Former Maverick Thielen out to prove his worth

There is no doubt that Minnesota State University Alum Adam Thielen had an impressive third season with the Minnesota Vikings last year. Thielen led the Vikings in receiving yards with 967 and posted career-highs with 69 receptions, three 100-yard games, 967 receiving yards and five touchdowns.

“I don’t want to change a thing. I want to keep doing the things that got me here. I want to make sure I keep getting better. Every off-season I have a goal to keep getting stronger, keep getting faster, quicker and becoming an all-around better receiver,” Thielen said when asked about what he wants to change going into the 2017 season.

Thielen posted the best game of his career thus far against the Green Bay Packers on Christmas Eve of last season, with 12 receptions for a total of 202 yards and two touchdowns. He continues to look to build off of his noteworthy performances last year.

“I think we all have high expectations, as we did last year. I think we learned a lot from what happened last year. I think there are a lot of things that the coaching staff and we as players have tried and done to try and change that around. No one was satisfied with missing the playoffs last year,” Thielen said.

He quickly developed a solid rapport with the addition of quarterback Sam Bradford with the team-leading 967 receiving yards and three 100-yard games, tying teammate Stefon Diggs. Diggs and Thielen will build their relationship after being able to get a full off-season together.

“Sometimes we forget we didn’t have an off-season with [Diggs] last year, just because of the way he was able to come in and perform and perform so well and make us feel so comfortable. It’s been a great off-season getting to know him personally better and obviously getting to know how he likes things done,” the Detroit Lakes-native said.

The duo of Diggs and Thielen accounted for over 45 percent of the Vikings’ receiving yards, 40 percent of the team’s touchdowns through the air and over 36 percent of receptions. With the incoming rookies in Stacy Coley and Rodney Adams and a hopeful resurgent season for Laquon Treadwell, there will be plenty of competition for the rest of the receiving depth chart.

“There’s a lot of hungry guys on this team, guys who have been here for a long time and we want to win and we want to win now,” he said.

As a Maverick, Thielen ranked second in Minnesota State history with 198 receptions, third with 2,802 receiving yards and third with 57 punt returns. He was named 1st-Team All-Northern Sun Conference South Division his senior year and 2nd-Team as a junior. Thielen also helped bring the Mavericks to a 13-1 record and a national semifinal appearance in his last year.

The Vikings will look to Thielen for another consistent season as well as being able to make the big contributions he made last year. Thielen topped Diggs with 16 catches of more than 20 yards in his third season. He also ranks second amongst the franchise with most rushing yards in a game by a wide receiver in the January 3 game against the Packers with 67 yards, and third in longest Vikings fake punts in the same game with 41 yards.


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