EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — The Vikings reached the halfway point of organized team activity (OTA) practices Wednesday as they hit the field for the fifth of 10 scheduled sessions.
Minnesota was outside in cool and breezy conditions at Winter Park for approximately 90 minutes in helmets and shorts. The practice was open to the media.
The Vikings are scheduled to have a closed OTA practice tomorrow before holding four practices next week.
Here are three observations from Wednesday’s session:
*1. Critical situations *
The Vikings practiced a majority of reps during team drills in third-down situations. Some plays were ran at midfield while others took place in the red zone, but there was a noticeable level of importance placed on third down. The Vikings offense tied for 19th in the league last season with a third-down conversion rate of 38.19 percent. Minnesota’s defense had a third-down rate of 34.47 percent, good for fifth in the NFL.
2. Team punishment
There were an unusual amount of penalty flags thrown Wednesday. With officials keeping a close eye on offsides and pass interference, plus the pressure of third-down, the yellow beanbags hit the ground more than any other OTA practice this offseason. Zimmer punished his entire team at one point by making all players do push-ups.
3. Pressure points
With the majority of Wednesday’s third-down situations being passing plays, defensive players had a chance to work on their pass rush moves. The first two defensive line units each created consistent pressure on quarterbacks.