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Bleacher Report – Vikings

Zimmer redirects focus on Boehringer’s first day: ‘Feel-good story over, it’s time to work’

By Andrew Krammer

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Moritz Boehringer’s journey remained one of the most notable after fanfare subsided from last week’s NFL Draft.

Following the sixth-round selection (180th overall) of Boehringer, Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer said on national television: “That’s kind of what the draft is all about, making dreams come true.” The 22-year-old German native got his introduction to American football by searching YouTube highlights and finding clips of Adrian Peterson. Just a few years later he became a Viking.

As they took the field for the first time Friday, Zimmer said he’d like the focus to turn back to football for Boehringer, who’s one of two drafted receivers to aid the Vikings’ 31st-ranked passing offense from a season ago.

“I want to kind of end the story, to be honest with you,” Zimmer said Friday, steps from the field on which Boehringer first practiced. “I want him here playing football, not being a celebrity. I’ve given him a hard time already about being on TV shows and stuff like that. So, it’s football now and it’s time to work. The good feel-good story is over.”

Boehringer, 22, enters the Vikings’ three-day rookie minicamp with little experience and a well of talent. He’s from Aalen, Germany, and only began playing competitive football three years ago. The Vikings wanted to sign him prior to last week, but Boehringer took advantage of his one year of draft eligibility having graduated high school in 2012. And they liked him enough to use a sixth-round pick.

His 6-foot-4, 227-pound build garnered interest, which intensified when Boehringer paired that size with a 4.43 time in the 40-yard dash during his pro day last month at Florida Atlantic University. He’s got the coveted measurements, now the Vikings aim to mold him. The first hurdle has seemingly been cleared. He quickly signed his four-year, $2.49 million contract this week so he could apply for a P-1 work visa. Clearance must have been gained at some level as he took the field Friday in a white No. 81 jersey with fellow rookies.

‘Long meetings’ have been his biggest adjustment so far. He’ll have time to work on technique and the playbook as pads aren’t allowed in NFL practices until training camp, which starts late July for the Vikings. After being drafted, Boehringer said one of the biggest leaps will be competing against press coverage, a concept not common in the German Football League.

“The offense is usual for what we’ve run, so that’s good for me,” Boehringer said. “But general football knowledge could use some work.”

The Vikings relayed a call between Boehringer and Peterson on Thursday, with the former NFL MVP telling him to work hard and keep his focus. Just like the speed, strength and size of professional football, all he can do is brace himself for Peterson’s well-known vise of a handshake.

“I’ll be prepared for it,” he said.

The post Zimmer redirects focus on Boehringer’s first day: ‘Feel-good story over, it’s time to work’ appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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