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Vikings Josh Metellus Talks Breakout Year, Chiefs-49ers & Jim Harbaugh on 'GMFB'

Vikings safety Josh Metellus woke up early Tuesday to talk football on one of the most popular football shows on television.

Good Morning Football host Jamie Erdahl welcomed Metellus to the show as cast members Peter Schrager, Kyle Brandt and Jason McCourty cheered. Over a 10-minute interview with the Good Morning Football crew, Metellus answered questions about his breakout 2023 season, versatile playing style, the Chiefs and 49ers offenses, and what it was like playing for new Chargers Head Coach Jim Harbaugh from 2016* to 2019 at Michigan.*

Metellus opened by discussing his 2023 season in which he led all NFL players in snaps played with 1,224.

"I wouldn't have been able to do it without my coaches. And my teammates, trusting me and putting me in a position to just play football," Metellus said. "A guy who can step up to the plate and deliver and help the team win and make plays, that's the guy I want to be for the team. The team relies on me. [That's] a reason why they voted me captain. I take pride in being versatile and being able to play multiple positions."

Playing as the ultimate Ironman this season, Metellus finished third on the Vikings in defensive snaps played with 1,065 (94 percent of defensive snaps) and played an additional 194 special teams snaps.

Saying Metellus lined up all over the field isn't hyperbole, either. During a Week 14 FOX broadcast, a graphic showed he had played 12 positions: strong safety, free safety, left cornerback, right cornerback, slot cornerback, left inside linebacker, right inside linebacker, middle linebacker, left outside linebacker, right outside linebacker, right defensive end and left defensive tackle.

That is a vast difference from last season, when he logged 258 defensive snaps (about 22 percent). Metellus said he credits his wife with helping him manifest his new role under Defensive Coordinator Brian Flores.

"My wife Haley has done a great job just visualizing what we call manifestation. We did a good job of visualizing this position we are in right now," Metellus said. "I wanted to set myself up for a big year, knowing that before the season, this was my contract year. And I wanted to set myself up. And part of that was manifesting and seeing myself in this bigger role, seeing myself playing 1,200-plus snaps and seeing myself being a dominant force on the football field."

Nearly everything the couple envisioned came true. Metellus is under contract with the Vikings until 2026 after signing a contract extension in early September.

Though Metellus said he wishes he and the Vikings were still playing, he did share some valuable insight into what it's like preparing for and defending against the Chiefs and 49ers, two teams Minnesota faced in 2023 who will now face each other in Super Bowl LVIII.

"The Niners are a team that's really tough to prepare for because they have a lot of guys at each level, receivers, [defensive back], [defensive line]. You can name any position group, and they have a guy [who] does really well at that position," Metellus said. "So, it's hard to prepare for a bunch of guys, but then again, you can never really prepare for Patrick Mahomes [either]."

View the best photos of Vikings safeties Harrison Smith, Camryn Bynum, Josh Metellus, Jay Ward, Theo Jackson, and Lewis Cine during the 2023 season.

The Vikings lost a one-possession game to Mahomes and the Chiefs at U.S. Bank Stadium Week 5. Metellus notched six tackles and one quarterback hit in the game. Minnesota beat the 49ers 22-17 two weeks later in a Monday Night Football thriller.

Fellow safety Camryn Bynum starred in the Vikings primetime victory, intercepting quarterback Brock Purdy twice in the fourth quarter to help seal it. Metellus added six tackles.

Metellus said after playing against Mahomes' greatness for the first time that he was "as advertised."

Before the interview concluded, the GMFB crew asked Metellus to share a story from his Michigan days when Harbaugh was his head coach. Metellus laughed and then recalled a team trip the university took to Vatican City.

Metellus said Harbaugh left the Pope with an unexpected but memorable gift.

"We went to see the Pope and Harbaugh literally gave the Pope some signed Jordans," Metellus said. "And I know the Pope would never wear signed Jordans. But you know, just Harbaugh being the guy he is, said, 'I felt like I had to give you something.' So we gave him some Jordans, a helmet, a bunch of stuff. I just thought that was the most Harbaugh thing I could talk about today."