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Bleacher Report – Vikings

Chad Beebe making a push in Vikings’ receiver race

By Matthew Coller

When the Minnesota Vikings opened training camp, Chad Beebe was somewhere between 10th to 12th on the wide receiver depth chart. But on Saturday afternoon when the Vikings faced off with the Jacksonville Jaguars, he came off the bench in the second quarter with the second team.

Beebe, a 5-foot-10 rookie from Northern Illinois, caught a touchdown pass in the Vikings’ preseason opener against Denver, which likely propelled him to more playing time in the second warm-up contest of the year. Against the Jags he was targeted four times, came down with a 14-yard reception and returned two punts for 12 yards.

While he may not be in line to win a job as a punter returner — Marcus Sherels and Mike Hughes took punt returns before him on Saturday — Beebe has shown he can contribute in other areas of special teams. That could give him an edge over veteran receivers like Tavarres King and Kendall Wright, who have never played special teams in their careers.

Head coach Mike Zimmer has said on multiple occasions during camp that special teams will be a factor in roster decisions with the receivers. Knowing that Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs will be playing the whole game, the other receivers who dress have to contribute in other ways.

“It’s a pretty big adjustment, I played a little bit in college my freshman and sophomore year as far as kickoff and whatnot, so yeah, it’s a little new to me but I love it,” Beebe said. “It’s something I’m getting used to and learning how to do it the correct way.”

Beebe played in multiple spots as a wide receiver against the Jaguars, but considers himself a slot receiver.

“I prefer the slot, that’s my home but I can play outside too if that’s what they want, I did do it in college,” Beebe said. “Just trying to keep my options open, doing the most I can.”

The 24-year-old receiver has been keeping his eye on Thielen and Diggs during camp, learning from their ability to get open from different positions.

“They know the game so well,” Beebe said. “They know the coverages that they have in front of them, which kind of changes their route depending on how they’re going to play you as far as defense goes. That’s something they do really well and that’s something I’m trying to learn. I’m trying to ask them questions.”

The Vikings’ next preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks could be a deciding factor in the receiver race. With Cayleb Jones suspended for the first four games, Stacy Coley and Brandon Zylstra injured, King and Wright lacking special teams experience and failing to stand out in preseason, Beebe is in the driver’s seat to win a spot over players like Korey Robertson, Jake Wieneke and Jeff Badet.

“Just trying to hone in on everything I’ve been taught because the NFL game is a step up,” Beebe said. “So there’s a lot of little things to learn and I have a lot to learn still.”

The post Chad Beebe making a push in Vikings’ receiver race appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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