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3 Observations: Systems Upgrade; Mattison & Osborn Embrace Opportunities

EAGAN, Minn. — The first on-field practice of 2023 Vikings Training Camp presented by Omni Viking Lakes Hotel is in the books.

Players and coaches took to the field Wednesday in helmets and shorts for the first acclimation day. They'll be in the same attire on Thursday before donning shells Friday and Saturday. The first practice scheduled to be open to fans will be Saturday’s session.

Intensity and speed were on display as players went through position drills before the team participated in a period of 1s vs. 2s.

A 7-on-7 series was sandwiched between two hydration breaks, and the session ended with another team period.

Not participating: Danielle Hunter and Brian O'Neill did not participate; O'Neill did some rehab work on a side field. Marcus Davenport and D.J. Wonnum took reps with the first team at outside linebacker; Olisaemeka Udoh took reps at right tackle in place of O'Neill.

Here are three observations from Wednesday's training camp practice presented by Minnesota Eye Consultants, the Proud LASIK Partner of the Minnesota Vikings:

1. 'Thumping' on Day 1

Pads aren't scheduled to go on until next Monday, but Wednesday featured plenty of thumping thanks to a new speaker system installed around the perimeter of the practice fields.

A total of 24 speakers have been attached to 12 poles, an upgrade over the previous method of stacking a couple of speakers on a golf cart.

The poles also feature new remote-operated cameras atop them.

Vikings Head Coach Kevin O'Connell and the staff utilize video boards on the field to review plays in real time and help teach.

The new camera system provides more eyes in the sky for in-depth film study and prevents football videographers from needing to use scissor lifts for aerial views.

The poles additionally have player tracking sensors that read RFID chips worn by the players to help the Health and Performance staff monitor players' movements to help avoid over-usage.

2. Mattison and Mattison

The first play of 11-on-11 was a run by Alexander Mattison. The second play of the period wound up being a catch by … Mattison on a pass from Kirk Cousins.

After the release of Dalvin Cook, Mattison is now in position to become the starting running back as he enters his fifth pro season. He has six career starts under his belt when filling in for Cook since 2019.

Beyond Mattison, the Vikings will be evaluating Kene Nwangwu, Ty Chandler and DeWayne McBride.

View photos of players during 2023 Vikings Training Camp practice on July 26 at the TCO Performance Center.

3. Let it fly

Although it was just the first day, the Vikings did throw a few passes down the field.

Kirk Cousins and K.J. Osborn connected on a nice pair of receptions. Osborn was able to get behind defenders on the first toss and shake coverage to flash open on the second one.

The Vikings know they must replace what Adam Thielen provided, and Osborn looked prepared.

Lucky Jackson also reeled in a nice one on a pass from fifth-round pick Jaren Hall, and first-round Jordan Addison flashed on an impressive catch in his first action since rookie minicamp.