OTA #11 Observations; Teaching/Learning Environment Important At OTAs

Posted by Mike Wobschall on June 3, 2010 – 12:20 pm

Often times I mention weather conditions in the OTA observations and it’s not because I’m a native Minnesotan – weather seems to be a common conversation topic in our great state. The weather is a relevant factor because these OTA sessions are as much about teaching/learning as they are skill sets and physical activity.

“There is a lot of teaching going on here,” Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress said on Wednesday while meeting with reporters. “Coaches are being intentional about that. (There are) a lot of bright-eyed guys so we will have some good competitions at a number of positions.”

On Thursday, the Vikings practiced under ideal weather – and teaching – conditions as they completed OTA #11. Although these OTAs are non-contact exercises at all times, I’ve definitely sensed a pickup in the intensity and competitive environment as the OTA schedule has progressed. Thursday’s action, especially near the end of practice, was no exception and served as a prime example of the good competitions Childress referenced on Wednesday.

Let’s go over a few observations/highlights from Thursday’s practice…

– S Husain Abdullah tallied an INT during the first team portion of practice, picking off a Sage Rosenfels pass near the sideline.

– Childress mentioned during Wednesday’s press conference that the team is working a lot on situational football, and they did so again on Thursday. I noticed during both team drills and 7-on-7 work that 3rd downs, red zone and zero-blitz/zero-pressure scenarios were presented.

– The best offensive play of the day came during 7-on-7 work, when Tarvaris Jackson floated a pass in the back right corner of the endzone for TE Visanthe Shiancoe. LB Heath Farwell was in on the coverage and actually was in a great position, but Shiancoe jumped and got both hands on the ball. My view of the ground was blocked, so I could tell if the TE got both feet in bounds. Farwell came away from the play waving his arms as if to say “incomplete” but Shiancoe had both hands in the air to say “touchdown.”

– Rookie 6th round QB Joe Webb got in on the action with a sharp throw to RB Darius Reynaud on 3rd and goal from the 8.

– The best part of practice came on the final 3 plays, where it was offense vs. defense inside the 10-yardline. Jackson hit Shiancoe on a quick slant for a score and then the QB followed that effort up with another TD on a quick slant to WR Jaymar Johnson. On the final play, though, Leslie Frazier’s defense came with a blitz and forced an incompletion. Jackson called an alert and made an adjustment to the play. S Jamarca Sanford came on the blitz and Jackson’s pass was batted down by a wall of defensive linemen.

– Childress hosted a contingent of Minnesota high school football coaches at practice, something he’s done in the past as he continues to cultivate a relationship with members from every level of football in the state.

– Mike Grant, the son of former Vikings Head Coach Bud Grant, heads a group of students from Eden Prairie High School called The Brotherhood. The group meets weekly and is comprised of primarily black, male student athletes who have committed to improving themselves both academically and personally.

The students were able to watch Thursday’s practice from the sidelines and then were joined by several members of the organization following practice. Along with a big group of players, individuals who visited with Grant’s group included Childress, Frazier, VP of Player Personnel Rick Spielman and WRs coach George Stewart.

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Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 16 Comments »

16 Responses to “OTA #11 Observations; Teaching/Learning Environment Important At OTAs”

  1. By MGR4FUN on Jun 3, 2010 | Reply

    thanks alot mike we all appreciate your updates and your attention to detail … you rock dude … thanks again

  2. By PurplePeopleEater on Jun 3, 2010 | Reply

    Last I heard we were moving Webb to WR. Has the team changed their mind and moved him back to QB, or are we just giving him experience all around? Or maybe they’re building his skills for Wildcat formations? A lot of scary things can happen if he’s got as much skill as people say…

  3. By PurplePeopleEater on Jun 3, 2010 | Reply

    *Possible Trick-Play Scenario:

    3rd and long. Greg Lewis and Joe Webb take the field, but only the Full Back runs off. Lewis lines up next to Berrian on the right, while Webb lines lines up on the far side of the field. Favre looks confused. He chases over to the sideline screaming as the play-clock continues to run. Bevell is screaming across the field, it looks like he’s trying to get Webb’s attention. Webb starts scrambling back across the field towards the bench as Favre looks furious now as he steps off the field towards the coaches.

    Direct snap to AP! He runs it to the left as the entire defense chases his way. He hands off to Webb on the reverse and Webb sets back in the pocket! Rice and Berrian are both uncovered on either side of the field! Webb chucks the ball deep!! TOUCHDOWN VIKINGS!!!

  4. By Nublove on Jun 3, 2010 | Reply

    Not a bad thought by PurplePeopleEater on the trick play, but I am pretty sure that would result in a penalty if Favre stepped off the field moments before the snap. I would expect as a Vikings fan you would know its illegal to have 12 men in the huddle.

  5. By Arrowhead on Jun 3, 2010 | Reply

    wow, nice observation nub-cake

  6. By CA Norwegian on Jun 3, 2010 | Reply

    Please do not ever say 12 men in the huddle! But I suspect it would be illegal motion if Farve is running towards the sideline, and Web starts running also based on what I read.

    I think Web will start out on special teams. No? If they kick to him, he could always dance around a crowd then throw a cool lateral jump pass to Percy;(30 or more yards), Which means Percy will have some space… Trick plays and returns I think are the most fun to watch. The reverse idea to Web is a great idea. But then with the run/pass option depeending on how the D plays it. Last year was a blast… Pray that we will avoid critical injuries and continue to dominate or come back from week to week.

  7. By PurplePeopleEater on Jun 3, 2010 | Reply

    I never mentioned anything about a hudle…just an idea of something that could happen in a hurry-up situation. As far as the illegal motion, let’s just say Favre steps off the field at the start of the whole thing while he’s screaming for the “proper” personnel.

  8. By purplehorn on Jun 4, 2010 | Reply

    Hey Mike,
    Coach Childress insinuated at the last presser he did that Big Pat doesn’t work to hard in OTA’s or practice. I think he said he doesn’t give him much. Have you seen the Big Man doing any wind sprints? I just hope he gets on his bicycle again like he did at Mankato a couple of years back. THAT…. was classic! I wouldn’t worry too much about the Outlaws. They will be ready again to ride QB’s into the dirt.

  9. By carlk on Jun 4, 2010 | Reply

    Bring on the trick plays! We have talented big play playmakers all over the offensive side of the ball. I can’t wait to see what deminsion Webb and Gerhart might add. AP can’t protect the ball anyways so we have no excuse for lame conservative play calling. MIX IT UP CHILLY!

  10. By PurplePeopleEater on Jun 4, 2010 | Reply

    Agreed with all except the comment on AP. He had trouble protecting the ball at the end of the season, but I would be willing to bet you my life savings that he’ll have that problem nullified by the beginning of the season. AP cares so much about continuous self improvement that there is no chance he’ll let that problem resurface.

  11. By carlk on Jun 5, 2010 | Reply

    Yes AP cares… he has heart and is a winner. However he has fumbled 19 times in 3 years on 815 carries. Chris Johnson has only fumbled 4 times in his first 2 years on 609 carries. Both run the ball alot and both are big play take it to the house runners. I think the Vikings moved up to get Gerhart for a reason. Protect the football and grind out yards and run down the clock late in games.

  12. By carlk on Jun 5, 2010 | Reply

    Purple you are right, AP will not fumble as much this year! The Vikings gave up a 3rd round pick to move up for Gerhart. That is a big price for just a 3rd down back. Most scouts don’t call him a 3rd down type back.
    AP’s touches and his fumbles will go down but I think his average per attempt might go up. I think our coaches and front office personnel know what they are doing.

  13. By PurplePeopleEater on Jun 5, 2010 | Reply

    Carlk, from what I’ve heard about Gerhart, you are right that he is not a 3rd down back. What I understand is that the coaches don’t intend to use him in that regard either. That would lead me to conclude that Gerhart is going to be used mostly as a relief player, throwing him in for plays that are more likely to be runs, but when AP needs a few extra seconds to breath.

    It’s interesting that you chose Chris Johnson as the comparison point. Until he broke loose last year, AP was widely regarded as the best back in the league. Now AP has competition for that title, and that just may be the drive that was lacking. We can only wait to see if Johnson’s presence on the stat sheet influences AP’s numbers.

  14. By carlk on Jun 5, 2010 | Reply

    I hope AP can regain that best back in the league status. I work with a lot of Bears fans and they joke that AD should go into the bakery business…because he makes so many turnovers. I don’t think they are very funny.
    2 backs to watch next year are Ray Rice (Baltimore) and Deangelo Williams (Carolina) both are averageing over 5 yards per carry for their carreer. Look for them to get more touches and be up with Chris Johnson and AP. If AP fumbles early in the season, look for Gerhart to be more than a relief player. Not a starter but he might take alot of the workhorse load from AP. It will be fun to see how the competition influences AP’s numbers.

  15. By Tmarti8 on Jun 5, 2010 | Reply

    Support our troops:

  16. By Vikingsfan4life on Jun 6, 2010 | Reply

    The coaches need to let AP stay in on 3rd downs let him get in the rhythm he will eventually get big gains or td. Maybe try to throw more screens to AP.

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