After missing the playoffs for a second straight season, the Minnesota Vikings opted for wholesale organizational changes on "Black Monday," by firing head coach Mike Zimmer and general manager Rick Spielman in January. The major change didn't mark the beginning of a rebuild, though, as co-owner Mark Wilf told reporters that the roster -- captained by veteran quarterback Kirk Cousins -- has a solid foundation that can be "super competitive" in 2022.
With former Los Angeles Rams offensive coordinator Kevin O'Connell manning the sideline as Minnesota's new head coach, the offense -- which ranked 14th in average points (25.0) last season -- should only improve. O'Connell worked alongside Cousins during the 2017 season as his quarterbacks coach with the Washington Commanders, and he also "conveyed a firm belief" in the 33-year-old during his interviews. The Vikings now have a young offensive mastermind and fresh approach, and receiver K.J. Osborn insists they're a true contender.
"Get your popcorn ready... I feel like every team's goal in the NFL should be to win the Super Bowl," Osborn told the Maggie and Perloff show with Zach Gelb on Tuesday. "That's the only thing we train for. You work so hard, you sacrifice so much. So every team should only have one goal... Kirk's our guy, and I feel like he sometimes gets a bad rap. I don't know why that is, but we love him in our locker room. He's a leader, on and off the field. He's an awesome dude.
"He's very accurate. I'm happy I got a chance to be on the field with him last year. Now, this is my first true whole offseason, going into my third year. And we're going to have some extra meetings and extra throwing sessions, things like that to be able to talk, communicate, and be on the same page. See what he's thinking, and he sees what receivers are thinking. I feel like we're on the same page. That's going to help us even more. Kirk's ready. He's locked-in..."
The entire Vikings conversation between Osborn and Maggie and Perloff can be accessed in the audio player above.