A Change In Overall Atmosphere At Vikings Training Camp; Practice Notes

Posted by Mike Wobschall on August 2, 2011 – 10:57 am

The Vikings have moved one step closer to full-contact, all-hands-on-deck mode as they have completed Practice #2 of 2011 Verizon Vikings Training Camp in Mankato. Tomorrow (Wednesday) the team can finally strap on the pads and then on Thursday all players will be eligible to hit the field.

Tuesday’s practice began around 9:00 a.m. and wrapped up at about 10:45. Coaches and players worked in comfortable temperatures and underneath mostly cloudy skies. A little rain shower about half-way through practice didn’t do much to distract the team.

One observation I’ve had so far early in camp is just a general change in the atmosphere and attitude. There aren’t really any distractions, there is tranquility on the coaching staff and no one is constantly looking over their shoulder for the next piece of adversity to come strolling along.

In last year’s camp, the theme was to basically “bring the band back together” again and make another run at the NFC playoffs after falling in the conference championship game the year prior. This year, though, it’s different because there’s a sense of building toward something. There are going to be a few new starters in the lineup and several new faces on the roster overall, and I think that yields a competitive atmosphere where everyone – even the established starters – is working hard to earn a spot and earn the respect of coaches and teammates.

A few notes from today’s practice…

– Superstar RB Adrian Peterson left practice early on Monday because his fiancé went into labor. He was obviously not at practice today and has been excused.

– A pair of starting offensive linemen were among the Vikings who sat out of practice, as RG Anthony Herrera (PUP list) and LT Bryant McKinnie (NFI list) worked on the side with the strength and conditioning staff. With so many players not allowed to practice and with their being no contact allowed, it’s hard to tell who exactly is playing the first, second and third teams, so we’ll try to drill down on that a bit more in the coming days.

– LB Chad Greenway and S Jamarca Sanford grabbed INTs today. Greenway’s came very early in practice and Sanford’s came toward the end on a deflected pass.

– WR Percy Harvin had the highlight play of the day, leaping into the air to bring down a pass along the left sideline of Field #1, right in front of bleachers full of Vikings fans.

– Continuing our eye test experiment, where I’ll note after each practice a few players who pass the eye test, I’d point to Greenway, Harvin, LB E.J. Henderson, QB Christian Ponder, DE D’Aundre Reed and Sanford. Repeats from yesterday’s eye test are Greenway, Harvin and Reed.

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Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 54 Comments »

54 Responses to “A Change In Overall Atmosphere At Vikings Training Camp; Practice Notes”

  1. By vikings4life on Aug 2, 2011 | Reply

    Hey Mike Great Job honestly! can you tell us who’s taking most the first team reps? specifically WR’s HB’s DE’s CB’s and QB

  2. By vikings4life on Aug 2, 2011 | Reply

    Also a little talk of how Joe looks Versus Ponder, or just some about how Joe looks in this camp compared to last camp and if you see any developement. Thanks

  3. By CA Norwegian on Aug 2, 2011 | Reply

    Beauty is in the eye of the beHolder, please do not tell the O-line and DBs about the eye tests , we need to keep the holding calls down. Mike, thanks for doing such a tremendous job since the lockout ended. I can only hope you do not want to renegotiate your contract.

  4. By fuzzy on Aug 2, 2011 | Reply

    Thanks for the update Mike! I agree with vikings4life, I’d like to see a comparison between Webb and Ponder or a more in-depth analysis of Webb. Skol!

  5. By vikingrob22 on Aug 2, 2011 | Reply

    Mike – what reason is erin henderson missing??

  6. By Parody on Aug 2, 2011 | Reply

    @vikingrob22 – Erin Henderson signed a new contract with the team, so he’s in the group of players athat are not allowed to participate until Thursday.

  7. By peever on Aug 2, 2011 | Reply

    have heard reed looks like a stud and will make everyone forget ..who….some compare him to doleman

  8. By Spanky8 on Aug 2, 2011 | Reply

    i hope this is Toby Gerharts year to shine….. should be a fun year with no “chilly” and no “T-Jack…

  9. By Spanky8 on Aug 2, 2011 | Reply

    with Favre gone so is the media circus….back to normal at last…..

  10. By Stoney on Aug 2, 2011 | Reply

    I heard that B.B. s contract was restructured, is this true?

  11. By Karl on Aug 2, 2011 | Reply

    Mike – you said Reed was a “repeat from yesterday’s eye test” but I don’t see him on yesterday’s list. You might want to correct that.

  12. By Carl K on Aug 2, 2011 | Reply

    Mike Wobs- At this point, I really do NOT need an update everyday on McKinnie and Herrera’s side line work out. Not interested!
    Thanks for the eye test observations, I enjoy that.
    Do they do much conditioning work, or is it all 7 on 7 stuff? What does a 9:00am to 10:45 practice look like from a workout or routine (drills) standpoint.
    Is it a physically tough work out?

  13. By VikesfanNO on Aug 2, 2011 | Reply

    Let’s just keep it that way stay under the radar let the Eagles have the media circus and let everyone believe that so called “dream team” is the team and we quietly prepare and come out of nowhere and make some noise…Skol!!

  14. By Mike Wobschall on Aug 2, 2011 | Reply

    Karl – Thanks for pointing out that Reed wasn’t on the eye test on Monday. I wrote him down in my notes but didn’t mention him on the blog. I’ll make the change now. Thanks for the help!

  15. By mt on Aug 2, 2011 | Reply

    does cedric griffin look 100%

  16. By doug on Aug 2, 2011 | Reply

    any idea when Peterson will be back with the team? I hope everyone is doing well, butthe longer he stays away the more i get worried about a hold out since it does not seem that they are ready to resign process.

  17. By Wade on Aug 2, 2011 | Reply

    That’s good news about Reed. I always like to see a U of A player do well in the NFL. I’m getting excited. The pundits aren’t predicting much for the Vikes but I think after a few games for the team to gel, we start sneaking up on teams and beat them. Skol Vikes!

  18. By Bigfan1 on Aug 2, 2011 | Reply

    Just wondering if the players feel distracted by the Sports Authority interviews, I think the Vikings have the most interviews done within their website than any other team. Personally, I love these short interviews it keeps us tuned in.

  19. By Joudry on Aug 2, 2011 | Reply

    Vikes just released McKinnie.

  20. By Frederick Jones on Aug 2, 2011 | Reply

    @Mike Wobschall,

    It would be nice if the pressers included the questions from the writers this year. You can’t get much out of just the player or coach comments if you do not know the question.

    On the Patriots site you can hear both the writers questions and the answers by the player/coaches.

    There are high school and college teams that can hear both sides of the conversation in a press conference.


  21. By Shawn on Aug 2, 2011 | Reply

    WOW … Joudry, just saw it on NFL dot com … McKinnie cut

  22. By Shawn on Aug 2, 2011 | Reply

    I wonder if Mike Tice and the Bears will jump on him …. or is he too fat to get to Chicago?

  23. By Shawn on Aug 2, 2011 | Reply

    maybe McKinnie ate his trainer ….

  24. By Mike B on Aug 2, 2011 | Reply

    Wow just said Bryant McKinnie was cut. That’s makes yesterdays move just that more interesting. I guess from reading others post that he was on a Big Mac diet that he didn’t workout like he said he was going to. It is good that Coach kept to his word that things were going to be different this year. Good luck Bryant McKinnie

  25. By Joudry on Aug 2, 2011 | Reply

    Who replaces him now? Are there any other viable options for O-line in free agency?

  26. By Shawn on Aug 2, 2011 | Reply

    They just signed the guy who protected Peyron Mannings blinside the last 3 seasons … Charlie Johnson

  27. By Parody on Aug 2, 2011 | Reply

    Very interesting news about McKinnie. I just heard it over the radio this afternoon, but it’s not official yet. But I’m not disappointed to see him go. Aside from being more interested in his recording business than he was in his multimillion dollar job, McKinnie has been a stain on the Vikings image for a while. He was extremely underproducing last year, and got himself booted from the Pro Bowl team the year before. The guy was also one of the most notable culprits of the loveboat scandal.

    Now that his production on the field has gone down even faster than his weight has gone up, it sounds like the right choice to let him go. I’m not sold on his replacement yet, as I was hoping he’d switch over to help us out on the right side, but chances are he’ll be an improvement at any spot on the line.

    Hopefully OL will be the primary focus of the coaches when the 2012 draft comes around.

  28. By Parody on Aug 2, 2011 | Reply

    Now let’s just hope that DeGeare can step in and take over the starting role, and the 2nd-round Load on the far right will remind us why he was a steal in the 2009 draft.

  29. By Parody on Aug 2, 2011 | Reply

    Does someone want to try to wake Fred again? I think he might be pretty interested in this news…

  30. By Parody on Aug 2, 2011 | Reply

    Oh wait, maybe this news is official. It’s already been posted on Wikipedia!!

    “He was released during Training Camp prior to the 2011 season, due to apparent contractual conflicts[2].”

  31. By Sean on Aug 2, 2011 | Reply

    this was very well written i loved reading it, mike i hope you keep it up through out training camp.. its weird mckinnie was there when they were planning on cutting him.

  32. By vikingsfan22 on Aug 2, 2011 | Reply

    mike-could u give us an update on 2nd year corner chris cook and how he looks coming off an injury?

  33. By Sean on Aug 2, 2011 | Reply

    Hey Mike! With McKinnie being cut (I think we can all agree that he was very frustrating to watch these last couple of years), do you think the Vikings will use the extra cap space to pick up one more WR? Or, is there another position that they may use the money to stack up?

  34. By CHI TOWN VIKE on Aug 2, 2011 | Reply

    Hey Mike, thanks for the updates. When I first saw that we drafted Ponder I was a little upset at the thought of Webb not (possibly) being the starter. I feel Webb did good for us the end of last season and was really looking forward to seeing what kind of magic with his quickness and elusiveness he could provide to us this year. Then I thought Webb better get the #2 spot behind Mcnabb as Big D would no doubt get the starting role. The more I think about it now with the new CBA quarter back rules, I want Webb to be the #3 QB so we came put him in and out of every game like a plague that comes in to haunt the opposing defenses. He could be very effective as either outside or slot receiving as well as out of the back field, I don’t know that I would risk injury to him by using him as a kick returner(although I believe he could smoke Devin Hesters stats). Here is the ultimate set scenario in my opinion: Webb and AP in the back field, Percy in slot right, Shank on right side w/ percey instead of a lineman, Kliensaucer on left instead of a lineman, trips left outside with BB, Jenkins, and Aromashudo. That would be a wild cat force to be respected in every area, AAHHHH. I could just see the defense scrambling around to try and figure out how they are going to account for all the weapons at once. We could run this a couple plays back to back, no huddle late in the thrird qt. It would accomplish two things: getting in the defenses heads, and providing a little rest for a couple of lineman and the qb, also hopefully some really awesome to watch TD plays!!! What do you think Mike? Pass it on to Les! haha

  35. By 2pertues on Aug 2, 2011 | Reply

    Reed was a rotation part time end rusher. Not even a starter for U of Arizona. He looks like a stud? @Peever said someone compares him to Doleman! WTF! Lay off the purple Kool-aid man. The only way someone could make that comment is if he has the same skin hue and maybe wore a number in the 50’s. Doleman LOOKED like a stud, not an undrafted no name. Does he look different now than when all the other teams passed on this stud! Get real.

  36. By Carl K on Aug 2, 2011 | Reply

    @ Mike Wobschall- Jonathan Gilmore is a 6-4 295lb linebacker. THAT IS ONE BIG LINEBACKER. What does he look like out there? Has he caught your eye yet? Can this kid move well enough to play linebacker?

  37. By 2pertues on Aug 2, 2011 | Reply

    @ChI Town Vike
    Uhh, Wildcat is a running formation. Occational pass to get them honest. Kinda hard to do with 3 lineman. Teams would send pressure, everyone else would press. Webb would have 1 second to make smart throw. Good imagination though, give u that.

  38. By CHI TOWN VIKE on Aug 2, 2011 | Reply

    @ 2pertues
    Yes wildcat is ultimately run, but since Miami brought it to the pro level, almost every team has tried some version of it and kept as run. Although my scenario listed above is completely creative[and i appreciate that you see that :)], I do believe it could be more effective as a pass play since it would get the Def to bite up on it. With a fast enough receiver(Aromashudo) and a QB that can both throw and run like the wind. It’s a good possibility… who’s to say we couldn’t get away with a passing wildcat for awhile until teams caught on to it? It could work! Plus, what Vike fan wouldn’t want to see Webb and AP side by side? And for that matter, what def would want to? It could be successful even under conventional wildcat rule of thumb, but please don’t forget that Webb really can throw a ball. SKOL!!!!!

  39. By 2pertues on Aug 2, 2011 | Reply


  40. By Bigfan1 on Aug 2, 2011 | Reply

    It shows McKinnie that if you don’t put out you are out.

  41. By 2pertues on Aug 2, 2011 | Reply

    Again, love the thoughts. But, a passing wildcat is essentially a spread offense with 5 receiving targets minus a runniing back in shotgun they use now. Another problem, have you seen Kleinsasser catch! Good entry though man.

  42. By Parody on Aug 2, 2011 | Reply

    @CHI TOWN VIKE & 2pertues – You’re both missing one big problem, any passing formation REQUIRES 5-men (Tackle, Guard, Center, Guard, Tackle) to block the entire time. If any one of those 5-men get into a receiving route, they are charged with an illegal man downfield penalty. So throwing in extra men to replace offensive linemen only makes the formation weaker.

  43. By Arrow86 on Aug 2, 2011 | Reply

    NFL network has shown a lot of Vikings practice, Jets practice, and Eagles practice. It may be selective editing, but from what I’ve seen from my local station, ESPN, and the NFL network, the Vikings look like they are having a ton of fun! Hopefully, this will translate into a ton of fun for us fans this season!

  44. By hicohornet on Aug 2, 2011 | Reply

    Why not offer a 3rd round draft picks for: Vincent Jackson, DeSean Jackson, Steve Johnson, James Jones, Jacoby Jones, Robert Meachem, Lance Moore, Josh Morgan, Any Steve Smith, Mike Thomas, Kevin Walter, Both Mike Williams?
    Why not offer a future 1st or 2nd rounder for Sidney Rice back? Also let’s offer Philly for Asante a 3rd and future 3rd. And go out and get a good up and comer cb like Eric Berry for Toby and a 3rd. Or something!?! Or someone like: E.J. Bidders, Tyvon Branch, Sheldon Brown, Jairus Byrd, Don Carey, RFA Brandon Carr, Antoine Cason, Pat Chung, Chris Clemons, Drew Colemon, Crag Dahl. I know you can get someone who’s young and talented through a trade that may have a high cap on a team that may look to get rid of someone who is building for the future and looking to get some picks or even thin at RB and trade Toby we can always pick up a number 2 running back and send a package at someone.

  45. By Arrow86 on Aug 2, 2011 | Reply

    hicohornet: Two words of advice: Try decaf. I’m kidding of course, I can tell you’re excited about the Vikings potential this season. I think the blogs are much more positive.

  46. By 2pertues on Aug 2, 2011 | Reply

    I’m not missing anything. What I was saying is teams already try to overload defenses with 3 or 4 receivers with a running back option. Have to have a balanced line regardless. Unless, I believe, a direction is told towards an official. I do think a TE can replace an OT on the same split is legal. Although it doesn’t make alot of sense. Tell me if I am mistaken.

  47. By Parody on Aug 2, 2011 | Reply

    I don’t see why a TE couldn’t replace a tackle, but what’s the benefit? The TE will be treated as a tackle in the rules, and the rules state that offensive linemen (tackles, guards and centers, totaling 5 in any play) will be penalized if they are in a receiving pattern.

  48. By celticvikingwarrior on Aug 3, 2011 | Reply

    Just 3 of our biggest needs are (in no particular order; 1) SAFETY 2) OL (center & guard) amd 3) #1-WR
    1)I know we tried to sign Eric Weddle and he stayed in S.D. why don’t we go after DONTE WHITNER of Buffalo, he’s a VERY GOOD safety….
    2) Does ANYONE know if we are trying to sign OLIN KRUETZ ?
    3) I guess taking a pay cut makes B-squared our # 1 and that Malcom Floyd at 6′-5″-225 a 19.4 avg.per rec. (or was it 17.4) and a TOUCHDOWN every 6th reception isn’t good enough….oh well, GO VIKES…SKOL

  49. By celticvikingwarrior on Aug 3, 2011 | Reply

    Didn’t I read that OT Charlie Johnson who has been protecting Peyton Manning’s blind side for the last 3 years gave up 6 sacks last year, and hasn’t Peyton Manning undergone 2 operations on his neck over the last 20 months or so…? Just wondering what all the excitement’s about ??????

  50. By army vike on Aug 3, 2011 | Reply

    Personally, and against what most of you would think… I think we don’t need to grab a number one reciever. What we should do, since we have mcnabb and ponder now, is to move webb back to reciever which is what he was drafted at. Can you imagine with his size and athleticism, and ability in the open field. He could easily be that guy for us. He can jump, run… he just would need to fine tune his route running and hands. He seems like he could have potential to be a younger, better Josh Cribbs if we put the focus on that. It makes too much sense. QB duos and controversies have only ever spelled disaster for teams, and putting him to reciever would satisfy that need and give the added benefit of using him in the return game to give percy a break and keep camarillo from taking another punt. and he could still do wildcat… tell me what you guys think..

  51. By Lants on Aug 3, 2011 | Reply

    Here’s another vote for the both the questions AND the answers to be heard in the pressers. Let’s be pro on all levels. :)

    Please and thanks for the updates!

  52. By Pma on Aug 3, 2011 | Reply

    To: celticvikingwarrior

    Charlie Johnson gave up 6 sacks last year on the blindside where most teams blitz/ load up on Peyton. Giving up a sack isn’t always in a one on one situation. When the extra defender comes in to blitz and the LT has to chip if no help is there then the DE might get through.

    I believe Charlie started every game except week three last year so with as much as the Colts pass giving up, a so called all his fault, 6 sacks is pretty good. Most sacks in the NFL come from the weak/blindside…

    Like I said he started every game from week 4 on so his neck has held up and is fine. He is only 27 as well.

    Also we get to get rid of that lazy, waste of talent Big, Fat Mack who was said to have come in weighing over 400lbs!!

    So that is what everyone is excited about!

  53. By Pma on Aug 3, 2011 | Reply

    Yes Charlie, like Peyton, had a few neck issues himself among other things but has held up quite nicely.

    I wasent exactly clear about that

  54. By Blog on Aug 28, 2011 | Reply

    Amazing post! Great job man!

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