The newest member of the Vikings hasn't been able to practice yet, but Bashaud Breeland seems quite excited to be in Minnesota and is looking forward to getting going in training camp. The veteran cornerback, signed by the Vikings last week, spoke to reporters for the first time on Wednesday and showed off a ton of personality.
Breeland showed up to the Zoom presser wearing a Scottie Pippen college jersey and introduced himself as "Breezy." That was only the beginning.
The most notable information that came out of the interview was that Breeland had shoulder surgery following last season. That's why he hasn't gotten onto the field yet for OTAs despite being present the past two days. But Breeland says he's on track with his recovery, and ESPN's Courtney Cronin reported that he's expected to be "full go" for training camp in late July.
Breeland visited the Vikings a few weeks ago, and although the contract negotiations took a little bit, this was the place he wanted to be.
"It was really easy," Breeland said. "I came and had my visit and I was able to really communicate with everybody in the organization, and it was all love at the time. Contract negotiations and talks kind of slowed up doing that process after the visit, then we finally came to an agreement and I'm here now and I'm ready to really help the Vikings get to where I know this team can be. The past two days I've been here, the chemistry and the love that each player got for each other is glorious, and that's what you need to get to the big dance."
Two things appealed about Minnesota to Breeland. One was playing for Mike Zimmer, who will be the first defensive-minded head coach he's had in his career. Even while he was supposed to be stuck on the sidelines on Wednesday, Breeland had a fun exchange with his new coach.
"[Zim] was teaching Pat Pete the technique and he looked over at me like 'what you looking at, why you ain't out here?'" Breeland said. "I'm like 'you teach one, you teach all of us!' but he still made me come out there and really get my own rep and get my own feel."
The other thing that appealed to Breeland was that he gets, in his words, "the best of both worlds" in that he's neither the oldest nor the youngest guy in the secondary. He can learn from potential future Hall of Famers Peterson and Harrison Smith, while as a vet himself can help lead some of the younger DBs on the roster.
Breeland also mentioned that he believes he was brought in to play outside corner. He's expected to compete with Cameron Dantzler for a starting spot opposite Peterson, although there could also be a rotation employed to get both guys on the field early on.
Overall, Breeland's early impressions of the team have been positive. He already knows Mackensie Alexander and Kirk Cousins because he played with them at Clemson and in Washington, respectively, but he says had an easy time meeting the rest of his new teammates as well, and that everyone has been very welcoming.
One thing Breeland brings to the table is Super Bowl experience, having played in each of the last two with the Chiefs, winning it two seasons ago. Punter Britton Colquitt was the only Viking with a Super Bowl ring prior to Breeland's arrival. And now that he's tasted that ultimate glory, he wants to go back.
"Once you taste it, man, it’s an electrifying feeling, it’s a feeling like no other," he said. "In life, it’s kind of rare to get these type of feelings. But once you get it you’re chasing it every day, every down, every play."