EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — The Vikings held their ninth of 10 organized team activity (OTA) practice on Wednesday morning at Winter Park.
Head Coach Mike Zimmer moved up the schedule slightly to allow players participating in the Vikings Children's Fund Golf Tournament, an annual fundraiser for the charity that has donated more than $11 million since 1978.
The express lane was efficient, with players on both sides of the ball pushing tempo and quickly rotating through first, second and third team units, slower only than a hockey line change.
Here are three observations from Wednesday's session:
1. Rapid red zone
The Vikings did a considerable amount of work in the red zone on Wednesday, going through multiple sequences of first, second and third downs. Players often speak about how quickly things happen in the red zone.
Linebacker Emmanuel Lamur flashed a quick break on a throw that Teddy Bridgewater intended for Kyle Rudolph. Moments later, Shaun Hill caught the Vikings second team defense in what appeared to be a miscommunication and found MyCole Pruitt wide open in the front left corner. Hill later quickly found Jarius Wright on a post pattern.
2. Putting it together
During the season, teams usually slot out specific days for certain types of situations (perhaps first and second downs on Wednesdays, third downs on Thursdays and red zone work on Fridays for a Sunday game). The Vikings, however, used Wednesday's time in shorts and helmets to cycle through first-, second- and third-down plays from various points on the field. The practice ended with a hurry-up field goal situation in which Blair Walsh drilled a 41-yarder.
View images from the ninth of 10 OTA practices.
3. Sight adjustment
Safeties can encounter quite a bit of traffic and unexpected bounces of the football. Veteran Michael Griffin has recorded 25 interceptions in his first nine seasons. The free agent signee worked with Andrew Sendejo and Antone Exum, Jr. after practice in a drill intended to help find the football quickly after a player's view becomes obstructed. Griffin, Sendejo and Exum took turns lining up behind a goal post and running left or right as another threw a pass from a few yards away.