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Kevin O’Connell praises Kellen Mond, who is getting a new start under a new coach

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It’s unclear exactly what Kellen Mond did to get in Mike Zimmer’s doghouse last year, or when it even happened. Maybe it was being unvaccinated from COVID-19, as were two other quarterbacks on the roster last preseason. Maybe it was simply being drafted by the Vikings, over which Mond had no control.

Whatever it was, perhaps no player on the Vikings’ roster has benefited more from Kevin O’Connell’s arrival than Mond.

Mond is getting some second-team reps, along with Sean Mannion, as they compete for the backup job behind Kirk Cousins.

“Kellen’s having a good spring so far, working incredibly hard, digesting the system,” O’Connell said Wednesday, via Dustin Baker of vikingsterritory.com. “He made a couple of checks yesterday at the line of scrimmage that he wasn’t prepared play-by-play for; he just instinctively did it. Those are the little things you look for.”

The Vikings made Mond a third-round choice in 2021. He threw 51 passes in three preseason games and never got off the bench in the regular season.

When asked if he wanted to see Mond in a meaningless Week 18 game, Zimmer replied, “Not particularly.” The coach added that he had seen enough at practice. A day later, Zimmer clarified that he wasn’t trying to diss Mond, saying, “I just meant [Mond] is the third-team quarterback.”

Zimmer now is gone, and Mond remains, getting a new start under a new coach.