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'I'm a Goofy, Swaggy Guy': Bashaud Breeland Brings Fun Vibes to Vikings

EAGAN, Minn. — Bashaud Breeland has the swaggiest ride in the parking lot at Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center.

Stroll into the Vikings team facility on any morning, and it's tough to miss his white Rolls Royce Wraith, a six-figure car the cornerback said he's had for about nine months.

"I got it toward the end of last season before we headed to the Super Bowl," Breeland, who spent the past two seasons with the Chiefs, told Vikings.com after Wednesday's practice. "It's a luxury car, and it made me feel good, so that's why I chose that one. I'm really an Audi guy, but I had to step out of my comfort zone and get something special.

"Really, it was my man, [Chiefs safety] Tyrann Mathieu … he inspired me to get it, to be honest with you," Breeland added. "He told me, "If you ride in a Rolls, you feel like a boss.' I wanted to feel that feeling."

Breeland is still a bit of a newcomer to the Vikings, as the 30-year-old signed with Minnesota in early June. He didn't participate in the final sessions of the offseason program due to a shoulder injury, but he has advanced to fully participating.

And he's been a bright spot on defense — both in practices and his lone preseason appearance — bringing a style and confidence to the field that matches his posh ride.

"On and off the field, I'm a goofy, swaggy guy. That's probably the reason [the Vikings] brought me in … to bring that edge to the team, that type of mentality to the team," Breeland said.

"I just be in my own world, being 'Breezy' and having 'Breezy' moments," Breeland added in reference to his nickname. "I unintentionally do what I want to do. Not to be rebellious or anything, but I'm one of those guys that does what I want to do in my own world."

Wait, how does that style go over with Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer, an old-school coach who is also known as a defensive backs guru?

"It's been a lot of fun. He's a fun guy," Zimmer said Wednesday. "He's talented, he's pretty smart, has got a lot of confidence, so it's been really pretty good."

Breeland said he has hit it off with Zimmer the past few months.

"He likes it," Breeland said with a laugh. "But at the same time, he's going to let me know when I'm doing too much. I feel like, since I've been here, we've been building a relationship between me and him. He's shown me that he's going to let me be myself, but at the same time, he'll criticize me when I need to be criticized."

Breeland's play has likely helped his personality, as the cornerback entering his eighth NFL season has been among Minnesota's best players on the defensive side of the ball.

He has earned the starting cornerback job opposite Patrick Peterson, and showed in Saturday's preseason game against the Colts just what kind of impact he could have this season.

Breeland earned a 93.7 overall grade on 16 snaps from analytics website Pro Football Focus. It was the highest grade for any Vikings player in the game. He didn't allow a reception on three targets and was also credited with a pass breakup that forced an incompletion on third and-5 in the second quarter. He also contested a ball that bounced off Parris Campbell's hands and into the hands of Troy Dye. The linebacker returned the interception 33 yards for a score in the first quarter.

Perhaps more importantly, Breeland didn't draw any notice from the refs. He was tied for second in the league among all players with 10 penalties accepted in 2020. (Breeland was whistled for 13 total infractions, three of which were declined).

Breeland said that was a point of emphasis when he was in talks with Minnesota's front office this spring.

"Coming here, when I had the talks with the coaches and Zim' and [GM Rick Spielman], they explained to me the stigma that was on me. They told me what they wanted from me," Breeland said. "Everything lined up. We had a mutual respect for one another, and the decision was mutual for them to bring me in and for me to come."

Now, as he enters Year 8 in the NFL, Breeland is tasked with helping revamp a Vikings defense that struggled in 2020, but also currently includes six cornerbacks that are younger than him. Only Patrick Peterson, at age 31, is older than Breeland.

Still, Breeland said he's done his part to help bring everyone along.

"I'm not one of those vocal leaders, you know what I mean?" Breeland said. "I'm one of the guys who comes and do what I'm supposed to do.

"I'm never going to steer a young guy wrong. I'm going to give him all the knowledge that I can. But you have to take what you can from me and apply it to the game," Breeland added. "I don't force anything, or make it like I have all the answers. If there's something I do that you like, I will tell. But I'm not one to force my legend and my beliefs on someone else."

View photos of the Vikings 53-man roster as of Sept. 13, 2021.

Breeland's final test before the regular season begins will occur in a place he knows well. The Chiefs made back-to-back Super Bowl appearances in Breeland's two seasons with the team, winning Super Bowl LIV against San Francisco.

Breeland admitted Wednesday that he never really expected to be with another team so soon after such a run of success with the Chiefs.

And while the cornerback will be wearing a white Vikings road jersey Friday night at Arrowhead Stadium, he still plans to catch up with plenty of familiar faces before the game. He also plans to spend time with his 6-month-old daughter and feast on barbecue the next two days.

"I'm excited, but it's bittersweet. Coming out here for practice every day is different … it's a different environment and something I'm not used to," Breeland said of his return to Kansas City. "I didn't see myself being anywhere else, but I'm here and I'm excited with these guys.

"This is like a family feel, and they invited me in from Day 1 since I got here. They never made me feel like the new kid on the block," Breeland continued. "But it's going to be great to go back to Kansas City and compete against those guys. It will be like practice all over again.

"I got a lot of friends there I have a lot of respect for and still communicate with," Breeland added. "It's going to be dope."

Just like Breezy's play in Purple so far this summer. And his ride, of course.

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