We’re not done with the quotes from today’s reporting day at Minnesota Vikings Training Camp, folks. We have some Q&A with four other players, including three rookies and a player that briefly got elevated to the active roster last year.
On reporting day, the Twin Cities media got a chance to talk to center Pat Elflein, as well as wide receivers Rodney Adams, Isaac Fruechte, and R.J. Shelton. We have the quotes from all of them below, brought to you courtesy of the Vikings’ PR staff.
Q: Have you gotten a sense of what the coaches are focusing on how to improve the line?
A: The pressure is on us and we show up to practice every day like that. We know we have to get better and do our job. There’s great players all over the field that if we do our job then that’ll allow them to do their job better and it’ll complete the team. We know we have to do our job and that’s what we’re here to do.
Q: What is your first impression of training camp and seeing the fans out here?
A: We have a diehard fan base out here in Minnesota, that’s my first impression and I love it. It’s what I’m used to. Seeing all these fans out here and all the little kids makes me excited to play ball again.
Q: Is there a sense of anxiousness to get started?
A: Yeah, there always is especially being a rookie and coming to camp for the first time. A little bit of anxiousness but I feel that’s normal when you got something big coming up. I’m just excited to get out there and play.
Q: So what are you expecting to be different from rookie minicamp to OTAs to now?
A: Yeah, it’s the real deal now. Pads will come on and guys, everybody is fighting for a job and that will definitely be a little different. I’m excited to get up there and compete with everybody.
Q: Do you like that it’s just the rookies to start out instead of everybody showing up?
A: Yeah, I mean that’ll help get everything working again and getting back in the groove and figuring out where everything is on the campus. I’m about to go hop on my bike and kind of figure out where everything is at. Once it really gets going with the pads every day and the grind then I’ll get my barring and know where I’m at and get used to everything so it is nice getting down here a little early.
Q: What would it mean to you to earn a starting role as a rookie?
A: It’d be crazy, a dream come true. That’s a little ways down the road, a lot of work ahead. It’d be incredible. It’d be awesome. However, I can help this team I’m here to do that and show that I can. I’m excited to get out there and compete.
Q: What have you from learned since joining the NFL?
A: I’ve learned a lot like how to play at this level and the speed of this level and we have a really good defense and going against that every day will help me set my game up.
Q: What’s the biggest thing to set you apart from other people to earn you a starting spot?
A: Being consistent and doing it every play and not just doing it well two plays and bad one play. You have to do it every play. I think consistency is a major factor on the offensive line play overall. Whoever can do it over and over again and can do it best across the board will get the job.
Q: What are your first few expectations for the first few days of practice before the veterans get here?
A: I’m sure they’ll operate similar to the way they did OTAs. We practiced hard during those times and I’m sure it’ll be similar to that. I’m sure we’ll figure it out real quick what the expectations are. Knowing Coach Zimmer, they’re gonna be really high every day. I’m excited to get out there.
Q: This is obviously the last year in Mankato, there’s obviously a lot of veterans who don’t mind if the Vikings don’t come down her anymore, but a lot of great players have come through here. How do you feel only getting one year here?
A: I mean, at least I got a chance to experience Mankato. That’s a good thing but I’m happy that we are building a new facility next year for our training camp and it’s going to be a great experience.
Q: How do you see yourself fitting in the wide receivers room?
A: I’m just here to help in any way that I can. I’m here to do whatever I can to help out the Wide Receiver core, to help out the teammates. I’m just here to help.
Q: What is on your list of must haves at camp to bring with you?
A: I just started a YouTube channel. I’m vlogging now so my main thing was my camera.
Q: What can people expect on your YouTube channel?
A: Just the inside of an NFL player’s life, inside of my life. YouTube channel is Rodney Adams, no spaces.
Q: What are some of the highlights on your channel so far?
A: I’ve got two videos up right now, just training the last two days before training camp with Adam Thielen and Mobo [Moritz Böhringer] the German assassin, that’s his name.
Q: What are your expectations for the first couple of days before veterans come in and what do you expect to happen there?
A: To pick up where I left of from OTAs, and to keep learning and keep growing and to make sure I’m ready for when the vets get here.
Q: Do you expect normal practices?
A: I’m not sure what to expect because when we asked they said this is the first time they made the rookies come up early so I’m not sure what to expect.
Q: What has Thielen told you? Have you picked his brain on what to expect here?
A: The only thing Adam told me is to be ready for the rookie talent show. That’s the only thing he told me. I’m still searching for that. I got a while to think about what I want to do.
Q: What are your impressions of seeing the fans line up?
A: It’s great to see the fans out here. They are dedicated and ready for us to win the Super Bowl. Its great seeing them out here and supporting us, it’s pretty cool.
Q: How much have you been looking forward to really hitting the ground running now that the season is finally here?
A: It’s different, because once you get to rookie minicamp and then OTAs it’s like, “oh you’re here”, but then when its training camp time it’s like, “oh man I have to step it up a little bit more”. It’s a great feeling. I’m excited for it.
Q: What are your thoughts on coming in early?
A: It’s nice to be in Mankato to compete and work hard. I am excited to here; this is a great time of year.
Q: What do you get out of these next few days?
A: I think just kind of touching up on things we worked on through minicamp and OTA’s. Also, just trying to get better and showcase what you can do help this team win.
Q: What is training camp to a player?
A: For me, it’s a time to come out and enjoy what you love doing. My dad’s a coach and I am a coach’s son, I’ve always been around football, loved it, and still do. I am excited to be here.
Q: Your body clock just tells you its time go this time of year?
A: I woke up this morning and was like, “it’s time to go”. I am excited to get to work.
Q: You must be pretty optimistic going into this season?
A: I am not really focused on that. I am just trying to work hard and help this team in any way that I can.
Q: I bet you have learned a lot over these last couple years?
A: Yeah, for sure. It’s fun being here and learning. I am just continuing to try and get better. That’s my goal. Again, I am just trying to help this team win.
Q: What do special teams mean to you?
A: It’s kind of the heart of the soul of the team. Offense and defense work together to try and get something done towards a common goal. You know, you can really affect the game, it’s a third of the game and people forget about it. It’s really important and I love playing special teams. I hope to be out there a lot.
Q: What do you think the value is for players to have these extra couple days?
A: I think it’s huge. It’s refreshing the playbook and getting used to the scenery, where you are, and what you have to do. You know, it’s great; it’s a good thing for us. It should be an exciting time for everybody.
Q: Do you find yourself getting a little nostalgic that this is the last camp in Mankato?
A: I like Mankato and love Mankato. But, I think Eagan is going to be awesome. I can’t wait to see what that is like. Mankato has been great though, it’s fun.
Q: What is it like coming to camp?
A: First of all, it’s a blessing coming to camp, number one. Number two, just want to make sure I give everything I got and show this team I can contribute and do what I can do.
Q: What does it feel like to do something new and there is so much at stake?
A: It’s exciting. I know it’s a challenge. I’m going to step up to it and make sure I do it the best of my ability.
Q: Do you think your BIG Ten background helps?
A: Of course, Michigan State made the man who I am today. We played a lot of key games and a lot of crucial games, great competition. So, I feel that I’m ready to do what it does.
Q: What does Trae Waynes tell you?
A: He really hasn’t told me a lot; he is a quiet guy, but he’s also a great player. I go to him for advice and on anything. He does a really good job for this team and I just want to be able to contribute like him.
Q: How did you prepare for this?
A: Just working out every day and staying in routine. Making sure I am getting my body in tip top shape so I can come out here and compete. It was nothing out of the ordinary for me, so it was just more working hard and doing the right things.