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Vikings Daily Digest: Zimmer Says Young WRs Progressing, 'Lining Up a Lot Better'

EAGAN, Minn. – Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer is pleased with the progress he's seen from his young receivers.

Earlier on in **Verizon Vikings Training Camp**, Zimmer criticized the group's performance.

Having been asked about the skill sets of different receives, he responded with the following:

"You have to look at each player individually. 'This guy is more of a speed guy so he can take the top off the defense. This guy is more of a slot guy, so he can work the middle of the field. This guy can go inside or outside,' " Zimmer said. "We just have to figure out which one of the skill sets we like the best.

"But if they don't know what to do or where to line up, or they run the wrong route, or they're moving their feet when the ball is snapped, we'll keep looking for somebody else," Zimmer added. "They have not been precise enough these first couple days … they need to get their rear end in gear."

When Zimmer spoke with Twin Cities media members prior to Monday's practice, however, he said the receivers have been doing a better job executing their assignments.

"They're lining up a lot better. Very seldom now are you seeing them run from one side to the other," Zimmer said. "They're getting extra work in mentally, and then they're getting some extra work in during meeting times, where they just line up and make sure they know what to do."

He did acknowledge the challenge that players face when making the transition from college to the pros.

"It is tough for young guys to come in and learn the verbiage, learn the formations, learn the correct alignments in every one of the formations – because there's a ton of formations – and knowing what to do, and then being at the proper depth," Zimmer added. "That's what the quarterbacks want, something they can be consistent with."

Alexander Hollins, whom the Vikings signed this spring as an undrafted free agent, said the team's Saturday night practice created more of a "game-feel situation," which helped the young receivers orient themselves a bit more.

Hollins, who snagged a pass from Sean Mannion for a gain of 35-plus yards under the lights, said the experience helped prepare him for Minnesota's upcoming preseason game at New Orleans.

"They were mixing it all up and preparing the rookies, so we'll know what to do and what to expect once we go out there for the preseason games," Hollins said. "That way we won't be out there like a chicken with our head cut off."

Hollins referred to "learning and learning and learning" from vets and coaches in order to execute well and added that it's important to take it one day at a time.

"The group of receivers … I'm learning from them all," Hollins said. "And [receivers coach Drew Petzing], he's getting me a lot better. I'm learning a lot from those guys, and it's actually showing on film and at practice. That's a plus.

"It's good to see the work you put in pays off, but you never get content with that," Hollins added. "There's always room to get better."

Quote of the Day

"As a DB, you love a front seven that is thirsty and hungry to get after the quarterback because it makes your job easier."

– New Vikings CB Bené Benwikere on the Vikings defense

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Two young Vikings fans were all smiles Monday afternoon when they caught a souvenir football from second-year receiver Chad Beebe.

Upcoming Schedule

The Vikings are scheduled to hold open practices Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon. There will be no practice on Thursday as the team travels to New Orleans for its first preseason game.

Kickoff against the Saints is scheduled for 7 p.m. (CT) Friday night.

The Vikings will play their second and third preseason games at U.S. Bank Stadium, where you can see the team in action. Watch the Vikings battle the Seahawks on Sunday, Aug. 18, and the Cardinals on Saturday, Aug. 24. A limited number of tickets (starting at $20) remain for both preseason games.**Click here**to purchase and enter promo code Roster.