Kevin O’Connell Shares Initial Impressions of Vikings OTA Practices

O’Connell was asked about his philosophy of deciding when and if rookies should rep with first-teamers.

“We have a teaching progression for those young guys. We had the rookie minicamp, a lot of meeting time – they’ll get extra meeting time throughout this spring with the way the rules kind of allow us to pour into those guys,” O’Connell said. “But I do think [rookies] can earn [time with the first teams], for sure. And guys will. That’s how we operate around here.

“We’re going to put the best 11 guys out there, no matter that situation of offense, defense and special teams,” O’Connell said. “But I will say I think it’s important sometimes, they may not even know that they’re going to be in there for two or three reps with the 1s, but we control that in this setting – and then just throw them in there and see how they react.

“Maybe a guy reacts great, maybe he learns a whole heck of a lot, but I think the best teaching and the best learning can sometimes come on those reps when you’re out there with the 1s and you make a mistake and you can kind of put that away, bank that rep, knowing that it’s just the start of hopefully a long process,” he added. “But in the end, I think that exposure is what helps us understand if that guy is capable of earning…

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