Rare was the occasion when Tomlin could be found standing still. Sweat soaked the back of his shirt, as well as his forehead, as he hustled among position groups. He frequently played the role of quarterback in drills.
Most impressively, Tomlin, who is only 34 years old, seemed to have the respect of players, many of whom aren't much younger than he is, as well as a coaching staff filled with assistants who are older.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers secondary coach for the past five seasons, Tomlin clearly was comfortable running the show.
"Mike is just a phenomenal coach," defensive back Dustin Fox said. "You could tell from day one, the way that he motivates. He's such a good leader, he's a young guy, he's got a great motor. You hear him out here, he's just constantly going. The guy doesn't stop. That is great for us because when we get tired, we have someone to look to to keep us going."
Tomlin, a college teammate of Vikings safety Darren Sharper during the 1993 and ‘94 seasons at William & Mary, did not hesitate when asked what he wants from a defense that, like the offense, is a work in progress.
"Quite simply, we want to do what it takes to win," he said. "What they can expect to see, we're going to create a frenzy. We've defined that by big guys running and little guys willing to hit. That's what we're focused on right now."
Clearly, Tomlin wanted to establish a frenzied pace at the first minicamp, which explains his constant movement and no nonsense, yet positive approach.
"We think that regardless of scheme, historically the great defenses throughout the history of the league have played in a frenzy, so that's what we want," he said.
Veteran cornerback Antoine Winfield seemed to be among those buying into Tomlin's philosophy. "He definitely knows what he's talking about," Winfield said. "He's teaching us a lot, and I'm very excited to be working with him."
1. Linebackers: The draft is deep with linebackers and the Vikings are certain to take advantage. Several mock drafts have the Vikings taking Florida State's Ernie Sims with the 17th overall pick. The Vikings got some help in free agency, signing Ben Leber away from San Diego. Leber, who is recovering from a foot injury, and E.J. Henderson are likely starters. During the first mini-camp, Dontarrious Thomas and Napoleon Harris both spent time as the middle linebacker with the first-team defense.
2. Cornerback: The Vikings have two starters in Fred Smoot and Antoine Winfield, but the loss of free agent Brian Williams leaves the nickel role wide open. Free agent Ralph Brown, used in the nickel and dime packages last season, has been told he won't be back. Dovonte Edwards will compete for the job, but depth must be added.
3. Wide receiver: The Vikings have depth at this position with Koren Robinson, Marcus Robinson, Travis Taylor and Troy Williamson, but the question is: Will any of these players emerge as a legitimate No. 1?