The Minnesota Vikings may have found their new locker room clown in offensive guard Alex Boone. He is a big man - measuring in at 6-foot-8, 310 pounds - with an even bigger personality. He was joking around with the local media, saying that he is not sure how his new head coach, Mike Zimmer, feels about him because he is so over-the-top all the time.
Most fans know Zimmer as the coach on the sidelines that is either screaming at a referee or one of his players, so much that his face starts to turn red. But off the field he is quite a bit different. He is generally quite and sometimes his voice isn’t much louder than a whisper, and he is much more subdued all around.
So when these two met for the first time it could have been a bit of a personality clash.
“I love Mike. Mike’s the man. I don’t know how he feels about me right now, but I’m hoping he’ll come around,” Boone said with a bit of a laugh. “I think he thinks I’m a little oddball, but it’s OK.
“When I first met him he was kind of like - he sat down, he was very quiet and I was real loud and I was like, ‘Maybe I need to take it down a little bit.’ Then I went back up. I love the guy, though, I think he’s great and I’m excited to play for him.”
Zimmer is not the only member of the Vikings organization that Boone is looking forward to playing with/for. He was a part of the San Francisco 49ers organization when Tony Sparano was the tight ends coach there. For that reason, Boone never got to work under Sparano, but he could tell that he liked the way he coached.
Sparano is now the offensive line coach for the Vikings and Boone can already tell that he is going to enjoy playing for him.
“He kind of set the tempo from the first day, which as an offensive line I think is great,” Boone explained. “Your coach should always be the general. He’s the guy that sets the tempo for you and he laid it out, ‘Listen, there’s no nonsense. We’re going to rise the bar this year.’ And I think it was great.”
Boone is also looking forward to having the opportunity to block for his new running back, Adrian Peterson, and his new quarterback, Teddy Bridgewater. He believes Peterson is one of the best backs in the league and loves how he just looks to punish defenders.
In regards to Bridgewater, Boone believes that he is the “prototypical quarterback” and he loves that.
“He’s a great guy. He’s great to be around and he doesn’t overstep his boundaries, which is awesome,” Boone said. “He’s always coming up, ‘Hey, great job, good to see you,’ and stuff like that. He’s an awesome quarterback. I’ve watched him play for awhile now, we played against him, and the plays he makes are unbelievable, and I’m hoping we can expand that and make it more and give him some more opportunities.”
Another player that he is really looking forward to playing with is Matt Kalil. Boone is going to be the Vikings’ starting left guard, which means he will be lining up right next to Kalil on every play, so it is important that the two of them get on the same page quickly.
That has been the case so far, from the sounds of it, and Boone is excited about things to come. He doesn’t care about the struggles Kalil has faced in the past or the criticism that has surrounded him for a majority of his career because from what he has seen, Kalil is a hard worker that has the respect of the locker room.
“I’m a firm believe that as long as you have respect in the room, you’re good. So I think for Matt and I it’s just kind of building a relationship,” Boone explained. “We’ve been hanging out a lot and we sit next to each other in the meeting room now, talk about things, “What do you see? What do I see? Here’s what I think we should do,’ stuff like that. It’s growing really well and I’m really excited.”