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3 Observations: Cousins, Offense Go Up-Tempo in Practice

EAGAN, Minn. — The Vikings got back to work Monday in preparation for their first home preseason game of 2018.

Minnesota will host the Jaguars at noon (CT) Saturday at U.S. Bank Stadium, but the teams will practice together Wednesday and Thursday at Twin Cities Orthopedics Center.

The Vikings practiced for more than two hours in helmets, shoulder pads and shorts on a balmy afternoon in Eagan.

The Vikings are scheduled to hold a walk-through Tuesday from 10:30-11:30 a.m., followed by practice from 2:45-5 p.m.

Here are three observations from Monday’s session:

1. Turbo!

Kirk Cousins and the Vikings offense didn’t need to go up-tempo in Saturday’s win in Denver, but a little practice in the situation never hurts.

The quarterback led a drill Monday in which he and his teammates went hurry-up against the Vikings defense, even on incomplete passes.

The drill allowed Cousins to make play calls and protection changes at the line of scrimmage and mimic an in-game situation.

Cousins completed passes to tight end Kyle Rudolph and wide receiver Adam Thielen in the drill.

2. Stunt doubles

Sometimes there’s a game within the game, especially in the trenches.

The Vikings offensive and defensive lines went toe-to-toe during one session Monday, with the defensive line working on stunt moves to try and confuse the offense.

A stunt is when one defensive lineman tries to take on two blockers and allow his teammate a free path to the quarterback.

The move worked well for Vikings defensive tackle Ifeadi Odenigbo and defensive end Tashawn Bower against Denver, as Bower recorded a sack while Odenigbo muscled up and took on two blockers.

3. Quigley pins ’em deep

Vikings punter Ryan Quigley didn’t record a touchback in 2018, and he was up to his old tricks on Monday.

Quigley and Minnesota punting unit worked on plus-50 kicks Monday, meaning they were punting with a line of scrimmage that was in the opponent’s territory.

Quigley dropped a punt from the 45-yard line at the 11 before his punt from the 43-yard line was downed at the 4.

In addition to touch, the Vikings second-year punter also showed off his power as he uncorked five punts throughout practice that traveled 50 yards or more.

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