EAGAN, Minnesota – The coaches of the Vikings and Browns have done their best this week to minimize the personal bond between the coaches of the two teams.
That’s understandable, given the magnitude of every game in an NFL season, even one that extended this year to a 17th regular season game. They can also easily point to connections with other NFL teams.
Patrick Peterson has already made his “second leg” in week two in Arizona. He also now has experience playing at US Bank Stadium for the home team. Much like the coverage that aired that week, I would expect reunions to be part of this week’s CBS crew script.
Coaches and players are focused on business, and the Vikings (1-2) are hoping that means a quicker start than Week 3, even as Minnesota rallied for a 30-17 victory over Seattle, all avoiding the lulls that plagued the team in narrow road losses in Weeks 1 and 2.
The Vikings enjoyed the fans’ feedback as US Bank Stadium hosted its first regular season game in over 630 days, but it also meant taking a deep breath amid the hype and the defense honing its communication ahead of the snap as the crowd roared.
“We just have to find a way to come into the game a little more calm, not to play on the limit, to start the game on the limit,” said Peterson. “You want to be as relaxed as possible… to help you get through the lows.”
Vikings defensive co-coordinator Adam Zimmer said it was “a whole different atmosphere, of course.”
“We had to do a great job of communicating because the fans were so loud; we had to communicate the calls, report the calls at all levels,” Zimmer said. “I thought Nick [Vigil] and Eric [Kendricks] did a great job of organizing for us throughout the game and we’re going to have to continue to do that over the next few weeks. “