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3 Observations From Vikings 4th OTA Practice

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — The Vikings got back to work Tuesday morning for their fourth organized team activity (OTA) practice of the offseason at Winter Park.

Minnesota had three OTA practices last week and are scheduled to have two more this week and four next week. The Vikings will hold a mandatory minicamp from June 14-16.

The Vikings were outside Tuesday in helmets and shorts as a light rain fell for parts of practice.

Here are three observations from Tuesday’s session:

1. Point of emphasis

The Vikings spent a portion of Tuesday’s practice working on special teams, particularly kickoff returns. Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer has placed an emphasis on the third football phase since he arrived in Minnesota, and the work has paid off. Cordarrelle Patterson led the NFL with a 31.8-yard kickoff return average last season while the Vikings led the NFL in team average with a mark of 28.3 yards per return.

2. Smooth hands

Vikings running back Adrian Peterson talked last week about the work he put in this offseason on his route running. The three-time NFL rushing champion looks to have enhanced this dimension of his game. He has looked smooth and natural coming out of the backfield. Peterson made a nice snag on a ball out in the flat Tuesday during team drills.

3. Spreading the wealth

It seemed as all of the Vikings offensive weapons touched the ball Tuesday, especially on short routes. Minnesota’s quarterbacks fired the ball to wide receivers, tight ends and running backs alike as the playmakers used their quickness to gain chunks of yards. The Vikings didn’t limit themselves to just intermediate routes, however, as wide receiver Adam Thielen hauled in a pair of lengthy touchdowns, and wide receiver Stefon Diggs had another.

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