EAGAN, Minn. (KMSP) - It was another busy day in Eagan as the Minnesota Vikings hosted the Jacksonville Jaguars for joint practices. But unlike at other joint practices across the country that have ended in fights, the atmosphere was quite different at the TCO Performance Center.
The message was loud and clear from the start of practice as the first song on the music playlist was "Get Along" by Kenny Chesney. From the get-go Head Coach Mike Zimmer was trying to create some positive vibes between the Vikings and Jaguars.
The main objective of these joint practices is to improve against someone else and to stay healthy, but healthy competition is in that mix as well.
“We really don't want to end up being on TV, like some of these other things have been going on,” said Zimmer. “We just want to get out here and get some work done and try to get each of us better.”
The Vikings did end up on television on Fox 9, but there were no fireworks on the field, just a smooth practice. It’s a stark contrast to the fights that broke out at joint practices between Washington and the New York Jets and between the Houston Texans and San Francisco 49ers.
Both teams met before practice to discuss respecting each other and not letting things get out of hand. At the end of the day, these are two teams, in two separate divisions trying to make each other better in the long run.
"We came here to work,” said Stefon Diggs, Vikings wide receiver. “That’s the number one thing, we came here to work. We came here to get things done. So as far as anything extra, I’m not interested in.”
“It’s still an opponent and you want to be prepared, but as far as watching tape, you want to see what they do, what they play, how they like to play, but all in all probably still you want to get the most out of it,” Diggs added.
"It starts to get a little bit stale and you get the same routine,” said Zimmer. “I think the intensity level will be up a little bit because will be going up against each other. We’re not trying to prove who’s the toughest guys and I’m sure they’re not either.”
Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone says that he wants to treat this like the two teams are actually one with everyone trying to make each other better.
As for Zimmer, he says this week could be a gauge for the future and more dual practices.