NFC Notes: Jared Goff, Kevin O’Connell, Lions, Packers, Vikings


Lions GM Brad Holmes has high expectations for his team this season and sees no reason why they can’t win their division. 

“It’s not so much about the start, we all want to start fast, and you don’t want to be in a 1-6 hole again, but we’re just taking it step by step, phase by phase really, and that’s just how we roll,” Holmes said, via “Our confidence is very high. I do think that we’ve, let’s call it took our medicine in the past few years, me and Dan talk about it all the time, we’ve coached the Senior Bowl, we’ve had to do Hard Knocks, we’ve done all that, we’ve gone through a lot of darkness to get to this point. But that’s where the grit comes into place, in terms of just not really wavering, just putting your head down and not getting discouraged, and so we kinda just put the focus on building the best roster that we can and just getting the best football players. It’s not just collecting talented guys, it starts with football players first, and what’s a football player? Smart, passionate, instinctive, relentless, tough, gritty, it starts there. We have football players with talent, and we just steadily collected that over time, but we were very strategic and selective in that process. A lot of talented football players that we did not draft, a lot of talented football players that we did not sign in free agency, talented football players we didn’t put a claim in for, so it kinda got us to this point, but we feel [nods].”

“Yeah, it does feel good, and like what I’ve always said, I’m just happy for the fans and the city of Detroit, because they deserve that, they deserve that excitement, they deserve hope, so that’s really good,” Holmes added. “For us, let’s call it the hype train, if you want to call it what it’s been called, it was a little surprising to me this past offseason just because we didn’t make the playoffs. Love how we ended the season, but I didn’t think it would be to this magnitude. Regardless of whatever positive news is coming out, we’ll keep the same mindset. We’ll always be the hunters, and we’re not succumbing to targets on our back. We’ll always be hunting and aiming for the target, so it doesn’t really change our mission. I think Dan’s done an outstanding job with the team in terms of letting them know what the expectations are, and we’re not scared of the expectations, the expectations are earned through what we’ve built and what we’ve done up to this point in terms of how we finished the end of the season and through our player acquisition process. But now we’ve just got to prove them right.”

  • Lions QB Jared Goff said he’s been enjoying the amount of excitement around their team right now: “It’s fun being here in the city with all this excitement but with that being said it doesn’t mean anything if we don’t win,” per Eric Woodyard
  • Goff said he will “embrace” being in a potential shootout against the Chiefs in Week 1, per James Palmer. 
  • Lions GM Brad Holmes said dialogue on contract negotiations between the team and Goff and OT Jonah Jackson‘s representation has been “positive,” per Justin Rogers. 
  • Holmes told reporters that the team never contacted the 49ers about a trade for QB Trey Lance. (Woodyard)
  • Lions DC Aaron Glenn said he is personally expecting a big year from third-year DT Alim McNeill. (Tim Twentyman)


Packers S Zayne Anderson said Green Bay has been eying him over the last “year or two” and he considered signing with their practice squad before being claimed off waivers this week. 

“We had talked with my agent about potentially practice squad,” said Anderson, via PackersWire. “They kind of had an eye on us for a year or two. Just happy to be here, man. It’s a blessing, and excited for the opportunity.”

Anderson called ST coordinator Rich Bisaccia “one of the best” in the NFL. 

“He’s one of the best special teams coaches in the business,” said Anderson. “And you can tell just the way he coaches his players and the way he handles everyone. He coaches with a lot of enthusiasm and I think that’s important, especially with the special teams unit to have that. So I’m excited to be able to work with him.”

Anderson said keeping good fundamentals and high effort are important parts of playing special teams 

“It always comes down to fundamentals,” said Anderson. “Knowing where you’re supposed to be and obviously, at the end of the day, it’s a man versus a man. It’s all about effort. So I take pride in that. I take pride in special teams. I’m excited.”


Vikings HC Kevin O’Connell is still haunted by his 2022 playoff loss which ended on a short pass to TE T.J. Hockenson, with OC Wes Phillips noting that the team will likely never use the play again.

“You’re just responsible for everything,” O’Connell said, via Ben Goessling of the Star Tribune. “And if you’re leading from the front, all those moments in locker rooms where we came from behind or did this and this … if you’re going to enjoy that as much as you do, the harder moments hit you probably 10 times worse. If you’re leading the right way, you look inward first. That one really stuck with me for a while. We don’t know what will transpire in the future. But I tried to focus on not letting that be the defining moment, for anything other than doing things with that much more passion moving forward.”

“I don’t know if that play will ever be in an offense again,” Phillips added. “Not because it’s not a good play. Sometimes, you just have those memories.”

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