On Sunday, after both practice sessions had concluded for the day, Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs had an opportunity to field questions from reporters at the Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center. As you’d expect, the matter of his potential upcoming contract extension came up, as well as several other topics. Below, you will find the full transcript of this afternoon’s press conference. Enjoy!
First and foremost, I want to send my prayers and condolences to the Sparano family. He really meant a lot to us, and I just want to let everybody know that if anything, he would want us out here working. He’s been in our hearts and on our hearts for a couple days now, and I just want to give him his respect and send some love to his family.
Q: How do you feel the deep passing game is coming along?
A: It’s day two, pretty early. But I’m excited, to say the least. Everybody is just working in the right direction. I’m going to give you the answer; each and every day we try to come out here and get better. I get excited coming out here, I can tell you that first hand. Me and Adam [Thielen] take it really, really seriously, and it’s not just me and Adam. All the receivers take it really, really seriously, coming out here and putting our best feet forward. I’m excited.
Q: How do you think that connection with Kirk Cousins has carried over from the spring, and how are you building on it right now in camp?
A: He knows us a little bit more than he did. We spent some time with him I guess, so he can kind of gauge where we’ll be. It’s still the beginning, it’s still early and it’s still fresh, so we’re still trying to work towards something. Just not counting the days, but making the days count. It’s only day two, so it’s still early, but we’re definitely working in the right direction.
Q: Did you guys get together at all in those five weeks off?
A: No, we didn’t spend too much time together. We kind of took that break to really just refocus and get ready to come into training camp. We spent that time really just refocusing and taking our time. We knew that we were going to spend a lot of time in training camp, so we’re taking full advantage now.
Q: What can this offense do to match the level that the defense has been at the last few years?
A: Just continue to prepare the way they prepare. Just prepare the right way, do everything in our power and control what we can control. Each individual is trying to work towards the same goal, so as an offense everybody holds each other to a high standard. Accountability is huge, everybody is trying to be on the same page and work towards the right goal.
Q: The defense has had a lot of continuity with coaching, but the offense has changed offensive coordinators multiple times. What are the challenges that come with having multiple offensive coordinators?
A: This team has faced a lot of adversity though. We’ve been through a lot of different quarterbacks, different coaches, but at the end of the day we’ve managed to adjust each and every year. It’s like moving and a going to a new school, you kind of just have to adjust and get used to being around different people and kind of work off of it. We’ve had some great coaches though. I’ve been blessed to have enough coaches, so I know how to prepare the right way and I know how to approach things, so as far as learning your new coach, how he wants things done and just doing them to the best of your ability and giving your maximum effort. You can control your effort, so I’m just out there trying to give it everything I got.
Q: Is the hope now to get a contract extension done? Is anything close to happening?
A: The magic question, I knew it was coming from you. You know for me, I’m going to give you the political right answer as always. For me, I want to be here, I love it here, I love being a part of this organization. They took a chance on me early on, so I love it here. As far as where we’re at, you kind of got to take it up with the right people. I haven’t spent too much time up there, but hopefully we can get some things done. We’ll see how it goes.
Q: What did you think of the other wide receivers in the league getting paid?
A: I was extremely happy for them. Seeing guys who grind out in life and get paid, it’s definitely a blessing. I’m happy for every guy that gets paid. For me, I don’t really think of it as far as for me personally, everybody is different. I’m just more so happy for those guys when they pop up on my phone, two claps and keep it going.
Q: Do you have any advice for the rookies starting camp?
A: I was young once, I’m still young. Try not to be too big-eyed, it’s all going to come at you pretty fast. Training camp is a little different than OTAs, so as far as how you manage things, I would teach them to treat every day as special. One day at a time, don’t get ahead of yourself, stay in your books and just play ball at the end of the day. Be a baller, that’s pretty much about it.
Q: How does Dalvin Cook returning help the offense?
A: It does a lot, I love DC. I’m actually looking forward to his upcoming season. He has put in a lot of work as far as the offseason. I felt like, personally, last year he was just getting his feet wet. He was really on the cusp of doing a lot special things. He had some great games. I really look forward to his success and blocking for him. It’ll open up some passes, you know how that works, and we all work off each other. Hopefully I can get him some wide open runs or some blocks.
Q: What are your thoughts on how the Minneapolis Miracle will live on in Vikings lore forever?
A: For me, it was something that changed my life. That play was definitely huge for me right now, been trying to put it in the past for a little bit. Not really the past, but in the back of my head. It was a special moment we will always share, Vikings fans and people around the city. For me, I’ve got a new season I’m trying to focus on right now. Trying to make some better plays so I’ll let you know.
Q: How important is it to let those deep shots fly in practice when you want to expand the deep passing game?
A: That’s what you’ve got to do. That’s one thing about Kirk, he trusts his guys. He’s going to take his chances when he can and he is real smart. Only way to get better at it is to do it. I take it this way, sprinters get better by running. You’re going to have to do it, regardless. So, for us, just keep repping it, keep going after it. For us as receivers, to build that confidence he has, as far as trusting that he’s going to get it there and you’re going to catch it. For me, I try not to leave anything on the ground, I’m pretty hard on myself about that.
Q: Do you have any personal goals for the season?
A: No, I’ve got some goals as far as like I want to win. I want to win game one and I want to win moving forward. But as far as personal goals, I write them all down and put them in my locker, come see them some time.
Q: Coach Zimmer said you really upped your game and thinks you are better than ever. How did you up your game this offseason?
A: Well, not just this offseason. I have been working for a while and taking as much coaching as I can as far as listening. Coach Zimmer has been around for a very long time. My coaches, Coach Hazell, Coach Flip [DeFilippo], as far as my new coach. Just listening to every guy that I have as far as learning and really dedicating my time to being a great and trying to perfect my craft. Right now I am just a worker bee again, another training camp trying to get better.
Q: What is your impression of Holton Hill? It seems he is getting a little more aggressive and confident?
A: As a corner, you can see he has the confidence. At corner, guys are feeling their way around. He has that confidence and plays with it. I like him as a player and I like what he brings to the table. It does not really matter to me at the end of the day, I am trying to kill him, but I love him on my team because I love what he brings to the table. As a young player, to play with that much confidence is a good sign early. I am pulling for him. I am going to keep barbecuing him though, that ain’t going to stop. But I like him a lot. I’m just messing around.
Q: What physical skills does Holton Hill have?
A: As far as body control, he is not a small guy. He has a good shape and he can run. I don’t know where he got drafted, at this point it doesn’t even matter. He is a special talent, you can see flashes of it early and that is always a good sign. I am pulling for him. I’m kind of trying not to make the spot hot right now, you can’t tell everyone about him, but he is going to be a good player I hope.