EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — It's been almost two weeks since John DeFilippo was added to Minnesota's coaching staff.
And while the new Vikings Offensive Coordinator looks to build a foundation with players and fellow coaches in his first season in Purple, DeFilippo hopes he'll be helped by Minnesota's new practice facility.
The Vikings organization, which has been at Eden Prairie's Winter Park since 1981, will move to its new Eagan headquarters in the first week of March.
In a recent interview with Vikings.com, DeFilippo said the new facility could help build cohesion.
"It's an incredible thing to have. I was over there the other day, and it was incredible. The indoor [practice facility] is ginormous," DeFilippo said. "The other thing about it is, you want the players to have a space where they want to stay and they want to hang around each other.
"That builds camaraderie on a football team, and when those guys have a place to stay and recover and [go to] the snack bar and beautiful weight room and beautiful indoor [practice facility], those guys want to stick around," DeFilippo added. "And the more they stick around and hang around each other, the more that helps build team [cohesiveness]. As big a project as that was and as beautiful as it is, it can really help with camaraderie."
DeFilippo, who is entering his 12th total season in the NFL, spent the past two seasons in Philadelphia as the Eagles quarterbacks coach. He also made stops in Cleveland, Oakland (twice) and with the New York Giants and Jets.
He helped the Eagles tie for second in points scored per game (28.6) and finish seventh in yards per game (365.8) in 2017.
DeFilippo said he hopes to bring that big-play ability to Minnesota, where the Vikings ranked 10th in points (23.9) and 11th in yards (356.9) per game this past season.
DeFilippo added that he won't be afraid to move around the Vikings skill players to get them in positions to exploit the opposing defense.
"The No. 1 thing is creating explosive pass gains and explosive run gains," DeFilippo said. "How do you do that? You do that by putting your best playmakers in space and in position to make plays.
"I think you're going to see our players move around in a bunch of different spots. I think you'll see us pre-snap move and shift some, and you'll see us try to create many mismatches as we can with the guys that can make plays with the ball in their hands," DeFilippo added.
The 39-year-old DeFilippo also told Vikings.com that he will bring a heavy dose of energy to the practice field when Minnesota begins spring practices in a few months.
"I like to be upbeat and positive," DeFilippo said. "If there's a time where it's not going so good, I'm the leader of the offense, and there's times you have to get after it a little bit.
"But for the most part, I like to coach with a lot of passion, energy and swagger, and that's the way I want our guys to play," DeFilippo added.
Before then, however, the Vikings will be well-represented next week in Indianapolis at the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine before coming home to tackle the NFL's free agency period in mid-March.
Vikings players are scheduled to return to Minnesota in mid-April for the offseason program, which will be held for the first time at Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center in Eagan.
You can bet DeFilippo will be raring to go when it finally comes time to get on the field.
"Watching tape on college guys and free agents and stuff is part of the process, and it's a lot of fun," DeFilippo said. "But as a coach, there is nothing like getting on the field and working with guys and watching guys get better.
"There is no better feeling than watching guys execute and play to the best of their ability," DeFilippo added.* *