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Minny camp

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The Vikings kicked off a mandatory, three-day minicamp Tuesday morning by practicing in helmets and shorts for approximately two hours at Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center. The session was Minnesota’s first of three practices this week, all of which are open to the media. 

Here are three observations from Tuesday’s session:

 

 Securing the win

The Vikings were the NFL’s top defense in 2017, leading the league in points allowed and yards allowed while also holding opponents to the lowest third-down conversion rate. The unit proved itself yet again Tuesday by holding Minnesota’s offense out of the end zone in a last-second situation. The offense trailed 23-17 with 12 seconds left as they faced third-and-goal from the 5-yard line, but safety Anthony Harris forced a fourth-down play with strong coverage on tight end Kyle Rudolph. 

 

Back-and-fourth battles

There was plenty of individual competition earlier in practice, too, as wide receivers and tight ends went up against cornerbacks and safeties in the red zone. Cornerback Xavier Rhodes picked off a Cousins’ attempt to wide receiver Stefon Diggs, but the pair later responded by connecting for a touchdown in front of the All-Pro. Adam Thielen had a pair of nifty touchdown catches on cornerbacks Mackensie Alexander and Mike Hughes, and Rudolph had a fantastic one-handed grab against safety Jack Tocho. Safety Jayron Kearse made a pair of nice plays.

 

Practice makes perfect

The Vikings proved in the Divisional round of the playoffs against New Orleans that teams sometimes need every second of the clock to secure a win. Minnesota’s offense practiced such situations Tuesday so that they’re prepared in late-game situations. Rudolph was on the receiving end of a Cousins’ Hail Mary attempt, and the combination of Diggs, Thielen and Rudolph ran a play that looked eerily similar to “The Minneapolis Miracle.”

 

http://www.vikings.com/news/article-1/3-Observations-Vikings-Defense-Makes-Goalline-Stand-at-1st-Minicamp-Practice/a38e21e5-f821-4e06-a04f-d9464dbfa87b?sf191621308=1

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I was going to start a thread today with that exact title....get out of my head, DAD!

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6 minutes ago, Klomp said:

I was going to start a thread today with that exact title....get out of my head, DAD!

try and keep up, son...

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10 hours ago, Klomp said:

 

Treadwell made a couple of nice grabs. Here's hoping......

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Here are three observations from Wednesday’s session:

 

Hughes stands out

Early on in practice, Mike Hughes got beat deep early when quarterback Kirk Cousins found wide receiver Stefon Diggs. But the Vikings rookie cornerback didn’t flinch, bouncing back to stand out during the rest of the session. Hughes had three pass breakups in the final 90 minutes of practice, all of which came in team drills. He twice denied wide receiver Jake Wieneke from catching the ball, and also got his hand on pass intended for wide receiver Laquon Treadwell.

The 2018 first-round pick was also active on special teams, splitting reps with Marcus Sherels on both punt and kickoff returns.

 

Cousins shows emotion, touch on deep ball

Cousins showed his fiery side at times Wednesday, especially in the red zone. With the Vikings offense lined up on the 12-yard line going in, he found Diggs on an out pattern, and the receiver stretched the ball beyond the pylon in front of Vikings cornerback Xavier Rhodes for the score. The quarterback let out an emphatic ‘Booyah!’ and a few screams of emotion as he pumped his fist in the pocket. Diggs also displayed his emotions after the play.

Cousins also displayed strong touch on a pair of deep balls, including the one to Diggs. The other was a perfectly lofted pass to Treadwell, who eluded Craig James and Holton Hill for a play that went for roughly 50 yards.

 

Kearse, Barr notch takeaways

It wasn’t all roses for Cousins and the Vikings offense Wednesday, as the league’s top defense had their say as well. Minnesota worked on a handful of third-down red zone plays late in practice and forced a pair of interceptions by Cousins. The first came when safety Jayron Kearse, filling in for an injured Andrew Sendejo, leapt in front of Diggs to corral an interception at the goal line. Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr then got in on the action when he stepped in front of a Cousins pass toward the middle of the end zone.

 

http://www.vikings.com/news/article-1/3-Observations-Tracking-Mike-Hughes-as-Minicamp-Passes-Midpoint/7028e406-5569-450f-8ddf-d9d15294f8e7?sf191709330=1

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Posted (edited)

It’s good that the Vikings won’t be scrapping the last workout of their offseason program, their new quarterback thinks he needs it. Kirk Cousins wasn’t pleased with his performance on Wednesday, the second day of a three-day minicamp. The displeasure came from a third-down red-zone drill during which Cousins threw two interceptions in three plays. But there’s a silver lining; Cousins is learning through trial and error what he can’t do.

Cousins:  “I was pretty salty walking off the field. I'm really frustrated. I do not want to walk into the summer with a bad taste in my mouth about practice, so hopefully we can finish really strong [on Thursday] and be feeling good going into the summer. Even one bad decision in practice kind of bothers me all afternoon, and I can be a bit of a grouch when I go home. On the first one, I just couldn’t get all the way through the throw, so the ball died on me. The second one, I was testing things a little bit and trying to see what I could get away with, and I learned pretty quickly that I can’t get away with that throw. Some of the beauty of spring drills is that you can test and experiment. You’ve just got to learn from them.”

https://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2018/06/14/kirk-cousins-salty-about-a-bad-practice-on-wednesday/

Edited by vike daddy

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He did this a bit as a rookie I think. I trust Zimmer to maximize his player's talents, so I like the move.

Also like Newman at safety. I called that a while ago!

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13 minutes ago, SteelKing728 said:
Also like Newman at safety. I called that a while ago!

everyone did.

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Just now, vike daddy said:

everyone did.

I think some argued against that, but I can't speak for everyone.

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Newman played safety in 2015 near the end of the year when everyone got hurt. IIRC the game in Arizona on TNF was Newman and Harris at safety.

Sendejo plays deep on most nickel packages now, with Smith in the box or even at the LOS. Might make sense to give that role to Newman in obvious passing situations -- he'd be at least as good at making plays with the ball in the air and his knowledge of the pattern matching scheme is second to none. 

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The fact that Newman was wearing the 34 jersey while getting reps at safety tells me it isn't a permanent switch, but just getting in reps while Sendejo is sidelined.

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