Training Camp

Vikings Training Camp Diary: August 1

The most important notes and key takeaways from Thursday's training camp practice.

Welcome to the Minnesota Vikings Training Camp Diary! Here, you’ll find everything you need to know about the Vikings’ training camp practice on August 1 in an easy-to-read bullet form.

Injury updates

  • DT Curtis Cothran (undisclosed) was not in pads for the third straight practice
  • DE Stephen Weatherly (undisclosed) did not practice on Thursday after leaving practice early on Wednesday with an unknown injury. He stretched with the team but was not in pads and he did not participate in drills
  • OL Aviante Collins (leg) was carted off the field early on in practice. OT Storm Norton filled in for Collins

Notables

  • At his post-walkthrough presser, head coach Mike Zimmer called out his defense for being complacent while simultaneously praising the offense for having “grit” and “fight” – he wanted to see the defense practice with a chip on their shoulders instead of simply going through the motions. More on that in a bit…
  • Zimmer singled out TE Brandon Dillon and CB Kris Boyd for having good camps so far
  • RB’s Ameer Abdullah, Alexander Mattison and Mike Boone took kick return reps to begin practice
  • CB Mackensie Alexander has carried over his strong play from last season into training camp. He registered multiple pass break-ups Thursday after receiving praise from his head coach on Wednesday. The slot WR’s, including Chad Beebe, have been putting him to work but Alexander has been up to the challenge
  • The offense spent a lot of time Thursday working on RB screens and WR sweeps. Look for those plays to be a regular part of the Vikings offense this season (well, maybe occasional end-arounds)
  • The defense, which had been called out by Zimmer in the morning, rebounded with a better performance on Thursday – runs were stuffed consistently at the line and the 1st-team unit prevented the offense from scoring during a two-minute drill
  • In fact, tempers started to heat up Thursday as OL Rashod Hill took exception to a hit on RB Alexander Mattison by rookie LB Cameron Smith. Hill shoved Smith in the back after the play but both men then returned to their respective huddles

A couple WR reports

  • Dillon Mitchell had a noticeable drop during individual drills. He’s flashed some explosiveness here and there during camp but he’s also had a slight issue with hanging onto the ball
  • Brandon Zylstra has been getting reps with the two’s and threes since returning from a hamstring injury. He’s a natural ball catcher with very soft hands. However, his route-running isn’t doing him any favors in terms of gaining separation – it doesn’t appear to be a glaring strength for him – and occasional poor drops have plagued him so far
  • Davion Davis made a few impressive catches Thursday, including an athletic, contorting, falling-out-of-bounds reception that bailed QB Sean Mannion out of a high throw

A changing of the Guards

Highlights

  • CB Jayron Kearse nearly picked off a pass intended for TE Tyler Conklin during team red zone drills. In fact, he may have kept his feet in? Tough to say… either way it was a nice PBU as Kearse continues to excel in camp

  • QB Jake Browning has been steadily rolling through camp without making many mistakes at all. He’s been making smart decisions during team drills, often hitting his check-downs and occasionally taking a chance a downfield… such as this well-placed ball to WR Laquon Treadwell:

  • Oh and if you’re wondering about Browning’s arm strength, this may put your mind at ease:

  • WR Stefon Diggs has been making catches like this every single day. Hopefully the young WR’s are taking note – when it comes to leading by example he couldn’t be showing much more in terms of performance on the field. SO good, SO consistent

Reflection

  • Follow me on Twitter @SeanBormanNFL for Vikings information, including live updates from Training Camp in Eagan and check out the previous reports from Training Camp 2019:
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Sean Borman

Sean Borman is a writer with Minnesota roots that's still somehow an optimist. He was an intern with the Vikings during college and previously wrote for Rant Sports. You can find Sean on the golf course and on Twitter @SeanBoarMan.

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