VIKINGS MINI CAMP: O'Neill catches passes, Cousins struggles, and more...

posted by Aj Mansour - 

Day number two of Vikings Mandatory Mini Camp is officially in the books and like any other day, we learned some things about our favorite purple and gold team. 

Admittedly, it is still practice and very much the offseason, but still here are some interesting tidbits from today's session.

Rookie RT Brian O'Neill took reps as a Tight End today...

O'Neill was originally recruited by Pittsburgh as a tight end but packed on nearly 50lbs and moved over to tackle before his redshirt sophomore season. Even then, he was still used as a pass catching option in the "jumbo" package as lineman reporting as an eligible pass catcher. Brian is just the latest in a long list of Vikings players showing their ability to perform at multiple positions including Anthony Barr, Terence Newman, Danielle Hunter, Brian Robison and more.

WR Brandon Zylstra turning heads again...

We did a little bit of a feature on him last week (check that out HERE) but Brandon Zylstra has been a name to watch early on through OTAs and Mini Camp. That continued today as Zylstra made a heck of a catch on a post route to the left side of the field against the first team defense, specifically  with Harrison Smith all up in his grill. He's a local kid who made it to Minnesota by way of the CFL and a cool story to watch as we continue towards Training Camp.

RB Mike Boone taking most of the third team reps...

For the first time in a little while here in Minnesota there is a depth opening at the running back position. For years now we've known guys like Jerick McKinnon and Matt Asiata filling in behind the starters to give three running back depth. This year, with McKinnon and Asiata gone, the Vikings will turn to Dalvin Cook, Latavius Murray and .... ? So far through Mini Camp, that guy has been Mike Boone a rookie running back out of Cincinnati. Boone has showed vision and explosiveness so far in camp and has gained the favor of the coaching staff enough to fill in at #3.

Cousins and the offense struggle in the red zone...

It was one of the knocks on Cousins when he was in Washington, red zone efficiency, and it popped up today in practice. After the first red zone session went well with TD passes to Diggs and Rudolph, Cousins and the first team came out and had a series  of plays that were so poor offensive coordinator John  Defilippo was repeatedly yelling, "stop the bleeding." Here's how it went...INT, Overthrow, INT, Tipped Pass at the line, Dropped pass at the goal line and and throwaway to ice the cake. It was ugly, but didn't leave Cousins or Flip discouraged saying that a "short-term memory" is the most important attribute for a quarterback.

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