Vikings: Dean Lowry, Marcus Davenport talk joining Brian Flores led defense

There have been at least three common themes that have emerged as the Minnesota Vikings bring in new players in the 2023 offseason to ramp up the defense: They embrace Kevin O’Connell’s energy, they love TCO Performance Center and they’re excited to play for Brian Flores.

On Thursday, defensive lineman Dean Lowry and outside linebacker Marcus Davenport spoke with reporters virtually to talk about signing with the Vikings in free agency. Both have previous ties to Minnesota.


Dean Lowry played his first seasons in the defensive line in Green Bay after being a fourth-round draft pick out of Northwestern in 2016. He’s made 80 starts over that time, including 45 of a possible 47 over the last three seasons.

He left the Packers to join one of their biggest NFC North Division rivals, and calls it "re-energizing."

"I have so much respect for the Vikings and the way they do things. This past year you could tell just a difference and a feel with the team when coach O’Connell got there," Lowry said. "I think that my experience in the division will help. I’m excited, there’s already a strong foundation in place and I’m looking forward to joining a great thing."

He recorded 15.5 sacks and more than 250 career tackles in Green Bay, but it was a conversation with Kwesi Adofo-Mensah on a visit to Minnesota that had him intrigued. The Vikings front office head gave the veteran feedback on how he can get better.

"That’s different from a front office standpoint to where I’ve been. I’m coachable, and I want to improve my game and have someone who is a bright football mind give you feed back and tell you from an outside perspective things you can work on. That’s good for me to hear, you can always be coached," Lowry said.

He also calls new defensive coordinator Brian Flores "one of the bright minds in football." Flores is in charge of revamping a defense that was one of the worst in the NFL last season, and was one of the biggest factors in the Vikings not going deeper in the playoffs.

"I’ve been a huge fan of his for a long time, just following his defenses. It seems like everywhere he goes, he has great success," Lowry said. "If I had to describe his vision for defense, I would say it’s versatile and tough. Excited to play for coach Flores."


Marcus Davenport got his first look at TCO Performance Center last week, but had to leave the Twin Cities before some details in his contract were finalized. The former Texas-San Antonio standout was a first round pick of the New Orleans Saints in 2018, and has been giving offensive lines fits ever since as an edge rusher.

Davenport faced the Vikings last year, and is college teammates with former Vikings’ tight end David Morgan. He also works out in the offseason with defensive tackle Harrison Phillips. Davenport was sold on Minnesota after a conversation with O’Connell and Adofo-Mensah.

"My favorite part of talking to them was their excitement, just the energy I got from them. Him (O’Connell) in particular stood out as somebody I would love to go play for," Davenport said.

Davenport played 62 career games over five seasons with the Saints, and made 32 starts. He comes to Minnesota with 21.5 sacks and 142 tackles, but had just a half sack last season.

To call that motivation for him is an understatement.

"I’m very critical, I’m still upset. That’s just fuel for the future. I kind of go over my play and see that I didn’t capitalize," Davenport said. "I believe with my whole heart that this should be the best year. I think we can do great things together."