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Fans Pack Blakeslee Stadium For Saturday Night Practice

Posted by Mike Wobschall on August 6, 2011 – 8:50 pm

An overflow crowd packed Blakeslee Stadium on the campus of Minnesota State University, Mankato to watch the Vikings conduct a spirited 2.5-hour practice on Saturday night. The unofficial estimate is that Saturday night’s crowd was the largest-ever for a Vikings Saturday night training camp practice.

Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier addressed the crowd immediately after the practice and thanked the fans for their support. Frazier also met with the media after practice and reiterated how much he values the tremendous fan support the Vikings receive in Mankato.

Frazier also said he was pleased with the tempo of practice and is encouraged by the fact that the team is getting a little bit better each day. As is typically the case this early in training camp, the defense is ahead of the offense, which is something Frazier probably enjoys a little because he was this team’s defensive coordinator. But Frazier also knows that the offense will catch up eventually, especially after they install more of their playbook.

“You almost expect that early in camp,” Frazier said. “As our offense puts more things in, they’ll catch up in that regard. In most cases, that’s the way it is. Early in camp the defense is usually a little bit ahead.”

A few mini-scrums broke out in practice, which is probably to be expected after nearly a full week of practicing against the same guys day-in and day-out. Frazier said he doesn’t mind a small breakout here and there, as long as it ends quickly and players aren’t doing things that would result in a personal foul in a game.

“I think it was good tonight,” Frazier said of the physicality. “We still have some other things we want to get done. There’s a fine line between being real physical in practice and taking people to the ground, but yet getting them to be ready to tackle in games because you don’t want injuries. But I think we’re doing the right things and we’re being smart about what we’re doing.”

A few notes from practice…
– The defense is ahead of the offense, but I can’t say enough about how well the Vikings first-team front seven is playing. LBs Chad Greenway and E.J. Henderson are playing particularly well. I’m anxious to see how DT Remi Ayodele continues to fit in as well. He’s looked better each practice and could be a force for the Vikings in the run game.

– On the offensive side, WR Michael Jenkins and TE Kyle Rudolph continue to stand out among the pass-catchers and they were particularly good on Saturday night. Jenkins is sure-handed and strong and will be a factor for the Vikings in the passing game this year. He’s versatile because he can stretch the field on the outside and he’s as good or better at catching intermediate passes in the middle of the field. Rudolph seems to have a knack for wiggling open down the seam and he, too, can make catches in traffic with defenders draped all over him.

– Primary returners tonight included Stephen Burton, Jaymar Johnson and Cord Parks on punts and Lorenzo Booker and Percy Harvin with kickoffs.

– Passing the eye test tonight were: DEs Jared Allen and Everson Griffen, WR Michael Jenkins and TE Kyle Rudolph. I already explained how well Jenkins and Rudolph are playing, but Allen and Griffen are a big part of why the Vikings front seven is playing so well right now. Both guys were constantly in the backfield being disruptive.


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40 Responses to “Fans Pack Blakeslee Stadium For Saturday Night Practice”

  1. By Brandon on Aug 6, 2011 | Reply

    Michael Jenkins does NOT stretch the field. Look at the guy’s production for pete’s sake. However, he might be able to make an impact because Bernard Berrian is soft.

  2. By Daniel on Aug 6, 2011 | Reply

    Griffen WILL out do Robinson. He Will beat him out. Rudolph Will take the RT TE and Shank LT TE. Here is our problem though. Its Saftey. We need to pick up Taylor Mays and Fast. The guys potential is through the roof. PICK THIS GUY UP VIKES! Saftey and ROLB are weak spots that will hurt us.

  3. By Scott on Aug 6, 2011 | Reply

    At 6’4″ and around 225 I can see M Jenkings “strenching the field. Just because you didn’t have opportunities in the past doesn’t mean he will not this year. I also think that M. Ryan had a superior weapon to throw to last year that he went that way …a lot.

  4. By Andy on Aug 6, 2011 | Reply

    From what little I saw last year of Everson Griffen you could see his god given ability. I think as this guy matures he will keep getting better and better. He has a great burst off the edge and I hope he see’s his share of chances this season. Stay clean off the field Everson!!!!!!!

  5. By Brad Childress' Mustache on Aug 6, 2011 | Reply

    I’m concerned about left defensive tackle. Is Pat Williams coming back? Is Letroy Guin going ever going to be a player, a starter? Also, should Everson Griffin turn out to be great and needs to be on the field, since he’s blocked by Jared Allen, can he play left defensive end? I’m rooting hard for Cedric Grifin to make it all the way back, but acl injuries on both legs are tough! Wow, I really hope he can do it. Please let us know how Mistral Raymond is doing? And is Tyrrel Johnson ever going to be a good strong safety or have his concussions made him fearful of contact?

  6. By ScotishVike on Aug 6, 2011 | Reply

    Glad to see that these Free Agents weren’t picked in vain and that the rookies and young guns seem to be causing disruptions and making plays. This is how Packers build their team so hopefully we’ll be in the big game soon.To see more posts on Vikings WR and D-Line and other rookies VIKINGSDAILY.COM has been a great resource to use to find stories from sites you normally wouldn’t check.

  7. By Steve on Aug 6, 2011 | Reply

    The biggest problems is the offensive line. Sullivan is terrible. The new left tackle had tons of issues. Loadholt did not look good and we don’t have a RG. This is the biggest weakenss and they better go get Krutz and 2 more offensive lineman.

  8. By ohio on Aug 6, 2011 | Reply

    Would like to know how much Mike Singletary is impacting on the LB core.

  9. By Parody on Aug 6, 2011 | Reply

    I’m going to have to disagree with Wobby a little on this one. I was at Mankato for the evening practice, and I was rather disappointed with my first impression of Jenkins. A couple of times, he dropped throws that should have been relatively easy, and he never did anything to wow me.

    I also didn’t notice Griffen in the backfield much, but on more than one occasion I saw Robison cause the play to be blown dead before the QB got the ball out. On one such play, the QB threw it anyways and E.J. Henderson grabbed an INT, which he trotted into the endzone with to please the crowd.

    I do agree that Rudolph looks like he was getting some good work done, and he will quickly become a valuable piece of this offense. On the other side of the spectrum, Berrian and Shiancoe were less than impressive, since I noticed a drop at least once from each of them.

    My biggest concern is the offensive line. In the 11-on-11 drills, they seemed to collapse immediately, and would have been giving up a lot of sacks if they were playing the real thing. These guys need to get it together fast or we could be in for another long season.

    The biggest surprise of the evening was from an undrafted free agent WR named Dominique Johnson, who was sporting RIce’s old number. He made a few acrobatic catches near the sideline, or while fighting a defender for position. It may be a long shot for him to make the team, but he was definitely the standout of the evening practice from where I was sitting 3-rows back in the bleachers (which happens to be as close as I’ve ever been to a professional sporting event).

  10. By Mike B on Aug 6, 2011 | Reply

    I am not sure what the issues are with the OL but a reminder to all they are playing against two probowl DL. They need time to gel. Lets wait till second preseason game see how they are doing. They just lost a vet at LT it may take a bit to gel together.

  11. By Mike B on Aug 6, 2011 | Reply

    Looks like we have a crop of eagar WR. It’s going to be a tough call to determine who stays and who goes. I am glad I don’t have to make that choice. You have to figure Harvin Jenkins and Berian have the starting jobs. That leaves 2 spots left.
    Talking about WR how about the TE position. Are the Vikings going to keep 4 TEs. I figure Dugan is the odd man out. What do you all think?

  12. By Parody on Aug 7, 2011 | Reply

    @Mike B = I agree that Dugan has never really done anything worthy on mention, but he is a much cheaper option than our #3 TE, Jim Kleinsasser, who is currently set to earn $3mil for the season. I hate to say it, but if it comes down to a salary issue, Kleinsasser is likely to be the odd man out.

    Of course, Shaincoe is in the final year of his contract, so there is the potential of signing him to a cost effective lone term extension, but I don’t know how realistic that is. Does anybody have an idea of what kind of salary a good receiving TE is worth these days?

  13. By Ham on Aug 7, 2011 | Reply

    @Brad Childress’ Mustache

    Remi whatshisface has looked good and I believe he’ll be able to fill Pat’s 2 down run stopping role, I hope he’ll be able to draw double teams. Guion wouldn’t fit well there, he’s more of an under tackle like Kevin (only not as good). You could play him or other pass rushers in an obvious passing situation next to Kevin, though.

  14. By CA Norwegian on Aug 7, 2011 | Reply

    @Parody Dugan was an effective run blocker. I was thinking it was worth mentioning he stopped a pick 6, by chasing down a corner/safety from behind and tackling him like a backer.(fins or jets) But he will be gone, I think. They talked up Kliensasser in some interviews about how the senior vet is important in developing the young players. Keep the Sasser. Go get better OL.

  15. By Woodboat on Aug 7, 2011 | Reply

    Go get, go get, go get… hey guys, I don’t think we are going to see the Vikes “go get” any other players that we are going to get excited about. When the other teams start trimming their rosters, its not like they are going to start cutting top notch lineman or DBs. If you want to trade for them, you have to give the other team value, either in picks or players. Personally, I don’t think that this team is that close to being a Superbowl contender that you should give up future high draft picks to get a piece.

    I’ll be happy to see the O-Line gel and our DBs stay healthy. I think they’ve done a good job with the D Line, with bringing in WRs and Rudolph to make us forget about Rice leaving, and addressing our QB position. I don’t know that Johnson won’t be better than McKinnie… from the sounds of things, McKinnie wasn’t going to be able to get it done anyway.

    One of the young guys should be able to step up and play at least as well as Leber, so we didn’t lose strength at LB.

    All in all, I think that our team is on the practice field. Lets just hope that the coaching staff can mold them into a top notch squad.

  16. By cheffrey on Aug 7, 2011 | Reply

    I want Pat Williams back for 1 more season!

  17. By the4norsemen on Aug 7, 2011 | Reply

    First of all, Robison is a speed freak beast! He has done his due time on the bench and playing in situational modes. Every play he was in last year caused major disruption. And he can do what Edwards didn’t do and that is to take advantage of Allen’s & Williams’ double teams. No question Griffin is young and talented but he should be best used for situational plays this year.
    Second, @ Steve, you are a few days late and a few dollars short, Kreutz got signed last week by the Saints!
    Finally @ Parody, are you Serious??? Kleinsausage is still the best blocking FB/TE in the game!!! He should be used as such this year. All the hi-light films from camp that I have seen so far this year where AP breaks free, Kleinsausage is opening the door for him in one way or another. I strongly feel if he is used that way this year, AP will get close to the 2,000 yd mark!!! Not taking anything away from Dugan but he doesn’t have the instinct and veteran knowledge like the Sauce does. JK is Well worth the $$ and we NEED him definitly!!!!
    On a WR note, I would really like to see us keep 6 WRs and Jaymar and Arceneaux make it!!!

  18. By sandiamond on Aug 7, 2011 | Reply

    wow Fraz indicating 3 WR slots close to lock up. That only leaves two left. That 7th round pick wr is probably gone and the ex-cfl guy will have a tough time making the roster

  19. By Carl Brodin on Aug 7, 2011 | Reply

    Yes i agree with the 4norseman we should keep 6 WR and that Jaymar Johnson and Arceneaux should make it. We also have quite the battle at CB. We should field a good defensive back field this year at least at CB. S however is a concern as is the offensive line. 3 Tight ends should be all we need unfortunately that means Dugan is the odd man out. I agree with who ever said lets give the offensive line until after the 2nd preseason game to have time to gell as a unit.

  20. By Parody on Aug 7, 2011 | Reply

    @the4norsemen – You don’t need to sell me on Kleinsasser. I’ve been a fan of his since he was a fullback with us. I’m just saying that $3mil for the #3 TE is a tough sell when you’re trying to find any way you can to get under the salary cap.

    I don’t know how close they are to bringing the roster under the cap, but I’d be one of the happier people in here if they kept the flyingsaucer and let Dugan get abducted by another team.

  21. By Frederick Jones on Aug 7, 2011 | Reply

    @Parody,

    But you are right, financially it probably makes since to trade or even cut Kleinsasser. The sausage probably only has a few years left anyway.

    What other players are on the bubble like that?

    There may be some bigger SURPRISES coming up yet. Where do we have excess? Probably the DLine, WRs, and QB.

  22. By Frederick Jones on Aug 7, 2011 | Reply

    My vote for the top NEW NAME on the Vikings.com Blog:

    Odin”s One Good Eye…..lol :) :) :)

    I do have a pick for the Worst New Name, but I don’t want to make any
    more enemies.

    I will say that any Blog Name with Brad Childress’s name or any thing close is in bad taste. Why are we rehashing the past? I want to forget 2010 ! ! !

    I’m betting Coach Childress would like to forget it more than any of us.

  23. By Titus on Aug 7, 2011 | Reply

    This sentence is incorrect.

    As is typically the case this early in training camp, the defense is ahead of the offense, which is something Frazier probably enjoys a little because he was this team’s defensive coordinator.

  24. By Mike B on Aug 7, 2011 | Reply

    There are those players that the core of the team. I think that cutting Kliensasser would cause a real morale issue in the Vikings Vet core. The coach is obviously looking at this and it is a tough to choose which players will stay and which will go. I am also sure having Pat Williams just hanging on the Free Agent list is tough also. The vets accepted Big Mac’s cut since Mac choose not to get into shape. I think there would be a big morale let down cutting Kliensasser. Just my opinion.

  25. By Mike B on Aug 7, 2011 | Reply

    I have another question for everyone will they keep 4 QBs through the season? Do they cut one of these guys? Do they assign Webb as a WR? Then it goes back to question on which WRs get cut. Your thoughts?

  26. By Mike B on Aug 7, 2011 | Reply

    I don’t think a trade is possible for Kleinsasser. He is at the end of his career and he never was a top catching TE. I am not sure there is any value for another team there.

  27. By Parody on Aug 7, 2011 | Reply

    If a 4th QB is kept, he’ll be a practice squadder. I don’t see any value in hanging onto Bomar anyways. We’ll still have three guys on the team who each have their own crowd of Vikings fans that believe they should be the starter. How many teams can really say that they have 3 potential starters at QB? The Eagles did for a little while with McNabb, Vick and Kolb. Now I think that we’re the only ones. Because of that, there is no value in keeping a 4th QB, even if they play with Webb’s position. He can always be switched back to QB if a need arises.

  28. By Mike B on Aug 7, 2011 | Reply

    @Parody The Vikings have had bad luck getting QBs to the practice squad. They have to be availible on the open market for so long before they go to the squad. I was wondering if Frazier will want to risk it.

  29. By Parody on Aug 7, 2011 | Reply

    @Mike B – How much risk is there? What do we lose if another team snätches up Bomar before he gets to the practice squad? We already have two young guys on the team with a lot of potential at QB. I think we’ll be better off saving the roster spot to increase depth at another position with one of the versatile players on the team.

  30. By Andy on Aug 7, 2011 | Reply

    I remember a guy named Cris Carter who played 3 years for Phili, then came to the Vikings and will land in Canton (hopefully next time around). A career is what you make of it. You dont need to be the fastest or smartest, so it is all up to Mr Jenkins as to how far he goes. Good Luck! SKOL

  31. By Parody on Aug 7, 2011 | Reply

    Just found another obscure word that the site considers “naughty”!

    Encarta Dictionary
    Snätch – Verb. To take something quickly.
    Urban Dictionary
    Snätch – Noun. The second most horrific sounding nickname for the human female’s genitals (after cünt).

    Is anyone else fed up with the communist regimen that is being forced upon us through the sensoring of our daily media? How are we damaged by hearing or reading specific words? For those who argue that it is protecting the children from being damaged by graphic words, I view each and every one of you as a poor and lazy parent. Instead of censoring what the entire country is allowed to see, hear, type and say, just sensor your own child. Too many people plop their child in front of the TV or computer and expect their values to be presented via the media technology, instead of teaching it themselves. Let’s be realistic people. It doesn’t matter how much you censor the media. If you are unwilling to personally teach values to your child, they will grow up without them.

  32. By Carl K on Aug 7, 2011 | Reply

    @Mike B- I like Bomar, but he will not beat out Webb or Ponder for the #3 QB job. Bomar was on the Giant’s practice squad for most of the year last year… I think he will land on our practice squad this year.

    I think if Bomar has another good preseason, he will be one of the better practice squad QB on the market. yes we could lose him but that is no reason to keep 4 QB on the roster. That roster spot might be needed to keep Kleinsasage.

  33. By Carl K on Aug 7, 2011 | Reply

    @ parody – You need to wash you mouth out with soap right now!

    and spray your keyboard with disinfectant!

  34. By Ted Brown 23 on Aug 7, 2011 | Reply

    Just got back from Mankato.God, I love football and this time of the year. SKOL VIKINGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  35. By Arrow86 on Aug 7, 2011 | Reply

    Since we seem to have a high number of receivers in camp, my hope is that most will show they can be a qualtiy starter in the league if given a chance. After a few pre-season games other teams will possibly see them as a good fit for their system, then we could possibly work a trade with a team with a quality O-lineman or secondary player that won’t fit the numbers game for the other team.

    Heck, I think the Vikes claimed Chris Carter for $100 off waivers from Philly. I’d still give $100 just to see him play in a 1 on 1 matchup with Deion Sanders and we could let Shaun Salsbury throw the ball!

  36. By Arrow86 on Aug 7, 2011 | Reply

    Do we have any players off of last years practice squad who are standing out and making some plays in camp so far?

    @Ted Brown 23 your comment has me pumped up right now! Thanks.

  37. By Arrow86 on Aug 7, 2011 | Reply

    @Parody: Bomar on the practice squad could be valuable. Last year, I thought I saw Y.A. Tittle take a few snaps from center for the Vikes. Depth is always valuable. The Packers had horrific injuries last year, but the next guy stepped up. If we have positions on our team where the next guy can’t step up and do a quality job, then we need to move some people.

  38. By CA Norwegian on Aug 8, 2011 | Reply

    Are Mckinney’s or Chris K’s bands worth listening to? Hopefully we can get one to do the national anthem, or halftime sounds. Even slow Mckinney could be his own stage crew.

  39. By Ted Brown 23 on Aug 8, 2011 | Reply

    I heard Rosen on SPORTS SUNDAY say Rhett Bomar got a D.U.I. saturday night in Mankato. See you later Rhett.

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