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Presser Points: Coordinators on OTA Roles in Zimmer's Absence

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. —The Vikings coordinators took to the podium on the second day of organized team activities at Winter Park.

Minnesota announced on Monday that Head Coach Mike Zimmer would be taking some time away from the team to recover from his eighth procedure on his right eye since last fall.

Vikings general manager Rick Spielman said before practice he's been pleased with each of the coordinators who have picked up the slack on each side of the ball.

Offensive Coordinator Pat Shurmur, Defensive Coordinator George Edwards and Special Teams Coordinator Mike Priefer spoke with members of the media on Wednesday after the team's second OTA practice.

"We wish we had everybody here," Shurmur said. "In these situations most of the practice scenarios are controlled, but it's always good that you have the head coach so that there's immediate feedback on all of us. We do know that we all have a job to do and we all know the jobs that we have to do. Regardless of who's here, we are fighting like heck to do as good of a job as possible."

Edwards said that each of the coaches is in constant communication with Zimmer, who is watching videos from practices while resting at his ranch in Kentucky.

"We are relaying his message and his vision for this football team," Edwards said. "I think everybody is pitching in to make sure we work through what we need to work through."

Here are two topics covered by Shurmur

New additions

Spielman and the rest of the Vikings front office put an emphasis on adding pieces to the offense this offseason.

Minnesota signed two offensive tackle free agents in Riley Reiff and Mike Remmers and most recently acquired wide receiver Adam Thielen.

Through two practices Shurmur is pleased with how his offense looks in helmets and pads.

"We have new players certainly," Shurmur said. "We are really pleased with what we've seen so far. This is really only the second day that they are going against the defense. They are fast learners, they are understanding quickly what we are trying to do and now they are out there just battling. "

Cook and Floyd's progression

Vikings second-round draft pick Dalvin Cook has now completed two practices against the Vikings defense, as well as participating in rookie minicamp.

Shurmur said that Cook is making good progress and that he is seeing everything that he saw in Cook's college tape in person at Winter Park.

"He certainly caught our eye in the rookie stuff," Shumur said. "Now that he is in with the veterans you can still see all the same things we saw. He's a very instinctive runner. He'll get his foot down and up the field. He's actually pretty instinctive when it comes down to who to block in pass protection and he catches the ball extremely well."

Floyd is the newest member of the Vikings offense, and Shurmur reminded the media that he's even behind the rookies in days with the playbook on Wednesday.

The offensive play-caller called Floyd a "fast learner" and has noticed some impressive attributes from the former Arizona Cardinal in his first two days wearing purple.

"He's a big receiver, and through the years you've seen he's been able to make contested catches and use his size to his advantage, Shurmur said. "He also moves really well and he has good ball skills so he can separate."

Here are two topics covered by Priefer

Kickers progress

The Vikings currently have two kickers on the 90-man roster in Kai Forbath and Marshall Koehn.

Forbath was perfect (15 of 15) for the Vikings on field goal attempts in 2016.

Koehn joined the Vikings after spending time the 2016 offseason and training camp with the Miami Dolphins.

"They've been working hard. All of Phase 2 (of the offseason program), I think they kicked 111 or 112 PATs and field goals each," Priefer said. "They're working with the holders, working with Kevin (McDermott), our snapper. They've had a great spring thus far, and it's going to be fantastic competition. I'm looking forward to seeing how it turns out."

Punting battle

The Vikings have two punters battling for the starting spot at OTAs after Jeff Locke signed with the Indianapolis Colts in the offseason.

Ryan Quigley is in his fifth season in the NFL and spent 2016 with the Arizona Cardinals. Taylor Symmank, a 24-year old Texas Tech product, also joined the Vikings this offseason.

"They worked very hard, and I'm excited about both guys. You've got a veteran kicker and punter (in Forbath and Quigley), and then a young kicker and punter (in Koehn and Symmank). They're competing, and I couldn't be more pleased with where we're at right now."

Here is one topic covered by Edwards

Continuity on the defense

Edwards was excited to get the defense back out on the field on Wednesday.

He noted that the continuity of the players on his side of the ball has been a plus.

"That's definitely been a blessing," Edwards said. "Having continuity on our side of the ball has really been a blessing when it comes to communication, the different techniques, fundamentals and the things we work on schematically through this period."

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