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3 Observations: Mike Zimmer Returns to Vikings OTAs

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — The Vikings got started on their third and final week of Organized Team Activity practices on Monday morning, going in helmets and shorts for approximately 90 minutes at Winter Park. 

The Vikings are scheduled to have three more OTA sessions this week and will then hold a mandatory minicamp from June 13-15.

Here are three observations from Monday's session:

1. Happy Birthday, Coach!

Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer celebrated his 61st birthday in style by returning to the team and practice field. Zimmer missed the first two weeks of OTAs to rest and recuperate after his eighth procedure on his right eye.

Monday's practice was noticeably upbeat and energetic with Zimmer in attendance, as players on both sides of the ball were raring to go from the start.

Besides prowling the field and offering advice to players, Zimmer also let it be known that he hasn't lost his edge.

At one point during practice, an unsatisfied Zimmer made every offensive player run to a field goal post and back, a punishment that covered 100 yards.

View images from the seventh of 10 OTAs at Winter Park.

2. Fruechte making strong impression 

The Vikings have plenty of notable names at the wide receiver, ranging from former first round picks to guys who have established themselves as reliable options on offense.

But a Minnesota wide receiver with no career catches continues to make a strong impression during OTAs.

Minnesota native Isaac Fruechte hauled in a trio of strong grabs, continuing a good spring for the former University of Minnesota football player.

Fruechte spent most of the 2016 season on the practice squad before being activated to the 53-man roster for the final game of the season.

3. Getting their kicks in

The Vikings punting battle was something to keep an eye as both Ryan Quigley and Taylor Symmank each had a chance to showcase their legs.

While neither punter was perfect, each had a few punts that traveled over 50 yards and would have pinned opponents deep in their own territory.

Quigley and Symmank also showed the ability to get some hang time on their punts to allow gunners to get downfield in coverage.

Adam Thielen and Rodney Adams took turns handling punt return duty on a day with winds that swirled at times.

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