With the full squad practices beginning over the weekend, the new era of Minnesota Vikings training camp is underway at their spiffy new digs in Eagan. Longtime Vikings' fan and Owatonna resident Todd Walkingstick joined us on-air recently to cover some of the story lines at camp.

Unfortunately, on the eve of training camp, offensive line coach Tony Sparano passed away. The first days of rookie practices had a bit more of a subdued feel. Last Friday's practice schedule (July 27) was cancelled so the organization could attend his memorial service.

Early thoughts from Walkingstick regarding on-the-field issues to keep your eye on include a couple of special teams battles. Rookie Mike Hughes will contend with Rochester's Marcus Sherels to return kicks. Plus the team drafted a kicker, which could lead to a good competition for that spot.



The Vikings have a new quarterback, with the off-season signing of Kirk Cousins, who has put up big numbers over the last few seasons with Washington. Second year running back Dalvin Cook is coming back from ACL surgery. The receiver corps remains mostly the same. The team has signed many of its defensive stars to contract extensions. Minnesota's defense was among the tops in the league last season.

A significant change this year is the need for tickets to attend training camp, which was not necessary in Mankato. Most of the free tickets have been claimed, though you can go to the Vikings website and learn more. Some training camp tickets are available for a cost.

Ease of access to the players is also different than Mankato. There is more distance between the fans and the players now.

Concession items are priced at a reasonable rate. Bottled water is $1. Hot dogs are $3. Hamburgers run $6. Beer starts at $6.

Also, read about the connection between Dan Patch and Owatonna.



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