We see that you have javascript disabled. Please enable javascript and refresh the page to continue reading local news. If you feel you have received this message in error, please contact the customer support team at 1-833-248-7801.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Preseason message to young Vikings: ‘You have to smell the roses’

For players trying to make the team, Sunday’s preseason opener against the Raiders in Las Vegas will be big

NFL: Minnesota Vikings Training Camp
Minnesota Vikings defensive lineman Harrison Phillips performs a drill during training camp at TCO Performance Center.
Matt Krohn / USA Today Sports
We are part of The Trust Project.

Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Harrison Phillips still remembers walking out of the tunnel for the first time as an NFL player. He was a rookie with the Buffalo Bills at the time, and it came ahead of a preseason game with the Carolina Panthers.

“That was a surreal moment,” Phillips said. “I had watery eyes, and I hope a lot of the young guys have that same experience.”

While some Vikings veterans might not be looking forward to Sunday’s preseason game at Las Vegas, Phillips, 26, is excited to see some of the young Vikings hopefuls in action.

“Man, I love the preseason,” Phillips said with a smile. “It’s a harsh pill to swallow, but we’ve got 90 players on this team, and a handful of them won’t ever get another opportunity.”

That’s his message as the Vikings head into the matchup with the Raiders: This isn’t something to be taken for granted.

ADVERTISEMENT

“To go into an NFL stadium and play in a preseason game might be the highest level of achievement that (some of these guys) have in their football career,” Phillips said. “I absolutely love seeing any type of big play and celebrating. I’m all about it. I want them to be as extra as they can. You have to smell the roses.”

Very basic

As for what to expect from the Vikings in their preseason opener, it’s safe to assume there won’t be any trick plays.

“It will be very basic,” offensive coordinator Wes Phillips said with a smile. “Don’t evaluate us off this one.”

MORE MINNESOTA VIKINGS COVERAGE:
Pro
New coach Matt Daniels stresses camaraderie among players on units
Pro
He finished 5 for 5 on field goals — including a 47-yarder with 24 seconds left that proved to be the game-winner — to help the Vikings to a 28-25 win over the New Orleans Saints.
Pro
The Vikings are 3-1 for the first time since he took over as quarterback in 2018, and the franchise is off to its best start since going 4-0 in 2016 (and later 5-0).
Pro
Wright’s arm was really on display for California High in 2016, when he completed 103 of 168 passes for 1,806 yards with 27 touchdowns and just three interceptions.
Pro
Safety Lewis Cine undergoes ‘successful’ surgery
Pro
Jefferson bounced back from two lackluster performances to catch 10 passes for 147 yards in Sunday’s 28-25 win over New Orleans in London and was named Man of the Match.
Pro
Rookie expected to miss rest of season.
Pro
Kramer was the starting quarterback for the Vikings when they played the first NFL game in London, a 28-10 preseason win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Aug 6, 1983. He threw the first touchdown pass ever in the United Kingdom, hitting running back Ted Brown in the second quarter from nine yards out.
Pro
For the past couple of decades, the Vikings have been a living, breathing example of what can go wrong will go wrong when it comes to the kicking game.
Pro
Wil Lutz, whose 60-yard field goal tied the score for the Saints moments earlier, tried a 61-yarder on the final play of the game, but the ball hit the left upright and the crossbar before falling short in the end zone.

That said, there will be some intrigue with Sean Mannion and Kellen Mond getting a 50-50 split at quarterback. Though it would appear Mannion leads the race for the No. 2 spot behind Kirk Cousins, Phillips doesn’t want him to rest on his laurels this weekend.

“You don’t really get credit for experience; you get credit for performance,” Phillips said. “We’re just going to let these guys go out there and compete and evaluate each play as it comes.”

Patiently waiting

It seems like only a matter of time before rookie safety Lewis Cine starts getting consistent reps with the starters. In the meantime, he’s trying to soak up as much information as possible.

“I’m still learning,” Cine said. “It’s a marathon, not a sprint.”

Plus, even if Cine isn’t running with the starters in the Sep. 11 season opener against the Green Bay Packers, he’s confident he will make an impact whenever he gets in the game.

ADVERTISEMENT

“I know there’s a place for me on the defense,” he said. “I know I’m going to contribute somewhere.”

______________________________________________________

This story was written by one of our partner news agencies. Forum Communications Company uses content from agencies such as Reuters, Kaiser Health News, Tribune News Service and others to provide a wider range of news to our readers. Learn more about the news services FCC uses here.

Related Topics: MINNESOTA VIKINGS
What to read next
Pro
Asked about what he expects heading into this season, Leipold refused to get too far ahead of himself. He doesn’t know if the Wild will top their franchise-record 113 points from last season.
Pro
The Loons’ kit men are responsible for setting up the team’s oval-shaped locker room at Allianz Field, with everything players need to perform — from emergency headgear down to their socked toes.
Pro
The two Minnesotans — Varland from Maplewood, Wallner from Forest Lake — gave hometown fans plenty to cheer about this season, both in St. Paul and Minneapolis. Both started the year with Double-A Wichita before earning a pair of promotions and debuting in September.
Pro
The Twins led the Central division for 108 days during the season. The last came on Sept. 4, when they pulled back into a tie with the Guardians atop the division. They finished the season in third place with a 78-84 record, 14 games behind Cleveland and three behind Chicago.