Vikings HC, GM Press Conference: What to Expect

Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and Kevin O'Connell

The Minnesota Vikings fell seven points short Sunday at home against the New York Giants, ending a 13-win season and whisking the team into the 2023 offseason.

Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell and general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah will conduct a media session Wednesday at 1 pm CST. Here’s what to expect.

Vikings HC, GM Press Conference: What to Expect

Put a Bow on It

GM Press Conference
Jan 8, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell looks on before the game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports.

Last year at this time on the calendar, Vikings dealings were markedly different because the franchise moved on from the Rick Spielman and Mike Zimmer combo. So, Vikings ownership encapsulated the season at the end-of-season press conference and insisted a culture change was on the way via a new general manager and head coach.

It happened.

Now, the 2023 offseason is a bit more normal, so O’Connell and Adofo-Mensah will “put a bow on it” for the year, a customary event after a team’s season concludes.

O’Connell and Adofo-Mensah will exalt the 13 wins but insist room for improvement is clear and evident. No one is satisfied with losing to the Giants — at home — after an entertaining 13-win season.

Ed Donatell’s Fate

Jan 15, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings defensive coordinator Ed Donatell looks on before a wild card game against the New York Giants at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Minnesota’s defense was poor for most of the 2022 campaign, but when it forced turnovers, it morphed into a serviceable unit.

Against the Giants, Ed Donatell’s defense forced zero turnovers, and New York’s offense galavanted all over the field with no hindrances from Vikings defenders. The porousness of Minnesota’s defense prompted fans — almost in unison — to demand a new defensive coordinator.

Those fans will learn Wednesday if Donatell remains the franchise’s defensive coordinator. It’s a coinflip for yes or no, with a side dish of “yes” because the news probably would’ve leaked by now.

Regardless, reporters will ask about Donatell’s employment. Rest assured.

Roster Construction

Vikings Week 16 Final Injury Report
Sep 30, 2022; Thundridge, United Kingdom; Minnesota Vikings linebacker Eric Kendricks (54 at press conference at Hanbury Manor. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

When Adofo-Mensah arrived in Minneapolis one year ago, he preached a “competitive rebuild.” That’s his modus operandi.

Well, all of a sudden, various expensive Vikings players hit a performance wall in 2022. Those players cannot remain at their current salaries in 2023, at least not per dollars and cents and dollars and sense.

Adofo-Mensah will be asked about roster construction. He will reply that he “evaluates every player” and probably hint that some changes are afoot. The young executive also mentions “value” about as much as young kids talk about toys or candy. He’ll likely pull out his “value speech” and use it to explain the possible departure or paycuts involving longstanding Vikings players.

The Vikings press conference will be broadcast on Twitter — or here.

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,’ and The Doors (the band).