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3 Observations: Vikings Defense Stands Tall in Red Zone Drill

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. —The Vikings returned to practice outdoors at Winter Park on Sunday, a week before their preseason home opener at U.S. Bank Stadium.

Minnesota practiced in full pads on a gorgeous August afternoon.

With the Vikings returning to a regular-season type week of practice in advance of Sunday's game against San Diego, this will be the last "3 Observations" piece this offseason.

Here are three observations from Sunday's practice:

1. Defense rules the red zone

The Vikings defense smothered the offense in the red zone Sunday. Cornerbacks Captain Munnerlyn, Trae Waynes and Jabari Price each had tight coverage on plays, and a few passes were out of reach of receivers.

Rookie wide receiver Laquon Treadwell had a ball bounce off his hands while guarded closely by Price.

Rookie Joel Stave took the brunt of the snaps during the red zone drills, and Brad Sorensen, who was signed by the team on Saturday, also participated.

2. Plenty of punts 

Jeff Locke got a solid amount of work in Sunday, punting in a variety of situations from all over various field positions.

Locke was pinned against his own end line to start the drill. He then moved roughly 25 yards downfield and worked on angling kicks toward the sideline and out of bounds.

Locke then unleashed high, hanging kicks that he tried to pin inside the 10-yard line so his teammates could down them.

3. Lending a hand

Terence Newman is entering his 14th season in the NFL and is the Vikings oldest player on the roster.

The former first-round draft pick spent a few minutes after Sunday's practice imparting some wisdom on rookie wide receiver Moritz Böhringer.

Newman helped the German-born Böhringer with his footwork and hand technique getting off the line of scrimmage as wide receivers Adam Thielen and Isaac Fruechte looked on.

"We're just working; we're just trying to get better," Newman said. "He's a little behind the 8 ball, if you ask me, just because he's come from a different level of the game, so I'm just trying to help him get better at what he wants to get better at.

"I told him early on in camp that I'd work with him a little bit, so I'm just trying to help him out," he added.

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