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, as news comes fast and heavy. The official Vikings Twitter account has been active during training camp and will remain that way throughout the season.
Remember, you don’t need a Twitter account yourself to follow the Vikings on Twitter. Just go to Twitter.com and follow @VikingsFootball.
Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 6 Comments »
The Vikings held another up-beat practice Friday morning including an array of nice plays and hard hits with each player suited up in shoulder pads. A week has now passed by here at Verizon Vikings Training Camp and, as Mike included in his Friday morning observations, each position group has improved on a daily basis coupled with numerous stand-out performances by players such as WR Bernard Berrian, LB Jasper Brinkley and rookie CB Chris Cook.
Unlike my observations of the offensive linemen from Thursday afternoon’s practice, today was a great opportunity to gauge how the battle down in the trenches is coming along. With the linemen being able to make full contact blocks, the groups of both offensive and defensive linemen solidified my impressions over the past week in how each player is progressing.
T Patrick Brown looked even more impressive today in his blocking capability by taking on players such as Pro Bowl DE Jared Allen, 4-year veteran Brian Robison and rookie Everson Griffen. The battle that took place down in the trenches that impressed me the most this morning was that between Brown and Griffen, as both players are scratching and clawing their way to find a spot on the 53-man roster.
“It’s finally coming along,” Griffen said. “I’m feeling good, I’m happy just to be out here being a Minnesota Viking. My dream finally came true and it’s all about working. Once you get to this level it’s all about self-motivation and that’s what I’m trying to do.”
Having a week of training camp under his belt now, Griffen also acknowledged that he has been able to form close relationships with the core of defensive linemen. Griffen was selected in the 4th round (100th overall) in the 2010 NFL Draft and was able to relate to both Ray Edwards and Robison, as they were both selected in the 4th round in 2006 and 2007, respectively.
“I relate to Ray and Robison,” Griffen said. “They just help me out in there. I’m a rookie and I just got to come along and pick up the tempo and go hard all the time.”
This morning’s practice also saw the 1st team offense going against the 2nd team defense. This session allowed Griffen to butt heads with 9-year veteran Bryant McKinnie. Going heads-up against a Pro Bowler such as McKinnie has given Griffen the opportunity to rise up to the challenge and prove that he is capable of performing at the NFL level.
“Oh man, it’s fun,” Griffen mentioned about going against McKinnie. “It’s only going to make me better in the long run. I just have a blast going against him every day.”
Tags: Chris Brown, Everson Griffen
Posted in CJ Siewert | 12 Comments »
Practice #1 of Friday is in the books as the team worked out from 9:00 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. in front of another packed training camp crowd in Mankato. Jared Allen and the rest of the defensive line were signing autographs after practice, which is a major reason for the boosted attendance this morning.
The Vikings had a spirited 9-on-7 period that saw the offensive line and RB Toby Gerhart dominate early and then saw the defense, specifically LB Jasper Brinkley, pick it up toward the end and shut down the offense. Brinkley has had an outstanding camp to this point and it’s clear the strongest part of his game continues to be stopping the run. He can fill holes and stun a ball carrier with his aggressiveness and suddenness.
The Vikings will hold a special teams practice this afternoon from 2:10 to 3:15 p.m. and then will hit the fields 2 more times tomorrow before taking the day off on Sunday. Speaking of special teams practice, that’s where RB Darius Reynaud injured his ankle the other day. I saw Reynaud walking around the sidelines today during practice, so that’s a good sign. Hopefully he can recover quickly and get back out on the field; he has had a very nice training camp to this point.
Other guys who missed practice today included: WR Percy Harvin (personal), WR Sidney Rice (PUP), CB Benny Sapp (illness), CB Cedric Griffin (PUP), LB J Leman (leg) and C John Sullivan (leg).
CJ will chime in later today with a few more observations from today’s practice and a report on rookie DE Everson Griffen.
I’m going to head out of Mankato and begin my journey to Canton, OH for enshrinement ceremonies of John Randle and the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2010. Before I do that, though, I wanted to list a few trends I’ve noticed now that we are a week into 2010 Verizon Vikings Training Camp. Here it goes…
– Players who, in my eyes, are having solid training camps are: WR Bernard Berrian, LBs Jasper Brinkley and Kenny Onatolu, OT Patrick Brown, CB Chris Cook, OG Chris DeGeare, DT Letroy Guion, RT Phil Loadholt and RB Albert Young.
– The position group I’ve seen improve the most over camp has been the offensive line.
– The position group that has been the most impressive since Day 1 of camp is the LBs.
– I am confident in the way the Vikings medical and strength staffs are handling the injuries of CB Cedric Griffin and WR Sidney Rice.
– The Vikings had a true one-two punch in previous seasons with Adrian Peterson and Chester Taylor. But I’m wondering if the one-two punch philosophy will be modified slightly in 2010 to include a few RBs in the rotation along with Peterson.
– RB Toby Gerhart has gotten better every day, struggling right out of the gates and having perhaps his best practice on Friday morning.
– I’m certain that Vikings fans will set a training camp attendance record this year; the crowds have been great.
– The Vikings defensive line led the league in sacks last year, and this year during training camp the unit looks improved.
Tags: Cedric Griffin, Darius Reynaud, Jared Allen, Jasper Brinkley, Sidney Rice, Toby Gerhart
Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 8 Comments »
We’re a week into training camp already and there are lots of questions to be answered, so don’t forget to submit your comments/questions to the Monday Morning Mailbag.
To submit, send an email to me at email@example.com. Remember to include your name and town with each email.
We can’t post every comment/question, but I’ll respond to every question.
Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 17 Comments »
2010 Verizon Vikings Training Camp has provided us here at vikings.com with a busy schedule. We had move-in day last Thursday and then 12 practices, with press conferences and Favre central sprinkled in as well.
And now it’s going to get a bit busier. The Vikings will practice 2 times today and then 2 times again on Saturday. Today there’s a Punt, Pass and Kick competition and Saturday is Family Football Day at 2010 Verizon Vikings Training Camp. To top all of that off, former Vikings DT John Randle will be enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday afternoon, an important event for John and the Vikings franchise.
I am fortunate enough to be attending this weekend’s Hall of Fame festivities, something I was able to do last year as well when Randall McDaniel was enshrined. Last year’s event was one of the most memorable moments of 2009 for me and I’m anticipating a similar experience this weekend. I’ll be sure to provide you with updates via the vikings.com Blog and Twitter (follow @VikingsFootball) during the weekend’s events and then I’ll also have a weekend recap once I return from Canton, OH.
So I’ll be watching this morning’s practice and then leaving Mankato to head to Canton for about 24 hours. The team has Sunday off and then we’ll all return to the practice fields on Monday. While I’m gone and the team is practicing, CJ will have you covered here on the vikings.com Blog.
Tags: John Randle
Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 5 Comments »