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KJ Osborn’s Quote About Andrew Booth Jr. Is Being Taken Out Of Proportion

Why being “Bigger, stronger, and faster” means very little in the case of Andrew Booth Jr.

On the fourth day of OTAs, Minnesota Vikings wide receiver KJ Osborn was slow to get up after a rep against second-year cornerback Andrew Booth Jr. After practice, Darren Wolfson asked KJ what happened on that play. “Yeah man, knocked the wind out of me.” said Osborn “I haven’t had that happen to me since middle or high school.”

From there, the topic shifts to Andrew Booth Jr. Doogie asks what’s the fine line between Booth trying to make a play on the ball versus being too physical. “It’s just football and being competitive,” said Osborn. “He’s out there trying to work at his craft. You know he’s been working all offseason to get back out here. He’s bigger, he’s stronger, he’s faster. I talk to him, I can tell.”

Of course, this quote ended up being taken out of context. Vikings fan pages started to aggregate the absolute crap out of this small little snippet. It’s important to realize that KJ Osborn didn’t talk about Booth unprompted. Osborn was baited into talking about Booth, so of course what he says is going to be positive. The whole “bigger, stronger, and faster” bit can be applied to pretty much any Vikings player who has been working out at the facilities this offseason.

Meanwhile, it was Joejuan Williams who got the bulk of first-team reps at the outside cornerback spot alongside Akayleb Evans, not Booth. Booth only got some first-team reps in nickel sub-packages. Booth being usurped by a 4th rounder and a depth free agent signing at the start of OTAs is a bad look, and it raises some red flags about his ability to be a significant contributor to this defense in 2023.

Booth has always been a very physical but inconsistent cornerback who has a tendency of making some mental lapses in coverage. Too often Booth will go for the big play instead of maintaining his assignment, which results in a blown coverage. That, alongside his injury concerns dating back to high school are the two biggest concerns I have with Booth. So forgive me if I don’t care about him being even more physically imposing.

What I want to see from Booth is how well he’s able to handle the mental part of the game. Things like carrying out his assignments, communicating effectively with other players, making the safe play rather than constantly going for the home run, and doing the little things that make his teammates around him better. I guarantee you that if Booth was a bit more cerebral, he would be starting over Joejuan Williams without question.

Andrew Booth Jr.’s athletic ability was never in question. He’s a player with an incredibly high ceiling who could be a Marcus Peters type player if he puts it all together. However, at the end of the day he’s still stuck on the second team with Mekhi Blackmon and Kalon Barnes. So let’s pump the brakes on the Andrew Booth hype train until he’s able to beat out a backup caliber player in Williams, and secure a starting role on this defense.

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