Vikings coach Mike Zimmer is pleased that new offensive coordinator John DeFilippo is keeping an open mind in addition to an open line of communication with the man in charge.
Speaking Monday, two days after the Vikings posted 406 yards and 42 points in a preseason win at Denver, Zimmer said he and DeFilippo “talked a lot during the game, and I thought it was all good.”
DeFilippo called the game from the sideline and, “didn’t have any clock issues, for the most part,” Zimmer said.
“He asked me a lot of times, ‘Do you want to run the ball here or throw it? How do you want to handle this?’ ” Zimmer said.
Zimmer also said DeFilippo accepted constructive criticism when the two talked heading into Saturday’s game.
“Just from watching practice, you can kind of see when we’ve got unscripted plays going on, you can kind of see tendencies; at least I can,” Zimmer said. “I talked to him about some of those things and he kind of went away from some of them in this game. I feel like he did a really nice job calling the game.”
Coley carted off
Injury-riddled receiver Stacy Coley suffered what appeared to be the most serious injury of Monday’s practice.
The 2017 seventh-round draft pick suffered what appeared to be a leg injury when he landed awkwardly while trying to come down with a pass thrown by Kirk Cousins. Coley stayed down until being carted off the field.
An ankle injury limited Coley in organized team activities this spring and kept him out of minicamp in June. He started training camp healthy but suffered a groin injury early on. He returned in time to play in Saturday’s preseason opener, catching two passes for 23 yards.
Coley had no catches and one kickoff return in four games played last year.
Heck of a 1-yard TD
At least one person didn’t underestimate the difficulty of Cousins’ 1-yard touchdown on a slant pass to Stefon Diggs on Saturday night.
“A heck of a throw,” Zimmer said. “He was getting pressured, and he got it out quick and stuck it in there. People probably don’t appreciate that kind of play as much as the one down the sidelines. But that was a really good throw.”
Ahead of schedule?
Mike Hughes’ preseason debut showed he might be further along than past Vikings cornerbacks selected in the first round.
“Mike did very well for the first time out,” Zimmer said. “We were talking about some of our other corners and how their first games were different compared to his.”
Three years ago, Trae Waynes was flagged three times and gave up two long passes in his preseason debut.
“[Hughes] made a couple of nice tackles,” Zimmer said. “The deep ball on our sideline, he covered it. I thought he was going to intercept it. … It was a good step in the right direction.”
The kicking battle
Rookie kicker Daniel Carlson took a big step toward beating out veteran Kai Forbath when he made 4 of 4 PATs and both field goal attempts from 57 and 39 yards Saturday.
But Zimmer said the competition is “still a work in progress,” adding, “We want to make sure we’re doing the right thing as opposed to a hasty decision.”
The Vikings placed Nick Easton on injured reserve and signed 25-year-old journeyman guard Kaleb Johnson on Monday.
Johnson spent a week with the Bears before being released Aug. 11. Undrafted out of Rutgers in 2015, he also spent time with the Ravens, Browns, Cardinals and Chiefs but has yet to play in a regular-season game.