The Minnesota Vikings have cleaned out their lockers for the 2016 season and have a long offseason of dwelling over mistakes and missed opportunities.
2016 is in the books for the Minnesota Vikings and it is hard to look back at what the season could have been. The year started off with so much hope, as the underdog group of players won the division and made the playoffs the year prior.
However, things fell apart. Injuries, mistakes, and missed opportunities as well as issues within the coaching staff and players led to a big petering out of the team following a red-hot 5-0 start to the 2016 season.
The team has cleaned out their lockers, but they will need to clear out their minds as well. These missed plays and the opportunities the team didn’t take advantage of will now echo through their brains until the start of next season.
Offensive lineman Alex Boone talked about the regrets on Vikings.com:
"“There’s things I want to take back, things I wish I could do better,” Boone said. “It was a good year but not good enough. I think everybody wants to have something back.”"
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After talking about some of the things he could have done better, Boone recalled one particular play against the Washington Redskins on November 13th that may have sprung Adam Thielen for a touchdown.
"“I blocked the linebacker, but I saw the corner traveling with [Thielen], and I just think that maybe if I would have dove and got in his way, Thielen would have scored for sure,” Boone recalled. “Things like that. It’s a cruel, cruel business, but it will just sit there forever."
While that is still in Boone’s mind, he knows that he can’t change the past. In fact, he spoke with one of the legends in the game about this exact topic and understands that dwelling on the mistakes and miscues can be disastrous.
"“[Hall of Fame defensive end] Howie Long told me a long time ago, ‘This is a brief existence, but it’s a tortured existence,’ ” Boone added. “It will just keep you up all night thinking, ‘What if I would have done this?’ … The tiniest things will drive you nuts.”"
Sadly, watching the playoffs from home won’t be any fun for the Minnesota Vikings. This is a competitive group of guys who know they have the potential to be so much better than they were in 2016. But the players need to have the kind as Alex Boone when it comes to the past.
"“Learn from it, get better and come back ready to roll.”"