Vikings OC Praises Rookie Playmaker

Sep 30, 2022; Thundridge, United Kingdom; Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator Wes Phillips during practice at Hanbury Manor. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

After bumpy headlines a few weeks ago, Minnesota Vikings wideout Jordan Addison is on the righteous track.

The USC alumnus has navigated the fallout of a reckless driving charge in July, apologized, dazzled at training camp, dazzled in the team’s first preseason game — and is now gaining the approval of his offensive coordinator, Wes Phillips.

Vikings OC Praises Rookie Playmaker

The Vikings drafted Addison in April with the 23rd overall pick, a spot where the club probably could have or should have drafted a defensive player to fix the league’s second-worst defense in 2022 per yards allowed. But Minnesota said no thanks to that gameplan, drafting Addison to truly take the top off opposing defenses and partner with Justin Jefferson on Sundays for the next 4-5 years.

Vikings OC Praises
Aug 10, 2023; Seattle, Washington, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Jordan Addison (3) during warmups prior to the game at Lumen Field. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports.

And at a press conference Monday, Phillips sang Addison’s praises to the utmost. “As far as how rare, for a guy to have that body control, I think the talent is there and was there,” Phillips opined about Addison.

Addison put this highlight on tape last Thursday night, although the catch was mind-numbingly ruled incomplete, and head coach Kevin O’Connell did not challenge it:

“It’s like Justin Jefferson coming in and doing what he’s done. That body control was already there. It’s just giving him some opportunities and learning within our system and kinda how Keenan [McCardell] has coached him,” Phillips continued.

1st Mock Draft Says
Oct 1, 2022; Los Angeles, California, USA; USC Trojans wide receiver Jordan Addison (3) runs away from Arizona State Sun Devils defensive back D.J. Taylor (3) for a first down in the first half at United Airlines Field at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports.

Addison is battling for a WR2 job at training camp and in the preseason, a position that veteran WR K.J. Osborn will likely win out of the gate in 2023. But if Addison keeps up the theatrics on display at Lumen Field and continues to fetch kudos from Phillips and O’Connell he’ll buttress a target load in Minnesota’s offense no matter his official job title, WR2 or WR3.

Phillips added about Addison, “Even with missing some of the spring, he’s done an impressive job learning our system and continuing to grow.”

How Does New
Apr 27, 2023; Kansas City, MO, USA; USC wide receiver Jordan Addison with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell after being selected by the Minnesota Vikings twenty-third overall in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft at Union Station. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The new Viking is 5’11 and 170 pounds and was a workhorse WR and target hog at Pittsburgh and USC. On days when opposing defensive coordinators decide to sell out and stop Jefferson — that strategy worked against the Vikings last year — Addison should become available through the air for Kirk Cousins to feast. That’s the plan, anyway.

He registered 3,134 receiving yards and 29 touchdowns in three seasons at Pittsburgh and USC.

Aug 5, 2023; Eagan, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell takes to wide receiver Jordan Addison (3) during training camp at Twin Cities Orthopedic Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

Addison told reporters upon arriving in Minnesota after the draft and vividly illustrated his toolkit — or artwork per his words, “When I’m running my routes, I like to look at it like I’m an artist. And I’m going out there painting pictures.”

And per Addison, Phillips, Vikings fans, and the tape from Seattle, the rookie is well on his way to painting his pictures.

The Vikings host the Tennessee Titans for Preseason Game No. 2 on Saturday night.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

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