Wade: McNair a “very accepting person”

Posted by Mike Wobschall on July 10, 2009 – 4:13 pm

Vikings WR Bobby Wade is enjoying vacation right now, just a few weeks before training camp commences in Mankato and he and his teammates begin their NFC North title defense in 2009. But there has been something else on his mind aside from vacationing with family and gearing up for another season – the tragic death of friend and former teammate Steve McNair.

“Steve was a stand-up guy,” Wade said. “He was very down to earth and always accepting of others.”

Wade and McNair were teammates in Tennessee during the 2005 season, after the Titans acquired Wade following his release from the Chicago Bears.

“He welcomed me with open arms,” Wade explained. “I came to Tennessee in the middle of the season and Steve welcomed me and immediately made me feel like a longtime member of the team.”

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Lakeville South Wins, Peterson Departs

Posted by Mike Wobschall on July 10, 2009 – 2:52 pm

After dropping their first 3 games of the round robin format, the Lakeville South team finally notched a win by defeating the Rams 31-21. Their next game is scheduled for 2:45 against the Redskins.

Lakeville South and the Rams finished their game just in time to join all the other teams in listening to Vikings RB Adrian Peterson address the entire group. Petesron explained to the athletes that they were fortunate to have an opportunity to meet so many other athletes from across the country at this tournament. He also said that team work is a key to success in 7-on-7 football and will continue to be a key to success in their lives going forward.

Peterson also urged the athletes to continue pushing each other, “competing to the max” and keep a focus on what they want to accomplish in their lives.

Lastly, Peterson told the athletes to make goals for themselves, write them down and display them in a frequently viewed location.

After speaking for about 5 minutes, Peterson opened it up for questions. Among the several questions asked, one youngster asked which player has hit him the hardest so far in his career. Peterson’s answer was Shaun Rogers. Asked who was the best defender he’s ever faced, Peterson replied: “Patrick Willis. He’s going to be the best linebacker in the NFL some day.”

After addressing the full group, Peterson took time to pose in photos and sign autographs. Right before leaving, he gathered the group of Lakeville South players for a team photo.

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Peterson at Winter Park to Watch Tourney

Posted by Mike Wobschall on July 10, 2009 – 2:01 pm

As if the presence of an NFL Films crew, Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress and a highly-competitive environment wasn’t already enough to sufficiently motivate 180-some high school football players during a 7-on7 tournament held at Winter Park, now another source of motivation has arrived. And that motivation comes in the form of 2007 NFL Rookie of the Year and league superstar Adrian Peterson.

With 4 fields for the 16 teams to play on at Winter Park, 8 teams are playing and the other 8 teams are resting at any given time. And for the 8 teams that are resting right now, you can probably imagine where their attention has turned.

The Vikings team is currently in the middle of their 4th game of the round robin portion of this tournament, but they should be concluding soon and then they, too, will get a glimpse of Peterson.

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Lakeville South Edged Out Twice

Posted by Mike Wobschall on July 10, 2009 – 1:00 pm

The Vikings are 1 of 16 NFL teams being represented at this year’s HSPD 7-on-7 National Tournament, and the team representing them is from Lakeville South High School. And although they’ve been on the wrong end of 2 close decisions with a 10-point loss sandwiched in between, their head coach Larry Thompson has kept an up-beat attitude.

“Hopefully we can find some luck here along the way,” Thompson said.

Thompson also explained how neat it was for his kids to not only qualify for the national tournament but then also have the chance to compete in it as it’s hosted by the Vikings at Winter Park.

So far, the Lakeville South team has been unable to tally a win. They fell 24-21 to New Orleans in Game 1, 38-28 to Carolina in Game 2 and then 35-34 to the Giants in Game 3. The Vikings have 2 more round robin games today against the Rams and Redskins before they play their last 2 round robin games tomorrow against the Cardinals and Falcons.

After round robin play concludes around noon tomorrow, the teams will be seeded and will then compete in a single elimination tournament to determine the champion.

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HSPD National Tourney Underway at Winter Park

Posted by Mike Wobschall on July 10, 2009 – 10:25 am

The 16-team 7-on-7 High School Player Development (HSPD) National Tournament is well underway at Winter Park. Day 1 of the tournament features a round robin style format, which will result in seeding after today and then a single elimination format on Day 2 (tomorrow). [UPDATE: The round robin format actually concludes around noon tomorrow and then the single elimination tournament takes place.]

Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress has been out on the fields this morning visiting with participants and folks from the league office. I also had a chance to speak with Jerry Horowitz, who is the NFL’s Director of Youth Tackle Football. He was extremely upbeat about the event this year, saying that Steve Hutchinson was the best speaker in the history of the event and that the support the HSPD National Tournament has received from the Wilf ownership group has been “tremendous.”

I also wanted to note that this tournament is serious business. The young men competing here this weekend are very gifted, and many of them will be playing big-time college football soon, with the hope of playing on Sundays some day. The Vikings facilities staff has done an outstanding job of preparing the fields for play.

The players aren’t wearing helmets, but they are equipped with mouthpieces. There are 3 referees per field and NFL Films is on-hand capturing all the action.

Here are a few scores from the 8:00 and 8:45 games…keep in mind that TDs are worth 7 points and INTs are worth 3 points.

Browns 24, Broncos 14; Falcons 14, Cardinals 7; Dolphins 67, Colts 7;  Panthers 24, Giants 21; Patriots 24, Jets 14; Redskins 35, Rams 28; Ravens 40, Texans 27; Saints 24, Vikings 21.

We’ll have continuous updates today and tomorrow, so stay tuned.

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Hutchinson, McKinnie on Sapp’s Short List

Posted by Mike Wobschall on July 10, 2009 – 8:04 am has conducted a series of player rankings over the last week or so and a few Vikings have been distinguished as some of the best at their positions. RB Adrian Peterson obviously made the cut in his category, as did DT Kevin Williams.

Warren Sapp, who battled and defeated offensive linemen for 13 years in the NFL, rated the Top 5 blockers currently in the league. And the left side of the Vikings line was well represented, with both LG Steve Hutchinson and LT Bryant McKinnie appearing on Sapp’s short list.

Here is a link to the video for your enjoyment.

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