EAGAN, Minn. – Every day before practice, Ed Ingram writes the word "consistency" in his notebook.
Ingram's a notetaker by nature, and he's often jotting things down during meetings and before and after on-field sessions.
But he knows consistency, above all else, is his key to success at the NFL level.
The rookie's hard work is paying off, as he once again joined the first-team offensive line at right guard Wednesday during joint practices with the 49ers.
"Being consistent with the run game – and getting consistently better every day and showing the team that I can get better, and I want to get better," Ingram told reporters.
"Every day is a big day for me," he added.
Training camp can be a grind, but Ingram isn't taking any reps off.
"I'm trying to take advantage of my opportunity. I'm not going to let it go," he said. "I'm trying to just keep going forward and keep getting better every practice."
Ingram and fellow Vikings 2022 second-round pick Andrew Booth, Jr., appreciated the opportunity this week to practice against the San Francisco 49ers; the teams will work together again Thursday before meeting for Saturday night's preseason game at U.S. Bank Stadium.
Booth said he "gets great work every day" against Minnesota's offense but that changing up the opponent was helpful.
Ingram noted that Wednesday's joint practice provided him another chance to self-assess.
"It's a different setting, getting to go against different players and stuff like that," Ingram said. "It was fun just to evaluate myself."
"[The 49ers defensive linemen are] coached to play straight up the field, and [Vikings offensive line coach Chris Kuper] is showing us to be more aggressive on that, just because of what they do, their technique," he added.
Though it's not uncommon during joint practices for competitive juices to spark and tempers to flare, Wednesday's session didn't feature any big scuffles.
Booth was asked if it's tough to keep the heat in check when practicing against an NFC opponent during the dog days of training camp.
"It's not a huge thing. We just all want to come out here and get better," Booth said. "Work our craft and just get better each and every day."
Booth and Ingram each made their pro debut when Minnesota played its first preseason game at Las Vegas Sunday.
Ingram played 30 snaps with the second-team offensive line and received an overall grade of 87.3 by analytics site Pro Football Focus. He told reporters he "had good feelings" about how it had gone.
"Going into the game, I was excited, [and] I didn't want to have any nerves going into it," he said. "I was treating it just like a college game. So I went in and I performed well.
"Thank God for that," the former LSU Tiger added with a smile.
Booth finished the game with two tackles but also was penalized twice when the refs called him for pass interference and grabbing a face mask on the same play.
Vikings Defensive Coordinator Ed Donatell shared his thoughts on the double flag:
"I personally thought, 'Wow, they charged the guy pretty heavy for something that, you look at the film you can't even see anything,' " Donatell said. "It's a real balance because you have a young player and you want to play with that great spirit and play aggressive, but then you also gotta know that the officials, they really call it tight in preseason because they're trying to establish a precedent and keep the game clean.
"It's a tough balancing act, but I didn't see much right there. Again, it's a learning process every day," Donatell added.
Booth didn't argue his case to media, though, instead acknowledging a need for more awareness.
"I'm very physical; so that's one thing I've gotta continue to come out here to work on and fix," Booth said. "I'm going to eliminate that very swiftly, so we'll be good.
"I've gotta be my biggest critic, but I also have to be my biggest fan, at the end of the day," Booth continued. "I believe I went out there and did my thing. [Just] a few things to fix up, tweak up, and I'll be good."
As Booth and Ingram head into their second preseason game and first at the Vikings home stadium, they're focused on – you guessed it – consistency.
"I showed [coaches] and myself that I can roll with the big boys, so I just want to keep proving to myself that I belong in that position," Ingram said. "I just want to keep stacking good days and good games. Just keep stacking and getting better and better and better. That's my goal."