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Notebook: Remmers Valuing 'Absolutely Critical' Time at OTAs

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Mike Remmers felt right at home Wednesday afternoon on the practice fields at Winter Park.

The offensive tackle signed with the Vikings as a free agent this offseason, returning to a familiar place. Remmers spent part of the 2013 season and 2014 training camp with the Vikings.

As he lined up at right tackle with the Vikings first-team offense, Remmers said he took in the sights and sounds of being back in Minnesota.

"It felt great to be back," Remmers said. "I love being out here with my brothers and playing football.

"I absolutely love it here — the organization, the city, everything," Remmers added.

Although Organized Team Activity practices are optional, Remmers said there was no way he was missing the sessions. The former Oregon State standout said he's mainly focused on soaking up the playbook.

"This time is absolutely critical, especially for the younger guys and new guys, just to learn the offense so we know what we're doing out there so we can play fast on Sundays," Remmers said.

"I think I fit in pretty good, but that's exactly what this time of year is for, so I can fit in in Mankato (for training camp) and going into the season," Remmers added. "(That way) everything is already installed, and I'm ready to go."

Remmers, who spent the past three seasons in Carolina, said he's adjusted well in picking up Minnesota's offense.

"There's only so many ways you can run and throw the ball and protect the quarterback," Remmers said. "Everything is kind of the same, but I'm learning and trying to improve my game the best I can."

The 27-year-old started every game for the past two seasons for the Panthers, and has made 37 total starts in his career.

Hodges shadowing Rudolph early on

Eric Wilson is still getting his feet wet in the NFL, but the Vikings rookie tight end made sure to keep a close eye on one of his teammates.

Hodges, a sixth-round draft pick, was asked after Wednesday's OTA practice about which tight ends he admires around the league.

Hodges mentioned his own teammate, tight end Kyle Rudolph, as a guy he can learn from right away. 

"We've got one of the best ones in the locker room in (Rudolph)," Hodges said. "Just watching him work every day, he brings his hat to work every day, and he grinds.

"It's good to follow in footsteps like his," Hodges added.

The former Virginia Tech standout flourished after switching from quarterback to tight end early in his college career.

Hodges ended his Hokies career with 133 catches for 1,747 yards and 20 touchdowns, the best totals for a tight end in program history.

"I'm a playmaker. When the game's on the line, I want the ball," Hodges said. "I'm going to push myself past my limit – in the fourth quarter when the game's on the line, that's when I really excel. And just plays, I want to make a lot of plays."

View images from the second of ten OTA practices at Winter Park.

Wright not changing his approach

Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen have established themselves as key cogs in the Vikings wide receiver group, while former first-round pick Laquon Treadwell is looking to make a leap forward during his second season.

Minnesota also added Adam Thielen as a free agent and drafted a pair of wide receivers in Danny Isidora and Stacy Coley.

Despite the new faces on the team, Vikings wide receiver Jarius Wright said Wednesday that it is business as usual for him.

"You know me … I don't care about that," said Wright, who, at two days older than Floyd, is the oldest receiver in the group. "I'm going to be the same guy. You can bring in a thousand receivers, and Jarius Wright won't change.

"That's just my mindset. I'm going to go out, I'm going to be me every day," Wright added.

Wright, a fourth-round pick in 2012, has 135 career receptions for 1,841 yards and eight touchdowns.

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