Blair: ‘You work a little harder' outdoors

As the Vikings prepare to move to TCF Bank Stadium, former Vikings LB Matt Blair said being outdoors in the winter makes players work a little harder.

The Minnesota Vikings are heading back to regularly play home games outside for the first time since Dec. 20, 1981 – long before almost every member of the current team was even born.

Over the weekend, a former Viking weighed in with his thoughts and he should know because he played most of career outdoors at Metropolitan Stadium – Vikings Ring of Honor member Matt Blair.

Blair spoke with out of La Crosse, Wisc., as part of the weekend he spent in Brownsville, Minn. Blair was the grand marshal of the Brownsville Days parade and was asked about the changes that will be coming for the Vikings players who move from the climate-controlled comfort of the Metrodome outside to The Bank.

The one thing about it is they're going to be outdoors in the winter," Blair said. "I remember being outdoors in the winter and you work a little harder. But when you go play other teams outdoors in the winter, you'll be better."

The move outside is only a temporary one, which likely won't result in any philosophical changes about the types of players the Vikings draft or sign as free agents. The two years the Vikings will spend at TCF Bank Stadium at the University of Minnesota will be a short-term transition to a long-term stadium solution, but Blair realizes that the players know it won't be permanent playing in the wind and cold along the banks of the Mississippi River in November and December.

"It's just a way of trying to get something that they wanted to get – a new stadium," Blair said. "But they have to play outside (for two years) and it's going to happen. That's all."

While he wouldn't make any predictions to about what kind of record the Vikings will post in 2014, he did say that he is intrigued with the addition of defensive-minded head coach Mike Zimmer.

"Mike Zimmer, I think, is going to be a great coach," Blair said. "He's a defensive coach and you win games with the defense. If the defense does not let the other team score, then you have a chance. If you work at that part on defense, like we did back in the Purple People Eater days, that's how you win games."


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    John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.

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