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New Vikings DC Brian Flores on "building an identity" for the defense

A look at key games in the Vikings schedule
A look at key games in the Vikings schedule 03:13

MINNEAPOLIS -- Vikings fans got a preview Wednesday of how the team's new defensive coordinator is overhauling his side of the ball. 

Brian Flores spoke to the media from the Vikings' training facility, addressing his approach, his view of the young secondary and more.

Brian Flores Minnesota Vikings

On overhauling the defense

"We're really laying groundwork with terminology and basic information, but really trying to build those relationships that you need, in order to have success in this league. And I think that's individually from our coaches, from our players. And I would say they've worked extremely hard up to this point.

"But it's really a day in, day out grind of learning the new information, learning the the new techniques, the new fundamentals. But it's one thing to learn them and it's a different thing to apply them. That's something we talk about a lot in our meeting room.

"So our guys are working hard to apply the new techniques, the new fundamentals, the new terminology. They're all working extremely hard and it's a process, it's a process. And we're really at the beginning stages of that process and it'll go on."

On young players Akayleb Evans and Lewis Cine

"Akayleb specifically, obviously it's year two for him. He's a little bit more comfortable, but he's really working at his craft, footwork, hand placement, those techniques, those fundamentals. Down the field, seeing the ball in the air and going and getting it and using some of the things that are strengths of his and trying to minimize some of what some might perceive as weaknesses. That's really what he's been working on, and really, I would say the same thing about all our guys.

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"Physically, [Cine] looks good. And he's learning and he was here all the entire offseason. And he's been working and working and working and working. And yeah, we're excited to just continue to work and grow and learn and he's done a good job. Again, you know, we're, we're still very early in the process, too. We're really early in the installs, too, so there's a lot to learn, but a lot of opportunity for him to grow as well. He's done a nice job."

On competition between players

"It's always in a competition. I think that's how you really get the best version of each player, of each coach, of each whatever it is.

"We don't care about what means you got here. Our guys are gonna compete at different positions. That's part of it. Maybe you're not the starter at this position, but you are the starter in this position or you find some playing time in a different role. But yeah, always a competition. All those corners that you mentioned are a part of that, it's a young group. They're all working hard. We'll try to find the best combination that works for our team for that specific game.: 

On his aggressive philosophy

"We're installing an aggressive style of defense. But I think identity is a big part of it as well. And building an identity is a big part of playing defense in this league and it's early, but that's part of it, too. I understand that. I try to impart that to our players. And that happens over time. And every time we step on the practice field, you know, what is our identity? What are people gonna say about us? Not that we're worried about that but what do we want it to look like? And that's a lot of the conversation that's had in our meeting room and we'll continue to have it and try to continue to work to put that product on the field that we've talked about making it look like."

The Vikings' first preseason game is Thursday, Aug. 10 at 9 p.m. in Seattle against the Seahawks. They open the regular season at home against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday, Sept. 10.

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