Plenty of players turned heads during spring practices for the Vikings, whether it was first-round pick Garrett Bradbury or newcomer wide receiver Jordan Taylor or rookie defensive back Marcus Epps.
But it seemed there was one player who stood out almost every day.
Vikings second-year wide receiver Chad Beebe made plays all over the field while lining up with both the first and second-team offense, and his teammates and coaches took notice.
So, too, did Vikings ESPN beat reporter Courtney Cronin, who recently tabbed Beebe as the surprise standout of the offseason in Minnesota.
All aboard the Chad Beebe express. Beebe's “Little Engine That Could” tale — from winning a spot with the Vikings via a rookie tryout to being elevated to the 53-man roster midway through the 2018 season — is inspiring. He has gone from an unknown player — commonly referred to simply as “Don Beebe’s son” -- to a possible front-runner for the Vikings No. 3 receiver position.
“I think he’s proven, he’s played in some games and then you see him out here making some plays,” Offensive Coordinator Kevin Stefanski said. “I think he’s making a name for himself, and I think he’s doing a nice job.”
If Beebe can stay healthy and string together a handful of good preseason performances, he might be able to carve out a role for himself in an offense that wants to spread the ball around.
Beebe caught four passes for 39 yards in 2018, playing in three of the final eight games of the season while also dealing with injury issues.
The 25-year-old is in the mix for the third wide receiver spot along with Taylor, Brandon Zylstra, Laquon Treadwell, Dillon Mitchell, Bisi Johnson and others.
Vikings Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Advisor Gary Kubiak certainly came away impressed with Beebe after minicamp ended last week.
“I think you also got to look at the fact that [Beebe] has had probably as good of an offseason as any player that I know on our side of the ball,” Kubiak said. “He’s got a chance to be a really good player for us, so it gives us flexibility to bounce around personnel wise.”
Pass interference rules finalized for 2019 season
Perhaps the biggest rule change that came from the 2019 offseason had to do with pass interference.
In March, the NFL announced that pass interference can be reviewed via instant replay if officials feel an obvious call was missed.
But final clarification for the rule — which is slated for the 2019 season only at this point — came down Thursday.
Logan Reardon of NFL.com provided the details on what the league decided.
According to the final rule, pass interference reviews after the two-minute warning of each half and during overtime will be initiated by the replay official. The replay official will only stop the game when there is “clear and obvious visual evidence” that a pass interference penalty may or may not have occurred.
In an effort to limit excessive stoppages, any stoppage will occur under stricter criteria than other reviewable plays. Calls will only be reversed based on “clear and obvious visual evidence” that an incorrect call was made, which is the same standard for all reviews.
Even under two minutes, all passing plays can be reviewed for pass interference. Any “Hail Mary” play at the end of a half or game will be reviewed in replay consistent with the guidelines for officiating the play on the field.
Coaches are still able to challenge pass interference calls or no-calls up until the two-minute warning of either half.
According to nflpenalties.com, the Vikings were called for seven defensive pass interference penalties in 2018, with one being declined. On the other side of the ball, Minnesota drew seven defensive pass interference while on offense.