The lights were on and the stands were packed as the Vikings held their first night practice of 2015 Verizon Vikings Training Camp. Saturday night's practice was the seventh of camp for the Vikings, and what transpired on the field for two hours in front of a packed house of Vikings fans was representative of what's happened over the first week of practices.
Here are four observations from Saturday night's practice…
1. Stefon Diggs Continues to ImpressIt seems not a practice goes by without rookie WR Stefon Diggs making a handful of "Did you see that?" catches. The trend continued on Saturday night, with Diggs hauling in impressive grabs during several of the periods and with a couple of the best coming in a team period. Breaking open, in coverage, across the middle and down the sideline, Diggs did his thing on Saturday night and left coaches, his teammates and fans talking about No. 14.
2. 1st Team Defensive Line Keeps ControlIn a team running period, the Vikings 1st team defensive line came off the ball well and disrupted several plays before they could develop. DTs Sharrif Floyd and Linval Joseph both got upfield to force the RB in a different direction, and Everson Griffen had more than his fair share of flashy moments on Saturday night, as well. There is no touching the QB in NFL practices, of course, and that is certainly a rule that is benefiting Vikings passers so far.
3. A Year Can Make a Big DifferenceA year ago at this time, QB Teddy Bridgewater was a wet-behind-the-ears rookie who sat behind both Matt Cassel and Christian Ponder on the depth chart. In the team's first night practice last year, Bridgewater flashed a bit but he also threw an interception in the end zone. Fast forward a year later to now, and Bridgewater received the largest ovation from fans behind Adrian Peterson's and he guided the fist-team offense through each period. The defense won their fair share of battles on Saturday night, but the offense did, too, and Bridgewater looked confident and in-synch with his receivers.
4. Vikings Fans Showed Up in Huge NumbersAnnounced attendance for Saturday night's practice 10,300, and that's on top of the 4,000 who attended the morning walk-through. A line to enter the Vikings Village extended for blocks well over two hours prior to the night practice, and then once the gates opened it didn't take long for both sides of the Blakeslee Stadium bleachers to fill up. There is clearly enthusiasm about this year's Vikings team, and the manner in which fans showed up to watch this practice is proof positive of that.