There's not much that Terence Newman hasn't seen or learned in 12-plus seasons of football, but the former first-round pick said Wednesday that he opted to sign with the Vikings in free agency in part because of Head Coach Mike Zimmer and defensive backs coach Jerry Gray.
Newman played for Zimmer four seasons in Dallas and two in Cincinnati.
Brian Hall of Fox Sports North noted, in addition to that firsthand experience, Newman also liked what he saw from the Vikings defense when reviewing crossover film of common opponents. Hall wrote:
*(Newman's) relationship with Zimmer was only part of the draw. He had seen the Vikings on tape a few times last season and was impressed with their progress in the first year of Zimmer's defense. He was drawn by the coaching from Zimmer and defensive backs coach Jerry Gray. *
"For me, that was important as well, to be able to just go in and know that I'm going to get the best coaching," Newman said. "Coach Gray is an excellent coach and he's great with the secondary. For me, that's personal. I want to be the best player I can be. Don't care how old I am, but I just want to go out and compete and be the best."
Newman will turn 37 on Sept. 4, 10 days before the Vikings open the 2015 season at San Francisco on Monday Night Football. He holds court with reporters in engaging sessions with sagely expertise balanced by humor and has taken first-team reps throughout the offseason program. Hall noted that Newman doesn't avoid the topic of his age and his willing to share what he's learned.
Asked if some of his younger Vikings teammates have reached out to him for advice, Newman jokes, "Well, hell, everybody's younger. C'mon now."
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