The Vikings kicked off their Organized Team Activity (OTA) schedule on Wednesday afternoon, practicing outside at Winter Park under ideal conditions. OTAs will continue on Thursday and Friday of this week, then the team will hold three more from June 3-5 and four more from June 9-12 to conclude the OTA sessions.
Here are five observations from OTA No. 1.
Jennings Leads the Way
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It was Jennings who was on the receiving end of the day’s most impressive throw – an on-the-run 50-yard heave from Bridgewater as he escaped the pocket. The pass landed softly in the veteran receiver’s hands for what looked to be a near-touchdown; the play happened across and on the opposite end of the field from where I stood. It was the type of throw you don’t see every day from every quarterback, and it was the type of catch that happens when a veteran receiver sticks with a play all the way through the whistle to give his quarterback every opportunity to make a play.
The Defense Struck Back
It wasn’t all offense, though. Later in the practice during a team drills, Jennings once again got behind the defense and Cassel eyed him up with an impressive throw of his own. But
Cassel atoned for the interception just moments later, and did so by getting on a roll. He rifled an intermediate out-breaking route along the right sideline to Jennings and then on the next snap hit Jennings once again, this time with the receiver breaking across the middle from the left sideline. Cassel found speedy
Bridgewater Displays Discipline
After connecting with Jennings earlier in practice on such a long pass, it’d be easy to understand a little over-ambition from Bridgewater. But the rookie displayed some veteran decision making a few moments later. He had a receiver running an out-and-up route who had beaten his defender and flashed open, but a safety was lurking over the top and would’ve been in position for a play on the ball. Rather than risking that outcome, Bridgewater held back and found
Zimmer has the reputation for being a vocal coach on the field, and many times he is just that. But standing around the practice fields, you can hear Offensive Coordinator Norv Turner and defensive backs coach Jerry Gray just as much, if not more. The new Vikings coaching staff is off to a great start working with the roster and is never afraid to coach a guy up – veteran or youngster – when they see an opportunity to teach.
Ponder’s Best Moment
All three Vikings quarterbacks got an opportunity to run with the first group, and