Teddy Bridgewater was within earshot of Captain Munnerlyn, which meant he was about to get an earful of Captain Munnerlyn.
"A hundred, Teddy!; One hundred!" the cornerback said to the quarterback last week.
Munnerlyn had just played his 100th NFL game, a worthy milestone in a physical, cutthroat league. When his celebration spread from starting quarterback clear down to reporter, Munnerlyn was congratulated and informed that he was only 202 shy of catching Brett Favre.
"Oh, Lord," said Munnerlyn, eyes widened.
Getting to the NFL isn't easy. Staying in the NFL might be harder. But if Munnerlyn is looking for longevity motivation, this is the week.
The two active leaders in games played among defensive backs will be on opposite sides when the Vikings (6-2) play the Raiders (4-4) in Oakland on Sunday. On young teams with second-year quarterbacks and just seven players apiece over 30, Vikings cornerback Terence Newman and Raiders safety Charles Woodson are starters and key contributors to teams on the rise.
Newman is 37 with 182 games played. And he's the whippersnapper. Woodson is 39 with 246 games played over 18 seasons.
"He can still run and he's still a really good athlete," Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said. "I think playing in the back end [safety], he disguises [coverages] well. … They do a lot of different things with him."
Woodson faced the Vikings in 1999 and 2003 as a Raider and then 13 times with five interceptions as a Packer before returning to Oakland in 2013. This will be Bridgewater's first experience with Woodson, who is the NFL's career active leader in interceptions (65) and shares the league record of 13 career defensive touchdowns.
This season, the Raiders rank last in pass defense (314.6), but have intercepted at least one pass in seven straight games. Woodson has five interceptions, while Bridgewater has thrown four of his six picks in the past four games.
Newman doesn't have an interception as a Viking, but he is one of the reasons the Vikings rank No. 2 in third-down defense (29.7 percent). To counter the Vikings' pass rush, particularly on third downs, teams throw a lot of receiver screens.
Newman has been an efficient edge tackler and even led the team with 12 tackles, eight solo, in the win at Chicago.
"Honestly, it's kind of discouraging for the offense if they think, 'Hey, we've got a big play here and we can throw this screen,' and it ends up being a no-gainer," Zimmer said. "It's like, 'Should have done something else.' "
Newman isn't the only thirty-something stepping up for the Vikings.
Joe Berger (33) has started every game for injured center John Sullivan. After losing his role in the nickel defense, Chad Greenway (32) played all 74 snaps on Sunday, including some out of position, because of injuries to Eric Kendricks and Audie Cole.
Shaun Hill (35) had to finish Sunday's game after Bridgewater was literally knocked out. Tom Johnson (31) started the last three games in place of injured defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd. Adrian Peterson (30) is leading the league in rushing. And Brian Robison, like Greenway, hasn't missed a start.
"As a player, you think if you can make it to 10 years, you've had an unbelievable career," said Greenway, who's in his 10th season. "To be able to stay in this league, as competitive as it is, and play at a high level for that long … that, to me, is probably the barometer of having success."
Newman says he loses track of how many years he has played (13). And he claimed to have had no idea how many games he has played.
"I haven't a clue," he said. "I'm not much of a stat person, to be honest with you."
When it comes to career starts, Newman ranks 166th in NFL history with 180. As for Woodson, well, he ranks 12th with 243 starts.
The only defensive backs ahead of Woodson in games played are Darrell Green (295) and Eugene Robinson (250). And only Green's 258 starts rank ahead of Woodson.
"Some guys look at milestones, but I never did," Newman said. "I didn't have one in mind. I just wanted to play and have fun. I still just want to play and have fun until one day I just say, 'You know what, I'm burned out.' Or my body gives out. Or a team says, 'Hey, you're done. You can't play anymore.' "