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Postgame Quotes: Vikings-Packers

Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer

I thought it was a really good team win tonight. We moved the ball effectively offensively. I thought Flip called a good game; players executed. We were 50 percent on third downs. Had a big return by Marcus Sherels that helped set up another score. And I thought defensively we played very good after that second drive they had there.

But we did a nice job on third downs tonight. We got good pressure on the quarterback. And I thought we played well. Overall, it was a very good team win, and we needed it.

Q: Was there any notable difference after that second touchdown of theirs defensively?

A: No. They were hitting us on some things. I had to change some things up is all. Just different calls, different coverages, things like that.

Q: How big was that fourth down stop that led to the go-ahead field goal?

A: It was big. Harrison made a great play. I thought Danielle Hunter was big on the play as well. And it was a big play in the game.

Q. The new looks, some of the perceived new looks in the double-A gap, something you guys were doing on third down, do you think Rodgers was trying to snap the ball too early? Were you able to tell you were getting him frustrated in those situations?

A: I don't know. You'd have to ask him that. We gave him a few new looks, yeah. Somebody asked me this week if we could have some new looks. But we did. But we did a nice job on third downs tonight.

Q. Was your decision at 4th and 2 at the 7 purely strategic?

A: I think if the score was the same I would have done it. I figured if we got a touchdown there, the game was probably over. And I wasn't -- I did not want the ball to be in (Aaron Rodgers') hands at the end of the game.

Q. For Kirk to bounce back the way he did and have the game tonight, what does that say about him?

A: He did a great job of managing what we needed to get done. I thought -- like I said earlier, I thought Flip did a great job of putting him in the right situations all night. And some of the things we talked about, me and him this week, I thought he did tonight. So that was, I was really proud of him and I thought he played exceptional.

Q. I know you were talking about maybe hoping to run more, establish the run more. Were the passing lanes just there early on for most of the game?

A: I don't know. I thought we ran the ball pretty well. We protected well tonight. Gave up two sacks and one was on the third down. I probably was going to go for it there too. So I thought we had some good runs.

Q. How important were some of those in that second-to-last drive, the one went from 12:58 to 4:54?

A: Big because we started on the 10-yard line or something and took a lot of time off the clock and got down there. And that was big to take .When he doesn't have the ball, you have a really good chance to win. And he didn't have the ball there.

Q. Sheldon Richardson had another big game. What does he bring when he was on like he was tonight?

A: Sheldon's played well all year long. A couple of -- I know a couple, at least one, I don't know all the sacks because I'm usually watching coverage, but I know one of the sacks was a game we had and he came around the outside and got it. I don't remember the other one. But Sheldon's done a great job of coming in here and kind of fitting into our culture and the way we do things. It's a credit to him and the way that Andre's coaching him.

Q. How much of Anthony Barr's return allowed you to do things differently?

A: Quite honestly, blitzed a little bit and pulled off of it and blitzed a little bit. But we were having success doing what we were doing. And so there was no sense in pushing the envelope in some of those things. I mean, I think I blitzed twice on the third downs, but it was something like that. I don't remember exactly. But I mean we had – we were prepared to blitz him a lot more. But it was just going good.

Q. I think you had another sack on a game. How do you balance discipline against a mobile quarterback versus trying to get more pressure?

A: He never ran tonight. Not one time. He did come up the middle and threw that ball down there to DeVante Adams, but our guys did a nice job of understanding the rush plan, and that was part of it. And there was a couple times that I kind of turned them loose. But they knew that they had to be diligent in how they rushed the quarterback.

Q. Are you surprised teams keep trying to run on Sheldon and Linval on third down, especially up the middle, given the lack of success there?

A: I thought they'd probably run a crack toss like they did earlier in the game when -- they caught us in man coverage on that and it was a great Rogers audibled I'm sure so it was a bad call by me. But I figured it's really the same play.

Q. Comments from Michele Tafoya before about going for it on fourth down in the second half, just more of the frustration of two missed FGs?

A: I was frustrated but I was going to be aggressive in this ballgame. I don't think you beat teams by being passive. And so I was going to be aggressive anyway. We screwed up -- it was fourth in that -- in that first part of the game on our own 45-yard line or something. And I was going to go for it there, too. So I mean everyone was frustrated because he missed two kicks but quite honestly I have a lot of confidence in this kid. The second one because we false started, it was 56-yarder, but I have a lot of confidence in this kid. Every day in practice he hits them and he's got a good demeanor about him. I don't doubt that.

Q. Do you have any indication on the severity of Xavier Rhodes' injury?

A: No.

Q. Adams got him early in the game, then Rhodes shut him down. How do you think Rhodes did?

A: It's always a good battle. Davante Adams is a really good receiver. And Xavier is a really good corner. The first touchdown or the touchdown was a back shoulder fade, I believe. Great throw and great catch. So I don't know it's probably each of them won a few.

Q. You mentioned Flip calling a good game, what did you like about the offensive approach tonight?

A: We moved the ball well, I thought. I thought we kept them off balance. We ran a rocket sweep for a first down. There was a bunch of times -- I felt we were keeping them off balance they blitzed us and we had extra protection in there one time. Just the flow of the game I felt like it was a good mixture.

Q. Would you like Kyle Rudolph more involved, too, was that part of it?

A: It really was. Kyle's been a little bit frustrated because he hasn't been getting the ball. But they gave -- they had some two deep, three man rushes in there where they're trying to protect the middle and Kyle would find the opening and then we caught the one ball on third down and got the first down in the flat. So Kyle is extremely reliable receiver and the more that we use him, the better it opens up for other guys.

Q. Do you feel that was the same way with the usage with the running back and wide receiver screens, too, how effective they were tonight in opening things up?

A: Somebody asked me that this week. Do we have to be better at screens. And we do. It helps slow down the rush. They had a couple of screens on us and we have to continue to be good at the screen game. The screen to Dalvin was big. Elflein did a great job getting out there blocking whoever it was on the perimeter and Dalvin made a great run.

Vikings Quarterback Kirk Cousins

Q: How does it feel to bounce back after last week?

A: Well last week left a bad taste in our mouths, so the chance to come back on Sunday Night Football against a division rival at home was a great opportunity and I'm glad we made the most of it. It took a great team effort, a lot of people involved to make that happen and I'm thrilled with the outcome.

Q: What did you like best about the offense today?

A: Well, I thought Coach DeFilippo did a really good job and our entire offensive staff of finding a nice balance with the runs and the passes and staying aggressive and still being smart – putting us in a position to make plays. I think jus the game plan and executing the game plan from the first snap to the last was a great job.

Q: Was anything said or did anything need to be said to get the offense going?

A: No there was no magic speech. Every play has its own reason for not working and you just talk about it on the sideline, look at the pictures, and address how we can be better and what we need to do and then got the ball back and found a way.

Q: What was the message John DeFilippo preached to you this week that translated to tonight with no turnovers?

A: It's become very clear to me that turnovers really tell the story in this league. The fact that we were a 5-4-1 team with a turnover margin that was +1. It wasn't really anything special, but we had five wins and we're in position to be a playoff team because weren't -5. Hopefully we can get that margin to creep up in the plus these last five games of the year. Coach Flip did emphasize that when you hold the football in your hands you hold the livelihoods of a lot of people in that building and their families. It has to matter to us. One coach told me many times ball security it job security, yours and mine. It's very important to take of the ball.

Q: Was it nice to see a guy like Dalvin Cook get in the end zone?

A: Absolutely and it's been a long journey for him. Long time coming. He made a great play, obviously there was outstanding blocking. It was great play call, but to finish that play in the end zone it was a great job by Dalvin. I'm looking forward to continue to give him opportunities like that. It's so fun to see guys like that having success and then the way we celebrated, it was a lot of fun to watch too.

Q: How fine is that line and how do you balance between playing with patience and playing with urgency?

A: I think that's one of the challenges of playing this position. You try to let the game come to you. You try to make good decisions and manage the game and not put your team in harm's way, but at the same time you want to be a quarterback who's explosive and who is able to fit it into tight windows and avoid sacks. Finding that balance is what makes playing the position challenging, but the longer I play the longer I can store away experiences and use them for the next challenge that's up ahead.

Q: How do you prepare for the worst case scenario and how does it help you?

A: Well, we talk in the quarterback room about, whatever it is, whatever play it is we say, "and what are you going to do when it's not there?" What's your exit strategy; is it to run, is it to progress, is it to find an outlet? Anytime our plays are designed for certain coverages and we always end up spending more time talking about if we don't get that coverage what do we do? That again, it takes time. You build up that inventory of experiences and you start to learn where all the bones are buried in these plays, as Coach [Kevin] Stefanski likes to say. Then you're able to not get fooled as easily and be ready for the tough scenarios that get thrown at you. Just about anybody can handle the easy looks, but you got to be great when it's a tough look.

Q: Are you ever surprised at how Adam catches certain throws?

A: Well, the corner route earlier in the game, I think it was first half, that's an unbelievable catch. I don't know if I want to live by making those throws into double coverage. The safety is coming over the top and he would encourage me to make that throw time and again, but that one he made a great play - thrilled with the outcome. I don't know if I want to be making those over and over.

Q: How big of a momentum shift was it for you to get the ball in Green Bay's territory?

A: That's where I say it's complimentary football. I mean when you're getting the ball in plus territory, short fields it just changes the whole complexion of our offense and our drive and what we need to do to score and how challenging, or not challenging it is to score. When you have a defense forcing their offense to go 2-for-10 on third down and then you have special teams play makers like Marcus Sherels getting a turnover on special teams; it just changes the entire offensive approach because they gave us such a short field. It have a huge impact in the game and that's that hidden yardage that we often talk about.

Q: What do you take out of meetings with the head coach?

A: Well, he's been really good with communication from day one. He came out to Michigan to see me this summer just out of intentionality to make sure we're on the same page and when we talked this week he finishes the conversation with a question, "what can I do to help?" Just when you have a head coach who is able to approach you with that kind of mindset; what do you need, what can I do to help? Is always going to you listen and to communicate makes a big difference and I just want to play well for these guys, not just for Coach Zimmer, but for our staff. They work so hard. They deserve a lot of respect and recognition and then certainly our locker room. I just feel so good about our team and I said that to them in pregame. I like us. I like our guys. Unfortunately, just being a great group of guys doesn't mean you get wins handed to you, but we had to go out and earn tonight and we did.

Q: What did you identify with coach he could help with?

A: Well, I think he just wants to make himself available to the staff or to the team or whatever I feel might be needed. I think those conversations are ultimately between me and him and there's no perfect formula or scientific answer where I told him this and he told someone this and now we won. It's just a part of the process of getting to the next game.

Q: How does the screen game opening up help your job?

A: Yeah, that first touchdown pass was essentially just a screen, and the pass rushes in the NFL are so good, it's hard to hold up in protection forever. The more you can be creative and change up the tempo of the rush with draws or screens to force them to honor that, or if they want to pin their ears back and rush hard, they're going to have to answer to screens and draws. I think it's just a nice changeup, much like a pitcher in baseball changing speeds and forcing a hitter to have to adjust to that. I think the play calling can do the same thing, just keep defenses on their toes and keep them guessing. That's really Coach Flip's (DeFilippo) job and the staff's job as they game plan every Monday and Tuesday, to get creative and put guys in positions to be successful.

Q: What did you think of the limbo line after Dalvin Cook's touchdown?

A: Well, once again I think they planned it right here in the locker room before we ran out, so it's last minute that they're coming up with some ideas. I thought that was original, I don't know that I've seen that before and I thought it was well executed. When I heard they were going to do it I thought, "That one is going to be a tough one to pull together in ten seconds." But they did it, it was pretty good.

Q: Were you hoping to get under there?

A: You know honestly, that one I said I'm good, I'm going to stay out of this one. I'll let you guys do it, you're doing it pretty well. I didn't know where I was going to fit in either.

Q: How important is it to still have that enjoyment, knowing how important this game was?

A: It's a reflection of the personality of the team a little bit. I think Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs, they don't really take themselves too seriously. Win or lose, they don't really change who they are. They have great personalities. Every pregame in the locker room they're cracking jokes and they're enjoying the process, enjoying getting ready for the game. That's maybe their way of dealing with some nerves, they enjoy being able to just have a good time and not make it so serious. That's always a good reminder for me, too. To be around those guys, I think it helps me, cheers me up. It's a joy to play with them. When I say that I love our locker room and I like our guys and enjoy playing with these guys and it's fun to go to work every day, it's because guys like Stefon and Adam, the way they come in with a smile on their face and they work.

Q: How important was that long drive early in the fourth quarter in terms of taking time off the clock?

A: That was a very important drive. I thought it was important to drain clock, to convert third downs, to run the football effectively. I would have loved to have ended with points there, I was frustrated that we didn't come away with a touchdown on that drive. That was probably the one blemish that I felt in the game, that we didn't score there. To run the clock the way we did and just continue to execute play in and play out was a sign of maybe taking another step as an offense, but hopefully we can keep things like that going.

Q: Did you feel a sense of stepping up and seeing what you could do with your feet?

A: Well I think it's an element of my game that I don't tap into enough as I look back at the first ten games of the year. I do think it's something that I need to work in when I can, and tonight I don't know that I did well enough in a sense that it wasn't like I stole a whole lot of first downs. But the quarterback sneak was nice to get, and got a first down there. There were a couple were I took off and ran and didn't get very far, but I just think I can't miss those opportunities when they're there, and you also can't go looking for them when they're not there. You have to just play and react instinctively, and when they present themselves be ready to attack. It's something I do want to keep an eye out for as opportunities present themselves going forward.

Vikings Wide Receiver Stefon Diggs

Q: On momentum shift in third quarter…

A: Playing together, playing as a unit, all phases are doing everything that they can. Give it everything that you got. It showed up throughout the game of guys just laying it on the line for the team.

Q: How do you think your quarterback played?

A: You know how the media is, when we're playing great, they build you up. If things happen, they're going to tear you down, but we have 100 percent faith in the guy. He's proven why he's as good as we say he is. We're behind him all the way. Tonight, he focused on doing his job the best way that he can and today he did that. It's guys like Adam Thielen and Aldrick Robinson, coming off what happened last week, just being there for him, supporting him throughout the game and just trying to make plays for him.

Q: What do you guys see behind the scenes that gives you that confidence?

A: That's a nice secret you would like to know. He comes to work the same way every day, preparing the right way. It's hard playing the quarterback position and he handles it very well. We see him going through it as far as playing his keys, doing everything right, so we just have to follow too.

Q: On the last catch and waving goodbye…

A: Last time we played them, they flipped the bird on us. It ended in a tie. This time around I just tried to do everything that I can, do my job, and that was it.

Q: On confidence in third down…

A: You prepare the right way, you put the confidence in yourself and you trust your quarterback and make the play. I don't ever make excuses, just make the play.

Q: What's it like to see Dalvin get in the end zone today?

A: It's always fun. I'm a huge fan of Dalvin as far as what he does. He can make plays, he breaks tackles, he's strong, I wouldn't want to tackle him. I'm just happy for him.

Q: Thoughts on the celebration, the limbo?

A: Adam's the lightest one in the room, you know, I'm like 220 (laughs). That was something we just talked about, wanted to have fun out there.

Q: On Dalvin's power game…

A: He does everything. He catches screens, he runs extremely hard. That's why I said I would never want to tackle him. So as far as what he can do, he's a playmaker. We play off each other, I feed off the energy that he brings. We come and talk to each other and keep it going.

Vikings Defensive Tackle Sheldon Richardson

Q: They scored two quick touchdowns at the beginning of the game. What did you guys change defensively that allowed you to stop them?

A: Our mindset. We made a few adjustments and techniques on our game plan. We just kept working hard.

Q: On the defensive line getting to Aaron Rodgers…

A: We always smell blood. Our mindset is to get after the quarterback. That is the mindset we carry with us every game. Aaron Rodgers is going to make plays, so we know we have to get to him. I have a lot of respect for Aaron Rodgers but keeping him to under 200 passing yards is definitely a plus.

Q: On getting a win against a division opponent on Sunday night…

A: It is a big team win, especially against a division opponent. We are still behind Chicago, so we have a long road ahead of us. We have a playoff mentality. We knocked off a big opponent this week, now we are onto next week.

Vikings Defensive End Danielle Hunter

Q: On the defense disrupting the Green Bay Packers offense…

A: We had to get pressure up the middle and get our defensive ends on the outside. We had to contain Aaron Rodgers because we know he can make plays with his legs.

Q: It seemed like everyone was talking after the whistle. Was there extra emotion between the players tonight?

A: Yeah, we are competitive. We have been playing against them for years now, we know each other and when we go out there it's competition.

Q: When it is third and fourth down, is that when the defense is at its best?

A: Of course. We like to penetrate their offensive line and clog up the middle.

Q: What is it like to line up with Linval Joseph and Sheldon Richardson and the disrupting they can provide up the middle?

A: It is a good feeling because we feed off each other. If they go up the middle and the quarterback scrambles outside, then Stephen Weatherly, Everson Griffen, or I are there to make the play.

Vikings Safety Harrison Smith

Q: How do you keep Aaron [Rodgers} in check?

A: He's going to find his place. He's athletic and can throw the ball anywhere. When you got guys up front causing pressure that helps out in the back end and cover pretty well outside.

Q: How huge was that fourth down play when you're catching [Aaron] jones by the leg

A: It was big for the team and a lot of us were in on it. It was kind of a turnover. We knew we would get three points off of it.

Q: You can see that ticked off look in [Aaron] Rodgers eyes. What does it mean to you to keep the Packers under wraps?

A: The pressure up front is where is started. With any quarterback it allows us to not have to cover all day long. Those guys up front just make our jobs easier.

Vikings Wide Receiver Adam Thielen

Q: On the non-athletic comment…

A: I guess you have to look at tape. I don't know. People can be the judge of it.

Q: On the game execution tonight…

A: I felt like I could have played a lot better to help this team. Obviously when you have the guys in our locker room and Diggs making plays and Kirk just back there spreading the ball around. It was a team effort; special teams played great and defense was phenomenal, and we scored points. That's what we talk about every week. We have to play complimentary football,l and I feel like we did that tonight.

Q: On moving the ball around…

A: We took what the defense gave us. I think that's what Kirk is so good at doing; when we do get an opportunity to throw it deep, he's going to, and he'll give us a chance. He'll let our playmakers make plays after the catch

Q: On the win…

A: It feels so good to win in general. In this league, winning isn't easy and it takes so much effort. It takes so much practice and time and energy to win, so when you win it feels good. And against a division opponent, a team that has owned this division for a while, it feels good to beat them at home.

Q: On emotion tonight…

A: When you aren't playing the way that you feel that you can play, sometimes it takes a little spark. You've got to make a play like that to get you going, and it got me fired up. Scoring touchdowns in this league isn't easy, so it's fun to celebrate.

Q: On Kirk…

A: It shows his character and what kind of player he is to just not really care what people talk about him and not care what happened last week and to go out there and play some really good football. The throws he was making and his full game was really impressive, and that's what you expect of him.

Vikings Running Back Dalvin Cook

Q: On getting first touchdown?

A: It's a great feeling. Especially when you wait and be patient and you've got guys behind you that rally behind you and just support you so much it's great. It's a good feeling.

Q: On team being with him every step of the way?

A: Yeah like I said, when you've got a locker room and a team that's so put together and behind each other so much it's a great feeling. Coming to work every day and just enjoying it and being around them every day, you don't get that everywhere. I'm just blessed to be on the team.

Q: On getting in the end zone on the touchdown?

A: Yeah it was up and down and I'm just happy I got that out of the way.

Q: How many people where in on the celebration?

A: The wide outs. They didn't believe me, but it was a race to the end zone, whoever got there first was going to do it. I'm just happy I got in first. I had to yell at [Adam] Thielen and remind him that we were doing it. It was great, it actually turned out great.

Q: Walk us through the touchdown run?

A: Great call by Flip [John De Filippo], Pat [Elflein] got out there and got a great block on Martinez and on the perimeter [Stefon] Diggs and those guys they block their tail off each and every play. Once I saw Pat get out there and do what he needed to do I just said I'm not getting caught at the 1-yard-line any more I've got to get in the end zone. It was a will thing at that point.

Q: On Kirk Cousins bouncing back?

A: It wasn't even a bounce back we just needed to pull a whole game together. We're not shouldering on Kirk, we just need to put a whole game together. You'll see once we play good on special teams, once we play good on offense and defense and we put it all together, we're a force to be reckoned with.

Vikings Kicker Dan Bailey

Q: On the first missed kick…

A: 48, right hash, it just felt like I had a good hit on it but it kind of went left on me. I felt like I had a really good pregame and I was hitting the ball well in practice. I didn't hit the ball as clean as I wanted.

Q: Did Mike [Zimmer] say anything to you at halftime?

A: No, nothing out of the ordinary. I think we were tied and they kicked at the half that I missed. It was, in essence, 0-0 going into the half so I think it was just a matter of resetting and going out there and if another opportunity comes up, do my best to knock it through.

Q: On the missed kick… before half…

A: I didn't get to see it go through because I got my feet taken out from under me, but I was told it went just outside of the right upright, but I didn't actually get to see the flight of the ball or anything. I'm going to have to watch that one on film and I'm not trying to be cliché, I just didn't get to see it. I felt like I hit it good.

Vikings Tight End Kyle Rudolph

Q: On momentum shift in the beginning of third quarter?

A: It is big, I think they are number one in the league at scoring points out of the half. Obviously we were tied at the half and they had the ball to start the half and our defense does a great job at stopping them. Then we were able to get going there in the third quarter. To flip the field the way we did, we had the ball in plus territory two possessions in a row and were able to get points on the board on both of them; that is the stuff that is huge. We played great complimentary football tonight.

Q: What do you think this game meant for Kirk (Cousins)?

A: I think it meant a lot to Kirk I think it meant a lot to this team. Our backs are against the wall we couldn't afford to drop one at home to a Division opponent in the NFC in the situation we are in. When you look forward now in our last five, we have a few more NFC games and obviously have to take care of business at home. We got to start winning games on the road.

Q: On going for it on fourth and two?

A: That is the trust he (Coach Zimmer) has in us. Not only does he have the trust in us to go for it on fourth and two, but he trusts our defense that we are going to leave it at a 10 point game instead of a 13 point game. He trusted us to execute and we did.

Vikings Defensive Tackle Linval Joseph

Q: On the impact of the fourth and inches stop?

A: It was a great play. At that time, we really needed a big play and to make the play and to get the ball and score, it was a good play. It was an exciting play.

Q: On if the Vikings defense made any adjustments in the second half?

A: No, we just stuck with the plan, stopped the run and got after the passer. Two-for-10, that was a big stat. Offense showed up today, special teams showed up today, it was a great team win.

Q: On what it is like to play with the other Vikings defensive linemen?

A: It is great. Sheldon [Richardson], Tom [Johnson], Everson [Griffen], Danielle [Hunter], we have been playing with each other for a year now with Sheldon [Richardson] as a new addition. I have been here going on six years and Danielle [Hunter] has been here for four and I have been with [Everson] Griffen for the same, six [years]. It is just chemistry, we are brothers and we just want to win. We just want to play together.

Q: On Sheldon Richardson becoming more acclimated with the Vikings defense?

A: I mean, he is still getting acclimated. Every day and every game he is growing and he is learning. That is what it takes to be a pro for the Minnesota Vikings.

Vikings Defensive End Stephen Weatherly

Q: On playing against Aaron Rodgers…

A: He is an amazing quarterback. He is definitely a Hall of Fame quarterback and we know he can make explosive plays at any point, so we had to stay disciplined and stick to our defensive game plan.

Q: On the Vikings difficult upcoming schedule…

A: That is the way we like it. We enjoy tough battles and we are going to have to compete.

Q: What changed as the game went on?

A: Being able to execute. We knew there were going to be a lot of quick completions, but we knew if we stuck to our defensive game plan, we would get our chances and be successful.

Q: On the third and fourth down plays…

A: We don't change our mindset. We are not going to give up those short yardage plays. We are extremely stingy and that is how we like it.

Vikings Offensive Lineman Tom Compton

Q: On impressive numbers for Kirk Cousins and the passing game…

A: He's a hell of a guy. He's shown it and I'm glad he could show it out there tonight. A lot of people were doubting him so it is good for him.

Q: On not only the Vikings winning but making it tough for the Packers to make playoffs…

A: Division wins are huge, so that is all that really matters at the end of the day. Just take care of business next week.

Q: On trash talk on the field…

A: Classic Vikings Packers games, they were talking a lot. Some of our guys were talking a little bit. It was a physical game and it was fun. I'm just glad we got the win.

Q: On emphasizing the screen game this week…

A: It is nice; I mean it is always up. Find the right situation to run it. Luckily it worked out in our favor and something we can get going moving forward.

Randy Moss Hall of Fame Ring Presentation Ceremony

President and CEO of Pro Football Hall of Fame, David Baker

The mission of the Pro Football Hall of Fame is to honor the great heroes of the game, to preserve its history, honor its values, and celebrate excellence everywhere. Tonight we're honored to celebrate the excellence of the Minnesota Vikings and one of the greatest receivers to ever play in the history of this game, Hall of Famer Randy Moss. Every living Hall of Famer receives three icons: a bronze bust that lasts for 40,000 years in Canton, Ohio; a gold jacket that only a Hall of Famer wears; and a ring of excellence that's designed by Kay Jewelers. It's a great reminder that this great game, this great stadium, this legendary team, and this game that we all love, was built on the shoulders of men like this. There have been 300 hundred million young men and now women who have played this game, only 5 million in college, only 29,000 have ever been paid to play it, coach it, or officiate it in the National Football League. And today, in front of you, is one of 318 that are in Canton, Ohio. So Randy, thank you for being an inspiration for generations of fans, and thank you for being such a great example of this game and the excellence that it stands for. And I would like to call on now, Zygi, Lenny, and Mark Wilf to present to you your Hall of Fame Ring of Excellence in front of your fans.

Randy Moss, former wide receiver and 2018 Pro Football Hall of Fame Inductee

Well, I'm back home. You know, first and foremost; I want to give honor to God because without Him, none of this would be possible. Definitely, they put a man up in this Ring of Honor a couple months ago and I owe it all to Coach Dennis Green for being able to draft me here so I'm able to showcase my talents of what God really blessed me with. I'd like to thank the Wilf family. I told you all, they've been doing great things for this city, this team. I want to thank my teammates. I want to thank the Hall of Fame jackets down here, Mr. Baker, his crew. Last but not least, Minnesota Vikings fans, I want to thank you all for the love, all the support. And there is not a better way to give me my ring than going against our rival. Vikings, bring it home! SKOL!