Players will continue to arrive here at Julia Sears Residence Community tonight as the Vikings prepare to open training camp tomorrow. Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress has arrived, as has most of his coaching staff. Many players have also moved in and the bus carrying most of the younger players has arrived.
More players will circulate in this evening and tonight, and then tomorrow things will really heat up with meetings, Childress’ press conference (which you can watch live on vikings.com) and then a late afternoon practice.
It’s time to wrap things up for a while here on the vikings.com Blog. It’s dinner time and I’m hungry. But be sure to continually check back here for more updates and be sure to check the home page for headline stories and videos, including interviews from today with E.J. Henderson, Kevin Williams and Chris Kluwe. Also, for those of you who frequented vikings.com during last year’s training camp, Mankato Minute will make its return soon.
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Veteran DTs Kevin Williams and Pat Williams – a.k.a. The Williams Wall – arrived at Julia Sears Residence Community together on Thursday and both seemed ready to get training camp rolling. Both players spent some time meeting with reporters and Kevin took a few moments to chat exclusively with vikings.com, so be sure to check back later for that interview.
Pat was asked about the team’s mentality as it reports to training camp with the sting of last year’s loss to eventual Super Bowl champion New Orleans still in the back of their minds.
“It’s time to finish it,” Williams, often times loose and joking, said in straight forward fashion. “We didn’t finish it last year, so this year we’re going to start here at training camp and we’re going to finish it this year.”
Kevin Williams said the new setup at Julia Sears looks nice so far and he also said he’s looking forward to being suite mates with LB E.J. Henderson because the two are close friends and broke into the League together.
Tags: E.J. Henderson, Kevin Williams, Pat Williams
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Vikings LBs E.J. and Erin Henderson reported to Julia Sears Residence Community together earlier today as they embark on their 3rd training camp together with the Vikings. Henderson was of course a popular interview today because he’s coming back from a leg injury that cut short his season in 2009.
The image of Erin riding on the cart with E.J. last year following his leg injury in Arizona was not one I’ll soon forget, so perhaps it was fitting that the 2 arrived together today in Mankato to begin a new season.
A big question for the 1st practice of training camp tomorrow is “Will E.J. be out there?” If the coaches and training staff feel Henderson is not ready to go coming off his injury, he could be placed on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list until it’s determined he is ready to go. When asked whether that decision had been made yet, Henderson said he wasn’t sure but that he had a good conversation with his head coach about the topic.
“We had a good conversation yesterday about it in his office,” Henderson said. “Of course the decision is his. [But] hopefully we’ll lean towards starting off slow and gradually increase the work that I’ll do. That’s what I would like and we had that conversation so it’s up to him and the trainer as to what we do.”
Henderson was asked by reporters about his leg and the recovery process this past offseason, and the veteran MLB expressed optimism and excitement about training camp and the upcoming season.
“I feel anxious,” Henderson explained. “I feel ready to get out there and cut it loose. Like I said, with this femur injury, it’s not like I have a lot of pain afterward or lingering effects. It’s healed, it feels good and I think once I get back out there and get in the swing of things, catch up on some reps, I’m ready to go.”
Henderson also said he may change his thigh pad from more of a shell to a regular-sized pad, but other than that he doesn’t anticipate making any changes to his on-field gear.
As an 8-year veteran with the Vikings, Henderson was accustomed to staying at Gage Hall during training camp, but of course that changes this year with the Vikings moving into a different dorm. Henderson said he likes what he sees so far and that he’ll be suite mates with DT Kevin Williams.
Tags: E.J. Henderson, Erin Henderson
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Earlier today we referenced a Star Tribune report that 2nd round CB Chris Cook had agreed to terms on a rookie contract with the Vikings. Now, we just received notification that indeed the deal is official.
Cook is a 6-2, 212-pound CB out of the University of Virginia who will compete with several others for time at CB and should also be a regular contributor on special teams. He is the 1st Virginia player ever drafted by the Vikings.
The Cook signing leaves 2nd round RB Toby Gerhart as the lone unsigned 2009 draft pick for the Vikings.
Tags: Chris Cook, Toby Gerhart
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For those of you keeping tabs, DT Letroy Guion was the first Vikings player to report to 2010 Verizon Vikings Training Camp in Mankato (not including Adrian Battles, who currently lives in Mankato and attended Minnesota State University, Mankato). Guion’s teammates should begin pouring into Julia Sears Residence Community in the next couple of hours.
I chatted with Guion just before he started hauling his belongings into the building and he said he was ready to get on the field and “get things going.” This will be Guion’s 3rd trip to training camp with the Vikings after the club selected him in the 5th round of the 2008 NFL Draft.
A product of Florida State University who left school early to pursue his NFL dreams, Guion will compete with several others for time in the DT rotation. I asked him if he needed help moving a few things in, but the stout 6-4, 303-pound DT declined and said he’s learned to bring fewer and fewer things to training camp each year. The Vikings are hoping he continues to learn things on the field as well because the 3rd year pro has shown flashes of ability that may allow him to be a stout presence in Leslie Frazier’s defense.
Guion is the oldest of 5 siblings and he says he owes his success as a football player to the lessons he learned from his mother, Connie, and stepfather, Robert. An avid fisherman, Guion participated in the 2009 Governor’s Fishing Opener in May, affording him the chance to teach kids to fish and encouraging them to get involved in the outdoors.
Tags: Letroy Guion
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Are you following the Vikings on Twitter? If not, you should because just like the vikings.com Blog, it’s a great way to stay on top of Vikings news.
It’s an especially great way to follow the Vikings during training camp and on game day because news comes fast and heavy during those times and Twitter provides us with the quickest way to get you the latest.
Remember, you don’t need a Twitter account yourself to follow the Vikings on Twitter. Just go to Twitter.com and follow @VikingsFootball.
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It’s been rumored and reported for several days, but now it’s become official – 4th round DE Everson Griffen, 5th round OL Chris DeGeare and 7th round TE Mickey Shuler have all signed their contracts and will report to training camp on time.
Those 3 rookies join 5th round LB Nate Triplett, 6th round QB Joe Webb and 7th round FB Ryan D’Imperio as Vikings draft picks who’ve signed their contracts. Only 2nd rounders CB Chris Cook and RB Toby Gerhart remain unsigned.
The Star Tribune’s Judd Zulgad is reporting that Cook has agreed to a 4-year deal as of Thursday morning, which is good news for the Vikings and would leave Gerhart as the only unsigned draft choice. Zulgad said terms of the deal were not available but he did point out that the players selected right before and after Cook had signed contracts, with OT Rodger Saffold agreeing to a 4-year, $6.3 million deal with St. Louis that includes $3.9 million in guarantees and DT Brian Price receiving a 4-year, $5.32 million deal with $3.55 million in guarantees.
Zulgad also points out that players selected right before and after Gerhart have signed their contracts, indicating the Vikings and Gerhart shouldn’t have a difficult time agreeing to a deal.
Tags: Chris Cook, Chris DeGeare, Everson Griffen, Joe Webb, Mickey Shuler, Nate Triplett, Ryan D'Imperio, Toby Gerhart
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Yesterday afternoon I made the quick jaunt down Highway 169 from Eden Prairie to Mankato – with a stop in St. Peter to visit Gustavus Adolphus College, my alma mater, along the way – and am fully settled in at 2010 Verizon Vikings Training Camp. It’s the 45th year the Vikings will hold training camp in Mankato, so thanks to the University of Minnesota, Mankato for another year of partnership as we prepare for the season.
While this is the 45th training camp to be held in Mankato, it’s the first time we’ll all be housed in a building other than Gage Hall. We’ve made the switch to Julia Sears Residence Community, just a stone’s throw away from Gage. This facility was built in 2008 and is quite impressive.
My move-in process here at Julia Sears Residence Community was quick, easy and seamless; it was also easy to settle into the work room I’ll be using in the residence hall. I want to compliment the Vikings operations staff for their great work in the days, weeks and months leading up to training camp. They do more work behind the scenes than I’ll probably ever truly realize. But I do realize life wouldn’t be as easy or as comfortable without them working so hard to make sure coaches, players and staff have everything they need for their 2-week stay at training camp.
After moving in here, I made a quick run to Target and Best Buy to pick up a few things I forgot to pack. Then I couldn’t resist the urge to swing through the local Caribou Coffee and gulp down an iced milk chocolate mocha (with just 1 shot of espresso instead of 2). A few hours later, it was on to Jake’s Stadium Pizza, one of the best local pizza joints Mankato has to offer. If you’re planning on swinging through Mankato to visit training camp or for any other reason, you’d be wise to carve out some time to enjoy a pizza at Jake’s; it’s located not too far from Blakeslee Stadium.
So anyway, that’s the update for now. Coaches and players are due to arrive later this afternoon and evening, so stay tuned for plenty of updates all day long. The team will go through a bunch of meetings early Friday, then head coach Brad Childress will have his press conference at 3:15 on Friday before the team hits the field for their first practice of 2010 training camp.
I’m looking forward to the beginning of another season and I’m looking forward to having you along with us for the ride.
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