It looks like Matt Kalil took another swipe at the Minnesota Vikings yesterday. In an interview with the Charlotte Observer that deals with Matt playing with his brother Ryan, there was this: “(coach Matsko) is the first guy I’ve played for that kind of demand excellence from his offensive line room.”
While with the Vikings, Kalil played his first four years with Jeff Davidson as his line coach and last year with Tony Sparano, there is no way, at this level, that these coaches, and their boss Mike Zimmer, do not expect or demand excellence. This is the NFL, and striving to be a starting player in it, is implied, and that excellence is your daily pursuit. Most players, have been doing this for years and it shows almost every day, even if we do not see it, with their daily rise and grind mentality. This isn’t the NFL of 30 years ago where players needed long training camps just to get in shape. Players are striving to be in “the best shape of their careers” when they hit training camp now. That in itself is a pursuit of excellence. They also study film, seek out personal trainers, and even professional advisors [a coach or a mentor] to help learn and master their craft.
I find his comment completely absurd and preposterous.
Take into account Riki Ellison’s remarks about the Vikings having a “mentality of physical practices”, and I doubt that coaches demanding excellence didn’t exist. That statement would back up the fact that they actually did.
Now Matt gets to play with his brother, and who knows, he may actually return to a form where he is a halfway decent left tackle, versus the turnstile he got associated with in Minnesota. Cam Newton at least hopes so, because on Sunday, December 10 [week 14], there is a Vikings player name Everson Griffen that is the epitome of excellence, and he will be facing Kalil, and knows his tendencies very well.
A little advice to players when giving a simple local interview, “watch what you say, or it can come back and bite you.” Bulletin board material is always appreciated.