Mother Nature took it easy on us Wednesday morning and provided modest (compared to Tuesday) heat and humidity for a 2 hour and 10-minute workout in which the Vikings were suited up in shoulder pads, helmets and shorts. There was a fair amount of pad crunching going on, so I took my notebook out and jotted down a bunch of notes.
Here they are…
– The 1st portion of practice is typically dedicated to special teams, especially kick coverage. Following the kick coverage period, the Vikings worked on FGs and K Ryan Longwell looked sharp in his drill work. The last FG attempt from Longwell is occasionally designed to fall short so the team can practice returning a long missed FG; RB Darius Reynaud was the returner on Wednesday. It’s a part of the game that a team could easily go a whole season without seeing, but it’s interesting to me to take note of the minutia that teams go through to thoroughly prepare themselves for an upcoming season.
– RB Adrian Peterson was one of a handful of players who didn’t participate this morning. So rookie Toby Gerhart and 3-year veteran Albert Young shared the 1st team duties. When I saw Peterson without his shoulder pads as he headed out to practice, I wrote a note to myself to be sure to pay attention to which guy(s) got 1st-team reps. It seemed to me that Gerhart and Young shared equally the reps. At this point in camp, it’s my opinion that Young is ahead of Gerhart in the competition for Peterson’s complement, but I think ultimately it’ll come down to a trio (or more) of RBs who complement Peterson rather than a traditional 1-2 punch.
– LB play was impressive today, especially during team drills such as the 9-on-7 drill and LB vs. RB/TE passing and pass protection drill. During the 9-on-7 period, middle LBs Jasper Brinkley and E.J. Henderson stood out to me, consistently penetrating the line of scrimmage to cause disruption in the backfield or right at the line. Henderson broke up a pair of consecutive running plays, once on his own and then the 2nd time with DT Pat Williams. On the 4th and 5th plays of the period, it was Brinkley who caused the disruption, meeting up with Gerhart off RG and causing RBs coach Eric Bieniemy to tell Gerhart to bounce it outside and “trust your vision.” Near the end of this period, Reynaud registered the best run when he broke free off LT thanks to a nice seal block by rookie TE Mickey Shuler.
– Here are quick summaries of 2 players who looked good offensively: WR Bernard Berrian because of his smooth route running, leadership and sure-handedness. TE Garrett Mills because of several good “hands” catches (where the player doesn’t trap the ball against his body) during individual, 1-on-1, and team work.
– Finally, I should give you the attendance report from practice. The following players were not participants today: WR Percy Harvin (personal), WR Sidney Rice (PUP), CB Benny Sapp (illness), CB Cedric Griffin (PUP), Peterson (lower body) and LB J Leman (leg). It was good to see C John Sullivan (leg) and Shuler back in action after they had missed a few sessions.
That’s it for now, but stay tuned for more from 2010 Verizon Vikings Training Camp.
Tags: Albert Young, Bernard Berrian, Darius Reynaud, E.J. Henderson, Garrett Mills, Jasper Brinkley, Toby Gerhart
Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 9 Comments »