Mini Camp Has Provided Plenty of Purple Press Conference Material
One of the benefits of mandatory mini-camp is that we get to hear from the players and staff. Folks like myself are always looking for content ideas – especially during June – so the Vikings press conference material is gold.
Of course, most fans will be supremely interested in Danielle Hunter. Hunter indicated that he was in regular contact with Andre Patterson and Eric Sugarman during his rehab. He declined to elaborate on what caused the injury. He also repeatedly indicated that he is feeling fresh and excited to get back to playing football. When asked about the new defensive players, Hunter says he think the defense is stacked. I, like most Vikings fans, am just relieved that he’s back. The focus now shifts to ensuring he gets back to his usually dominant self.
Mike Zimmer also had some really interesting insight in his press conference. The crusty coach acknowledged Hunter’s importance: “Obviously Danielle’s a big part of our football game – he’s a great kid. He loves to work, loves to come out to practice.” The discussion went beyond Hunter, though.
Zim discussed Sheldon Richardson‘s role: “It’s real early right now to talk too much about roles, but we anticipate that [Richardson’s] going to be the pass-rushing guy.” He also noted that D.J. Wonnum is looking good and then also mentioned Jalyn Holmes (who should have a role on this team).
Zim was also quick to praise Patrick Peterson, largely because of the veteran’s willingness to learn new things: “He’s done a great job this spring. I’ve been really excited about the things he’s trying to do, that we’re trying to teach him, and actually some of the things that he’s [already] done. Just really trying to give him a few more tools in the toolbox – get him to understand the concepts and where we can help him, as well.”
The full breakdown of Zim’s presser – complete with talk of the WR3 battle, linebacker depth, and Covid – can be found on Vikings.com.
Cousins declined to offer too much commentary on Covid protocols, instead bringing the focus back to being competitive on Sunday. Around the seven-minute mark, Cousins was asked about the youth along the offensive line. He noted the importance of ramping up the practice speed to help prepare for Sunday. He said it’s a “gradual progression” that involves getting more and more reps.
My hope is that the Cousins press conference discussion of the o-line simply foreshadows how the Vikings will improve. Ideally, greater speed and reps in practice will result in a formidable 2021 offensive line.
The return of the Vikings defense and meaningful progress at o-line may be just enough for Minnesota to finally breakthrough.