MANKATO, Minn. –Andrew Sendejo took a dive to the ground to secure an interception during Sunday afternoon's training camp practice.
It was the first day of camp that players donned pads, and Sendejo made the most of it where he could.
"It's part of the game that I kind of pride myself on, being a physical player," Sendejo told Vikings.com following practice. "Kind of easing into it [today] with the pads, not too many collisions, and obviously going against our own guys, [we're] trying to be smart and trying to be safe. But getting back into the groove of things."
Sendejo, who started all 13 games he played in 2015, has been taking first-team reps with Harrison Smith through the first three days of camp. The flashy play on defense wasn't the only time he dived during practice.
Sendejo and others took turns sprawling out and landing on a mat during a special teams punt-blocking drill.
"That's how I got into the league, was on special teams, an undrafted free agent," Sendejo said. "Even all the way back to high school, I've always taken special teams very seriously."
In addition to playing safety, Sendejo continued to play special teams, an area of the game he enjoys. For Sendejo, it's all about keeping a team mentality.
"You have to help wherever you can," he said. "Whatever they tell you to do, you try to do the best. If you're on defense, try to be the best defensive guy you can. If you're on special teams, try to be the best special teams player you can."
That will continue to be Sendejo's approach for the remainder of his time at Minnesota State University, Mankato as he prepares for the 2016 season.
"You can't beat it – it's training camp," Sendejo said. "I don't mind being out here. You kind of get to get away, lock in and just worry about ball, and that's it."
By Craig Peters
Walsh 8-for-8 on kicks
Blair Walsh was a perfect 8-for-8 on kicks on Sunday.
Walsh drilled footballs through the uprights from distances of 30, 31, 35, 38, 40 and 41 yards, often striking the centered scissor-lift camera tower's structure.
He also was good on a pair of kicks from the point-after-touchdown distance of 33 yards. Last season was the first year that PATs were kicked from that distance, which is 13 yards farther than in previous years.
"It's been nice to get back out there and have the kicks live in front of the team and make them all. I think that's what you want to do in those situations, get off to a good start," Walsh said. "More challenging distances will come as the practices progress, but it was a good day."
Throw the flag?
Zimmer said after the Vikings morning walk-through that he was looking forward to seeing receivers and corners play bump-and-run. He did so from a sideline viewpoint, keenly watching as second-year pro Stefon Diggs matched up with 14-year veteran Terence Newman.
The play resulted in an incompletion, with Diggs asking for a flag from officials. No flag was thrown, and Newman had a chuckle at Diggs.
Earlier in practice, Newman had jokingly thrown a flag into the crowd and given the official a hug, drawing cheers from a capacity crowd. For the record, the official retrieved his flag well before Newman's matchup with Diggs.