*EAGAN, Minn. – *Vikings Offensive Coordinator John DeFilippo has watched plenty of game film on Stefon Diggs, but he still managed to be impressed by the live performance.
DeFilippo spoke to media members following Wednesday’s Organized Team Activity practice and said he got an initial look at Diggs in 2016 when he was preparing as the Eagles quarterbacks coach to play the Vikings.
“When I was in Philadelphia, two years ago we had a lot of the Vikings offense in our cut-ups. This year not so much. So more of the tape study of what I had of the Vikings was when I got here,” DeFilippo explained. “The tape doesn’t do that justice. His ball skills are fantastic. The way he tracks the football in the air.
“You guys saw him make that deep ball catch down here,” DeFilippo added of a play that highlighted the day’s practice. “His ball skills are really, really good.”
DeFilippo is equally pleased with Diggs’ drive on the field.
It’s difficult to match the offensive coordinator’s energy level, but Diggs and the other receivers are up to the challenge.
“These guys have as much energy as I have, which is a lot,” DeFilippo said. “That’s a good thing. We kind of feed off each other. We get each other going.”
DeFilippo doesn’t know of another way to operate on the sidelines – and that’s fine by his players.
“I bring the energy a lot, and he’s one of those guys that gives you that positive energy,” Diggs said. “As a coach, he gets me going and definitely keeps me focused out there, keeps you minding your P’s and Q’s, because he has a lot of things that he likes to do.”
While the sample size is limited right now, Diggs said it’s exciting at this point to be “flipping the page” every night on the playbook.
“Staying sharp is going to be huge,” Diggs said.
Diggs also noted that he’s getting some exercise by lining up all over the field, requiring him to pick up the ins and out of multiple receiver spots in the playbook.
“I play everything, so it’s not a big learning curve for me as far as learning the new concepts and the things they like to do,” Diggs said. “Each coach is different, and I try to learn it to a ‘T.’
“Not just the vanilla, but the nuances on how they want things done,” Diggs added. “I’ll play whatever you need me to play, so I’m not going to have too many problems with it.”
Robison back for year No. 12
The longest-tenured Viking is back and ready to roll.
Brian Robison will enter his 12th season in Purple in 2018 but said after Wednesday’s OTA practice that he took some time to weigh his options this past offseason.
“I just wasn’t ready to hang it up yet,” Robison said. “Figured, ‘I have to give it one more shot,’ and I was ready to go.
“It was a tough decision. It’s definitely something where I had to sit back and think about what was right for not only myself but for my family,” Robison added. “We ended up making the right decision, I think.”
Robison said Wednesday that he restructured his contract for the 2018 season and is solely focused on helping the Vikings win their first Super Bowl in franchise history.
“Well, I mean, first off I didn’t know if I wanted to retire or not, and once I got away from it and got back to training and stuff, I realized that wasn’t an option,” Robison said. “And then of course the whole restructuring thing came around and it was just one of those deals, I had to make the best decision for me and my family.
“At the end of the day, I’ve said since day one that I want to bring a championship to the state of Minnesota,” Robison added.
Robison is tied for ninth all-time in franchise history with Kevin Williams with 61 career sacks.
Kirk Cousins has highlighted the new acquisitions on the Vikings offense.
But Kendall Wright is a newcomer, too, and the wide receiver said Wednesday that he feels at home early on in Minnesota.
Wright, who led the Bears with 59 catches and 614 yards in 2017, talked about the challenges of learning DeFilippo’s offensive scheme.
“Man, his offense, it’s different but it’s fun,” Wright said. “He puts new stuff in there every day, and he’s really excited when he’s putting it in. Sometimes I think he’s more juiced up than us to go out there.
“It’s different. It’s a new offense to me, and I haven’t ran a lot of the [routes], I think this is my first time running some of this stuff that we’re running,” Wright added. “I mean, it’s just overall fun to me just coming out here with this group of guys that’s eager to work and get better every day.”
Wright noted he has fit in well with Diggs and Adam Thielen, who combined for more than 2,000 receiving yards and 12 scores in 2017.
“As a receiver, you never can stop getting better,” Wright said. “And me with those guys, I’m learning things from them, and I think that’s what helps everybody be a good receiver – just looking at those guys and some of the stuff they do, you just can never have too much stuff in your bag. It’s really eye-opening, and those guys are really good.
“I really think we are, as a whole, since I’ve been here everybody’s doing everything,” Wright added. “Not one person out here is playing just one position – everybody can be moved around, and that’s the exciting part.”