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Thielen talks Vikings and more at Men’s Night Out

Minnesota Viking wide receiver Adam Thielen returned April 2 to a familiar place from his high school playing days with the Detroit Lakes Lakers. The wide receiver was the keynote speaker at Tri-County Health Care's Men's Night Out at the Wadena-...

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Minnesota Viking wide receiver Adam Thielen takes a question from Tri-County Health Care CEO Joel Beiswenger during the annual Tri-County Health Care's Men's Night Out at Wadena-Deer Creek High School. Jason Groth/FOCUS

Minnesota Viking wide receiver Adam Thielen returned April 2 to a familiar place from his high school playing days with the Detroit Lakes Lakers. The wide receiver was the keynote speaker at Tri-County Health Care’s Men’s Night Out at the Wadena-Deer Creek High School.

Viking fans of all ages attended the event to hear Thielen tell his story about his road to the National Football League.

“I was really excited about this opportunity and getting back to the community where I played countless games in Wadena, whether it be baseball, basketball, football and golf,” Thielen said. “I’m excited to be back and give back to the community a bit.”

Thielen talked for more than 15 minutes before taking a variety of questions from the audience. Questions ranged from his favorite memory and favorite place to play to how he handled adversity throughout his career and using that motivation to help him become a long-term NFL player.

The Detroit Lakes native signed a three-year contract in the offseason, making him the highest-paid Vikings wide receiver.

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“It’s been good. I have been really focused on being the best football player that I could possibly be,” Thielen said. “It was nice to get stuff worked out in making sure that I stay here a couple more years and hopefully finish my career here. It’s good to have that behind me and looking forward to the season. It’s been quite the process but I’m happy with how things are and where this team is at.”

Thielen is coming off a career year with the Vikings. The wide receiver finished with 69 receptions for 967 yards and five touchdowns.

He said it’s nice to have job security. However, Thielen said there is still pressure to help the team win.

Thielen is looking forward to his second season with quarterback Sam Bradford. Bradford set the league record for completion percentage in a season and Thielen is looking forward to having a full offseason with the quarterback.

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“It will be good to have an offseason with him,” Thielen said. “It’s definitely difficult not having any offseason time together. Obviously, he did a great job and made it pretty seamless. It’ll definitely be good to have a full offseason as a unit and hopefully, we can stay healthy and continue to grow.”

Thielen has kept a close eye on the moves the Vikings have made in the offseason. The Vikings addressed needs on the offensive line, signing tackles Riley Reiff and Mike Remmers. They also added Latavius Murray to the backfield. The Vikings re-signed Jeremiah Sirles on the offensive line as well.

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“I think we are on the right direction for sure. Obviously, coach (Mike) Zimmer is huge on defense and defense wins games in this league. Our defense is pretty solid,” Thielen said. “Now, (we) are just adding the pieces we need to protect Sam and making sure everybody that is coming back is getting better. I think everyone is ready to get back to work, get around the guys and get back into the locker room.”

Thielen added he loves returning to the area. He said he has a lot of memories from playing in the area.

“I was driving here today and thinking about the memories I have from seventh grade playing football,” Thielen said. “It’s pretty special for me to come back and relive some of these memories.”

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