Kwesi Adofo-Mensah Name Drops Vikings ‘Unsung Hero’

a Wild Free
Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports.

The next season will begin for the purple team in less than three months when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers come to U.S. Bank Stadium on September 10 to take on the reigning NFC North champions Minnesota Vikings.

The mandatory minicamp is the last step before the players get some time off. They will come back to training camp in late July.

Kwesi Adofo-Mensah Name Drops Vikings ‘Unsung Hero’

It is a fascinating question who the unsung hero is of the Vikes because it is subjective, and everyone can have a different opinion. C.J. Ham, a fullback, is not getting much credit but is doing the dirty work for running backs to shine. The role of the defensive tackles is similar, and Harrison Phillips comes to mind. A third person might choose another different option.

Kwesi Adofo-Mensah Name Drops Vikings Unsung Hero
David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports

One individual that knows more about the team than most is general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, who is slowly forming the team how he wants it to be. He released three franchise cornerstones in an attempt to build his dream roster. The moves were unpopular because fans disliked seeing their favorite player walk out of the building. Adofo-Mensah joined Peter Schrager’s podcast, The Season with Peter Schrager, and he name-dropped his unsung hero when asked who fans should keep an eye on in 2023. His choice was Josh Metellus, a safety and special teams ace.

Josh Metellus. He’s a safety, and he’ll play some more this year, so I think you’ll see the stuff that we’ve seen. He was a special teams stalwart last year, team-captain type. I was in the team meeting room later in the season after [Brian O’Neill] got hurt, [Metellus] was given team captain … You can feel when somebody’s teammates really love them, really appreciate them and really want to follow them into battle, and he’s one of those guys. He’s everything that the Minnesota Vikings are about, and I think people are really going to appreciate that more this season

Kwesi Adofo-Mensah

Metellus shouldn’t be counted out to see more snaps in the upcoming season. A new defensive coordinator means a new person is in the building who will evaluate the players, and Brian Flores must make a decision about who will be the starting safety next to Harrison Smith.

Vikings Players' Reactions to Win No. 10 
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

He can pick between Camryn Bynum, the 2022 starter who struggled at times, first-rounder Lewis Cine who lost his camp competition to Bynum and then got hurt, and Metellus. The latter was ahead of Cine, which became clear when Smith was forced to sit out a game, and it was Metellus and not Cine in the starting lineup.

Another way how Metellus can earn more snaps is his versatility. He recently stated that he is learning the whole defense and not just his position to be ready to play a versatile role in Flores’ system. He can play in sets with three safeties as a linebacker and line up in the slot.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports.

Metellus played 258 defensive snaps and 381 on special teams in 2022 – both career highs. According to PFF, he was the second-best defender of the Vikings, only behind Danielle Hunter. Despite his limited opportunities, he managed to produce 42 tackles.

The 25-year-old is a perfect player for Flores, who is expected to run a versatile defense that will change on any given week, depending on the opponent. Having an adaptable chess piece like Metellus will open up more potential plays and ways to attack an offense in his aggressive style. The goal is to confuse offenses and make their lives harder, and the defender can help with that.

Metellus has the work ethic, the love of football, the talent, and the skill set to amaze fans and coaches in the upcoming season and be a surprise star of the team.

Janik Eckardt is a football fan who likes numbers and stats. The Vikings became his favorite team despite their quarterback at the time, Christian Ponder. He is a walking soccer encyclopedia, loves watching sitcoms, and Classic rock is his music genre of choice. Follow him on Twitter if you like the Vikings: @JanikEckardt