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First Full Pads Practice Was Worth The Wait

Posted by Mike Wobschall on August 4, 2011 – 5:25 pm

Given the CBA/lockout situation we all endured over the course of this past offseason, it was only appropriate that we had to wait just a little longer than anticipated to finally see a full pads practice at 2011 Verizon Vikings Training Camp.

Policies within the new CBA prohibited players operating under new contracts from participating in their team’s training camp until the CBA was ratified, something that was widely expected to happen by this morning. But as things tend to go in situations such as collective bargaining, there was a hang up.

The Vikings had a full pads practice scheduled for 3:00 on Thursday, but 3:00 came and no players were in sight on the practice fields. As it turned out, the CBA had not been ratified and therefore players with new contracts were still unable to participate. Finally the locker room doors opened and players filed outside to the fields, but even still the players with new contracts didn’t participate in the early part of practice.

Eventually – about 30 minutes into practice – Vikings VP of Player Personnel Rick Spielman gave the thumbs up to his players while in between two of the practice fields, and Donovan McNabb and Co. hopped into the action and participated in their first practices of training camp.

“We were like little kids at Pop Warner who didn’t make weight,” McNabb said during his post-practice press conference. “We were just standing around. But you know the whole thing about it, the guys who were off on the sideline awaiting that opportunity have been working extremely hard the last couple days just getting the mental reps and then spending time together working out and pushing each other. Just trying to perfect our craft.”

Speaking of perfecting the craft, McNabb began the practice perfectly, connecting on his first three passes of full team work. McNabb’s first completion was a deep pass down the left sideline to WR Bernard Berrian, who fought off a defender and hauled in the pass for a 50-yard TD. A huge applause from the packed crowd ensued and practice was off to a great start.

McNabb held a press conference after practice and we’ll have the full version of that in on-demand format for your viewing pleasure, so stay tuned.

The overall energy and intensity of practice remained high and the fact that the guys were in pads for the first time was certainly a big reason. The Vikings have a one-hour walk-through scheduled for tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. and then they’ll practice in full pads once again tomorrow afternoon at 3:00.

Odds and Ends
– RB Adrian Peterson did not participate in practice but is expected back tomorrow.
– S Jamarca Sanford, competing for a starting position, intercepted a pass during the first team period of practice. The pass was thrown by McNabb and TE Visanthe Shiancoe was the intended target, but Sanford jumped the route and made a nice play.
– McNabb looked sharp, especially considering it was his first practice with the team. He completed his first three passes of the day before the Sanford INT and then he began 7-on-7 drills going four of four.
– Frazier said after practice that rookie QB Christian Ponder and Joe Webb are rotating in and out of the second string QB role.
– Rookie TE Kyle Rudolph had the catch of the day – and maybe the catch of training camp – when he was able to collect a one-handed grab while running down the right seam in a full team portion of camp. But he wasn’t done there. When practice concluded, Rudolph and Visanthe Shiancoe stayed several minutes after to work with TEs coach Jimmie Johnson and then on their way to the locker room Rudolph and Shiancoe took a few minutes to stop and sign autographs for fans.

The Eye Test
Our new feature this year – the eye test – has gotten pretty good reviews actually, so I’m going to keep it going. Passing the eye test from today’s practices were: RB Lorenzo Booker, WRs Percy Harvin and Michael Jenkins and S Jamarca Sanford.

For those of you keeping score at home, the only player to pass the eye test in all four full practices is Harvin. LB Chad Greenway has been mentioned after three practice and CB Cedric Griffin, DE D’Aundre Reed and Sanford have passed it twice. It should also be noted that Jenkins passed the eye test in his first opportunity and I probably should’ve included McNabb, but we have high expectations of him and I know he’ll be a regular mention in this part of the notes down the line.


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Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 34 Comments »


34 Responses to “First Full Pads Practice Was Worth The Wait”

  1. By Zayne on Aug 4, 2011 | Reply

    maybe you should put the eye test in a chart

  2. By sandiamond on Aug 4, 2011 | Reply

    “who let the nats out” overall good words from McNabb in the latest presser today

  3. By Bob on Aug 4, 2011 | Reply

    Mike, any word on the terms of McNabb’s new contract yet? I wonder why it’s been kept quiet all this time.

  4. By EastCoastVikesFan on Aug 4, 2011 | Reply

    We still need help at safety! There aren’t many left out there that could contribute right away, but there is one… Darren Sharper! He is NOT a Saint according to their roster, he is still a UFA. We should grab him for a year. He will pick off something this year, it is what Sharper does best. He would also bring the ability to teach our young guys something. I know alot of people say Sharper’s best years have passed, but I don’t believe that he is done just yet. He still has something in the tank. Come on Vikes… Sign Darren Sharper!!!!

  5. By The Optometrist on Aug 4, 2011 | Reply

    what IS the eye test… care to define it? i’m sure it’s great but i don’t know what you’re talking about. they look in shape? they look confident? they look fast? strong? what IS the eye test?

  6. By CA Norwegian on Aug 4, 2011 | Reply

    I’ll guess the eye test means, he saw something with his eyes that mighty be worthy of a replay or an NFL films splice. For me when the eye test was positive, you knew where to lay down the beach towel. If the first play from McNabb ws a long TD pass to Berrian… Did we have any fitrst play bombs for TDs in the last few decades in real games? Mike’s eye is very tough.

  7. By Mike on Aug 4, 2011 | Reply

    Is their any chance of us trading for Taylor Mays he’s young aggressive and fast, he would be an upgrade over our stong safeties and shouldn’t be worth much since their shopping him around

  8. By Mike Wobschall on Aug 4, 2011 | Reply

    The eye test is hard to define…it’s just a general opinion or feeling you develop about something (in this case, a football player) based on how they look, rather than studying film of them and really drilling down with deep analysis. Of course there’s a time and place for that detailed analysis, but I thought it’d be fun to have the eye test on the blog. It’s basically like a first impression…

  9. By Dyelan on Aug 4, 2011 | Reply

    Oh good I feel alot better that Jenkins and Sanford passed the eye test. I guess we don’t need a deep threat or a starting saftey now. I’m really concerned if we are planning on going with Barrian. That guy tanked so badly last year filling in for Rice that he can’t be trusted. He looked great in practice and preseason and then caved worse than any player in Viking history. Come on guys bring in Floyd and Taylor Mays.

  10. By RWF1984 on Aug 4, 2011 | Reply

    The eye test is kind of lame if you ask me because it is “your” point of view and not every one views the same way as you! I know what you mean by eye test, but how do I know they are doing good by all expectations and not just yours? Oh well, at least Harvin is staying on your test. Sounds like McNabb is hitting it off out of the gate, especially hitting Berrian down field!

  11. By Mike B on Aug 4, 2011 | Reply

    Braylon Edwards was signed by the 49ers, so that drops a possibility.

  12. By Mike B on Aug 4, 2011 | Reply

    Pat Williams is still out here waiting for a team. I would think it would be a classy thing to do is to bring him in if we have the space and have him as a backup NT. Just my thought.

  13. By Arrow86 on Aug 4, 2011 | Reply

    Mike B: Braylon has had some problems everywhere he has been. He has had some problems even catching the ball. If he were that desirable, the Jets would have signed him instead of Plaxico. I think the Vikes are staying clear of players who could create on or off field distractions. We certainly aren’t low on receivers in camp. Maybe Berrian will bounce back and be a positive contributor.

  14. By Arrow86 on Aug 4, 2011 | Reply

    I look forward to your “Eye test” each day Wobs. I’m excited to hear that Rudolph had a couple of good catches. Schiancoe is a very good receiving tight end, and having two is even better!

  15. By Mike B on Aug 4, 2011 | Reply

    There were comments that Johnson was having trouble with Allen. Any tackle wouldn’t want to be in that situation is Johnson really rusty?

  16. By Arrow86 on Aug 4, 2011 | Reply

    Doesn’t Allen usually draw a double team in games? If Johnson had to go one on one, that is a difficult challenge.

  17. By Arrow86 on Aug 4, 2011 | Reply

    @Mike B: Doesn’t Ayodele from the Saints play nose tackle as well as LeTroy Guion. Pat Williams was a special player who do to age and injury was an adequate player last season, (In my opinion.) The team needs to replace and upgrade with younger players when they can. Look at how the Pat’s cycle out players who still have a couple good years left so they can get younger, and cut salary, and stay at the top.

  18. By Arrow86 on Aug 4, 2011 | Reply

    If S Chris Adingupu ends up having to cover WR Devin Aromashodu, I don’t envy the Viking coaches with having to articulate their last names in the heat of the battle!

  19. By DuaneN on Aug 4, 2011 | Reply

    I don’t remember Allen getting doubled that much. Could be wrong though.

    Was nice to hear McNabb critizing his footwork and saying he worked on it. Offense might be pretty good. Wish I had the same faith in the D.

  20. By DuaneN on Aug 4, 2011 | Reply

    I’m glad McKinnie is gone but we shouldn’t expect Johnson to be really good.

  21. By Mike B on Aug 4, 2011 | Reply

    I see the vikings are interested in Floyd but so are 5 other teams.

  22. By Titus on Aug 4, 2011 | Reply

    Way to go Vikings! Watch out Packers! Berrian is a force.

  23. By Brad on Aug 4, 2011 | Reply

    nice job mike, love the updates. glad kyle rudolph looks like a good draft pick

  24. By Arrow86 on Aug 4, 2011 | Reply

    Rich Eisen of NFL network was interviewing Jason Bateman who is a football fan in LA. Bateman asked when LA would have a team. Eisen believes they’ll have one new stadium for two teams to play in. The plan is for the Raiders to move south. The Rams would relocate back to LA and possibly the Chargers would then be moved into St. Louis. Granted, Eisen is a commentator but he went further in saying the Vikings won’t be going anywhere. I still believe something will get done for the Vikings. About 10 years ago I sat at a Twins game with about 7,500 of my closest friends even though they announced attendance at about 15,000. The Twins were losing night after night and I didn’t believe they were going to ever get a stadium. The economy is definitely rough as today’s 500 point market drop will attest, but Minnesota is Minnesota and people will find a solution to this issue.

  25. By Arrow86 on Aug 4, 2011 | Reply

    I see both Witner and Braylon Edwards have both signed with the Niners. I think the Vikes have confidence in what they have, but watching for affordable upgrades.

  26. By Woodboat on Aug 5, 2011 | Reply

    Hey Wobs, just wanted to balance out the few commenters that ridiculed the eye test portion of the blog. Just because they don’t get it, they bash it. The eye test sounds like the guys that stood out in practice. Its nothing more than that, so give Mike a break.

    Who did Berrian outplay for the ball. It was Asher Allen, wasn’t it. :p

  27. By celticvikingwarrior on Aug 5, 2011 | Reply

    @ Wobs; PLEASE, and I mean NO DISRESPECT when I say this, HOWEVER everyone and their Mother knows that Harvin, Greenway, A.P. etc. in other words MOST of the vets, and ESPECIALLY the “STARS” are going to “pass the eye test”, just about every time, and I appreciate the comments. That being said what I , and I’m fairly sure everyone else wants to know is how are the ROOKIE DRAFT PICKS AND PERHAPS EVEN MORE SO THE ROOKIE FREE AGENTS DOING, (as well as vet f/a’s) I want to hear how guy’s like WR ANDRE HOLMES, THE O-LINEMEN AND NEW SAFTIES ARE DOING !!!!! THROW US A BONE ON GUYS WE HAVN’T SEEN PLAY FOR X-AMOUNT OF YEARS, PLEASE !!!!!!!!!!!!!

  28. By Daniel on Aug 5, 2011 | Reply

    Everyone! We need to push for a trade for Taylor Mays! We need the guy and would fit perfect here. Mays for saftey!

  29. By Carl K on Aug 5, 2011 | Reply

    Johnson’s first day in pads and first day matched up 1on1 with J. Allen.
    That would be a tough day at the office for anyone.

    Working agianst Allen everyday should make C Johnson better. Give him a chance to grow into the position.

  30. By Ricky on Aug 5, 2011 | Reply

    Dear Coach Frazier,
    I want the Vikings to win. I would also like a new Vikings calendar. Please beat them! I want Adrian Pederson to run really fast! I want the Vikings to win twice! Good luck as the season begins!

  31. By Parody on Aug 5, 2011 | Reply

    I want the Vikings to win twice!

    Wow Ricky, really setting the bar low…

  32. By Andy on Aug 5, 2011 | Reply

    I hope the Vikings are looking very seriously at Taylor Mays. I wanted this kid last year but the Vikes passed him up and took Chris Cook and Toby Gerhart. With the proper coaching this guy could be special! He has incredible closing speed and is tough. I hope they find a way since our safety’s are the weakest link on the team.

  33. By 2pertues on Aug 5, 2011 | Reply

    What’s with the man crushin’ on Taylor Mays. There is a reason he dropped like a lead balloon on draft day. Great measurables, but cannot cover at all. Great speed but is late to the play. Doesn’t read the play quick enough. The year before he was drafted, the experts had him a top 5 lock. Every team could have had him in the 1st round but had seen enough on tape. Went 49th overall and now the 9ers’ are already shopping him. No thanks.

  34. By sandiamond on Aug 6, 2011 | Reply

    Pagac presser suggests that will have to settle for what we have @ S. at least we got rid of M.Williams to the fans delight but didn’t grab an elite S in free agency or the draft. We are loaded at CB compared to years past so this might balance out the safety issue

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