MINNEAPOLIS - Alright, the last time we saw the Vikings was...

Ugh, the NFC Championship Game in Philadelphia. 38-7, Eagles.

Eagles won the Super Bowl. Yeah, ok, whatever.

Since then, the Vikings lost offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur to New York but picked up the Eagles quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo to replace him.

So, who'd they pick at QB?

  • Case Keenum: departed to Denver
  • Sam Bradford: absent, to Arizona
  • Teddy Bridgewater: no more, in New York.

"Had a great visit, looking forward to tomorrow, going to be able to see more of the city and the facilities," said Kirk Cousins, in March, leaving a Twin Cities restaurant.

Kirk liked what he saw, especially the money: 3 years, $84 million, all guaranteed.

"I'm not here to sign a contract, in essence, I'm here to play football," said Cousins, the day he signed with the Vikings in March.

Why Kirk over Case?

  • 81 touchdowns, 36 interceptions in last 3 seasons as Washington's starter.
  • Over 4,000 yards passing in each season; the Vikings haven't had a quarterback throw for 4,000 yards since 2009 - Brett Favre.

Oh, and give Kirk running back Dalvin Cook, who's healthy again.

"Just getting back out here and getting back in pads, man, that's just a good feeling, man," said Cook, who's recovering from ACL surgery, after a Training Camp practice.

And, Kirk gets the NFL's #1-ranked Defense, which added Pro-Bowl defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson, and extended both linebacker Eric Kendricks and defensive end Danielle Hunter. Plus, the team took cornerback Mike Hughes in the first round of the NFL Draft.

But, in July, tragedy, when offensive line coach Tony Sparano died unexpectedly from heart disease.

"You're pretty fortunate in this business when you can come across people like Tony Sparano," said Rick Spielman, the Vikings General Manager.

As Training Camp started the Vikings rewarded the Miracle Man with a $72 million dollar extension.

"I'm happy that I can look at my Mom and smile and tell her that everything's going to be ok," said wide receiver Stefon Diggs in July.

Vikings are counting on Cousins for that; he'll be the 12th different starting Vikings quarterback since 2010.

"It's real football now, you know," said Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer.

The Vikings preseason is at Denver, vs Jacksonville, vs Seattle, and at Tennessee.

Minnesota opens up the regular season at US Bank Stadium against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, September 9th.

The Vikings have the 8th most difficult schedule in the NFL.