Eric Edholm of Yahoo! Sports used Wednesday's joint practice between the Vikings and Bengals in Cincinnati as an opportunity to lock in on Minnesota rookie receiver Laquon Treadwell.
The first-round pick received a few first-team reps against another first-round pick, Adam "Pacman" Jones and had a message for the 10-year veteran.
"I went up to Pacman and said, 'Don't take it easy on me.' I need it. I need the reps," Treadwell said. "He said, 'Straight up.' "
*So straight up it was. That seems to be the only way Treadwell knows how. *
He didn't catch a pass in his few chances against Jones but had some highlights in Wednesday's practice. The 2016 first-round pick and the most physically gifted receiver the Vikings have had since Sidney Rice made a nice double move for a long gain in 7-on-7 drills, hauled in a nice juggling catch against Bengals rookie corner Darius Hillary and then beat Dre Kirkpatrick on a comeback route for a touchdown in full-team red-zone work.
Former Gophers teammates reunite in special teams reps
Newcomer Troy Stoudermire, listed as a wide receiver on Minnesota's roster, was utilized primarily as a defensive back with the Gophers, where he played alongside Vikings cornerback Marcus Sherels for two seasons. Now, the two are reunited in the NFL – and they're both working out as return specialists.
Chris Tomasson the Pioneer Press wrote about Stoudermire and Sherels' relationship and current dynamic between the two. Although the two are receiving reps at the same special teams position, both agreed there are no ill feelings between them.
"I don't see it as a battle," Stoudermire told Tomasson. "It's just like when I came in as a freshman at the University of Minnesota, Marcus was there to guide me and help me out and to get me going. So, just being here and just learning under Marcus and just watching how he's doing it the Vikings way is helping me adapt to the system a lot easier."
Sherels said he views the competition as a healthy way to push each other and develop as players.
"It's great that we were teammates for the Gophers, and now we're teammates on the Vikings, so we support each other and we root for each other," Sherels told Tomasson.
Stoudermire, 26, credits Sherels, 28, for helping him make the transition to the NFL. He said the Vikings teach players to catch punts a bit differently with their footwork, and Sherels has been invaluable in helping Stoudermire make the transition.
Zimmer, Lewis reunite for teams' joint practices
After 10 practice days at Minnesota State University, Mankato, Head Coach Mike Zimmer took the Vikings to his former city of employment for two joint practices with the Bengals.
USA TODAY posted an Associated Press article about Zimmer's return to Cincinnati.
*The Minnesota Vikings head coach is known for his intense, no-nonsense approach on the field but was smiling on Wednesday after a morning workout at Paul Brown Stadium. *
During his six seasons as defensive coordinator in Cincinnati, Zimmer led the Bengals defense to top-10 league rankings four different times.
"It brings back a lot of good memories," Zimmer said. "We had a good run when I was here. There were a lot of great people in the administration. [Bengals owner] Mike Brown was always really good to me, as was Marvin. There are a lot of the players here that I coached. It'll be fun. It'll be fun to come back and try to compete with them."
The relationship between Lewis and Zimmer began in the early 1980s when they were starting their coaching careers in the Big Sky Conference, Lewis at Idaho State and Zimmer at Weber State. Lewis' first job in the NFL was with Pittsburgh in 1992. Zimmer joined Dallas' staff in 1994. The Cowboys beat the Steelers in the Super Bowl following the 1995 season.
Zimmer was the Cowboys' defensive coordinator from 2000-2006. He spent one year in Atlanta, a 2007 season most remembered for Bobby Petrino quitting as head coach with three games left to take the job at Arkansas. Lewis gladly welcomed Zimmer to his staff with the Bengals.