Mon, 29 May 2023

What They're Saying: Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots
24 Nov 2022, 19:34 GMT+10

Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O'Connell and select players comment on their upcoming game against the New England Staff

Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O'Connell and select players comment on their upcoming game against the New England Patriots.

On facing the Patriots...

"They're a good football, they've got really good players and schemes that challenge you in every way, shape or form to try to coach your team up to try to meet that and give them the chance to play a competitive game and get back on track to where we think we are as a football team, even coming off of a performance like that the other day."

- Vikings Head Coach Kevin O'Connell

"They're just so detailed. They don't make mistakes; they're not dropping coverages; their special teams is flying around making plays. They're very well coached from an all-around perspective, which makes it difficult because they don't give you anything easy. From an offensive perspective, they take away what you're really good at, and there's a lot of teams that try to emulate that and just don't do it the way that they do it week in and week out. They take away what the offense is really good at. They find weaknesses and they expose them."

- Vikings Wide Receiver Adam Thielen

On the Patriots defense...

"It's a great test for us this week. They're a good defense, a good team that's going to make it as tough as possible on us as an offense, so it'll be a great test for us Thursday night."

- Vikings Wide Receiver Adam Thielen

"Their operation is very clean. The personnel groupings they use provide a lot of stress, obviously, for your players. You're trying to quiet their mind, and I feel like we've got a good plan. Players are digesting it as we go, but make no mistake about it, it's going to be a heck of a challenge again for our guys up front and really all 11 in the run and pass game."

- Vikings Head Coach Kevin O'Connell

On Bill Belichick...

"He is one of my coaching influences. ... Those characteristics, those foundational things you learn there even in the short time that I was there, have stuck with me. I still have old notebooks with team meeting notes and things like that that are always great to go back and look through throughout that season, throughout the offseason, training camp. So as I've said many times, it's been a huge part of my football journey to be able to experience being there for that period of time and helped me grow tremendously. But as far as coaching against him and his team this week and his coaching staff, you just know what the challenge is going to be."

- Vikings Head Coach Kevin O'Connell

"Tremendous football mind. The sample size is large - how long he's done it, with so many different players. I think he's always adapted to whatever he feels is going to work that year, that week. He's really the best ever and his track record speaks for itself. We have a great challenge on Thursday night as a result and their defense again this year is doing a really good job."

- Vikings Quarterback Kirk Cousins

"I just think it's spectacular how he's been able to continue to produce a football team that plays at such a high level and is a real problem to deal with whenever you play them, wherever you play them, no matter how long you have to prepare, it's a heck of a challenge."

- Vikings Head Coach Kevin O'Connell

On Matthew Judon...

"They've got the sacks leader in the NFL. I think [Matthew] Judon is having one of the best defensive seasons going right now in our league. When you turn on the tape, it's easy to see why - incredibly talented, strong and can win in so many different ways, and then how dialed in the rest of that group is."

- Vikings Head Coach Kevin O'Connell

"Judon's having a great year. A big shoutout to Grand Valley State, where he played. That's kind of my home area so I grew up watching Grand Valley. He's had a great pro career after coming out of Grand Valley and having a great year this year, so we'll be well aware of where he is. And really, their whole unit has been strong, so it'll be a challenge all around."

- Vikings Quarterback Kirk Cousins

On Matthew Slater...

"What an unbelievable career. He's one of those players that I think a lot of coaches look to and players look to as an inspiration for the way he's done it and how he's carried himself. There's a reason he's been a captain on that team for as long as I can possibly remember. He was in my wedding - all those things. He's going to remain one of my best friends for a long time. An unbelievable family, and like I said, I think he and is family have had a really strong impact on that Boston community and New England community with all the things they do that mean so much off the field. I can't say enough about that guy."

- Vikings Head Coach Kevin O'Connell

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