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3 Observations: Offense, Defense Battle Inside 5-Yard Line

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — The Vikings wrapped up the first week of Organized Team Activity practices on a sunny Thursday morning at Winter Park.

The session was Minnesota's third and final practice of the week. The Vikings will have seven more practices throughout OTAs, which run over the next three weeks. The Vikings will then hold a mandatory minicamp from June 13-15.

The Vikings practiced in helmets and shorts for approximately 90 minutes.

Here are three observations from Thursday's session:

1. Up close and personal

The Vikings spent a portion of Thursday's practice pitting the offense against the defense inside the 5-yard line.

The close quarters led to less time and space for players, but provided an opportunity to make plays. Both units had the upper hand at times on Thursday.

Wide receiver Laquon Treadwell hauled in a sliding touchdown from quarterback Sam Bradford before quarterback Taylor Heinicke rolled out and found running back Bishop Sankey in the flat for six more points.

Minnesota's defense then stepped up. Safety Jayron Kearse had a leaping interception off Heinicke, and Elijah Lee tipped away a pass near the goal line.

The offense got the last laugh as rookie tight end Bucky Hodges made a tiptoe grab in the corner of the end zone on a pass from quarterback Case Keenum.

2. On the move

Both the first and second-team units got valuable reps Thursday as coaches pushed the pace with an up-tempo session midway through practice.

The offense started at the 30-yard line with less than a minute left in a pressure-packed situation.

Bradford led the first-team down the field before Kai Forbath sealed the drive with a 50-yard field goal with under 10 seconds left.

Keenum's group also got in field goal range, but Marshall Koehn pushed his 43-yard attempt to the left.

3. Staying aggressive

Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer may be absent from practice these days, but his presence is still felt.

Minnesota's defense dialed up a handful of blitzes on Thursday during team drills.

Vikings safety Harrison Smith had a well-timed attack into the backfield, and linebacker Edmond Robinson also forced his way through toward the quarterback. Both defenders, of course, avoided contact with quarterbacks.

View images from the third of ten OTA practices at Winter Park.

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