Sunday’s wild card loss to the New York Giants was not the way the Minnesota Vikings’ season was supposed to end. The Vikings’ 2022 campaign was full of memorable moments, and helped lay the foundation for the future in head coach Kevin O’Connell’s first year at the helm.

O’Connell commanded the Vikings to 11 one-score wins and the Vikings’ first NFC North title since 2017. Though the season ended on a sour note, star WR Justin Jefferson had high praise for his head coach.

“It was a culture switch with him being a young, first-time head coach,” Jefferson said. “He is definitely a player’s coach. He is well connected with his players, always laughing and having a good time with us. He is also about his business too. That is what I love about being around him. Probably one of the best coaches that I have been around.”

Jul 28, 2022; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell and wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) talk during training camp at TCO Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

There was certainly a confident energy, no matter the situation for the purple and gold in 2022. But to hear Jefferson shower O’Connell with praise speaks volumes.

Comments like Jefferson’s make Minnesota an attractive destination for free agents. To have a coach that players can relate to is a rarity in today’s NFL. O’Connell and the Vikings are building something special.

Featured image via Jeffrey Becker – USA TODAY Sports

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