NFC Notes: Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, Joshua Dobbs, Jared Goff, Lions, Vikings


Lions QB Jared Goff has had an interesting career so far and is now set to face the team that drafted him first overall in the Wild Card. Several weighed in on Goff and his performance leading up to the playoffs including HC Dan Campbell, RB David Montgomery, backup QB David Blough, and C Frank Ragnow.

“We got a quarterback, and thank God we got one,” Campbell said, via Kalyn Kahler of The Athletic. “We’re good.”

“One of the biggest reasons we’re sitting at 10 wins right now is him playing loose,” Campbell added. “Just trust what your eyes see, play the progression, and throw with conviction. Just because I don’t openly go after a player in the media doesn’t mean we don’t talk behind the scenes and in my office one-on-one about what we need to do better. As long as you’re open and honest with the player one-on-one and they know that you see them for what it is, or see the performance for what it is — good or bad — you can respect that, and that’s how you get better. And that’s what I’ve been able to do with him. That actually gives him confidence, and he knows that there’s still a trust and a belief in him. And that is important.”

“If not Jared, then who?” Montgomery asked. “Jared is the perfect person and quarterback for what we need.”

“He has been unflappable,” Blough noted on Goff. “Whenever somebody is out to get him, or somebody writes something, it just rolls off his back. … Either he doesn’t hear it or he acts like he doesn’t hear it. And it’s unbelievable how he’s responded in the last three seasons here, and that’s why we are where we are. Because he allowed himself to grow, and he’s playing the best football of his career.”

“That first season he was here, when we won three games, and now, where we’re at 10 wins, he’s the same guy every single day,” Ragnow recalled. “And I respect the crap out of him for it. He’s as consistent as it gets.”

Goff sat down with former Rams OT Andrew Whitworth who asked about his trade to Detroit, mentioning that he asked HC Sean McVay why the team decided to move on from him after drafting him first overall.

“Jan. 30, you’re blindsided with the fact that the Rams traded you to the Lions,” Whitworth said to Goff in the interview. “I thought it was so interesting that you still wanted, after the trade went through, to go sit down with Sean. Why was that so important to you to have that meeting with him? I think it’s one of the most courageous, tough things you could ever do. Imagine getting fired from your dream job. And you have the guts to go in and talk to the boss and just ask how you could have been better.”

“It was less about what Sean would exactly say,” Whitworth continued. “That was Jared standing up for himself, being like, I’m gonna make you sit down and tell me. We can end this relationship, but at least give me my closure.”

“The further you get away from it, the more that you try to grow as a man, as a person, as the leader that you want to become, he deserved better than the way that it all went down,” McVay commended on the transition. “I’ll acknowledge that. I think he knows that too. … I think we’re all better being able to look back on those things, and I do have more appreciation for him as time goes on.”


Vikings QB Joshua Dobbs, who is an impending free agent, said he’s enjoyed his time in Minnesota and the support he’s received since being acquired from the Cardinals. 

“The amount of support I got here from teammates, coaches, personnel, front office, fans,” Dobbs said, via Andrew Krammer of the Indianapolis Star. “Watching everyone in the Denver game dressed up in astronaut costumes was unbelievable. So, yeah, you know, whatever the future holds. I’ve really enjoyed my time here and playing for the Vikings, and I’ll be excited to see what opportunities come from this.”

Dobbs is looking forward to having a full offseason to study a team’s playbook given he’s been on seven different teams in as many years. 

“Understand those building blocks and go out and play football,” Dobbs said. “That eases your mind so much at quarterback. From the other end of the spectrum, where you show up on Tuesday and you have to master the offense quickly and go out and play and still win football games. So, that feat definitely is something I don’t take for granted. But rather have it the first way, right? That’s something I look for as I’m looking at the opportunities for next year. What gives me the most consistent chance to play consistent football?”


Vikings GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah feels he and HC Kevin O’Connell have done well to collaborate on addressing their needs. 

“Yeah, I would say that it started really with the interview process,” said Adofo-Mensah, via VikingsWire. “We developed a common language, how we communicate with each other, how we talk about risk-reward, how it’s going to be on the field, what this means to our team, so we’re very comfortable in those situations right now. I think we’ve done a pretty good job of addressing needs in those ways and that collaboration will continue. It’s not just with Kevin, it’s with my staff, with his coaches, a lot of people in this building who, I think this building does a really good job of incorporating a lot of different viewpoints and we’ll continue to try to get better with our process to make sure those viewpoints result in just the best results we can.”

As for where Minnesota is in their rebuild, Adofo-Mensah said they’ve regained some cap flexibility and want to continue building their depth. 

“Yeah, I think when you look at that, the point of that was to still provide ourselves a chance in the tournament every year while regaining financial flexibility, finding the next generation of great Vikings players, incorporating our systems that we value so much, and I think when you look back at it, I think we’ve done a lot of positives,” said Adofo-Mensah. “I think we’ve regained some of our financial flexibility. We have competed to be in the tournament last year as the division champions and this year, through adversity, had a lot of meaningful games late, and there’s some things we need to be better at, no question. I think, again, you want to get to a point from a depth, from a top end standpoint, where you can overcome the adversity we have, so right now, in the competitive rebuild, we want to get to a place where there’s no rebuild, right, it’s just competitive in a window, and I think we’re close to that. It’s going to take a big offseason. It’s why we’re going to be here a lot, and I think it’s important and its key, and I’m excited for the challenge.”

Regarding their defensive depth from recent drafts, Adofo-Mensah said they will gauge how players are developing but will continue finding ways to improve the roster. 

“Yeah, it’s a great question and ultimately, when you talk about young players, the path isn’t always linear, right? When you study these things, first and foremost, you know that when you study development curves, nobody is peaking in year one, that’s not how it happens,” said Adofo-Mensah. “Also, you know that players sometimes it’s year three, five, whatever it is, for different situations and where it’s hard is when you have a player that you have some belief that they could be something in the future, if you bring in a veteran who’s probably better today, you limit that potential for every seeing it, so it’s that go between which is difficult. Every team faces it, I’m not going to sit here and ask and say that our challenge is any different than anybody else’s, but to your point, it is something we have to be thoughtful and really be accountable to. At the end of the day, it’s a results business for me, for everybody in this building, and so at some point, we need to just ask those hard questions and see we’re going with those things, but I can tell you this, you believe in those positive sloping lines as long as they show up, do the right thing, are about the right stuff, and a lot of the guys you’re talking about are, and we’re going to keep believing in them, but we’re also going to obviously be prepared to improve this roster the best way we see fit.”


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