Lions FB Jason Cabinda, who signed a two-year extension on Thursday, said his career has been a “roller coaster” after converting from linebacker to fullback.
“I’ve been scratching and crawling if I’m being honest,” Cabinda said, via Tim Twentyman of the team’s official site. “Not a whole lot of people know my story about being undrafted and being on the practice squad, the defense to offense. It’s been quite a roller coaster of a ride.”
Cabinda feels “more stable” at fullback and has a better understanding of the position.
“To be in a place I can feel more stable and feel focused on my position and growing and knowing exactly what’s expected of me and kind of what I need to focus on is huge for me.”
When asked about his decision to re-sign, Cabinda responded that he has confidence in Hc Dan Campbell and GM Brad Holmes.
“I think it starts with Dan Campbell and Brad Holmes and them building this foundation from the ground up. That toughness and grit and that attitude and the mentality that we bring to the field,” Cabinda said.
“Well, I know he’s under contract and I’m excited to coach him,” O’Connell said, via Courtney Cronin of ESPN. “We’ve already started thinking about how we’re going to build those systems for him and our other quarterbacks and really the tremendous skill group that we have, our guys upfront. It takes all 11 to move the football on offense, to run it, to throw it, to score points in the red zone. But I’m anticipating Kirk being a part of what we do.”
Vikings GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah reiterated that they are “focused on building” around Cousins.
“I’m excited that he’s excited to coach him and lead him, and we’re focused on building the team around him to set us up to succeed the best we can,” Adofo-Mensah said.
Vikings co-owner Mark Wilf also mentioned that they are moving forward with Cousins at quarterback.
“Kwesi and Kevin have spoken very extensively on it,” Wilf said. “I certainly do believe and even more so now that we’ve got our leadership here in place that we are built to be successful right away. We feel very confident about that and like you heard before, we’re going to work with Kirk as our quarterback and we’ll move forward from there. But for 2022, for sure, we’re going to be supercompetitive. Sustained success is the goal and I think we have it with this leadership.”
O’Connell added that he wants to maximize Cousins in his lineup.
“Kirk has played at a very high level and he’s done a lot of really good things throughout his career,” O’Connell said. “I know who he is as a player and I know what he’s capable of, and part of our job as coaches is maximizing a player’s ability to go out every single Sunday and have success. I feel that’s going to be an advantage for us as we build our system offensively, make sure we really focus on the things Kirk does well, which I do think are a lot of aspects of playing the position, and help him on a daily basis connect with his team, lead us, be a completely quiet-minded quarterback that can go play because he’s talented enough to go do that, putting him in the best possible situations to have success.”
Vikings second-year G Wyatt Davis said he is making sure to put himself in a better position to contribute to Minnesota’s offensive line after appearing in just 28 special teams snaps last season.
“Obviously, I wanted to help contribute and I didn’t have the opportunity to do so, which is why I’m making sure that doesn’t happen again, absolutely,” Davis said, via Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press.
Davis said he is excited to work with new HC Kevin O’Connell.
“I’m excited to get to know (O’Connell),” Davis said. “With all the changes that have been made, obviously it was done for a reason to help propel us and take that next step this upcoming season. So I’m looking forward to being able to get to meet him and get to work with him.”
Davis reiterated that he has been training over the offseason and looking forward to getting to camp.
“I’m just doing everything I can to put me in a position to help my team win,” Davis said. “I’m just looking to work once we get back into doing (Vikings) stuff. … Once that opportunity comes, I’m going to take it and never look back. So I’m just trying to do everything in my power right now to put me in a spot to do so.”