Mark Wilf knows the excitement surrounding the Minnesota Vikings and feels it himself, too, but he tapped the brakes a bit after expressing his enthusiasm for the possibilities this season.
“We’re very excited. I would say personally it’s the most excited I’ve been since we purchased the team, but there’s a lot of work hard,” the Minnesota Vikings owner and team president said. “The optimism (is) not just so much about the talent, but also what we have in terms of organizationally, structurally. We have a GM and a coach and coaching staff we believe in. We feel we have a corps of talent, but a lot of hard work ahead of us to get where we want to go.
“We’re excited every year for training camp, but the season always has a lot of hope. A lot has to happen. It’s a long road of us. Let’s not read too much into things or another. We need to get to work.”
Wilf visited training camp in Minnesota on Tuesday, the first day that players were in pads. With 10 years of ownership of the team for the Wilf family, he’s seen the highs and the lows. Mike Zimmer is the fourth coach in the Wilf era after going through Mike Tice, Brad Childress and Leslie Frazier.
Wilf has experienced the excitement of Brett Favre leading the Vikings to the 2009 NFC Championship Game, only to see that season end two victories short of his ultimate goal.
“We’re still on our quest. Our ultimate goal is to win a Super Bowl championship and bring one to Minnesota,” Wilf said. “We have a lot of faith in our coaches, our GM and our players to work hard and make good things happen.”
With Teddy Bridgewater’s strong rookie season and the return of Adrian Peterson, plenty have predicted the Vikings as one of the teams that could make the playoffs this year despite a 7-9 record in 2014.
Peterson’s return was uncertain for much of the last 10 months as he dealt with legal issues and an NFL suspension. But the Vikings gave him more guaranteed money and both sides appear excited about the possibilities.
“We’re happy Adrian is back, obviously. He’s a unique talent. We’re happy he’s here playing for us and can’t wait for the season to get started,” Wilf said.
“We know what kind of person Adrian is, so that’s all in the rear-view mirror as far as how some of that stuff goes and we’ll look forward to him being a good part of our team.”