May 21, 2022

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Head Coach Kevin O’Connell’s Core Belief of…

3 min read
Head Coach Kevin O’Connell’s Core Belief of...

He outlined as a core value of wanting to build collaboration throughout between the front office, coaching staff and players built on consistent communication channels (player-to-player, coach-to-player and player-to-coach).

“I feel very strongly about our schemes and … the type of football we’re going to go play, but in my opinion, it’s about the people. I’ve learned that, first and foremost, from the team that I’m now leaving to come to Minnesota,” O’Connell said. “That’s what separated us in the end, was to compete with our people and win games with our people. Because the football will be right, we’ll be in a good position to compete from that standpoint, but the winning edge for us will be our people and how connected [we are] in our process as an organization to accomplish the things we want to accomplish.”

VEN cameras were also able to capture O’Connell’s first video call with star receiver Justin Jefferson.

“I’ve been trying to get ahold of you, man,” O’Connell said with a smile as Jefferson answered.

“Hey, man, I’m a busy man. Just like you,” Jefferson quipped.

The two chatted about wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr., one of Jefferson’s closest friends and a player who was key to the Rams run to the Super Bowl.

“He was telling me that I’m going to love you and how we’re going to connect real well,” Jefferson said.

O’Connell then peeked into the future, telling the two-time Pro Bowler who amassed 3,000-plus receiving yards in his first two seasons, “I hope you’re ready, because you’ve got to do it all.”

“I’m ready, Coach,” Jefferson responded. “Whatever you need me to do, I’m good.”

O’Connell, as big on connections as anyone, then challenged Jefferson to become of the key leaders on the Vikings going forward.

“I want you to think about this in the next phase for you,” O’Connell said. “How you want to be a leader on this team, because I look at you as an ascending leader.

“You’re not in your first or second year anymore,” O’Connell added. “It’s time for you to take ownership of this team, just like Adam [Thielen] has, Dalvin [Cook] and Kirk, all of those guys. You’re right up there. I want you to feel that from day one when you come back in this building. You with me?”

The third-year receiver said he’s ready.

“Yes, sir,” Jefferson said. “I’m going to holler at you, Coach. Be easy.”

With that, O’Connell was off to continue his hectic schedule, all while laying the groundwork for success in Purple.

“The football is going to be right,” O’Connell said. “But the winning edge for us is going to be our people.”