Friday, April 28, 2017

Cook, Spielman, and Fisher Address the Media

Photo: Miami Herald

The Vikings selected Dalvin Cook in the NFL Draft and Daniel House has reactions from Cook, GM Rick Spielman, and Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher. 

Updated: April 28th, 2016 8:57pm

By: Daniel House

When the Vikings started aligning their draft board Friday morning, GM Rick Spielman said the jaws of running backs coach Kennedy Polamalu and offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur dropped. Spielman told them there was a possibility the team could select Florida State running back Dalvin Cook.

“When I told Polamalu about the possibility of Cook, his jaw kind of dropped,” Spielman noted.

The Vikings’ general manager said Pat Shurmur was also excited about the running back combination of Latavius Murray, Dalvin Cook, and Jerick McKinnon on the field. Cook earned All-ACC First Team honors and was the Doak Walker Award finalist in 2016. He rushed for 1,765 yards and added 488 receiving yards through the air in 2016. His ability to be a dynamic playmaker is something Spielman hopes will improve the team's running attack.

"One of the areas we definitely have to improve on is the running game,” Spielman said. "As a talent with the ball in his hands and as a receiver, we felt like he was one of the most complete backs in the draft."

With off-the-field issues potentially deterring teams away from selecting Cook, the Vikings did an extensive amount of research on the young running back. The general manager said he talked with Cook for 45 minutes on the phone Friday.

“We asked him very pointed questions and I knew he was sincere and honest with his answers,” Spielman said.

Cook himself said the meeting was a way for Spielman to learn more about him as a person.

“I was more eager for him to get to know me as a person,” Cook said. “For him to know that if he drafted me to the Minnesota Vikings, he was getting a guy that was going to represent the organization the right way, and go to war for his teammates every game to help them win football games.”

Cook, the 1,700-yard rusher in 2016, had several shoulder surgeries in high school and college, but checked out well medically, according to Rick Spielman.

“We had no concerns with his medical. We spent an extensive amount of time researching his background, very comfortable,” Spielman said.

The Vikings traded their fourth round selection (#128) to the Cincinnati Bengals to select Cook. Spielman said they started to contact teams when he slid down the draft board.

"As he kept coming down the board we felt he was too talented of a player not to take a swing and try to get him,” he noted.

Cook played in the ACC during his career at Florida State and Spielman said the way he performed against the talent was very telling. The GM said he watched Cook play live once and evaluated him heavily on tape.

"When you see him running away from defensive players that have that speed and talent level,
that kind of tells you what kind of football player he is,” he said.

In a conference call with the Twin Cities media, Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher said Cook
will bring dynamic play-making ability to Minnesota.

“I’ve coached a lot of great backs. Devonta Freeman was a phenomenal player, but Dalvin was more dynamic because of the home run speed,” Fisher said. “I haven’t coached against a back or coached a back that was so dynamic that every time he touched the ball he could score a touchdown.”

It’s high praise for the new Vikings running back, but he has plenty to prove as he makes the trek north to join his new team. Cook said he is personally ready to bring his passion for the game to Minnesota as he joins the Vikings.

“This is my life. I love football. It’s my job now,” he said. “I love the game and everything it represents…I’m going to come in and help this organization win more football games.”

1 comment:

  1. With all the Rick Spielman naysayers out there, everyone should love the aggressive move to acquire this talented young man. I can't help but think with Cook and our new lineman, this offense will improve tremendously with respect to time of possession and scoring.