I attended the Vikings Thursday evening practice at TCO Stadium and was able to video the 11-on-11 drills (one 7-on-7 play got in there too) for those of you who didn’t get a chance to see it in person.
My apologies in advance for a couple hiccups in the 12-minute video:
1) the first play I missed the action- it was an incomplete pass short of the receiver (may have been a sack)
2) despite my best efforts in uploading them in order, the plays are out of order. I did group them so the red zone plays are first, followed by the regular 11-on-11 plays (one 7-on-7 got in there and I kept it), and finally the field goal attempts.
Some Notes on the Practice
- TJ Hockenson did not take part- he was running routes on the field off by himself. Not clear why, but it didn’t appear to be due to injury.
- In general, the defense got the better of the offense in the 11-on-11 drills. This could be a promising sign for the defense this season. There were more than a few ‘would have been’ sacks in the 60+ plays of 11-on-11 drills not including the field goal attempts.
- Ivan Pace Jr. got some reps with the first-team defense and generally looked good. He had at least one ‘would’ve been’ a sack that I noticed against the second-team offense in the red zone. He’s the leader in the clubhouse so far for Mr. Mankato/Eagan/TCO.
- With Kene Nwangwu out, Ty Chandler got a lot of reps last night. He had a couple good runs too.
- Jalen Nailor, Trishton Jackson, Kene Nwangwu, Andrew Booth Jr., and Marcus Davenport did not participate in the practice. I believe Danielle Hunter was held out as well. James Lynch was getting some treatment on the sideline but went back in and returned to the sideline again later. He has since been diagnosed with an ACL tear which will end his season- and his rookie contract with the Vikings.
- #51 edge rusher Benton Whitley has exceeded expectations and has looked pretty good out there. Not just in this practice but so far in training camp. Someone to keep an eye on.
- It’s fair to say the game hasn’t slowed down yet for Jaren Hall. Pretty typical situation for a rookie quarterback, but Hall is just slow to process at this point. Even in 7-on-7 drills with no linemen and pass rush he is slow to get rid of the ball.
- I was expecting a bit more from Nick Mullens. He’s been okay in training camp, but he seemed better last year. We’ll have to see how he does in pre-season games, but so far a bit underwhelming.
- Greg Joseph missed three field goals- one from 58, one from 53, and another from 45 I believe. Jack Podlesny missed one from extra point range. The Vikings continued to not give Podlesny attempts beyond 50 yards. He made a 48-yarder, but like the first practice a week ago, only Joseph is given the longer attempts. Perhaps they feel Podlesny’s range is inside 50 yards. I believe these are the first missed attempts from both kickers so far in training camp.
- Harrison Smith still looks good. He could have a good season in this defense.
- While good in shorter routes and improving in longer ones, the connection between Jordan Addison and Kirk Cousins on deep routes isn’t quite there yet. Cousins overshot Addison for the second or third time that I’ve noticed on deep routes since the start of training camp. Still plenty of time to get that down, however.
- A handful of defensive players continue to get reps with the first- and second-team. My guess is that could lead to more of them getting some reps once the season starts. I would expect a fair amount of sub-packages and rotation in Brian Flores’ defense.
Also, Kevin O’Connell’s speech to fans following the practice:
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