Vikings Defensive End Everson Griffen
Q: You were hampered by your foot injury last year. How much of that affected you during the course of the season?
A: Playing with a torn plantar is really painful. Every step I took it hurt, but I'm a survivor and that's what I did. I survived for that last part of the season.
Q: You completely tore your plantar fasciitis so you didn't have the ability to plant off of it, did you?
A: No, I didn't have the ability to nothing. The only thing that I was hoping was that the guys around me would help me and they helped big time.
Q: what are your first impressions of the defense?
A: It felt good. We wanted more reps. We wanted another series. We finally get to hit somebody else. We're in camp mode so we want to hit somebody else. I think we did good. I think that we got to keep pushing in the fourth quarter to get better, no matter what group is in there. But I think we did good overall.
Q: What has Sheldon Richardson brought to the defense?
A: Having a dominant three-technique in this league is very huge. He can get to the quarterback fast and they can play the double teams. Him and Linval [Joseph] in middle, those two are big anchors and it's going to be hard to run on us.
Q: What have you seen out of Danielle Hunter's development?
A: The biggest thing coming in young, he's still going to be young he's only going to be twenty-four. He was coachable and he listened. Whatever coach told him to do on the field, in the classroom he did it. He went out there and executed the assignment and that's why his growth is going to be tremendous.
Q: What is your impressions of the Vikings new offense this year?
A: They're looking good. He's bringing a good system and I feel like it's a routine. I feel like I never see wide receivers come out here and warm-up. So they're warming up, throwing routes before the game. I didn't see that in the past so I just think having a routine and set. DeFilippo and those guys are doing a great job of calling the ball. We're happy to have them and we look to win a lot of with them.
Vikings Wide Receiver Stefon Diggs
Q: Was the first drive of the game a good start with a new offense with John DeFilippo and Kirk Cousins?
A: It was a small step in the right direction just as far as trying to get things going, getting on the right page early. Developing that trust with your quarterback.
Q: How did you and Kirk Cousins develop that trust so early on in camp?
A: Just as far as making the plays when they come to you. As a quarterback, I understand how hard it is to be back there making throws and he does a great job. I try to take advantage of all the opportunities that he gives me. When he gives me the opportunity, I'll make the play for him.
Q: Was the rhythm on your first drive what you expect with John DeFilippo's offense?
A: I would say so. We work really hard, we try to do things the right way. Do things how he wants it done. To see the ball on the ground, running the ball really well and holes opening up, it's exciting. We try not to get too excited in the beginning. It is preseason. We are just trying to tighten screws and get better each and every day.
Q: How do the three interior offensive linemen stepping in for injuries look and feel today?
A: When I was in there, we were here to play. Those guys are really focusing on their job. Not too much talking and not too much rah-rah or anything. They go in and do all the dirty work. I'm on the outside so I don't have the experience too much but I am happy for those guys. They do a tremendous job.
Q: Who is the best dancer on the team?
A: Adam [Thielen] and Trevor Siemian. You have to see those guys in action. They are kind of shy but once you get them to open up a little bit, they'll shake a tail feather out there. It's a surprise. It makes things fun and exciting.
Q: You're not the best dancer on the team?
A: Never take the credit. Never take the credit. I get my dance moves from those guys.
Vikings Quarterback Kirk Cousins
Q: How does it feel to play in your first game with the Vikings?
A: I am thrilled to be a Minnesota Viking. Can't wait for this season. To get out here and go through the game mechanics, substitute in and out of the huddle, work the play clock, work the crowd noise and move the football. It was a good first drive.
Q: How have you built up trust so early on in camp with your receivers?
A: He [Stefon Diggs] makes plays. He makes plays and gives you the motivation to give him the ball more and more. To trust him and throw him open and make the contested catch. Once again tonight, he proved me right. It is not an easy catch to make. It's an elite trait that you can go pluck it like that with your hands. We are going to need to do that a lot more this year.
Q: How did you feel that live chemistry worked out with John DeFilippo tonight?
A: It did have a different feel to it. It's hard to really prepare for a true game during practice. We do our best but that is what preseason is all about. Good mechanics, hearing the play call in the headset, making the calls at the line of scrimmage, getting the substitutions in. I think it was a smooth first drive but it is a small sample size in the next couple of weeks will be a good test for us.
Q: Have you seen the ball down the field more come to fruition often in John DeFilippo's offense?
A: As any play does, it takes the whole group. It takes protection, it takes a good creative scheme. It takes guys who can go deep and adjust to the ball in the air and run fast. It takes guys who run complimentary routes and I have to make a good decision to throw accurately. We can be explosive and create big plays.
Q: How did your offensive line prepare and perform today?
A: What stood out to me was we ran the football. I felt we had a few explosive runs. We got behind the chains with a penalty and right away had a run up the middle with Latavius [Murray] and we got a first down. When you run the football that well and can stay ahead of the chains, your whole playbook is open to you and the pass game becomes that much easier.
Vikings Cornerback Xavier Rhodes
Q: You're the first person greet Jack Tocho after his interception. How is it to see these young guys making plays?
A: It's beautiful. To just sit here and just watch them work. During practice all the hard work and just seeing it out here on the field. It's just a beautiful thing. You see the older guys like Harry [Harrison Smith] and Dejo [Andrew Sendejo] teach these guys what to look out for and just stuff like that and to see it come to life it's just beautiful.
Q: How has it been getting Mike Hughes through the professional ropes?
A: It's going great. I just tell him that confidence is key in this game, especially at corner. Confidence is key always. That's the number one thing about being a corner, just always have confidence no matter what the result is at the end of the play always have confidence. Number one thing is technique. I tell them technique is major because it's down in the fourth quarter two minutes or one minute left that's what you're going to depend on.
Q: A lot of praise on Mike Hughes. What are your thoughts?
A: Mike comes out of his break nice. His eyes are right. He's not looking back at the quarterback, he's breaking on the ball, getting picks, knocking balls down. To me honestly, he plays like he's been in the league before and I think years down the road he's going to be one of the best in the league.
Q: Where can you guys still get better?
A: There was still some errors in our defense last year. We still made some mistakes in our defense. There's always room for improvement. That's what we're looking forward to improve in our defense. Continuously get off on third downs, get more turnovers, and play our D – play aggressive, play Vikings defense.
Q: The team has locked up a lot of young guys. What does that say about the team?
A: It says that they believe and trust in us. You see last year we gave our heart and soul to everything, to these coaches. We believe in the coach and the coaches believe in us by doing that. We're grateful at the end of the day that they believe in us and allow us to keep doing what we're doing.