EAGAN, Minn. – The results are in.
Earlier this season, the NFL Players Association asked all players across the league to weigh in and rate their respective coordinators.
The NFLPA on Thursday announced the five offensive, defensive and special teams coordinators who received the highest ratings from players, and two Vikings coaches made the cut.
Vikings Defensive Coordinator Brian Flores finished fourth among all 32, and Matt Daniels ranked third among special teams coordinators.
Vikings linebacker Jordan Hicks has been equally impressed with both coaches. This season marks his first with Flores, whom Minnesota hired last February. And though Hicks plays sparingly on special teams, he sits in on all of the unit's meetings under Daniels.
"Starting with 'Hat,' Matt Daniels, his ability to connect with players, him being a former player, him seeing the game from a different lens is huge," Hicks said. "Just the energy that they (Daniels and Flores) bring. It's different, but they bring a confidence, an energy that instills confidence in the players.
"Flo' for sure is that – emotionally confident – the way he calls plays, the way he carries himself. Guys respect it, and I think if you ask every player in here if they got better this year because of the accountability and energy he brings every day, I think everybody would agree that they have," Hicks said. "When guys enjoy playing for you and guys enjoy coming to work every day, that's what it's going to be. You're going to have them voted at the top."
Vikings long snapper Andrew DePaola has worked with Daniels the past two seasons, since Head Coach Kevin O'Connell hired Daniels to his first special teams coordinator role in 2022.
"You know when you watch someone do what they were put on earth to do? That's Coach Hat," DePaola said. "He is so passionate about what he does, and you can tell it truly means something to him. This isn't a job to him; this is something he truly enjoys doing every day."
DePaola noted a running joke in the special teams room: "Everyone has 24 hours, but 'Hat' somehow has 28."
"All the stuff that he can do during the week is crazy. We try to get on his clock," DePaola laughed. "But when you know and can tell how someone truly cares and is passionate about what they're doing, that just radiates to everyone else. You want to perform for a guy like that. You want to work with a guy like that. As players, we definitely pick up on it and respond positively to it.
"Plus, he's just an amazing human. The personal connection he tries to make with each player that he comes across – not just the three specialists he works with, but each player – is what makes him such a unique and great coach," DePaola continued. "So I think if you took the whole coaching thing away, he still is just an incredible human just because of those relationships he works to form."