Vikings offseason: New coaches, new players kick off minicamp


Minnesota Vikings players are on the practice field with the new coaching staff for the first time ever, running through non-contact drills and getting a feel for what the 2014 team might feel like.

"I think it's definitely a different mentality," third-year offensive tackle Matt Kalil tells Vikings.com. "I think we're held at a higher level of accountability. Definitely with knowing the offense and being on time to things, especially being early now it's a whole different mindset, which is I think for the better and it's definitely going to help us down the road."

It's a voluntary veteran minicamp, running Tuesday through Thursday, so player's aren't required to attend. But most of the big names were there, including Adrian Peterson (as you can see above), Greg Jennings, Matt Cassel and Cordarrelle Patterson. Vikings.com notes free agent newcomers Linval Joseph, Captain Munnerlyn, Corey Wootton and others will make their purple debut.

The Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) allows teams with new head coaches to hold one extra predraft voluntary minicamp. With Mike Zimmer at the helm, the Vikings are doing so now.

Zimmer told the Star Tribune what he sees on the practice field these three days could impact the team's draft board. Outside the coaching staff, many pundits see Central Florida quarterback Blake Bortles as the pick come May 8 (if he's still around at that spot, that is).

Former Viking Rich Gannon weighed in on the draft with the Pioneer Press. He tells the paper the Vikings would "foolish" to take a quarterback at pick No. 8, because he doesn't see any of the prospects as worthy of a first-round pick.

But that's still a week off. Right now, it's the first time the new position coaches have a chance to work with the players on the field (previously only strength and conditioning coaches would do so).

One of those new faces is offensive coordinator Norv Turner. Vikings.com asked Cassel about Turner's mentality.

"He talks and preaches discipline, and everything is so detail-oriented," the 31-year-old said. "He stays on top of it in the meetings, nothing slips by him. He coaches us hard, makes people accountable, and that's what we need."

The minicamp continues Wednesday.

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