EAGAN, Minn. (KMSP) - The Vikings had over 60 players, including their draft picks and undrafted free agents, at mini camp looking to make an impression on Head Coach Mike Zimmer and the coaching staff.
All of the eight draft picks were out on the field Friday. The players didn’t wear pads, so there was minimal contact on all of the drills, but the goal was just to get the players acclimated to life as an NFL player.
The Vikings have had success discovering talented undrafted free agents, notably wide receiver Adam Thielen. Perhaps another free agent gem will emerge when training camp rolls around.
For now, the players are busy getting used to their environment, learning the system. Zimmer says he enjoys getting to teach these guys how to play Vikings football.
“Really in a group like this when you’ve never had these players before, there’s a lot more mistakes, so you get a chance to do a lot of correcting and trying to explain to them and understand that they’ve never done it before, so you know you can’t really get mad at them,” said Zimmer. “You just got to try to teach them.”
“I haven’t played much inside, but today I felt pretty good at what we’ve been learning, what we’ve been installing so it’s all about getting comfortable, getting comfortable with the guys and trusting the coaches,” said Mike Hughes, Vikings rookie cornerback.
“Fans that don’t know me, I’m going to go as hard as I can and I’m going to hit the quarterback and laugh out there,” said Jalyn Holmes, Vikings rookie defensive tackle. “So I just try to have fun with everything I do.”
Coach Zimmer said coaching legend Bill Parcells once told him was “don’t be an instant evaluator,” meaning don’t overreact too quickly to anything positive or negative he sees during early camps. Zimmer said that if he was too nice to the players, Coach Parcells would get mad at him, so don’t expect too many compliments just yet from Coach Zimmer.