Vikings rookie running back Dalvin Cook is impressing his veteran teammates.
That’s the word from Vikings coach Mike Zimmer, who says the veteran players on the team tell him that Cook is far ahead of most rookies in his understanding of what it takes to be an NFL player.
“The first thing the veteran players I’ve talked to about him say is, ‘This guy gets it.’” Zimmer told Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com. “He understands protections, he works hard, they see how he interacts in the locker room, and that’s part of it. And then, when you have a special player—like when we got [linebacker Anthony] Barr—they say, ‘Hey, man, this guy is different than other guys.’ That’s kinda how he is. They see him out there on the field with the other guys, and it’s like, ‘There’s something different about this guy, the way he runs, accelerates, the creases he can get to.’ He’s got a tough mentality. Players can see exceptional athletes. When they go out there and they’re going against guys, they can see: This guy is pretty good.”
That echoes comments from Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur, and suggests that Cook is moving ahead of Latavius Murray and Jerick McKinnon in the Vikings’ running back pecking order.