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Spectacular Fireworks Display Concludes Night Practice

Posted by Mike Wobschall on August 7, 2009 – 9:58 pm

The Vikings were under the lights and in full pads on Friday evening at Blakeslee Field to conclude their 1st full week of training camp in Mankato. Following the practice, an extended and spectacular fireworks display was put on for fans who attended and stuck around afterwards.

In the full team parts of practice, the Vikings worked on 3rd-and-long situations and what Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress termed “backed up” situations, where the offense was either trying to get away from its own goal line or was trying to pick up a couple of 1st downs and run out the clock in a 4-minute situation.

Given those circumstances, you’d certainly expect the defense to win more than their fair share of periods. And they did. But both Childress and QB Sage Rosenfels acknowledged that those situations favor the defense.

“The third-and-long is a tough situation,” Childress said. “You expect defenses to win 99 and 9/10ths percent of the time you put yourself in a third-and-11 or 12. But you’ve got to practice those situations.”

As for the QB competition, Childress hesitated to make any finite judgments.

“I’m not slapping a grade on it,” Childress said. “Obviously, he (Tarvaris Jackson) had missed time so it wouldn’t be fair to sit there and say, ‘This guy is ahead by virtue of the fact he had five more practices.’ It’s a good competition and it’s all headed toward a cumulative work here during practice and then I want watch them compete with the lights on.”

As for Jackson, he told reporters after practice that it was nice to put the pads on and play under the lights. Jackson was injured and unable to participate the last time the Vikings were in full pads and played inside of Blakeslee Stadium.

Eric Frampton had a nice interception near the middle of practice. He leaped and grabbed the ball deep in the secondary. Percy Harvin also hauled in a few more long passes, wowing the crowd several times.

Once again, the stands were packed. The Vikings have enjoyed great crowds all week long and are crushing attendance numbers from last year.


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Update from Enshrinement Dinner

Posted by Mike Wobschall on August 7, 2009 – 8:41 pm

The HOF just introduced all HOFers that are in attendance including Vikings alumni Gary Zimmerman, Paul Krause, Ron Yary and Carl Eller. Others include Bart Starr, Troy Aikman, Jim Kelly, Tony Dorsett, John Madden, Ted Hendricks, Ozzie Newsome, George Blanda… Obviously great players way too many to mention. Its amazing to see this group together, the mutual respect, the fact that each is a fan of every member.

This years class is simply outstanding with McDaniel, Bruce Smith, Ralph Wilson, Bullet Bob Hayes, Rod Woodson and Derrick Thomas.

The collective group of people in this auditorium right now is phenomenal. Jacket presentations coming soon. Check back for more.


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The National Guys Are Nice

Posted by Mike Wobschall on August 7, 2009 – 6:46 pm

Over the past couple of days several prominent national media personalities who cover the NFL have swung through Vikings training camp in Mankato. It’s always a goal of ours at vikings.com to try and speak with those guys because they have lots of credibility with the fans.

Recently, NFL Network’s Mike Mayock took a few moments to chat with us. He’s been a great friend of vikings.com and he’s done a terrific job not only on NFL Network, but also as a broadcaster for Vikings preseason games. Later in the week, ESPN’s Chris Mortensen and Sports Illustrated’s Peter King also made appearances at Vikings training camp.

When national reporters such as King and Mortensen visit a team’s training camp, they are usually pretty busy. Their goal is to talk to as many important people as possible to get a feel for that team’s camp, and then quickly move on to the next team’s camp. In the midst of their busy schedules, both King and Mortensen graciously took a few moments to answer a few question for vikings.com. Click here to see what King had to say and click here to see what Mortensen had to say.

Although they have the notoriety and persona that would cause many people to act not so nice to team website guys like us, they were actually quite the opposite. The national guys were nice. So thanks, Peter King and Chris Mortensen!


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Busy Day In Canton

Posted by Mike Wobschall on August 7, 2009 – 6:37 pm

Today in Canton, we filmed part of Wednesday night’s episode of Vikings Weekly, now at the Enshrinees Dinner. The enhshrinees just came through and were introduced to our table. Randall McDaniel will get his gold HOF jacket later this evening before formal enshrinement tomorrow. Derrion Thomas, son of the late Derrick Thomas, is representing his father this weekend. McDaniel is sporting his trademark big smile. Its nice to be here as he celebrates this great honor. Stay tuned for more updates tonight and tomorrow.


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Weather Might Hold Off

Posted by Mike Wobschall on August 7, 2009 – 5:14 pm

Earlier today it looked as if there was no chance the Vikings would be able to their evening practice under the lights at Blakeslee Field (with a fireworks show to follow). But then the rain stopped. And it hasn’t come back. Yet.

Hopefully it stays this way. The Vikings marketing crew has done a great job planning events so far during training camp, and I’m sure this event will be no different.

Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress said that tonight’s practice would feature a few live periods. The event is free to the public, so come on out and watch the Vikings practice under the lights. Without the inconvenience of the rain. Hopefully.


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Big Weekend For Randall McDaniel

Posted by Mike Wobschall on August 7, 2009 – 11:52 am

Former Vikings OL Randall McDaniel will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this weekend as a member of the class of 2009. Joining him as members of the ’09 class are Bob Hayes, Bruce Smith, Derrick Thomas, Ralph Wilson, Jr. and Rod Woodson.

I will be in Canton on Saturday for the festivities and will be sure to keep you updated. I’m not sure what kind of work setup I’m going to have, so remember to follow the Vikings official Twitter account – @VikingsFootball. If I can’t be at my computer to blog, I’ll be tweeting constantly throughout Saturday to keep you updated.

The Vikings finished up their morning practice, which was moved inside because of inclement weather. The team is scheduled to practice tonight at 7:00 under the lights at Blakeslee Field, with a fireworks show to follow, but the weather is threatening that event. Stay tuned to vikings.com for up-to-date information.


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Morning Practice Moved Inside

Posted by Mike Wobschall on August 7, 2009 – 8:29 am

I wrote yesterday about how the weather had been cooperating so far during training camp. In fact, Vikings Director of Public Relations Bob Hagan reminded me that we were never inside for a practice last year, something that he doesn’t recall happening during his long tenure with the club.

Well, looks like I jinxed it. The Vikings are moving this morning’s practice inside because of the heavy amount of rain that has fallen over night and into this morning. Practice will be held inside of Myers Field house on the campus of Minnesota State.

Hopefully conditions change for tonight’s practice, which is scheduled for 7:00 at Blakeslee Stadium with a fireworks show to follow.


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