One of the players that is certain to generate interest at this year’s Minnesota Vikings Training Camp is running back Dalvin Cook. The first player the Vikings selected back in April, Cook has the unenviable task of being part of the committee that attempts to replace Adrian Peterson in the Minnesota backfield after ten seasons. He has game breaking skills, to be sure, but he’ll be part of a committee at the position with Latavius Murray and Jerick McKinnon. . .at least at first.
Cook answered a few questions prior to the start of his first NFL Training Camp, and thanks to the Vikings’ PR staff, we have those questions and Cook’s answers to them. Enjoy!
Q: How does it feel to be at your first training camp?
A: It feels great. Weather is good, the fans came out to support, and I am feeling the love. It feels great to be back out here and I am ready to play some football. It feels good.
Q: What are you trying to get out of training camp?
A: I am going to try to get everything out of it. I am going to try to get the wisdom from the vets, try to learn something from the rookies, try to get more of a feel for the game and the systems, and really just try to go out there and establish myself for the fans and for my teammates.
Q: With Latavius Murray being here now, how do you feel about, perhaps, a head-to-head battle with him for the starting job?
A: We are going to push each other, and I think the good thing about this backfield is that we have some workhorses in the backfield. We have guys that are going to push each other to the next level and are going to get the best out of each other, so having those two guys in the meeting room with me is good because they never let you get comfortable with yourself. That is the good thing about us.
Q: What kind of expectations do you have for yourself?
A: Really coming out and establishing myself, and really just showing these guys that I am ready to come and play. I am ready to come help this organization win football games, and that is the main goal of why they drafted me here, so that is why I am willing to show my teammates and everybody else. That is what I am trying to get out of this. Come and play some good football and I hope to have some good results about it.
Q: You have a new team, new surroundings, new state to live in. How comfortable do you feel about getting to know your new home?
A: From OTAs and mini camp, I got comfortable with everything, really. I am feeling everything out. My teammates are making me feel real comfortable and I just think the unique thing about this situation is that we have some good vets that welcome everybody with open arms. They are doing a great job of that and they are making the rookies feel real comfortable, so I am pretty comfortable with my situation.
Q: Going through the OTAs and minicamp, how do plan to contribute to the offense?
A: We are running the same thing [as FSU]. Zone, Inside zone, outside zone, utilizing me to catch the football. I just think getting the ball in my hand in as many ways as possible is where I can make plays. I did the same thing at Florida State and I think that is why this situation is so unique. I just feel like I am in the same situation, I just have to take advantage of it.
Q: You have been through the offseason program with rookie camp and mini camp, and now it is the big stage. What do you think the biggest difference of what you have been through so far, and what you are about to get into?
A: Like I said, football is football, you are just going to it at another level. Guys decide that people feed their families, so you have got to approach it the same way they approach it. I have not put on pads since the Orange Bowl, so that is what I am most looking forward to. Going out there and putting on pads and just getting the physical contact part of the game back. That is going to be the only thing I look forward to: getting back in pads and establishing myself.
Q: What have you done in the past month leading up to training camp, to make sure you are ready to go?
A: Keeping my body fine-tuned because it’s a physical game. Your body is everything in this game, so taking care of my body, training, spending time with family, and just relaxing and staying out of the way, and just enjoying myself.
Q: What has been the motivation for you knowing that this organization has confidence in you knowing that you are replacing Adrian Peterson
A: For them to have confidence in me, it means a lot to me and that is why I pride myself in not letting them down. To have confidence in me, means a lot to me, so I am going to give it my all each and every day. Every game, every snap, every meeting, to prove to these people why they drafted me and why they had so much confidence in me. I am going to prove myself to them and give it my all.
Q: Do you compare yourself to Adrian Peterson?
A: That would not be fair to him. He is a future Hall of Famer. This is my first year in the NFL, I am not as close to him, so I cannot compare myself to him at all because he is going to go down as one of the greatest backs in history probably. So I just have just got to go out there and work and I cannot have that in my head. Adrian Peterson is one of the greats and one of the people I look up to so I cannot compare myself to him.