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3 Observations: Vikings Kick Off 1st OTA Practice

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — The Vikings held their first Organized Team Activity practice of the year on Tuesday morning at Winter Park.

Minnesota will have 10 practices throughout OTAs, which run over the next three weeks. The Vikings will then hold a mandatory minicamp from June 13-15.

Here are three observations from Tuesday's session:

1. The show goes on

As announced Monday, Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer was not in attendance for the start of OTAs.

Zimmer's top assistants ran the show instead, as Offensive Coordinator Pat Shurmur, Defensive Coordinator George Edwards and Special Teams Coordinator Mike Priefer all took charge and ran practice.

Position coaches also helped out, as did players, who were vocal and energetic while wearing helmets and shorts outdoors for the first time in 2017.

2. Early dose of competition

One-on-one drills are perhaps the most competitive and fun aspect to watch during OTAs. Veterans get to go up against fellow stars while rookies test their mettle against whomever is lining up across from them.

Tuesday featured a handful of intriguing battles, as linebacker Eric Kendricks went up against running back Jerick McKinnon and tight end Kyle Rudolph on separate occasions.

Other notable matchups included cornerback Xavier Rhodes against wide receiver Adam Thielen, cornerback Trae Waynes against wide receiver Stefon Diggs and rookie wide receiver Stacy Coley against safety Harrison Smith.

Rookie tight end Bucky Hodges made a nice adjustment on a catch during a drill.

View images from the first of ten OTA practices.

3. Thrown into the fire

Zimmer often mentioned this offseason how he wanted his team to be better prepared in certain situations.

While a light rain added to the mix Tuesday, the Vikings also worked on moments that could be factors during the season, as Minnesota incorporated 4th-and-short scenarios and red-zone plays into the practice.

Tuesday may have been the first OTA practice of the spring, but the Vikings also had an eye on the autumn months, too.

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