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Presser Points: Edwards on Kendricks; Priefer on Walsh

MANKATO, Minn. — Vikings Defensive Coordinator George Edwards and Special Teams Coordinator Mike Priefer on Monday held their first media sessions of 2016 Verizon Vikings Training Camp.

Both groups have exceptional and rare continuity set to return this season, with every 2015 starter on the defense, all three specialists and exceptional return men Cordarrelle Patterson and Marcus Sherels back in the mix.

Here are three topics discussed by Edwards:

Kendricks' communication in second season

Eric Kendricks led the Vikings with 105 tackles in 2015, becoming the first rookie to do so since Rip Hawkins in 1961. Edwards said Kendricks' communication has really stood out early this camp.

"After going through the season now he's calm because he's confident in what it is that he's doing, that's been a blessing. His communication has been a lot better, he hasn't had to think quite as much. He's been able to use the athleticism that he has. He's been making plays in coverage, he's been doing a good job in the run game. We're just looking forward to him continuing to improve and work on those things at the position."

Griffen's "tool box"

Everson Griffen led the Vikings with 10.5 sacks in 2015 and 12 in 2014, when he first became a starter. Edwards said Griffen hasn't been complacent on the heels of his first Pro Bowl. Instead, he's continue to work.

"There's no doubt about it, he's really worked hard this offseason to improve his tool box as far as his pass rushes and things that people are trying to do to him. I think he's got a good feel for where that is right now. He's added some more moves in there to his pass rush, realizing what he needs to do at certain times. I tell ya, he's one of the hardest workers, he's going to come out here every day to improve. He did it all offseason and he's got off to a good start so far in camp."

Working inside and out

Edwards was asked specifically about practicing rookie Mackensie Alexander inside at slot and on the outside. He said he wants to do that with everyone.

"I mean every one of our corners we are going to work outside, inside because when numbers get down, you have to have the ability to do that if we get an injury during the course of the week."

Here are three topics discussed by Priefer:

Walsh fully confident and coachable

Kevin McDermott went 8-for-8 on kicks during Sunday's practice. Priefer said Walsh's confidence was strong during the spring and has remained that way at the start of camp.

"Blair is a guy that believes in his abilities, and he's humble enough to know that he has to work on those abilities, and that's why he's such a great kid. He's a coachable guy, and that's what makes him one of the top kickers in the league in my opinion. His talent and his work ethic are second to none, and he's going to keep working to get better and be successful for us."

After Patterson

Cordarrelle Patterson suffered an injury after making a show-stopping catch down the sidelines on Friday. The injury has since sidelined the player who led the NFL in kickoff return average last season (31.8 yards per return). Priefer talked about the Vikings plans while Patterson is unavailable.

"Marcus Sherels will get some looks at kickoff returner, Jerick McKinnon possibly. Troy Stoudermire came in, and he's done a nice job this spring and so far in camp. Adam Thielen can be a kickoff-returner if we need him to be. Marken Michel is working there, another young free agent, and Terrell Sinkfield is also working back there."

Net punting goal

Priefer said punter Kevin McDermott did a good job of handling the elements the past two seasons and had a strong spring. With the Vikings about to begin playing home games inside U.S. Bank Stadium, Priefer said that Minnesota will continue to have a team goal of averaging 40 net yards per punt.

"If we can net over 40 yards, I'll be happy. I think with the way our guys cover — and we were fifth in the league punt coverage — we had a really good cover team, and Jeff was a part of that. He's not going to kick it 60 yards, with a 4.2 hang time because that's going to hurt our coverage, and [opponents then] have the opportunity for a big play. So we're going to kick them a little bit higher and a little bit shorter with a lot of teams and let's go cover."

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