Vikings DT Harrison Phillips Optimistic about Brian Flores’ Defensive Improvements

“There’s guys flying around, guys excited about the different packages and different personnel and the versatility that we have as a defense right now,” expressed Phillips.

Matthew Fanizza
July 21, 2023

As the new NFL season approaches, Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Harrison Phillips appeared on SiriusXM NFL Radio‘s The SiriusXM Blitz with Bruce Murray & Mark Dominik, sharing his excitement and anticipation for the upcoming grind of the season.

Phillips, entering his second year with the Vikings after spending time in Buffalo, discussed the team’s defensive improvements and its potential under the guidance of new defensive coordinator Brian Flores.

Listen to the full interview with Harrison Phillips on the SiriusXM App

New Defensive Coordinator Brian Flores

Discussing the changes in the defense, Phillips highlighted the team’s shift to a new scheme under defensive coordinator Brian Flores, who replaced former coordinator Ed Donatell.

While acknowledging the positive aspects of the previous defense, Phillips expressed enthusiasm about the versatility and different packages that the new scheme offers. He believes the offseason program has been productive, and the team is eager to demonstrate its strengths once the pads come on.

“We obviously have a little bit of a different scheme, and, you know… I loved the way that [Ed Donatell] talked about partnerships and connections and, some of the things that we did, it was a fun season last year,” Phillips said. “But moving into this year, man, the offseason program has been really good. There’s guys flying around, guys excited about the different packages and different personnel and the versatility that we have as a defense right now.”

Last Season’s Defensive Struggles

Addressing the defensive struggles from the previous season, Harrison Phillips expressed difficulty in pinpointing the exact cause. He credits the team’s unselfish players for their dedication, which sometimes led to challenging situations on the field.

Despite the statistical setbacks, Phillips emphasized that the players’ focus remains on winning as a team and growing from their experiences.

Phillips shared, “We got caught in some bad situations time after time again, and some of the binds that players were being in, because we had a lot of unselfish players on our team. I would handicap myself because I knew the bind that Jordan Hicks had behind me and I knew that if I only played the pass on this play and it happened to be a run that would make Jordan’s jobs way harder or vice versa.”

Phillips continued, “We were all just very unselfish players, which is a great thing to build the defense around. There was a little disconnect somehow that it just didn’t fall the way we did. But man, guys really enjoyed it. We had a lot of fun, and you know, the statistics didn’t come along. It’s a cliche to say, but it is true.”

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