Hunter getting early advice from Vikings
Danielle Hunter is one of the young and athletically gifted players that the Minnesota Vikings drafted in 2015. He is still a very raw player and it could take a couple years for the coaches to develop him properly. But the training has already begun and he is also building a good relationship with them.
During the team’s first rookie minicamp, head coach Mike Zimmer pulled Hunter aside after multiple plays to coach him up. Hunter said that Zimmer was telling him to use his long arms more to gain an advantage on the offensive tackles.
“(Zimmer) was just telling me I have long levers and I should start using them,” Hunter said. “He said if I didn’t start using them he’s going to chop them off and stuff like that.”
But Zimmer is not the only coach that has been working with Hunter. In fact, Vikings defensive line coach Andre Patterson has been helping him even more. Although he hasn’t known Patterson long, Hunter already feels as though he can trust him and believes in what he is coaching.
“As long as I do what coach P tells me to do, there’s no telling what I can do,” Hunter said. “I could probably go beyond (Jared Allen and Everson Griffen’s) point or go where they’re at. All I have to do is keep listening to coach P.”
The trust and respect that Hunter has for Patterson comes from a relationship that they were able to build during the pre-draft process. Hunter was one of the players the Vikings met with at the NFL Scouting Combine, so he was able to get to know the coaching staff as a whole.
When Hunter was training out in Arizona, Patterson went to Arizona State’s pro day. The two talked again there and Hunter said since then they have had a good relationship.
“He was over there and I was just talking to him, seeing what it was like to practice at the rookie camps and all that,” Hunter said. “So we built a relationship over there and ever since then we’ve been cool.”
Players like Hunter can be tricky prospects because the coaches have to teach them a lot of new things in order to help develop them. So if the player doesn’t trust the coaches, the learning process can be hindered.
Hunter hasn’t known the Vikings coaching staff long, but he already feels comfortable around them and trusts them, and that should only help his development moving forward.
“They’re all comfortable, like I can talk to them and all that,” Hunter said. “They’re great people, all of them, and just people I can be around. I trust them a lot and I feel comfortable around them.”
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