You could hear the change in Vikings offensive line coaches on Wednesday.

The colorful Phil Rauscher, a 36-year-old former UCLA offensive lineman, is a stark departure in style from the understated Rick Dennison, but the philosophies aren't expected to change much since Rauscher's experience with the Kubiak playbook goes back to his first NFL job with the Denver Broncos under Gary Kubiak.

As Rauscher enters his first year as Vikings offensive line coach, replacing Dennison, who was moved to a virtual-only advisory role due to league vaccine protocols, he does so with a boisterous reputation built off one year as Dennison's assistant. But now it's his O-line room.

"Coach Dennison always lets Phil do what he does," running back Dalvin Cook said, "but now Phil can be as loud as he wants now."

From "if you're late, you're dead" to other, less-printable mantras for Vikings offensive linemen, Rauscher could be heard across multiple practice fields while hovering over offensive linemen during 1-on-1 pass rushing drills.

Despite an abrupt change in both responsibilities and style on the Vikings coaching staff, quarterback Kirk Cousins gave Rauscher a vote of confidence.

"It isn't a major transition," Cousins said. "Can't say enough about his experience. He coached with Bill Callahan in Washington, who I was able to work with in Washington. There's some similarities there. He goes way back even with this scheme back to Denver. He's played the position of center so he knows his stuff and has great command of our offense."

  • With temperatures in the mid 90s, and an excessive heat warning issued by the National Weather Service, the Vikings began training camp with a tempered pace and plenty of water breaks. Assistants were repeatedly heard directing players to hydrate. Fans, perhaps also hydrating their own ways, broke out into a couple Skol chants.
  • All but one Vikings player – cornerback Jeff Gladney – was spotted at practice. Three players were held out with injuries in left tackle Christian Darrisaw (groin), center Cohl Cabral (undisclosed) and kicker Riley Patterson (undisclosed). Three others, nose tackle Michael Pierce (calf), Westbrook (knee) and cornerback Bashaud Breeland (shoulder), were limited.
  • Defensive end Danielle Hunter did not appear limited as he drew cheers from the crowd, including when he used a spin move to breeze by right tackle Brian O'Neill during 1-on-1 pass rushing drills. However, players are only practicing in helmets and jerseys as they can't don pads until Monday. It's still a good sign for Hunter nine months removed from neck surgery.
  • Coaches want to see whether Oli Udoh can play guard. The third-year backup is buried on the depth chart at tackle, where he lined up his first two NFL seasons, but he rotated at right guard with Dakota Dozier during team drills on Wednesday. Udoh also practiced at guard during OTAs this spring. Swing tackle Rashod Hill remained the first-team left tackle while Darrisaw's recovery continues.
  • Cornerback Cameron Dantzler said he's healthy and feeling good after an injury-marred rookie season was followed by another leg injury this spring. Now able to practice, Dantzler was immediately plugged in as the No. 3 corner while Breeland (shoulder) continues to be held out.
  • The big play of the day came from rookie quarterback Kellen Mond, who against no pass rush found fellow rookie Ihmir Smith-Marsette for a deep touchdown over cornerback Tye Smith. It was a nice rebound after Mond's earlier series saw receiver Myron Mitchell drop a pass and safety Luther Kirk intercept him.
  • Cameron Smith moved around well just a year off from open heart surgery. The second-year linebacker was tested laterally during a sweep by receiver K.J. Osborn, which he chased down. A couple plays later, Smith nearly intercepted a Nate Stanley pass thrown above him. Smith will primarily compete for reps on special teams.