Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell kicked off his Memorial weekend with a Friday appearance on Adam Schefter’s podcast, which was made available to the public on Tuesday. What did the 37-year-old in his first season coaching the Vikings say?
For starters, he did confirm that running back Dalvin Cook is getting some work lining up in wide receiver positions this offseason, but he didn’t elaborate on Cook’s potential involvement in the passing game.
Did he talk about Kirk Cousins? Yes, but he largely said nothing of note. He pretty much just applauded Cousins’ work ethic, QB smarts and his ability to avoid serious injury and stay on the field.
“I think he relates much better to his teammates than people probably give him credit for,” O’Connell noted, adding that his goal is to help Cousins “reach his true potential.”
O’Connell, who revealed that Rams head coach sent all of the members of the Rams’ Super Bowl-winning coaching staff a replica of the Lombardi Trophy, also boasted about the leadership the Vikings have on the roster, specifically pointing out Harrison Smith, Eric Kendricks, Dalvin Tomlinson, Harrison Phillips, Danielle Hunter, Patrick Peterson and Adam Thielen.
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“The no. 1 thing I really wanted to go in and really evaluate as what type of leadership do we have on our team? Who can I rely on, knowing that the best football teams I’ve been apart of, mainly the one I just left, were really player driven,” he said, gloating about the Rams’ leaders.
“The leadership structure, the discipline was a player driven thing. The professionalism of guys like Aaron Donald and Matthew Stafford and Cooepr Kupp and Andrew Whitworth and Jalen Ramsey, and just the level at which our team operated because of that elite leadership. I was excited to see what it would be like in our building and Adam [Schefter] I mean this, we have unbelievable leadership here.”
He also said Justin Jefferson is “taking on an ascending leadership role.”
“He truly does feel like a natural leader to me,” O’Connell said.
You can find Schefter’s podcast wherever you get your podcasts, or via this link.