Vikings WR Adam Thielen: 'There are so many things I got to work on'
EAGAN, Minn. — Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen has been hearing compliments everywhere he turns these days.
Thielen is coming off a season in which he was selected to his first Pro Bowl. Earlier this month, he was named No. 36 on the NFL Network's annual top-100 list in voting by players.
"I try not to think about it,'' Thielen said Tuesday, June 12, of all the praise he's been getting. "Honestly, I'm trying to get better. I know there are so many things that I got to work on. The people who are usually talking, they don't see every practice, they don't see every little detail of what you're supposed to do. So I worry about what the coaches think of me, what my quarterbacks think about me.''
Thielen last season caught 91 passes for 1,276 yards, becoming the first Minnesota receiver since 2009 to reach the 1,000-yard mark. He also was named second-team All Pro.
So what does Thielen need to get better at?
"There's a lot of things,'' he said after the first day of a three-day minicamp. "I think I need to just continue to learn the game a little better, understand coverages, understand what guys are trying to take away with certain leverages and things like that, and then just figuring out the quarterback, what he likes.''
Kirk Cousins will be Minnesota's fourth starting quarterback in four years, following Teddy Bridgewater in 2015, Sam Bradford in 2016 and Case Keenum in 2017.
The Vikings also have a new offensive coordinator in John DeFilippo. Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said Tuesday there's been no issues with that transition.
"It's really been seamless,'' Zimmer said.
The Wright way
Vikings wide receiver Kendall Wright is entering his seventh NFL season. He has some advice for young players if they want to stick around for a long time.
"If you don't study (the playbook) as a young guy, you won't be around,'' Wright said. "So you have to study the plays, and the one thing I won't do is not make the team for not knowing what I'm doing. I always know what I'm doing when I get out there.''
Wright, taken by Tennessee with the No. 20 pick in the 2012 draft, had career bests of 94 catches for 1,079 yards with the Titans in 2013. He signed with the Vikings as a free agent in March after having 59 receptions for 614 yards with Chicago in 2017.
Wright didn't do a lot against Minnesota last season, catching nine passes for 75 yards in two games. The Vikings finished the season ranked No. 1 in the NFL in scoring and total defense, and now Wright gets to go against the rugged unit regularly in practice.
"I've definitely enjoyed it,'' said Wright, who has been playing both slot and outside receiver. "It's the No. 1 defense in the NFL. Any time you can practice with those guys and get better every day, I think it's better for our offense.''
• Defensive end Everson Griffen, who has been absent all month from spring drills with an apparent left leg injury, sat out again Tuesday. Also out were center Pat Elflein, safeties Andrew Sendejo and Tray Matthews, defensive tackle Jalyn Holmes, cornerback Trevon Mathis, wide receivers Stacy Coley and Jeff Badet and defensive end Hercules Mata'afa. Mata'afa, who suffered a torn ACL in practice last Wednesday, watched Tuesday's workout. He will have surgery next week.
• Danny Isidora worked with the first-team offensive line at left guard. Isidora mostly had been sharing time on the first team with Tom Compton. "He continues to get better,'' Zimmer said of Isidora. Mike Remmers remained at right guard, where he has been most of the spring.
• Terence Newman, who turns 40 in September and is the oldest defensive player in the NFL, worked some at safety Tuesday. Newman primarily has been a cornerback for the Vikings. However, he has played some safety, including starting a December 2015 game at Arizona at the spot.