Case Keenum won't be anxious in his first playoff start, he'll be 'excited nervous'

From ESPN - January 12, 2018

It's not anxiety that's inside Case Keenum. It's anticipation.

The Minnesota Vikings quarterback says he can imagine what his first playoff start will be like on Sunday and expects the emotions to be swirling. But right now, all he can do is picture the moment in his mind. Unlike the quarterback he will be going toe-to-toe against for a trip to the NFC Championship Game, Keenum has not been here before.

Playoff experience is the headliner in this weekend's divisional round. All four games feature a quarterback with a lot of experience against one making his first or second career postseason start. In fact, Tom Brady has more Super Bowl rings (five) than Keenum, Blake Bortles, Nick Foles and Marcus Mariota have playoff starts between them, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

Whether Drew Brees' 12 playoff games and nearly 4,000 career passing yards in the postseason give him an advantage when the Vikings host the New Orleans Saints will be determined Sunday afternoon. Keenum has relied on a handful of his coaches -- Mike Zimmer, Pat Shurmur, Kevin Stefanski -- with years of playoff experience between them for advice and even received a text from Hall of Fame quarterback Kurt Warner this week.

The key to how he's approaching his preparation? He's not making the moment bigger than it is.

"For us, it's just remember what got us here," Keenum said. "It's the same game we have been playing the last time I checked and same field, same stadium, same amount of time."


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