Familiar faces who once shared a sideline will coach against each other on Sunday.
Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer will face Giants Head Coach Pat Shurmur, who previously served as the Vikings offensive coordinator. The two shared fond memories this week of their time together but each also is game-planning against his friend and former co-worker.
Shurmur talked with New York media members earlier this week and said the Vikings are "a tough team" that the Giants need to be ready for.
"I was telling our guys, having been up there for two years and coached with Zim', I know their mindset. I know how they function," Shurmur said. "This is an old-school team. They have a progressive mindset, certainly, but they're old school. A lot of what they do there, we try to do here in terms of building our team. It's going to be quite a test for us."
Shurmur is no stranger to going against the Vikings defense.
Many of Minnesota's current core defensive players were also on the roster in 2017, when Shurmur was with the Vikings. He pointed out that there are "outstanding players everywhere" on that side of the ball.
"You start saying, 'OK, well, this is their best player. No, this guy is their best player,' " Shurmur said. "All of the guys up front … they have two edge rushers. They have interior guys that can get push. They have linebackers that are Pro Bowlers. They have corners and they have safeties that have been to Pro Bowls.
"They're well-coordinated, and they put pressure on the passer, and they do a good job of stopping the run," he added. "That's what you want from a defense."
Media members also spoke with Giants rookie quarterback Daniel Jones, who shared similar observations about the Vikings after watching game tape.
Jones noted Minnesota's complete defense.
"Compared to the teams we have played, they are definitely up there [for the most complete]," Jones said. "They have a good front seven, and they are really good in the back end, too."
He added: "They are physical. It's an experienced group back there; they have some guys that have played together for a long time. […] We'll have a plan for it. It's about what we do, it's about playing to our strengths. I think we'll do that."
View photos from the Vikings practice on October 2 at TCO Performance Center.
Here are other highlights from the Giants talking about the Vikings this week:
Shurmur on the Vikings offense:
"I know this, when they get grooving running the ball, and I was with Dalvin Cook, an outstanding runner, and they've got a list of runners behind him that are very good. They've improved their offensive line. I knew [Kyle] Rudolph, Irv Smith, [Jr.], those guys— when they get going and then their play actions, their boots and their nakeds are all tied to that, they are very dynamic. I was with all of those receivers, mainly [Stefon] Diggs and [Adam] Thielen. Those guys can win 1-on-1 matchups when they are choosing to throw the ball. … [They] are very dangerous."
TE Evan Engram on Minnesota's defense:
"They are a good defense. They have talent on all three levels, and we're going to have to be on our game."
S Antoine Bethea on Vikings primary threat offensively:
"[We have to] stop the run. They've got a good run game, one of the best in the league. Then after that, we've got to negate the deep throws, don't let the ball go over our head, and try to carry over from last week — create turnovers, tackle well, and get the offense the ball back."
Bethea on Diggs, Thielen, Rudolph:
"They both (Diggs and Thielen) can go deep, good route runners, strong hands, good after the catch, so I think having them on the opposite side of each other gives Kirk Cousins some good weapons.
"Kyle Rudolph, he has a great history, so you can't sleep on him. You've definitely got to keep your eyes on him."