Wilf expresses optimism, with patience

  • Updated: August 1, 2012 - 6:51 AM

Staff writers Dan Wiederer and Mark Craig weigh in from Mankato:

Delivering his first public address at training camp this year, Vikings owner Zygi Wilf certainly set the bar high when he was asked by reporters to describe his expectations for 2012.

"I expect to be division champs," Wilf asserted. "I want to be able to fight for the division as we always do every year, and get better for years to come. That's always been our goal. That's been the goal since the first day I came here."

Still, drill a layer deeper on those expectations and Wilf conveyed clearly that he understands the need for patience this season as the Vikings undergo a youth movement that will give them one of the youngest rosters in the NFL.

"I don't know if you want to call it rebuilding or whatever," Wilf said. "But we are certainly going to be improving. ... Things don't happen overnight. There will be the ups and downs. And we certainly have had them in the last seven years of ownership.

''But you have to be patient. As we were patient with the stadium, we are going to be patient and we are going to work hard to gett a championship ball club."

Wilf was also asked if there was a victory total he was looking for this season to gauge the success of Leslie Frazier, who's entering his second full season as head coach.

"I'm not making any benchmarks," Wilf said. "I'm expecting a winning season."

Instead, Wilf said he will evaluate Frazier on the Vikings' ability to show continued determination, to stay competitive and to display signs that the young players are learning from both the veterans and the coaching staff.

Down goes Carlson

Tight end John Carlson, the Vikings' top offseason acquisition at $25 million over five years, went down in practice Tuesday with what Frazier said was initially diagnosed as a sprained medial collateral ligament (MCL). Carlson was scheduled to have a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) test on his knee Tuesday night. But the Vikings weren't expecting that test to show a torn ligament, nor is surgery expected.

But even a sprain could sideline Carlson for a few weeks, if not longer. And that would be a setback for an offense relying on Carlson and Kyle Rudolph, two pass-catching mismatches for defenses. The other tight ends in camp right now are rookie Rhett Ellison plus Allen Reisner and Mickey Shuler.

Peterson hopes to play in preseason

When Adrian Peterson finished with his health update Tuesday, he stayed on message with his push to get back into action as soon as the coaches and medical staff will let him. The Vikings running back remains on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list but reiterated that he wants to return to practice soon with the hopes of playing in part of at least one preseason game.

The Vikings have four preseason contests: at San Francisco next week, home against Buffalo (Aug. 17) and San Diego (Aug. 24) and on the road at Houston (Aug. 30).

"I definitely want to play a preseason game," Peterson said. "That's the only way to really get out here and get back to normal. Going out there and participating and cutting and dodging guys and playing football. Getting that feel. Hopefully I'll get the opportunity to do that."

Staff writers Dan Wiederer and Mark Craig blog at Access Vikings on startribune.com. Here are the highlights of Saturday's reports from Mankato:

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Houston 1 FINAL
Miami 1
Philadelphia 1 FINAL
Minnesota 7
St. Louis 3 FINAL
Detroit 4
Baltimore - WP: T. Wilson 10 FINAL
NY Yankees - LP: S. Baker 2
Boston 9 FINAL
Tampa Bay 6
Toronto 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh 8
Atlanta 5 FINAL
Toronto 3
Washington 2 FINAL
NY Mets 10
Chicago Cubs 5 FINAL
Cincinnati 9
San Diego 3 FINAL
Texas 2
San Francisco 9 FINAL
Seattle 8
Colorado 4 FINAL
Chicago Cubs 18
Cleveland 3 FINAL
Milwaukee 2
Oakland 10 FINAL
Chicago WSox 4
Los Angeles 5 FINAL
LA Angels 4
Kansas City 10 FINAL
Arizona 5
Atlanta 95 4th Qtr 3:10
Charlotte 110
New York 34 3rd Qtr
Chicago 54
Golden State 21 1st Qtr 1:20
Milwaukee 21
Oklahoma City 8:00 PM
Utah
Denver 9:00 PM
Portland
Nashville 4 FINAL
Washington 3
Arizona 2 FINAL
Pittsburgh 3
San Jose 3 FINAL(SO)
Philadelphia 2
Anaheim 3 FINAL
NY Islanders 2
NY Rangers 2 FINAL
Boston 4
Tampa Bay 0 FINAL
Detroit 4
New Jersey 1 3rd Prd 13:39
Carolina 3
Florida 2 3rd Prd
Montreal 2
Ottawa 2 3rd Prd 16:27
Toronto 0
Los Angeles 1 2nd Prd 15:50
Minnesota 2
Columbus 1 2nd Prd 14:48
St. Louis 1
Buffalo 0 1st Prd 19:32
Colorado 0
Dallas 9:00 PM
Vancouver
Arizona 78 FINAL
Wisconsin 85
Canisius 60 2nd Half 6:05
NJIT 54
Notre Dame 15 1st Half 11:02
Kentucky 14
San Jose 1 FINAL
New England 2
Orlando City 2 FINAL
Montreal 2
Los Angeles 0 FINAL
D.C. 1
Sporting Kansas City 1 FINAL
New York City 0
Red Bull New York 2 2nd Half 21:00
Columbus 1
Portland 0 2nd Half
Vancouver FC 1
Colorado 0 1st Half 15:00
Houston 0
Seattle 0 1st Half 15:00
FC Dallas 0
Texas 54 FINAL
(1) Connecticut 105
Dayton 82 FINAL
(8) Louisville 66
(16) Duke 55 FINAL
(4) Maryland 65
Gonzaga 65 1st OT 4:14
(6) Tennessee 63
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami NoonX37-35
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago NoonX13-9

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