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Presser Points: DeFilippo Puts Spotlight on Siemian for Improved Play

EAGAN, Minn. — The Vikings held their nightly team meeting on Monday when Vikings Offensive Coordinator John DeFilippo singled out Trevor Siemian in front of the entire team.

But it wasn't in a negative manner, as DeFilippo was just putting the spotlight on the backup quarterback for all of the improvements he's made over the past few months in Minnesota.

"I called out Trevor last night in the offensive meeting. I said this in front of the whole offense, that's why I'm telling you," DeFilippo said. "Trevor's a guy that does simple better. He does simple better. I used an example, about Trevor, in front of the whole offense last night.

"He has a really simple thought process when he goes to the line of scrimmage," DeFilippo added. "He doesn't make it too hard. He doesn't overthink. He gets the ball, he'll check the ball down. If there's a throw to be thrown down the field, he makes it."

The Vikings acquired Siemian in mid-March in a trade with Denver, where the quarterback spent the first three seasons of his career.

Siemian appeared in 26 games with 24 starts and compiled a 13-11 record as a starter. He has thrown for 5,686 yards with 30 touchdowns in his career.

DeFilippo added that Siemian looks and feels more comfortable than he did during spring practices.

"Trevor is playing much, much faster now than when he was here [in the spring]," DeFilippo said. "We've really challenged him to speed up everything he does, and he's accepted that challenge. He's really done a nice job. I think you can see his play on the field these last few days has shown that."

Here are four other takeaways from DeFilippo's podium session Tuesday:

1. Ham helped by wide skill set

C.J. Ham is not your typical fullback.

Although the Minnesota native is heading into his second season at that position, he also brings a bit of versatility to the roster.

In addition to being a multifaceted special teams player, Ham can also do a bit of everything on offense.

"First off, if you just talk from a team standpoint before we get to offense, obviously he is one of our core-teamers," DeFilippo said. "He helps the football team out that way, playing all four special teams.

"When you break it down to just offense, it's nice when you have a fullback in there. It allows your play-action game, your two-back play-action game to really take off. It obviously allows you to run the football with two backs and some old-school iso plays. You can run power with a fullback which, we love," DeFilippo added. "I think whenever you have a fullback with an athletic guy, that is not just the old-school, 'I've got a big ole' neck roll on', type fullback that is just a straight ahead guy, I think that provides you a lot of position flexibility. The thing with C.J. which I love, he is still athletic enough to be able to move around and catch the football. You are going to see him moving around in a bunch of different spots in the fall if he keeps doing what he's doing."

Ham rushed for 13 yards and his first career touchdown in 2017 while adding seven catches for 68 yards.

2. Boone out of the backfield

Mike Boone is in the mix for the third running back spot on the roster.

So far, the undrafted free agent out of the University of Cincinnati has turned some heads in practice, especially with his ability to catch the ball out in space.

"For a young guy, he runs really, really good routes out of the backfield," DeFilippo said. "He's a mature guy. He takes pride in his job. He's very mature for a rookie, very mature for a rookie.

"Doesn't say much, just comes out here and does his job which is what you should do as a rookie, keep your mouth shut and do your job," DeFilippo added. "I'm really, really pleased where he's at right now. He's done a really, really nice job."

Boone rushed for 2,250 yards and 24 scores in 39 career games for the Bearcats.

3. Treadwell and TDs

Laquon Treadwell seemingly couldn't be stopped in Monday's practice as he hauled in four touchdowns from Kirk Cousins in red-zone drills.

DeFilippo praised Treadwell's work ethic over the past few months and said the former first-round pick has improved his mental approach, too.

"I'm really proud of that guy. He has worked his butt off to really improve. I think from what I've heard, he has matured," DeFilippo said. "You see a young man having some success and not letting that success go to his head. We are going to continually challenge him every single day to stay mentally focused. He can do that. There is no doubt in my mind he can do that.

"I'm really happy where he is right now. Obviously, you saw him make a bunch of plays yesterday in the red zone," DeFilippo added. "With that body type, that is a unique guy. That is a big guy that can run fast, so we need him to keep progressing."

Treadwell has 21 career catches for 215 yards.

4. Dishing on Diggs

Stefon Diggs was the talk of the town Tuesday as the Vikings announced the team and the wide receiver agreed on a contract extension.

The 2015 fifth-round pick has 200 catches for 2,472 yards and 15 touchdowns in 40 career games.

DeFilippo has watched Diggs from afar the past few seasons but has had the chance to see him up close in recent months.

The offensive coordinator raved about Diggs on Tuesday:

"I love that guy. He's exactly what you want in a player, and in my mind, a superstar player," DeFilippo said. "He's smart, he loves football, he's assignment-sound, coachable, he's got a lot of energy, is explosive and he catches the football.

"I think that describes pretty good receivers in this league," DeFilippo added. "We are thrilled he is a Viking."