New for 2019 Verizon Vikings Training Camp, Vikings Daily Digest will deliver content directly from Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center with news of the day and a few recurring elements.
EAGAN, Minn. — A notable characteristic of the Vikings defenses under Head Coach Mike Zimmer and Defensive Coordinator George Edwards is how fast the group plays together and how well each starter plays off the other.
Those qualities have improved over the past five years, helping Minnesota climb to the tops of the defensive rankings.
Familiarity with the system and each other has especially helped, enabling Zimmer and Edwards to install quickly and players to communicate smoothly and make in-game adjustments on the fly.
"We've had a lot of shared experiences, so we can reach back and remember when something happened a while back," Edwards said Thursday. "We can say, 'OK, remember when we get in this concept, we need to adjust it. Remember when this kind of helped or hurt us, we need to adjust how we're doing it and tweak certain things.'
"It's allowed us to really spend some time looking at different things that hopefully, schematically can help us and [provide] us a better evaluation of the guys that we've got in here to be able to implement them as soon as possible," Edwards said.
The pace of the past three days of practices was slowed down somewhat for a group of 37 rookies and select veterans, somewhat of a walk-before-you-run situation. Things will accelerate beginning Friday when the entire roster is set to practice for the first time.
Before that, however, Edwards was able to assess the play of young defensive backs. He was asked specifically about draft picks Marcus Epps and Kris Boyd. Edwards said, "those guys have really paid attention to the details" and have shown "pretty good recall from what we did in the spring."
Boyd spoke to media members on Wednesday and was asked whether learning the playbook or specific techniques has been the biggest challenge.
"I'd say technique because, you know, in college and high school you get away with a lot of things," Boyd said. "I like it though, because I'm learning every day, and you can feel it. Coach is out here coaching me up, even on the simplest things, like taking one step, you can be inches away from making the play or missing it."
Boyd said Zimmer has been on him "a lot."
"Nobody wants to hear somebody telling you what you did wrong and need to work on, but I actually like it," Boyd said. "It means he actually cares about my technique and wants me to do better."
Quote of the Day
"[The past three days of practices] definitely helped because when [the veterans] get back, it's full-go. It got us in the books and helped us on the field with our routes. We were getting everything and soaking in all of the knowledge that we can."
— Vikings rookie receiver Dillon Mitchell
Vikings Table, the new charity food truck initiative of the Minnesota Vikings Foundation, will be a fixture at 2019 Verizon Vikings Training Camp, beginning Friday.
Vikings Table was unveiled in June at a media event with help from "The Chef" Dalvin Cook. The truck will sell food at camp, and the proceeds will go to help eliminate food insecurities.
Training Camp Tickets Update
The first open practice of Verizon Vikings Training Camp is set for 2 p.m. Friday.
Nearly 72,000 tickets have been claimed for the 16 open practice days, and free general admission tickets remain for most days.
There are only reserved seats remaining for the following days:
Friday, July 26
Saturday, July 27
Sunday, July 28
Saturday, Aug. 3
Similar to 2018, more tickets may become available.
Tickets can be reserved as late as the same day if any are available.