The Vikings have concluded their final full-team practice of 2010 Verizon Vikings Training Camp in Mankato and it didn’t end without a bang. While there were a handful of highlight-caliber plays on the field during Thursday morning’s practice, the highlight for fans was certainly the full-team autograph session that followed the workout.
Once practice concluded, Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress huddled his team together for a typical post-practice talk. Then the team was dismissed and they scattered to the fence lines to sign autographs for fans. Some players and coaches spent upwards of 30-40 minutes signing after practice, a nice show of appreciation for the outstanding crowds the team has seen over 2 weeks at camp.
There were some notable on-field fireworks as well, including INTs from CB Benny Sapp in the endzone and S Tyrell Johnson deep down the right sideline. The team simulated game scenarios it has faced during Childress’ tenure with the club, including 2-minute drills and clock-killing drills.
We even had a good, old-fashioned skirmish between DE Ray Edwards and rookie RB Toby Gerhart. There was some continuation of the skirmish, which caught the eye of fans and reporters, but things had completely calmed down just moments later. It’s worth a note in a post-practice write-up, but spending any more than 3 or 4 minutes talking about it is overkill. Skirmishes such as the one on Thursday are nothing foreign to training camp practices and they’re just as much a product of pent up aggression and anxiety for a real game as they are a product of any true animosity between individuals.
Edwards met with reporters on his way off the practice field and was grilled about the incident, but he downplayed what happened and explained those situations stay on the field and never enter the locker room.
Outside of that, it was another solid training camp practice for the Vikings. Temperature and humidity levels were high once again and Childress estimated that if Thursday morning wasn’t the hottest practice of camp it was certainly among the top few. Childress also explained that although the team will break camp in Mankato, training camp continues for the team once they arrive back in Eden Prairie.
“Training camp doesn’t really end for us,” Childress explained. “We’re right back at it at Winter Park with a little bit different schedule. The guys that don’t have a place in town stay over at one of the hotels right there. We keep them throughout the day, we just get our night meetings that we would have coming back after dinner (in Mankato) after the practice and then feed them a dinner meal. We just fool with the schedule a little bit.”
Childress was also asked about the team’s facilities at training camp, and the head coach expressed great pleasure with Julia A. Sears Residence Community – citing central air as a big reason for the approval – and also the team’s dining hall. And he also said the practice fields have continued to get better and better, including the playing surface inside Blakeslee Stadium.
Training camp is now closed to the public, but the team will hold a special teams practice this afternoon and then head back up to Winter Park tomorrow for a mock game and departure to St. Louis for preseason game #1 at 7:00 p.m. CT against the Rams on Saturday. [UPDATE: The Vikings may hold their mock game before returning to Winter Park.]
Tags: Benny Sapp, Toby Gerhart, Tyrell Johnson
Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 18 Comments »