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
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