Chris Tomasson / St. Paul Pioneer Press
EAGAN, Minn.—Mike Zimmer says the Vikings have expressed no interest in controversial free agent Richie Incognito. The four-time Pro Bowl offensive lineman says the Vikings coach is 'a (expletive) LIAR!!" Incognito told TMZ last week that the Vikings and Seattle Seahawks had reached out to him. Zimmer on Tuesday denied that being the case with Minnesota. "No interest and totally false," the head coach said. "Tweet that." After Zimmer's comments, Incognito sent out a tweet saying, "Mike Zimmer is 'a F****** LIAR!!"
EAGAN, Minn.—Mike Zimmer wouldn't say how much Kirk Cousins will play in his Minnesota Vikings preseason debut Saturday, Aug. 11, at Denver, but he does know one thing. "When the first offensive line goes out, he's going,'' the Minnesota coach said at training camp. "So it just depends on how I'm feeling at the time.'' Cousins, the quarterback signed last March to a three-year, $84 million contract, isn't expected to play much. But even when the offensive linemen who start Saturday are still in the game, the situation might not be ideal.
EAGAN, Minn.—Stefon Diggs spoke last Saturday about "young guy'' Brandon Zylstra making some big plays, but there was one small problem. Diggs, a fourth-year Vikings wide receiver, is 24 and actually younger than Zylstra, 25. Diggs approached the rookie receiver on Monday, Aug. 6, and mentioned his comment. "He came up to me and he goes, 'I just keep forgetting that you're older than me,' because he was like, 'I made a quote about you in a news article,'" Zylstra said at training camp.
EAGAN, Minn. — Tom Compton and Kirk Cousins aren't getting their band back together anytime soon. But on the field, it seems like old times for the new Vikings teammates. Compton, an offensive guard from Rosemount, and Cousins, Minnesota's high-priced quarterback, became good friends when they played together for the Washington Redskins from 2012-15. Cousins signed with Vikings in March (for three years, $84 million), and a week later Compton joined him in his home state (for a lot less: one-year, $900,000).
EAGAN, Minn. — In early 2015, Trevor Siemian was starting to think about life after football. The quarterback had an up-and-down career at Northwestern, one that ended with a torn ACL suffered in the next-to-last game of the 2014 season. He didn't know if he would be drafted in 2015 or even given a chance to sign as a free agent. "I was putting some feelers out there and talking to some folks and getting ready for a Plan B, so to speak,'' Siemian said. "I was thinking commercial real estate. I had done an internship in college with Duke Realty.''
EGAN, Minn. — Tight ends do not like to be pigeonholed. Just ask David Morgan and Tyler Conklin. Morgan is regarded as being a better blocker than a receiver, and Conklin has gotten more praise for his receiving than for his blocking. But they don't agree with such assessments. "I'm not a perception guy,'' Morgan said during training camp at TCO Performance Center. "I don't look at what other people think. I'm trying to do my best no matter what the play is.''
EAGAN, Minn.—When Mack Brown arrived in Washington as an undrafted rookie in 2015, he found an immediate supporter in Kirk Cousins, who had just become the Redskins' starting quarterback. Cousins took the running back under his wing and provided valuable advice. Now the two have been reunited in Minnesota. Brown has been with them since being claimed on waivers last October from Washington, and Cousins signed a three-year, $84 million free-agent contract in March.
EAGAN, Minn.—Mike Zimmer said the Vikings are not trying to trade linebacker Anthony Barr, who is entering the final year of his contract and has not yet agreed to an extension. The Vikings head coach opened a news conference Friday by saying he wanted to debunk a report about Barr possibly being on the trading block. He did not say what outlet reported that.
EAGAN, Minn.—Minnesota Vikings safety Andrew Sendejo made it clear during a walkthrough Friday morning where he stands on the NFL's controversial new helmet rule. On a hat Sendejo was wearing backward, the message was "Make Football Violent Again.'' Sendejo is known as a hard hitter. He was suspended for a game last season for using his helmet on a hit on Baltimore wide receiver Mike Wallace. "I got it from a buddy. He used to play here," said Sendejo, not naming the player. "So, I just wear it. It fits good and it's black. I like it. It's got a good message."
EGAN, Minn. — Some players talk about coming into a new season having gained strength or endurance. For Vikings safety Harrison Smith, something else was very important. "Not necessarily anything weight wise, but just staying bouncy,'' Smith said. "I did a lot of plyometrics and stuff and it seems to get me going. It kind of ignites me. Get explosive and ready to go.''