EAGAN, Minn. — On-field preparations for the 2018 season have begun, as the Vikings held their second Organized Team Activity practice of the spring on Wednesday morning.
The Vikings practiced in helmets and shorts for a little less than two hours at Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center.
The session was Minnesota’s second of three practices this week, but the only one open to the media.
The Vikings will have eight more practices throughout OTAs, which run through early June. The Vikings will then hold a mandatory minicamp from June 14-16.
Here are three observations from Wednesday’s session:
1. Kirk goes deep to Diggs
Kirk Cousins and Stefon Diggs have found an early connection.
The biggest play of the session was a deep play between the quarterback and one of his new wide receivers, as Cousins hit Diggs for a nearly 50-yard pass play.
Diggs beat cornerback Horace Richardson on the play and hauled in a tumbling catch inside the 10-yard line. Back at the line of scrimmage, Cousins unleashed a vigorous fist pump.
Cousins also found wide receiver Adam Thielen multiple times through practice, showing quick signs of building rapport with two of his top targets.
2. Building a bond
The Vikings have a strong core of returning players they hope to blend with a handful of newcomers as Minnesota looks to win a second straight division title.
The early bond was on display Wednesday as there were teaching moments all around.
During one break for the first-team offense, Thielen visited with wide receiver Kendall Wright, who signed with Minnesota this offseason.
Defensive end Everson Griffen later found himself next to Sheldon Richardson, and slung his arm around the new defensive tackle as they shared a laugh.
Earlier in the practice, safety Harrison Smith vividly went over a previous play with Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer as the two strategized on how to defend the opposing offense.
3. Firing up the kicking competition
The battle between Kai Forbath and Daniel Carlson is off and running.
Each took four kicks during team drills, as Carlson made all of his attempts. He was good from 28, 33, 38 and 43 yards.
Forbath’s lone miss was wide left from 38 yards out.
The Vikings ended practice with a situational drill, and Carlson delivered in crunch time.
With his team down 17-16, the rookie nailed a 48-yarder from the right hash that split the uprights. The first-team offense held on for the 19-17 win.