As the Vikings gathered for their first practice of training camp, they are looking to move on from their NFC Championship loss and set the stage for bigger things in 2010.
Although their loss to the New Orleans Saints
is more than six months in the rearview mirror, the Vikings still have that game in mind. As training camp for the 2010 season began Friday, the Vikings can't help but reflect back on what happened in the Superdome in January.
For many of the players, the memory of that loss not only hasn't faded, it's hardened their resolve to make things better this year to complete what they started in 2009.
"There is definitely unfinished business," Adrian Peterson
said. "We didn't end the season last year the way we wanted to, but started off (Friday) with a good day. We're just going to build it from here on to accomplish our ultimate goal, which is to win the Super Bowl this year."
Brad Childress echoed those sentiments and tried to set the stage for his team.
"Everybody has a sense of unfinished business from last year, and just based on the offseason that these guys have had we're gonna have a good football team," Childress said. "I'm fond of saying what Jim Valvano used to say, ‘Working hard gives you a chance to have a chance.' If you don't work hard people are catching up. I think we have a talented enough team to be a good football team this year."
Whether the Vikings can surpass their performance of a year ago next January will be played out in the coming months, but it would appear they aren't just going to forget what happened.
"Any time you make it to the NFC Championship Game – 18 seconds away from being in the Super Bowl – it's motivation. That's what we're using it as and we're just working to put ourselves in that situation again," Peterson said.
For those who question why Brett Favre would skip training camp and not risk injury need look no further than Cowboys training camp. On the second-to-last play of practice yesterday, rookie wide receiver Dez Bryant suffered a high ankle sprain that will likely sideline him until the start of the regular season, going to show that injuries can happen at any time regardless of how many safeguards are taken to prevent them.
A local Twin Cities TV station opened its 5 p.m. newscast with a story on training camp, claiming the Vikings and the security personnel at Minnesota State-Mankato are making it more difficult for fans to get access to the Vikings. While the security of players has been heightened in recent years, the story made it sound like training camp is a police state and children will go away unhappy. The reality is the people that will be upset most are the adults who sell autographed items on eBay.
Add Hall of Famer Gale Sayers to the list of Favre bashers. On RSPN Radio Friday, Sayers said Favre is a "drama queen," adding, "he's putting the Minnesota Vikings on hold until he comes back."