Diggs back at practice, adjusting to yet another offense
EAGAN, Minn. -- Stefon Diggs was present for the start of the Vikings’ mandatory minicamp Tuesday, June 11, at TCO Performance Center in Eagan after parachuting in and out of the team facility last month during organized team activities.
Although the practices Diggs missed were voluntary by definition, his repeated absences were a little disconcerting, especially considering the Vikings are in the midst of installing a new scheme under offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski.
Luckily for Diggs, he’s been around the block when it comes to learning new schemes. He’s already had four offensive coordinators — Norv Turner, Pat Shurmur, John DeFilippo and Stefanski — since being selected in the fifth round of the 2015 draft.
“Just being around for a while now has made it a little easier,” Diggs said. “It’s just new terminology and new language and stuff like that. We’ve run the same route a million times. Just because it has a new name doesn’t mean we can’t run it.”
Led by Stefanski, with veteran coach Gary Kubiak also providing a major voice, the Vikings’ new scheme is run-heavy. It’s predicated on opening lanes for Dalvin Cook out of the backfield, which, in theory, will provide Kirk Cousins with opportunities to throw the ball downfield.
Asked if he likes the new scheme, Diggs juked the question, emphasizing that it doesn’t matter if he likes it or dislikes it.
“I’ve been in a lot of offenses, and I’ve never had any complaints,” he said. “Just whatever route gets called I’ll run.”
Diggs has proven capable of doing that throughout his career, producing no matter who is calling the plays. He set career highs last season in catches (102), receiving yards (1,021) and touchdowns (9), while navigating the shift between DeFilippo and Stefanski down the stretch.
Setting the tone
There was an increased intensity from coach Mike Zimmer for the start of mandatory minicamp on Tuesday, and that was by design. He made it a point to ramp things up with training camp coming up in a little more than a month.
“These are more like training camp practices,” Zimmer said. “We aren’t going as long in the day as we would in training camp. It’s just that the mentality is starting to get to where we’re at (during training camp).”
Drew Kaser, who punted for the Chargers from 2016-18, will be a third punter working out for the Vikings on Wednesday. The Pioneer Press previously reported that Justin Vogel and Shane Tripucka will work out. Minnesota is considering bringing in competition for incumbent Matt Wile at training camp. ... Although everyone was in attendance for the start of mandatory minicamp, eight players did not participate because of injuries: tight ends Irv Smith Jr., Tyler Conklin and David Morgan; wide receivers Jordan Taylor and Jeff Badet; defensive end Tashawn Bower; linebacker Reshard Cliett and cornerback Mike Hughes.