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NFL Notes: Spring League, Rams, Vikings

Spring League

Free agent RB Fred Jackson and DE Greg Hardy will be among the players to take part in the Spring League Showcase game in California on July 15.

The game will be played Napa Memorial Stadium between a California team and an East team.

The Spring League Showcase will provide the NFL with additional opportunities to evaluate players just before the start of training camps,” Spring League CEO Brian Woods said in a press release, via Pro Football Talk.

Rams

  • According to Alden Gonzalez, Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp, Tyler Higbee and Mike Thomas got the most work with the first-team offense during the offseason program.
  • Gonzalez mentions that third-round pick Cooper Kupp has “has already established himself as a go-to slot receiver.”
  • Meanwhile, TE Tyler Higbee appears to have a “leg-up” on rookie Gerald Everett at this point.
  • The Rams have decided to keep Rob Havenstein at right guard with Jamon Brown taking over at right tackle now that they’ve traded Greg Robinson to the Lions.

Vikings

Vikings HC Mike Zimmer explained that it takes some time to really get a feel for being a head coach and he’s now focused on more areas than just the defense.

“I’ve said this a million times — maybe not a million — but I’ve said, ‘There’s so many times you get to be a head coach and you’re a defensive coordinator and you come in trying to be able to get the defense fixed. Then you get fired in a year or two years,'” Zimmer said, via ESPN.com. “So, you don’t learn how to truly be a head coach. You’re just trying to put your fingers in different holes as much as you can. It takes a while to learn how to do this job; it really does. I probably shouldn’t say this, but there’s this guy in New England who’s doing pretty damn good now and he might’ve had a rough start in his deal. That’s kind of my mentality, [which] is to continue to grow as a head coach, continue to be involved with the defense, but be a lot more involved in the overall game-type team offense, special teams than I ever had been before. I know I’ve probably said that before, but this is the first time I’ve finally felt comfortable.”

Zimmer admitted that he’s got to get better at some game-management situations and set aside some time in offseason workouts for some practice.

“It’s good for me,” Zimmer said. “[It’s] ‘You know, I got to use a timeout here. All right, defense I’ve got to use a timeout here, on offense I’ve got to use a timeout. We’ve got to clock the ball.’ It’s not necessarily two-minute drills. It’s about winning the football game at the end, however that is. To me that’s one of the areas that I need to continue to improve, but I think it’s also important that I get around. I’m talking to Sam [Bradford] so much more than I ever did a year ago and he asks me so many more questions.”

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