Skip to main content

News | Minnesota Vikings –

Jonathan Bullard Looking Forward to 2nd Vikings Season with Brian Flores

EAGAN, Minn. — The Vikings locker room has experienced multiple changes in the first week of the new league year, and new turf has been placed inside Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center's IPF (indoor practice facility).

But Jonathan Bullard is back for his third season in purple — and, importantly, his second with Defensive Coordinator Brian Flores. Bullard returned to TCO Performance Center Monday to officially sign his contract.

Some thought Flores might get interviews for a head coach opening after helping Minnesota's defense significantly improve in multiple metrics from 2022 to 2023, but an opportunity did not materialize.

As much as players like Bullard want Flores to have a second shot as a head coach, the returnees and newcomers are excited to play for him.

"It's nice to have him back, but at the same time, a guy of his caliber deserves the opportunity," Bullard said. "Obviously you can't get that all the time. He's had one, but I'm sure he'll get another one.

"I just want to go out and put on great film for him," Bullard continued. "I think he vouched for me to be here again, and I'll vouch for him to get another opportunity to show what he can do. It's my job to go out there and make sure the defense looks good and help his résumé."

View photos of Vikings DL Jonathan Bullard from the 2023 season.

Bullard entered the NFL in 2016 as a third-round pick by the Bears. After three seasons in the Windy City, he played for Arizona (2019), Seattle (2020) and Atlanta (2021).

Thus, the opportunity to establish deeper roots was welcome, and flourishing followed.

Last season, during which Bullard turned 30 in October, the North Carolina native and former Florida Gator logged a career-high 644 snaps on defense. He recorded career bests of 44 tackles and 2.0 sacks, adding three tackles for loss, two quarterback hits and a forced fumble.

That's a solid stat line for a strong player who has never minded doing the dirty work through 99 regular-season games and making 36 starts, including 21 of 29 games played since joining the Vikings.

"I pride myself on being a physical guy, stopping the run, obviously, so when my number is called for that, I try to make sure I'm aggressive and physical," Bullard said. "There's always room to improve across the board. I know we're not done adding to it, so we'll see what we add.

"Flo' does a hell of a job of figuring out what we do best and putting us in position to be successful, so when all that comes in and our team is put together, I'm sure they're going to have a great plan for us," he added.

Minnesota improved its defensive status from ranking 28th in points against (427), 31st in yards allowed (6,608) and 22nd in average yards per rush allowed (4.5) in 2022 to 13th in points against (362), 16th in yards allowed (5,664) and 4th in average yards per rush allowed (3.8) last season.

"We've got Flo' back, a few of the key pieces back, so I'm excited to see where we can go from here, continue to build the defense that we put together last year," Bullard said.

"He's a great dude, has been great for us since we got here. The way our rooms are set up, the way we play for each other, the way he allows us to run the defense to an extent is impressive, so I'm going to go out and give it my all for him and my teammates, and they're going to do the same," Bullard added. "If we can put together another run and get even better than we were last year, they'll have no choice but to be knocking down his door."