EAGAN, Minn. -- Sean Mannion is confident about being the Vikings’ backup quarterback.
Mannion spent the spring competing with Kyle Sloter for the No. 2 spot, behind starter Kirk Cousins. The battle will continue when training camp starts in late July.
“I feel great,” Mannion said Thursday after the conclusion of a three-day mandatory minicamp. “I feel like through 13 (spring) practices, I feel like I did a lot of good stuff. Certainly, you’re never perfect, so there’s things I can improve off of, but I feel real proud of the 13 practices I put out there.”
Mannion, signed as a free agent in April, has appeared in just 10 regular-season games in four seasons, all with the Rams. And still, he has more experience than Sloter, who never has taken a regular-season snap.
“I’ve been very impressed with Sean,” Vikings assistant head coach/offensive adviser Gary Kubiak said. “He came from (an NFC) championship football team, and you could just see that in the way he prepares. He pushes Kirk from the standpoint of, ‘Let’s get here in the morning and get ready for practice.’ ”
Mannion took about two-thirds of the offensive reps in spring drills with the second team to about one-third for Sloter. Kubiak said Sloter also did “a good job.”
Mannion didn’t have his best day Wednesday, the second practice of minicamp. He threw two interceptions, one on a deep ball picked off by rookie safety Marcus Epps and the other on a pass to the sideline snagged by rookie cornerback Kris Boyd.
“The deep shot, you have to know when to take a shot and when not to,” Mannion said. “The other was a little off schedule and I kind of forced the ball there. Things to learn from, but I feel like I had a really clean spring. All in all, I didn’t turn it over much.”
Epps steps up
Epps received praise from coaches during spring drills, but he’s not dwelling on it.
“It’s nice to hear but I don’t want to let things get to my head,” he said. “I’ve just got to keep working. I can’t get the feeling of being complacent. I just want to put my head down and work every day and get better every day.”
Epps, a sixth-round draft pick from Wyoming, played free safety and nickel back during organized team activities and the minicamp, and said he feels “comfortable at each spot.” Defensive coordinator George Edwards praised has play after Wednesday’s practice, which included his interception of Mannion.
“He’s really come in and paid attention to the details of the things we’ve asked him to do,” Edwards said. “We just look for him to continue to progress as we keep working through the different schemes we use.”
- Undrafted rookie receiver Davion Davis made a good final spring impression by catching two long passes during team drills. “He’s a good football player,” Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said. “He’s been a guy that’s caught our eye right from rookie minicamp. (He) really catches the ball, works hard.”
- The same eight players that sat out Wednesday’s practice missed Thursday’s, too. They were tight ends Irv Smith Jr., David Morgan, Tyler Conklin; receivers Jordan Taylor, Brandon Zylstra and Jeff Badet; cornerback Mike Hughes, and defensive end Tashawn Bower. Nose tackle Linval Joseph, as was the case all spring, did not participate in team drills.
- Hall of famer John Randle and former guard Mike Harris are scheduled to speak Friday at a seminar for Vikings rookies. Harris, who last played in 2015 before having to retire prematurely because of a congenital brain condition, will talk to them about preparing for life after football. “I’m going to tell my story, talk about facing adversity,” he said.