EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. —The Vikings held their third and final Organized Team Activity practice of the week on Thursday morning.
Minnesota practiced in helmets and shorts for approximately 90 minutes in near-perfect conditions at Winter Park,
The Vikings have now completed six OTA sessions this spring, and will wrap up OTAs next week with four more practices. Minnesota will then hold a mandatory minicamp from June 13-15.
Here are three observations from Thursday's session:
View images from the sixth of ten OTA practices at Winter Park.
1. Itching for an interception
The Vikings nabbed 14 interceptions in 2016, which tied for the fourth-most among NFL teams.
Even in OTAs, Minnesota's defense is always looking for any kind of takeaway.
The Vikings nearly had a one early on in practice, but linebacker Anthony Barr couldn't corral a ball off his fingertips.
Linebacker Eric Kendricks nearly had one in team drills, and cornerback Terence Newman was inches away from a pick himself.
Cornerback Tre Roberson finally gave the defense what they wanted as he hauled in a pass while tiptoeing along the sideline. The interception set off a raucous cheer among the defense.
2. A battle in tight quarters
Minnesota's wide receivers and defense backs worked on 1-on-1 battles inside the 10-yard line during the early portion of Thursday's practice.
The drill provided plenty of competition between two units known for a little trash talk here or there.
Wide receiver Laquon Treadwell made a few nice touchdown grabs, and wide receiver Michael Floyd used his frame to shield away defenders in the end zone.
Wide receiver Cayleb Jones had the catch of the day as he hauled in a tipped pass while laying on the ground.
Defensively, cornerback Mackensie Alexander was strong in coverage, and Roberson and safeties Jayron Kearse and Anthony Harris each had pass breakups on consecutive plays.
3. Wanting to win
The main emphasis during OTAs for teams to develop communication and rhythm on both sides of the ball.
Individual players work on specific areas of need and young players are brought along early in their careers.
But make no mistake about it, the Vikings certainly showed there's always a competitive aspect no matter what month it is.
The Vikings wrapped up Thursday's practice with a two-minute drill.
With the third-team offense facing fourth-and-10, quarterback Wes Lunt's pass was incomplete … but an official threw a flag on the play.
Members of the offense, including tight end Kyle Rudolph, began cheering and lobbying for the offense to get a fresh set of downs. And Minnesota's defensive players let it be known the series was over.
The call was indeed on the offense, leading to some fun-spirited remarks from both sides. The competitive juices are always flowing … even in June.