EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. —It certainly wasn't snow, or considerably cold, or in the amount that caused severe flooding in Texas, but there was enough precipitation to challenge the Vikings Tuesday in their first of 10 scheduled organized team activity practices.
The first OTA represented the beginning of Phase 3 of the team's voluntary offseason workout program and the opportunity to practice handling weather conditions as Minnesota prepares for its second and final scheduled season of home games in the elements at TCF Bank Stadium.
"You never know what type of conditions you're going to face during the year, so it was good to get a chance to play through some rain," receiver Jarius Wright said.
Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater often ended practices on drier days with a wet ball drill involving a bucket of water to simulate conditions that the leaky clouds provided Tuesday.
Bridgewater remained on the field moments after doused teammates headed for the locker room. He chatted briefly with receiver Mike Wallace, who was acquired by the Vikings in a trade with the Dolphins, and threw extra passes to Charles Johnson, who was signed off Cleveland's practice squad last fall. Johnson produced 31 catches for 475 yards and two touchdowns last season.
View images from the first of ten OTA's.
As Bridgewater, other quarterbacks and the receivers did their best to sync throws and routes in passing drills, equipment staff worked with towels, and members of the Vikings turf team used rollers to usher standing water toward drainage areas.
"Sometimes it's tough for the quarterback to get it out, so it might come out wobbly," Wright said. "It's also hard to run your routes on a slick field. Concentration and focus goes up that much more on a day like this."
Wright posted career bests with 42 receptions and 588 yards in 2014, his third pro season that was highlighted by a game-winning 87-yard catch-and-run on a screen pass that Bridgewater checked into at the line of scrimmage in overtime against the Jets. The receiver and quarterback built a rapport through a substantial amount of reps beginning this time a year ago before their opportunities expanded.
"We did get a nice chance to build up a tandem going with the twos, and it carried over going with the ones when me and Teddy got a chance to move up," Wright said. "This year, we pretty much know what we're going to do and have a great feel for each other, so that should definitely carry over to the field."
PHOTO SHOOT: After Tuesday's practice, several Vikings, including Johnson, Wright and first-round pick Trae Waynes participated in a photo shoot inside the field house that was captured in this Tweet:
UP NEXT: The Vikings are scheduled to have their second OTA practice — and first open one of 2015 — on Wednesday when the forecast is supposed to be about 70 degrees Fahrenheit during the session with no precip. It will be followed by media sessions with Head Coach Mike Zimmer and Bridgewater, as well as additional interviews.