For all the heads Mike Hughes has turned December 29, 2018 2:58 AM

By : lai

in practice with Minnesota since the Vikings picked him in the first round of the draft Authentic Danielle Hunter Jersey , they certainly harbored no plan to play him on 79 percent of the snaps on defense in his first real NFL game.That's what happened in his debut, though, thanks to injuries to two fellow cornerbacks. Hughes had an interception return for a touchdown and a team-leading three pass breakups in Minnesota's 24-16 victory over San Francisco ."You can kind of tell the way he carries himself that he's not going to freeze up on the big stage," free safety Harrison Smith said.Production like that provided affirmation of general manager Rick Spielman's decision to ignore needs on the offensive line when Hughes became available with the 30th overall selection."We expect him to go out there and do that," coach Mike Zimmer said. "I mean, that's why we drafted him. Everybody was complaining about taking that corner. I'm glad we had him."Mackensie Alexander's ankle injury kept him out of the season opener, so Hughes took over as the slot cornerback in the nickel package, a position used more often than the weak side linebacker these days and essentially a starting role. Then cornerback Trae Waynes hurt his knee in the second quarter. With Terence Newman now an assistant coach, Hughes was promoted again to the outside opposite Xavier Rhodes."If a player tells you he doesn't get butterflies before a game, he's lying. I think it's natural," Hughes said. "After the first play, I was good. I settled in and went through my calls and played within the scheme."Though all five 49ers kickoffs went for touchbacks, depriving Hughes of any return opportunities , he played the gunner spot on the coverage team and caught a punt to down the ball at the 4-yard line in the first quarter. His time covering kicks was reduced after his defensive responsibility increased, but special teams coordinator Mike Priefer has lauded his ability since he arrived."There's a drive in there that you can see. I've been around a lot of young people, and I think he's one of the guys that really understands what he needs to do to get better," Priefer said. "He knows he hasn't arrived yet, even though he was a first-round draft pick. I love his attitude, I love his effort, and he's improving every day."Hughes made some mistakes, of course, on a handful of long gains by the 49ers. He has a lot to learn yet about the game. His attention to detail, however, has stood out to Vikings coaches and players since organized practices began in the spring. So has his athleticism, confidence and instincts. That's atypical for a rookie."Honestly, he plays like he's been in the league before Youth Harrison Smith Jersey ," Rhodes said, "and I think years down the road he's going to be one of the best."Hughes wasn't the only inexperienced player thrust into unexpected action for the Vikings, who despite their status as Super Bowl contender have the NFC's youngest squad with an average age of 25.47 years on the opening roster.Backup safety Jayron Kearse replaced Hughes at the nickel back spot. Though he's been a valuable special teams players over his first two years, Kearse's only career start as a rookie in 2016 at Chicago was best remembered for a 69-yard run by Bears running back Jordan Howard aided by an awkward overplay by Kearse as he approached in tackling position."It was something you couldn't look past," Kearse said, "but now I had another opportunity and I just wanted to show I'm not the same player I was."The Vikings play at Green Bay on Sunday, when the secondary will have to be as sharp as ever if Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers plays on his sprained knee . Hughes and Kearse, at least, will be one game better for it."Showing that I can get in and cover a slot, showing that I can get in and cover a tight end," Kearse said, "that was big for me to show the coaches that I can be more than just a special teams player."Weekend Open Thread: August 25th and 26th, 2018 Good Morning!Since I’m not local but pay for Sunday Ticket I wasn’t able to watch the game last night , however I did follow the game thread (thank you Nanya) and it sounded like a mix bag of results through the first half.If I understand correctly, our rookie kicker won the kicking competition over Kobra Kai Forbath, then promptly missed his first two field goal attempts wide left, just great. Obviously I’ve seen the score this morning, still going to watch on DVR though.While we’re waiting impatiently for the regular season to start we’ll continue with our weekend thread full of beer recommendations, nap strategies, crock pot and smoker recipes. Have another cup of coffee or a beer if you’re so inclined and drop by for some fan wisdom and snark. It’s going to be a hawt taek weekend, have fun but be considerate.Around the DN since our last thread:Skelly10 writes LB Vikings Antwione Williams was fined for making a tackle on a QB roughing the passer against the Jacksonville Jaguars.The Vikings were looking for some clarity last night per Ted.Welcome to the Sloterhouse: Kyle Sloter leads the Vikings to 21-20 victory over Seahawks from Chris.Wludford says QB Kyle Sloter should back up Kirk Cousins, spot on!Vikings news from other sources:From Head Coach Mike Zimmer addressed the media after Friday’s win over Seattle.How about some post game sound from Jake Wieneke, Chad Beebe, Kyle Sloter and new Vikings Safety George Iloka.League news: From What we learned from last night’s preseason games.Adrian Peterson states case for featured RB role.Josh Gordon set to take part in Browns walkthroughs.From the Players Tribune: Journey to Self-Julius Thomas.We come to today’s media selection: If football coaches were honest (thanks Tor66)Again, we all know the rules, but in case someone is new:-No discussion of politics or religion-No feeding of the trolls-This isn’t a male version of The View Stefon Diggs Jersey , so leave the gender hatred at the door-Keep the bad language to a minimum (using the spoiler tags, if you must)-Speaking of which, if discussing a newer show or movie, please use spoiler tags-No pictures that could get someone fired or in serious trouble with their employer-If you can’t disagree in a civil manner, feel free to go away-While navigating the open thread, just assume it’s sarcasmWith that, the beer light is on and the bar is open. Belly up and tie one on. Don’t forget to tip your waitress, try the venison chili and as always, Welcome Aboard and Skol Vikings!

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