The Minnesota Vikings announced the signing of DT Linval Joseph yesterday. After the signing Joseph answered some questions from the media…
Vikings Defensive Tackle Linval Joseph
Q: Was it a no-brainer coming to Minnesota or did you have to look at other options?
A: My agent pretty much did all of the work and Minnesota was definitely on top. I’m glad to be a Viking.
Q: Why were they on top?
A: Because they reached out. They reached out before anybody else did. Like I said, purple and gold, I played at East Carolina, had the same colors and I’m back in purple and gold.
Q: What was the Giants last offer?
A: I really don’t know the exact number. I know it was nowhere near the Vikings number, I can say that.
Q: What was it specifically about the defense or the coaching staff?
A: I like the defense here because they really work hard. Like last year, they lost a lot of games only by 3 points, so they know how to work hard. I’m glad that the Vikings gave me the opportunity to come here and to help and to build to get a Super Bowl.
Q: Are you surprised at how quickly everything came together?
A: Yeah. Like I said, first time doing it so it just happened so fast. Like I said, in the first hour it was already done, so it was quick.
Q: What is that 3-day negotiating window like? Does it help you weed through the process?
A: Like I said, my agent did most of the work. He just called and let me know where things were going and the direction things were going. I just listened to him and I trust him and made the best decision.
Q: With that decision sitting in someone else’s hands what is that 3 days like for you?
A: I tried to just stay calm and just let my play do the work.
Q: What do you know about Minnesota? How many times have you been here before?
A: I came here 4 years ago on a visit and I didn’t get drafted here, but I’m back here. Everything still looks the same. I like the head coach, he’s a strong guy just like Coach [Tom] Coughlin. I think we’re going to get along well.
Q: Were there other teams that you were looking at?
A: There were two other teams I guess I could say – Oakland Raiders and Atlanta Falcons. But like I said, Minnesota was the one on top.
Q: Have you already started to look at how you might fit in on the defensive line?
A: Yes, more of a run stopper, go inside, play a shade and stop the run and let the guys on the outside get some sacks.
Q: How do you think that you’ll fit in with some of the defensive ends here?
A: I know [Everson] Griffin, we came out together [2010 NFL Draft], so that’s good. I’m excited. I’m excited to work with these guys and try to get them better and teach them what I know so that we can win games and try and go to the Super Bowl again.
Q: What is it that you like about a strong coach?
A: He’s straight-forward, I can tell he’s straight-forward and he’s defensive minded and he wants to win. By them giving me the opportunity, it shows me that he really, really wants hard-working guys to come in and help contribute to win games.
Q: You don’t mind if they are passionate at all in that approach?
A: I don’t mind it. I don’t mind it all.
Q: With the Vikings showing interest in the 3-day window, did it give you an opportunity to watch film and see what Zimmer’s defense is all about?
A: No, not really. I talked to him already and it’s pretty much like the Giants, so it’s not going to be a hard transition at all. I’m just excited to get started.
Q: Was it important for you to get this done fast?
A: I didn’t really have a preference. I’m just glad to be off the board and I’m glad to be with the Vikings.
Q: Was being a free agent all that you anticipated it to be?
A: I heard all of the different things just like when I went to the combine I heard a lot of different things. It happens fast, that’s all I’m going to say. It happens really, really fast and you just have to be ready for it.
Q: Do you look at it that you are a young guy still scratching the surface and ready to break out?
A: I look at it that way. I feel like every year as a pro I got better and now I’m with the Minnesota Vikings and I want to get even better. I want to try and make it to the Pro Bowl and like I said, win some more games and win a Super Bowl here.
Q: Where have you gotten better? And what do you still need to get better at?
A: Just at being a run-stopper and getting after the passer, just being a student of the game. Every year I feel like I got better just from my stats and just as a person and as a teammate. I like the course of where I’m going at.
Q: Describe the thrill of winning a Super Bowl and having already won one, does that mean you can be more patient in your next situation because you have a ring?
A: Well, the first one came so fast, my second year in the league and hard work. You just have to be a true team. You have to be together. That’s what I feel like is going to happen here. We’re going to get together and the second one is going to be bigger than the first one.
Q: So there will be a second one here for you?
A: Yes, hopefully there will be a second one while I’m here.
Q: How do you like being the biggest guy on the field most of the time?
A: It feels pretty good. I’ve always been like this all of my life after I guess high school. It feels pretty good to be a bigger guy on the field and still run with the smaller guys, so it’s a good feeling.
Q: Even though you are still young, you winning a Super Bowl has kind of put you into a veteran role. Is that something you take on as a leadership role now?
A: Yes, I do. I feel like my job is to come here and grow as a person, but help this team grow as well and just make history.
Q: What player took you in under his wing with the Giants?
A: It was more of a collective thing. I think that’s why we were kind of close. It was just a team thing. You had Barry Cofield, the Chris Cantis, Justin Tucks, (Mathias Kiwanuka). You stick together and when you stick together, you go far. That’s what I want to bring here – togetherness.
Q: What’s it like playing nose tackle with all of those bodies flying around you?
A: Man, it’s fun. This is a fun game and I’m just glad I have an opportunity to play.
Q: What do you think you have that makes you an effective nose tackle?
A: I have size, I have speed, I have smarts and I make plays. At the end of the day, that’s what this game is about – making plays.
Q: Who is a nose tackle you looked up to growing up?
A: Pat [Williams], I watched Pat. Pat is a physical guy, he loved to slam guys. I watched him a lot. [John] Henderson from the Jacksonville Jaguars, he was a big, he was normally bigger than everybody else, too. He was a nice, strong, physical guy and he moved pretty good on his feet.
Q: What did you like most about Pat?
A: His attitude. He wanted to be better. He wanted to show everybody that he’s good, he still had it, and he wanted to show that he was an all-time great. He had something to prove from where he started to where he finished.
Q: Are you a trash talker like him?
A: No, I’m not a trash talker, not at all.
Q: How do you think yours and Pat’s games compare?
A: Just make plays. Pat made a lot of plays as a Vikings and he’s loved around here and I want to be the same way.
Q: When did you start playing football?
A: I started playing football in high school, my second year of high school I took it serious. I’ve been playing football for about 10 years.
Q: When did you come to the United States from the Virgin Islands?
A: I came over to the United States, or Florida, when I was 10.
Q: Why East Carolina?
A: They gave me an opportunity.
Q: Where there any other offers out there going into college?
A: I was supposed to originally go to the University of Florida and they backed off in the end and East Carolina gave me an opportunity and I just took it. Everything happens for a reason and I took advantage of it.
Q: Did you know Sharrif Floyd at all?
A: I know Sharrif. I know a couple of guys on the team that went to Florida. I trained with a couple of guys and we’re all pretty much the same age and came into the league together, so it’s pretty cool.
Q: The defensive line is pretty young. Do you think that can help in the camaraderie that you are looking for?
A: Like I said, guys that are the same age come through and have pretty much been through the same thing, it’s going to help bring the team together. I think that’s a plus.