Vikings' Mark Wilf: 'We expect a lot better season'


The Minnesota Vikings fell short of expectations in 2018, missing the playoffs in an uninspired performance in a season-finale loss. With the main pieces returning for another go, internal expectations remain high in 2019.

"We expect a lot better season, and we're working hard every day," Vikings co-owner Mark Wilf told Sid Hartman of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. "I know our coaches, and staff, and players are working hard and getting ready for the season."

The highest-paid and most important player, Kirk Cousins, enters his second season in Minnesota needing to bounce back from a vanilla performance in his first year in purple. Wilf echoed coach Mike Zimmer's belief that Cousins will be better in Year 2.

"I think a year under his belt here in Minnesota and his familiarity with everything is going to bode well," Wilf said. "He's doing great. We expect a lot out of him as well as our whole team."

Wilf underscored that the season-finale loss to the Chicago Bears, who had nothing to play for at the time, lit a fire in Minnesota this offseason.

"Well, it was a disappointing season," Wilf told Hartman. "We didn't like the way it ended and it was a bitter taste in all of our months and we got right to work the day after that game. Coach Zimmer, Rick Spielman, the whole organization has had a plan, and we're executing it and we like the changes, so far."

A cap-strapped team, not many changes came in free agency, but the Vikes upgraded a porous offensive line in the draft, including first-round center Garrett Bradbury. If Cousins is protected better this season, a bounce-back season could be in the cards. Improved play from the QB in big games could have Minnesota back in the playoffs for the third time under Zimmer.