NFC Notes: 49ers, Packers, Vikings

     

49ers

49ers’ RG Daniel Brunskill started games at right tackle, left tackle, and right guard last season. He also played at center this offseason after C Ben Garland was injured, but now appears to be the starter at right guard for the team.

Players such as RT Mike McGlinchey have taken note of how hard Brunskill has worked to earn a starting spot on the offensive line.

“He understands that his role is to fill in wherever he’s needed, and this year he’s going to have a prominent starting role for us,” McGlinchey said, via Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area. “And that’s going to be huge because he’s a damn-good football player. The little nuances of all that really makes your head spin, especially when you’re doing it back and forth every day but Dan is going to be great. He’s earned this from the way he played last year and I’m extremely excited for Dan and the opportunity that he has and he’s going to help us win a lot of football games.”

Packers

  • Packers’ HC Matt LaFleur said he will consider all possibilities at right tackle for the season opener, including G Elgton Jenkins if OL Billy Turner is unable to play Week 1 due to knee injury. LaFleur added that he would play his five best linemen. (Tom Silverstein)
  • Packers’ OL Lane Taylor could also temporarily move to the outside, according to LaFleur: “We’re looking at every combination. The goal is to always get your best five out there. We’ll look at everything.” (Rob Demovsky)
  • Packers’ LB Rashan Gary talked about being on the field with linebackers Za’Darius Smith and Preston Smith: “Y’all are going to see how much havoc we bring. I don’t want to really talk about it.” (Silverstein)
  • Gary is unsure how many sacks and pressures will he have this year: “I’m just going to let you all know that I’m going to have fun and be in the backfield.” (Demovsky)
  • On his rookie season, Gary was unimpressed with himself and is looking forward to improving: “To be honest, I didn’t like the player I was and what I was giving the Green Bay Packers.” (Matt Schneidman)
  • Packers’ DC Mike Pettine has also confirmed that CB Chandon Sullivan will be the Packers’ nickel cornerback. (Zach Kruse)

Vikings

Newly acquired Vikings’ DE Yannick Ngakoue is getting acquainted with pass-rushing partner DE Danielle Hunter.

“We just met,” Ngakoue said, via Nick Shook of NFL.com. “I’m pretty sure we’ve known of each other because we’re top EDGE guys in this league. That’s what we’re trying to be. We want to become the best of the best. We want to be elite. When you talk about EDGE rushers, you want them to talk about Danielle and Yannick. I’m just glad that we’re on the same team and we can push each other each and every day. I’m pretty sure our friendship will build as time goes on.”

Ngakoue also mentioned that he hasn’t thought much about his contract situation and is just happy to be in Minnesota.

“Well, I haven’t really thought about a long-term deal or anything like that,” Ngakoue said, “The only thing that’s been on my mind is getting acclimated and adjusted to this new playbook. It’s a different scheme than what I had in Jacksonville and also just getting all those things locked in my mind so I can be ready for Week 1 and help this team as much as I can.”

  • Vikings’ HC Mike Zimmer says that Ngakoue “looks like he’s in good shape.’‘ (Chris Tomasson)
  • Ngakoue also said his dream is “to get a gold jacket” one day. (Tomasson)
  • Ngakoue did not see himself going to the Vikings, and says the team came out of nowhere: “The Vikings kind of came out of the blue. I appreciate Minnesota so much in having faith in me.” (Tomasson)
  • Ngakoue had this to say about taking a near $6 million pay cut to join the Vikings: “Money was never my drive coming into this business. It has never been my drive. I’ve always wanted to be a great-caliber guy, great-quality guy, on and off the field. I just needed a fresh start, and Minnesota was [the team] that gave me the opportunity to continue to live out my dream. I’m appreciative and excited.” (Courtney Cronin)
  • Ngakoue said he wanted a “fresh start” after not being able to work out a long-term deal with Jacksonville: “I kind of felt a little disheartened about it. But at the end of the day, it’s business. I’m still thankful and appreciative they gave me an opportunity to have my dream for four years. It’s always going to be love for Jacksonville but (my family and I) felt like it was best for me to be able to move forward to a new place, new organization, and just get a fresh start.” (Cronin)
  • Ngakoue, who led the league in forced fumbles in 2017, said that he can be a difference-maker beyond just getting sacks: “Everybody can get sacks. But the guys that are special, that get gold jackets, are the guys that can change the game. Forcing a fumble is changing the game.” (Ben Goessling)
  • Zimmer on the Vikings’ depth at cornerback: “I feel pretty good about it, really. I think these guys have done a nice job. All the corners have shown strides and they’ve all improved.” (Graff)

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