Of all the players on the Minnesota Vikings 53-man roster, there's about three of them that know Kevin Stefanski more than anybody else.
The three quarterbacks on roster for the Vikings (Kirk Cousins, Trevor Siemian, and Kyle Sloter) spent most of their seasons working hand in hand with Stefanski as he elevated his way from quarterbacks coach for the first 13 games of the season and then serving as offensive coordinator calling plays for the final three.
If there's anyone that can get the best out of Kirk Cousins, it's going to be Kevin Stefanski. That's why it was good to hear glowing reviews from Cousins after the announcement was made yesterday.
Below is the transcript from Kirk's Q&A once Stefanski was named offensive coordinator...
Q: What was your reaction when you heard that Stefanski had been hired?
A: I was thrilled to hear that he’d be back. We feel like the continuity is very important, not only for meat the quarterback position but for our entire offense, for the young players learning the system and for our coaching staff to have the familiarity, as well. Kevin’s proven over many years in the Vikings facility that he’s a great coach, a great leader, carries himself well and is the right person to lead our offense going forward.
Q: What have been your early impressions of Stefanski?
A: I don’t know what the personality trait is, but when you carry yourself well and relate well to players, that’s a very valuable trait in a coach – and not every coach has that trait. And I first met Kevin and saw that he had that trait back at the Senior Bowl in 2012, and ever since then I’ve really followed his path and really felt that he’d be a coach I’d enjoy working with because of the experience I had at theSenior Bowl, and I always felt like he was an up-and-coming coach in the league. I’m sure, I know that his interview with Cleveland went as far as it did for good reason, and I think that he’ll have other opportunities like that in the future, especially if we as an offense are able to do the job we’re expecting to do this next fall.
Q: How do you think Stefanski handled the final three games of the season?
A: He handled it well. He really was the same person he had always been, which is important to have that consistency, and I think the players look forward to working with him. We did a lot of good things on offense in those three weeks – certainly we can point to places where we came up short, but I think there’s quite a bit to be excited about going forward.
Q: How would you characterize his coaching style on game day? How does that benefit you?
A: Well, I think it’s important to note that while he doesn’t ride the roller coaster emotionally and he does have a consistent demeanor about him, he also has a strength of personality that would suggest he’s not a pushover or somebody that players can take advantage of. So it’s something, I go back to that it’s the right balance of personality. I think players appreciate his demeanor, his level-headedness, but at the same time, he has convictions and he has a plan, and he’ll communicate that plan effectively as we get back here this spring. We understand the strength of our defense, we understand that there’s a lot of talent on the team, and I believe that if our offensive plan can be tight and the players can execute it well, that’s where we have a lot of excitement for what this team can do in the years ahead.