally different.”
Sure, Vegas has put 180 to 1 odds on Minnesota's Super Bowl chances, but that hasn't entered the mind of linebacker Chad Greenway, who at the very least, is confident the Vikings can reach the playoffs.
"We were in the playoffs (in 2012)," Greenway told the Pioneer Press. "We know we can get right back there again. ... There's no doubt we can get back."
Greenway added that this offseason has been one of the best of his career. He credited Zimmer for increasing the intensity and improving the practice atmosphere.
The Vikings report to Mankato today and the first practice is Friday. Players will be sporting full pads for the first time on Sunday. That's when camp gets real.
"I assume it's going to be a pretty physical camp, just because of the reputation (Zimmer) has around the league," fullback Jerome Felton said. "He's kind of an old-school, no-nonsense guy and he wants to have a physical team. I would expect him to carry that into training camp, but that personally fits my game."
Check back later today when we start recapping the action as players arrive in Mankato.