The Vikings wrapped up their 1st set of Organized Team Activities (OTAs) with another 90-minute workout at Winter Park on Friday. After 3 consecutive days of ideal weather this week, the Vikings were forced inside for OTA #4 because of rain earlier in the morning.
We often times make mention of the weather conditions when reporting on OTAs and I’m sure often times that information is overlooked. But the weather is actually an important factor in these practices. Coaches prefer to be outside as opposed to inside the field house because the outdoor practice fields provide more space. And conditions that include calm winds and moderate-to-warm temperatures are ideal because it makes communication much easier. Just as a teacher in a classroom tries to create a productive atmosphere, football coaches thrive in favorable teaching conditions as well.
Anyway, on to the observations from Friday’s practice. On Thursday the observations were exclusive to the defense, so Friday’s OTA observations will be exclusive to the offense.
– The offense was focusing on 3rd down, goal line and red zone scenarios.
– It was interesting to watch the OL work today as they spent time on blocking stunts. OL coaches Pat Morris and Jim Hueber had their group focus not on physically blocking the stunts (remember there is no contact permitted during these OTAs), but rather they had the young linemen learning to see where the stunts were coming from and then how to react to what they saw.
– The play of the day in my eyes came during offense vs. defense red zone work, when WR Jaymar Johnson stretched out to grab a Tarvaris Jackson pass deep in the endzone. After Johnson secured the ball and got both feet in bounds, his momentum carried him further and caused him to crash into the padding the lines the walls of the field house. The throw was perfect from Jackson because it was either going to be caught or fly out of bounds (no chance for an INT) and the catch from Johnson required supreme concentration and body control, especially because it was obvious he was quickly running out of room and would crash into the padded structure.
– We mentioned earlier on Friday that the Vikings added WR Logan Payne to the roster. Payne will wear jersey #84 and TE Mickey Shuler will switch from #84 to jersey #82.
– It was good to see a familiar face as a guest at practice. Former Vikings Head Coach and offensive coordinator Jerry Burns was hanging out on the sidelines during practice and even had a chance to chat with Brad Childress following practice.
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