Minnesota Vikings offensive line has their eyes on the prize
By Adam Carlson
Despite falling short of reaching the Super Bowl in 2015, the Minnesota Vikings offensive line have their focus set on the big game for the 2016 season.
For a young team like the Minnesota Vikings, working the way up from the bottom of the NFC North to be crowned the division champions is a big deal. However, both fans of the team as well as the players and coaches know that to be a serious contender, Minnesota will need to take the next step.
Much of that will start in the trenches. The offensive line will need to pave the way for 2015’s leading rusher Adrian Peterson as well as do a better job protecting young quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. The Vikings knew this, and went out in free agency and picked up Alex Boone and Andre Smith as well as brought back Joe Berger and Mike Harris.
According to an article on Vikings.com, John Sullivan is still working hard to recover from his back injury. Still, that doesn’t stop him from looking ahead to the division race and possibly the biggest game in football.
"“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” Sullivan said. “Obviously we didn’t accomplish the ultimate goal last year and win the Super Bowl, but we put ourselves in a good position. We’ve got the right group of guys here to win, but we know that we start back at square one. The [NFC] North’s not guaranteed, the playoffs aren’t guaranteed – we have to go out and work. But we have the right mix of guys to do that.”"
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One of the most vocal players about the team right now is recently acquired guard Alex Boone. Definitely not short on opinions or modesty, Boone took the opportunity to praise his teammates on their hard work, but also ability to cut loose and enjoy themselves. That combination is hard to come across to keep a happy locker room in the NFL.
"“They all want to play football, and they all want to have fun,” Boone said of his teammates. “That’s the most important thing in this league, and I’ve always believed that. Coming into a locker room like this where everyone’s really close, tight-knit, they can have a fun time but still know when to work – that makes the best of a team. That’s really what I’m walking in to.”"
Although Boone wasn’t around for the Minnesota Vikings collapse during the 2015 Wild Card game in the playoffs, he still feels the pain and disappointment of the guys in the locker room. However, those feelings have turned to motivation, and now the fresh face on the offensive line is ready to work hard and push the team deeper.
"“I think there’s a lot of bad taste [in their mouths], and there should be,” Boone said. “You see the hunger in a lot of guys, and that’s what you want. You want guys to still be hungry – ‘We kind of got in there, and now we want to go further.’ I think everybody has that attitude around here, and it’s great to come in here and be a part of that now.”"
Next: 2016 NFL Draft: First round mock draft
You can see the Minnesota Vikings when the 2016 NFL season kicks off at U.S. Bank Stadium as well as during training camp and preseason. Hopefully, the new faces on the team can come together and help an already dangerous team become even more of the threat to bring home a Super Bowl championship in the near future.