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Jared Allen Says Defense Has Improved

Posted by Mike Wobschall on August 12, 2009 – 12:25 pm

Walking off the practice field on Wednesday in what turned out to be the team’s final on-field workout of training camp, Vikings DE Jared Allen was as giddy to leave as the hundreds of young fans were to get his autograph a few minutes earlier.

“Absolutely,” Allen said when asked if he was excited training camp was almost over. “I can’t wait to go home and sleep in my own bed.”

But the conclusion of another training camp wasn’t the only thing exciting Allen on Wednesday. He’s coming off a year in which he registered 14.5 sacks and was an integral part of a top-ranked defense, but the All-Pro DE says the Vikings defense has improved from their impressive performance last year.

“I think we’re head and shoulders above where we were, and we were good last year,” Allen said convincingly. “This camp was better than last year. I think our team right now, to be honest, we’re ready to rock and roll.”

Allen pointed to his familiarity with the defense in Year 2 of his time with the Vikings as well as the return of another key player as reasons to think this defense has improved.

“The difference is, from my point of view, is I’m not learning the new defense, I’m not learning new players,” Allen explained. “So we’re all out there on the same page, we’re having a blast, we’ve got E.J. (Henderson) back. You know, our crispness, our precision, the speed of our defense has improved and I’m excited for that.”


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Playing Time on Friday Still Undetermined For QBs, Other Starters

Posted by Mike Wobschall on August 12, 2009 – 12:10 pm

Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress said on Wednesday that he and his staff have yet to determine the amount of playing time the starters, as well as QBs Tarvaris Jackson and Sage Rosenfels, will get on Friday in Indianapolis.

Most eyes will be on the QB position, where Jackson and Rosenfels have been splitting reps with the 1st team during offseason activities and training camp. Childress mentioned earlier in the week that whoever starts Friday’s game in Indianapolis will not start the team’s 2nd preseason game next week.

“I’d like the first two (Jackson and Rosenfels) to be equal in a perfect world,” Childress said when asked how much he’d like to see his QBs play on Friday. “The minute you pencil it in and say ‘well this guy’s going to play a quarter,’ you have one of those left-handed quarters where the offense is on the field for six plays and something happens and the defense plays thirty (play).”

Childress indicated he would feel it out with his coaches in determining when a certain player has played enough on Friday.

“To set it by quarters, you don’t really want to do that,” the head coach said. “I’ll know when I’ve seen enough from these guys without hamstringing myself with a number or a quarter.”


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Childress Says Vikings Had Great Training Camp

Posted by Mike Wobschall on August 12, 2009 – 11:57 am

The Vikings worked for roughly 2 hours on Wednesday morning under sunny skies and warm temperatures for what turned out to be their last practice of 2009 training camp. The team was originally scheduled to practice again this afternoon, but Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress said he’s decided to keep the team inside and instead work on the installation of plays for Friday’ game against Indianapolis.

Childress also said he was pleased with this year’s training camp, from the weather to how hard his players worked the past 2 or so weeks.

“We started with great weather, finished with great weather,” Childress said. “We only were inside one time, although it was in question this morning. I think the guys were kind of rooting for it (to be inside). The guys have had a great training camp here.”

There were a few tense moments at practice today, but nothing out of the ordinary for the end of training camp. More than anything, it signals that the coaches and players are ready to strap it up and go against another team.

“The guys are feeling their oats, it’s about that time,” Childress said. “They’d rather hit somebody else than someone they’ve been strangling the whole training camp. They are getting a little bit too close for comfort. There’s a little contempt right now.”

There were a few nicks and scratches from today’s practice. WR Percy Harvin and C John Sullivan were given medical attention at one point during practice, but both players returned to the field and Childress said that although he hasn’t been given details, both players seemed to be fine.

“In terms of these guys, they’ve accomplished about everything that we could here, with the exception of that one rain day,” Childress explained. “It’s a great bunch of guys to work with. They practice hard. They push each other. And there’s great competition at a number of positions. Just like I told them out here on the field a minute ago, I am excited to watch them play on all three phrases on Friday night.”


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Vikings Close Camp on Fan Appreciation Day

Posted by Mike Wobschall on August 12, 2009 – 11:45 am

I forgot to mention in this morning’s earlier entry that today was Fan Appreciation Day at Verizon Wireless Vikings Training Camp. As has been the case all of training camp, fans packed the bleachers and crowded the fence line to watch the Vikings at practice under a completely sunny sky and warm temperatures.

The main attraction to Fan Appreciation Day was a full-team autograph signing at the conclusion of practice. The Vikings marketing staff permitted children 12 years old and under to enter the practice fields and ask players to sign items. The entire Vikings team went along the large contingent of waiting children to sign as many autographs as possible.

Another part of Fan Appreciation Day was a silent auction of 20 autographed players’ bicycles. The silent auction will benefit the Vikings Children’s Fund. All 20 bikes up for auction have also been used by a Vikings player during training camp in addition to being autographed. The Vikings will also donate 1 bike to a person in need in the Mankato area for every bike purchased at the auction.


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Last Day of Practices in Mankato, Childress Presser

Posted by Mike Wobschall on August 12, 2009 – 8:50 am

Today is the last day of practices for the Vikings in Mankato. They will break camp early tomorrow and travel to Indianpolis for Friday’s preseason tilt against the Colts.

Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress will have his usual camp-closing press conference today after the morning practice, and you can watch that press conference live right here on vikings.com.

I’ll be back after practice for some closing thoughts.


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