Dalvin Cook: Vikings will be 'something special' in 2018

Already shedding his knee brace and stamped ready for Week 1 action, Minnesota running back Dalvin Cook has been a prominent member of this summer's optimism all-stars.

Judging by the stream of glowing reports emanating from Vikings camp, Cook has lost no time in recapturing pre-injury form after missing the majority of his rookie season with a torn ACL.

"I'm a thousand-percent confident in what I got going," Cook assured NFL Network's Stacey Dales on Wednesday's edition of NFL Total Access. "I put enough work and enough time into my craft over the time that I was out, so I'm a thousand-percent confident and I'm ready to play."

The No. 41 overall pick in the 2017 draft was an instant success last September, averaging an astonishing 123 yards from scrimmage in his first three NFL games before his season was ended prematurely in the fourth. To put that production into perspective, All Pros Todd Gurley (139.5) and Le'Veon Bell (129.7) were the only backs with a higher per-game average throughout last year.

This time around, new coordinator John DeFilippo is in the laboratory concocting different ways to put the ball into Cook's hands.

"It's going to be something special to watch," Cook said of his 2018 role. "I can't wait for it."

With a healthy backfield and an ostensible upgrade at quarterback in Kirk Cousins, DeFilippo's ascendant offense is giving Mike Zimmer's star-studded defense a run for its money in camp practices. After bowing out in the conference finals last January, the Vikings have the look of a team firmly in the grips of Super Bowl-or-bust fever entering the new season.

"I'm very excited just for what we got going here," Cook emphasized. "It's special around here. You can just feel it in the air. And I'm just happy to be a part of it."

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