The Vikings are learning a new way and they seem excited about it at training camp
Hear from Vikings training camp about and from the new coaching staff
EAGAN, MN (Dakota News Now) -The Minnesota Vikings entered training camp with a brand new coach and plenty of optimism from fans and media.
Today was Day two in Eagan, Minnesota. Zach Borg was there and has more of what to expect from the Vikes with the regular season right around the corner.
Mark the difference in personality between Mike Zimmer and Kevin O’Connell would be kind of like going from driving a beat up pickup truck to a new Ferrari. The new coach of the Minnesota Vikings kind of looks like a player out there in part because he’s not that far removed from being one.
C.J. Ham, Vikings Fullback says, “It’s cool to see him out here interacting with all of us, competing with all of us and it’s just been fun to have around.”
Kevin O’Connell, Vikings Head Coach says, “Some of the best moments and real coaching in my opinion takes place out on these fields when we can have those interactions and watch a guy improve from rep to rep. I try to bounce around as much as possible. I find myself still kind of gravitating towards those quarterbacks.”
Building a chemistry and understanding with quarterback Kirk Cousins during camp is key with O’Connell looking to run a more diverse offense.
O’Connell says, “The quarterback has to be an extension of you as a head coach. Having played the position, I didn’t like when the coach called a play I didn’t like. And I think that’s really important. If the quarterback, the guy who’s going to be pulling the trigger doesn’t love something we’ve got plenty of plays.”
Kirk Cousins, Vikings QB says, “It’s kind of been just absorbing it. And then when we get closer to week one and into the season is when you give that feedback more. But right now it’s just trying to be coached and learn what you need to do.”
That adjustment period won’t happen overnight, especially on a defense that Zimmer had his fingerprints on for eight years, and defensive coordinator Ed Donatell isn’t about to rush it.
Defensive Coordinator Ed Donatell says, “We know how to teach it. And we take pride in teaching it best the next time. But I’m mindful of all the changes. And that’s why you’ve got to go talk to your senior leaders and connect the dots.”
Defensive back Cam Dantzler says, “It fits to our strengths so if you’re good at this thing he’s going to make sure you can do that thing as well as you can do it.”
Defensive back Cameron Bynum says,”Just the whole building overall, even beyond the locker room. Everybody has a close relationship, everybody is comfortable with each other. So we’re able to learn and be taught and also teach each other.”
Though optimism abounds, and O’Connell certainly seems like a breath of fresh air, it’s important to remember that he was brought in to try and bring the Vikings to the place that Zimmer couldn’t: their first Super Bowl in nearly 50 years.
In a few weeks we’ll begin to find out if O’Connell is the man that can drive them there.
With the Vikings in Eagan, Zach Borg, Dakota News Now.
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