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Vikings' Kevin O'Connell: 'Write our own story, and we're holding the pen'

A tremendous quote from the Vikings' second year head coach.
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Even at 0-3 with losses to the Buccaneers, Eagles and Chargers to start the season, head coach Kevin O'Connell still believed the Minnesota Vikings could climb out of the coffin and reassert themselves as a formidable team in the NFL. 

"The sky was never falling to those guys in that locker room," O'Connell said after Minnesota defeated New Orleans 27-19 for a fifth straight win to get the Vikings to 6-4 on the season. 

"I can remember vividly standing in front of them the Monday after we did go 0-3, and I can remember the message was, I felt, all of us together working forward to accomplish something special was one of the greatest opportunities we would have professionally," O'Connell recalled. 

"Adversity, truly, if you look at it as an opportunity and you have your football team all looking inward and trying to be the best versions of themselves for that greater good of trying to accomplish something special, I am of the belief that we can continue to go out and write our own story, and we're holding the pen."

Kevin O'Connell, Josh Dobbs

Nov 12, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O'Connell celebrates with quarterback Joshua Dobbs (15) after a touchdown against the New Orleans Saints in the second quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. 

The sky might not've been falling in the locker room after an 0-3 start, but it certainly seemed to be falling to everyone else after Minnesota found itself 1-4 with Justin Jefferson being placed on injured reserved after a 27-20 loss to the Chiefs on Oct. 8. 

The Vikings have gone 5-0 without Jefferson and 2-0 without Kirk Cousins, who was playing at an MVP level when he ruptured his Achilles two weeks ago against the Packers. 

Josh Dobbs has filled in admirably, perhaps making the Vikings more dangerous thanks to his ability to run as a quarterback. He had 66 yards a rushing touchdown against the Falcons just five days after being traded to Minnesota and his encore performance Sunday against the Saints saw him do the same. 

And now Jefferson, the reigning NFL Offensive Player of the Year, is on the cusp of returning, perhaps as soon as next Sunday night on national TV against the Denver Broncos. The 6-4 Vikings have a tremendous opportunity to take down the Broncos, Bears and Raiders to get to 8-4 entering the Week 13 bye. 

"There's a lot of challenges out in front of us. We've gotta laser our focus like we've done. Each opportunity, each day, each meeting, each walk-through, each practice," O'Connell said. "And when you do it the way these guys have and when you've got the leadership that we do, my expectation is things will continue to be what we've been."