VIKINGS MINI CAMP: Cook returns, Newman at Safety and Barr on the D-line

Photo: Getty Images

The Minnesota Vikings kicked off Mandatory Mini Camp today at Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center and while they are really nothing more than glorified Organized Team Activities (OTAs), there were a few things that stuck out in today's practice.

Dalvin Cook unleashed for the first time...

While they are still unpadded, and all of the drills are non-contact, today was the first day that we really saw running back Dalvin Cook unleashed from any of the reins that were holding him back. It was last week's OTA availability that we saw Cook mix in with the ones on some of the lower motion drills, then today he did the same but mixed in on the full speed drills. He looked comfortable moving laterally and according to head coach Mike Zimmer, Cook says that "he's still the same guy" from before his injury.

Anthony Barr runs position drills with the defensive line...

Part of the progression of linebacker Anthony Barr's career is his ability to open up and do a few things that are "different" from those roles of a normal outside linebacker. Today as the linebackers headed over to their position group drills, #55 was nowhere to be seen. Acting on a hunch, I turned my attention over to the defensive line position group working on the southeast side of the practice field and there he was. Mixed in among Linval Joseph, Brian Robison, Danielle Hunter and the others was Anthony Barr working on his fundamentals and hand positioning for rushing the passer. It's not completely unusual for Barr to be lumped in with this sort of drill as we have seen him line up on the outside of the line and rush the passer often, but it shows his interested and/or the team's interest in helping him improve with that skillset.

Forbath wins the kickings battle...at least for today...

For the first time during media availability at Vikings practices this offseason, rookie kicker Daniel Carlson missed a field goal. In fact, he missed two today one from 35-yard and the other a bomb from 55-yards. As for the veteran Kai Forbath, he missed his first kick today from 35-yards and nailed the rest of them.

Terence Newman works in at Safety...

It wasn't the full day and it wasn't for long, but veteran cornerback Terence Newman filled in a little at safety today opposite of Harrison Smith. It's unclear if this is a reactionary move as the team continues to be without Andrew Sendejo on the field or if this will be part of the latest progression in Newman's 16-year NFL career. This was a thought when he first came to Minnesota and his age started to be a question, but his performance as the nickel CB quickly made us forget about that. Now with rookie CB Mike Hughes looking to fill in as the Nickel, will Newman's role shift back to the safety position for 2018? They're taking a look at it.

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