EAGAN, Minn. — When a complex issue — "something would go on in life"— presented during Kwesi Adofo-Mensah's youth, his mother Emma would reiterate a familiar phrase, "All I can do is work."
"That's what she would always tell me, 'All I can do is work,' " Adofo-Mensah said fondly Thursday of his mother, as she was at Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center when he was introduced as the new Vikings general manager.
The selection of the 10th head coach in Vikings franchise history looms large for Adofo-Mensah and the Vikings search committee he's now joined, but that's just one of the tasks for a GM at this time of year.
He'll also be working to build relationships with Minnesota's college scouts who are deployed across the country and bring together all the information they gathered in the fall.
The following events are scheduled in the next five-plus weeks:
Today-Jan. 29: Historically Black Colleges & Universities Combine, Mobile, Alabama
Jan. 29: NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, Pasadena, California; 5 p.m. (CT) on NFL Network
Jan. 29-Feb. 1: East-West Shrine Bowl practices
Feb. 3: East-West Shrine Bowl, Las Vegas, Nevada; 7 p.m. (CT) on NFL Network
Feb. 1-3: Reese's Senior Bowl practices
Feb. 5: Reese's Senior Bowl, Mobile, Alabama; 1:30 p.m. (CT) on NFL Network
Feb. 19: HBCU Legacy Bowl, New Orleans, Louisiana; 3 p.m. (CT) on NFL Network
March 1-7: NFL Scouting Combine, Indianapolis, Indiana
That also doesn't include the evaluation of the current roster, which will probably ratchet up once the new head coach is hired.
Don't think that Adofo-Mensah wasn't warned, though.
Browns General Manager Andrew Berry, who hired Adofo-Mensah from San Francisco in 2020, told Twin Cities media members Thursday that he let Adofo-Mensah know, "when you first take the job, there's not a ton of time to relax and kind of smell the roses or reflect, because he's going immediately into a head coaching search.
"There's a little bit of a feeling, probably from the first – at least for me, I'll speak for myself – three or four weeks where you're just drinking from a fire hose," Berry added. "Because with general manager hires, you're really kind of in the middle of the major portions of your cycle.
"You're trying to put together a free agency process, a draft process; you're evaluating the team; you're getting to know people within the organization; you're trying to establish a program and a culture; and oh, by the way, you're trying to hire a head coach and help that individual out with his or her staff," Berry continued. "And I think probably the pacing at the front end can be tough, because they're long days and you just realize how much you have to do. But just like everything, at some point it slows down, and you can't attack every problem or every challenge the first night you're the general manager of a team. I think that's probably a little bit of an adjustment, but he has all the characteristics and skills to do the job requirements at a very high level."
View photos of new Vikings GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah during his first day as a Viking at the TCO Performance Center on Jan. 26.
Adofo-Mensah emphasized the importance of building consensus in the building so everyone can work in the same direction to accomplish meaningful goals.
"Our approach to building this roster will be intentional, thoughtful, thorough and detailed, well-planned," Adofo-Mensah said. "We know the destination — sustained success and championships for these great fans. We know how to get there; it's just having the willingness and the wherewithal and the confidence to make those decisions and stay on the right path."