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Vikings' Kevin O'Connell a big fan of Josh Dobbs' 'athleticism' and 'intelligence'

“I’ve always been a fan of the combination of his skillset, from a standpoint of being able to provide some athleticism."

As luck would have it, Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O'Connell was doing an interview on SirusXM Blitz when news broke Tuesday afternoon that the Vikings had made a trade for Arizona Cardinals quarterback Josh Dobbs. 

"First and foremost, I think a guy that’s been playing, the experience that he’s had helping that Arizona team move the football the way they have, and compete in a lot of games against some really good opponents," O'Connell said of Dobbs in the breaking news moment. 

“I’ve always been a fan of the combination of his skillset, from a standpoint of being able to provide some athleticism, make some plays in the pocket and outside the pocket," O'Connell continued. "I think he’s a very intelligent guy which gives us the opportunity to get him in here, in a short amount of time, and try to prepare him for any snaps, when that may occur."

With Kirk Cousins' season-ending Achilles injury the Vikings went on a quick search for a QB to take over the reins of a high-powered offense and they landed on Dobbs. The Vikings parted with a sixth-round pick for Dobbs and the Cardinals' seventh-round pick in 2024, with the deal announced only two hours before the trade deadline was set to strike. 

Dobbs was benched Monday by Cardinals head coach Jonathan Gannon after leading Arizona to a 1-7 record to start the season. The 28-year-old has thrown 1,569 yards, eight touchdowns and five interceptions while completing 62.3% of his passes.

Does Dobbs' arrival mean rookie fifth-rounder Jaren Hall is out of contention for the starting job. Not necessarily. At least not this week when the Vikings play the Atlanta Falcons. 

"At the same time, we’re excited and confident in Jaren Hall," O'Connell said. "And what we can put together in a game plan for Jaren to go out there against a really good team, on the road, in a tough environment in Atlanta, and hopefully play good football."

Hall took over for Cousins in the late moments of the Vikings' 24-10 win over the Packers on Sunday and he completed 3-of-4 passes for 23 yards. He was also sacked and fumbled deep in Minnesota's territory. 

"One of the ways we're going to adjust, is try to build some things around Jaren and see if we can go out there and have some success offensively with him," O'Connell said, again signaling that Hall is the likely starter Sunday against the Falcons. "Then acquiring Josh Dobbs to hopefully go along with Nick Mullens, when he's able to return. We at least feel like we've solidified the depth and the possibility to still play winning football through the quarterback position and the great offensive group we have around that guy."

On if Dobbs can see the field this week for the Vikings, O'Connell said, "It comes down to how quickly can we get him here, how can we get him caught up in just the basics of the offense first and foremost."

"If Josh is able to come in here and absorb some of the baseline information, get some reps out there to start getting acclimated with some of our guys," O'Connell continued, "we feel like anything is really possible with a guy as smart as Josh is and a guy that has played a lot of football this year."