Senior Bowl Update: Vikings Coaches Taking Advantage Of Opportunity

Posted by Mike Wobschall on January 25, 2012 – 4:55 pm

All of the attention this week in Mobile, Alabama during Senior Bowl practices is on this group of senior football players, as it should be. This is their time to shine, in front of hundreds of NFL coaches, scouts and GMs, and with no underclassmen present to steal the spotlight.

But given that Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier and his staff are heading up the North squad this year, and given the intensity with which the Vikings staff is coaching, I wanted to take a quick moment to acknowledge the effort and hard work Coach Frazier’s group has committed to this week and to this North squad.

I wrote a full piece on this subject, which you can view by clicking here. But I also wanted to share one highlight of the story here with Blog readers.

An example of a Vikings coach taking advantage of the opportunity to coach in the Senior Bowl and get the most out of these senior football players with the NFL draft just 3 months away is DBs coach Joe Woods, who has been with the club since 2006. Some coaches motivate and instruct subtly, some are more vocal and boisterous. Woods doesn’t blur the line – he’s one of the team’s most vocal coaches, and that makes it easy and fun to watch him at work with his players.

Woods actually was in quite the fish bowl during Wednesday’s practice as he worked with the North squad’s DBs during the individual drills portion of the workout. He was working with his players on changing direction, especially on the art of players shifting their body weight from one direction to the other as they responded to instructions from Woods during the drill. As Woods barked out instructions and his players labored through the drill, a rather large crowd of distinguished NFL personalities gathered to watch.

To one side was Pittsburgh Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin, who worked with Woods in 2006 on the Vikings staff and before that in Tampa Bay. Standing next to Tomlin was Atlanta Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff. On the other side of the drill was Seattle Seahawks Head Coach Pete Carroll, a former Vikings defensive backs coach as well. And standing behind the drill watching from the NFL Network set was Mike Mayock, a former defensive back himself and one of the top NFL draft and college football analysts in the country.

Certainly these individuals were not gathered to watch how an assistant coach conducted the drill, that’s not the point. They were gathered to watch the talented crop of individuals that comprise the North squad’s DBs group. But while Tomlin, Dimitroff, Carroll and Mayock watched those players, they were also subjected to the passionate style with which Woods coaches, not just here in Mobile but also back with the Vikings on a daily basis during the season and during the offseason program.

I’m not the only one noticing the excellent job Frazier and his staff are doing with this year’s North team.

“The Minnesota coaches are real,” Nebraska cornerback Alfonzo Denard told the Star Tribune’s Dan Wiederer earlier in the week. “Coach Frazier put a lot of fire in our eyes. I like the way he talks. He let us know this was a big step and that we need to go hard every play all day long to stand out.”

The North squad players are not the only individuals standing out. Frazier and his staff are standing out as a passionate and talented group of coaches. Coming off a 3-13 season, the Vikings have a lot of holes to fill on the roster and a lot of improvement to make overall during the offseason.

If their performance during Senior Bowl practices this week is any indication, the Vikings coaching staff is already hard at work.

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Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 68 Comments »

68 Responses to “Senior Bowl Update: Vikings Coaches Taking Advantage Of Opportunity”

  1. By Swedish Viking on Jan 25, 2012 | Reply

    Maybe they’ll find some diamonds in the rough.

  2. By Rocksalt on Jan 25, 2012 | Reply

    hopefully they will take advantage of SOMETHING!

  3. By Spencer on Jan 25, 2012 | Reply

    Another blog?

  4. By OTKalil2012 on Jan 25, 2012 | Reply

    Go get em Les !!!…Good to hear postive impressions are being had…From players and the coaching staff…DE Couples sure hasn’t sparked any interest in this fan watching him at the senior bowl practices…OL Glen sure is being talked about…And from what I have seen…There is good reason for all the praise…Good solid player…

  5. By Mike B. on Jan 25, 2012 | Reply

    Watch out for Fred he is making up his own story on what he considers bogus about the St L Rams. The Rams did in fact pick a OT in the first round 2009 and a OT the second round in 2010. You can check these yourself. These two picks didn’t give the Ram a winning season. So since that kicks Fred’s assumption in the teeth, he is calling it bogus. Check for yourself. Don’t let Fred dictate that we need to pick this or that. In fact he has no say in it at all. Be happy we get a good OT, WR, or CB in the first round.

  6. By Mike B. on Jan 25, 2012 | Reply

    Sounds like Spielman might be shopping QBs too.

  7. By Mike B. on Jan 25, 2012 | Reply

    Roger Safford OT and Jason Smith OT for the Rams 2010 round 2 pick and 2009 round 1 pick.

  8. By Spencer on Jan 25, 2012 | Reply

    SPIELMAN IN LATE APRIL ABOUT DRAFTING OLs and DBs high in the draft!!!

    This is reminder #29

    “Show me a good loser, and I’ll show you a loser period.”
    Harry Peter “Bud” Grant

    Dont mind me, Im just trollin’ like Fred.
    -Copy Paste Copy Paste Copy Paste Copy Paste Copy Paste Copy Paste Copy Paste Copy Paste Copy Paste Copy Paste Copy Paste Copy Paste Copy Paste Copy Paste Copy Paste Copy Paste Copy Paste Copy Paste Copy Paste Copy Paste Copy Paste Copy Paste Copy Paste Copy Paste Copy Paste Copy Paste Copy Paste Copy Paste Copy Paste Copy Paste Copy Paste Copy Paste Copy Paste Copy Paste Copy Paste Copy Paste

  9. By Parody on Jan 25, 2012 | Reply

    I just watched Spielman’s latest video, and it sounded as if he was very interested in trading out of the #3 spot. Among the things he said: “We’re going to be getting a very good player at #3, if we stay there.

  10. By Mike B. on Jan 25, 2012 | Reply

    I think the deal is assuming the Rams don’t trade down to #4 Meaning Luck and RG3 will be one and two. At that point there isn’t a real trade value there.

  11. By Mike B. on Jan 25, 2012 | Reply

    Rams are holding the wildcard Do they pick Kalil at #2 or trade down so someone can get RG3. I am betting they trade down leaving the vikings with not much trade value at #3.

  12. By Mike B. on Jan 25, 2012 | Reply

    Actually the Colts hold the card too they pick Luck #1 and trade Manning for a second first round pick.

  13. By Parody on Jan 25, 2012 | Reply

    Mike – If you’re referring to the same video I am, I think he was just trying to hide his hand, while giving a subtle note to the current players who took part in the 3-13 season that nobody has a guaranteed position. I know Spielman has made some pretty questionable moves in the draft in recent years, but I highly doubt that he’d do something that suicidal.

  14. By Spencer on Jan 25, 2012 | Reply

    Which WR are we most likely gonna target in FA?

  15. By Mike B. on Jan 25, 2012 | Reply

    @Parody True True but the Colts and Rams pick before we do.

  16. By Parody on Jan 25, 2012 | Reply

    Interesting story about Peyton:

    Apparantly, the contract he signed has a clause in it that allows the Colts to decide whether the contract will continue after this year. With every expert certain that the Colts will, without question, draft Luck with the first overall pick, it sounds like it would be pure insanity for the Colts to exersize the option to complete the contract with Manning. The bonus he’d receive is so high that even if they traded Manning, over 20% of their cap would be spent on a QB who plays for a different team.

    Luck is be advertised as ready to take a team to the playoffs right now, and if they keep Manning, the Colts would be on the hook to pay him a big contract for the next 4-years. So look for Manning to become a free agent within about a month or so, and watch which team he chooses to round out his career with.

  17. By Mike B. on Jan 25, 2012 | Reply

    Good info Parody Thanks

  18. By Parody on Jan 25, 2012 | Reply

    Mike – I know they pcik first, and right now I’m betting that the Rams trade down so the Browns or Redskins can take RG3. But if they decide to stay put and take Kalil, it sounds like Spielman will be looking to add some picks to our draft. I’m getting more and more anxious for draft day to come around so I can see how it all plays out.

  19. By TITUS on Jan 25, 2012 | Reply

    I can see it now– Peyton in Purple.

  20. By Parody on Jan 25, 2012 | Reply

    I’m curois about the choices that have been made for players to feature in the Senior Bowl videos. Players such as Quinton Coples. He’s a DE who’s projected to go early in the first round. Do we really need to even think about another DE? We have the best in the NFL, a solid starter on the other side of him, and two good young backups. Also, LB Courtney Upshaw, who’s a top-20 projection got an entire video devoted to his interview. I know we have questions at LB this year, but a first-rounder should definitely not be a consideration to handle it unless we get some more picks. How come there aren’t more videos on OLinemen, DBs and WRs?

  21. By Rudso on Jan 25, 2012 | Reply

    I can see it now, Peyton in Purple……………on his back with a broken neck after Mathews sacks him. LOL

    I was hoping the Vikings would coach the North side, they have much more stars but I guess this might help us score on some sleepers and late rounders.

  22. By Spencer on Jan 25, 2012 | Reply

    Not that funny Rudso.

  23. By Parody on Jan 25, 2012 | Reply

    I could really use a late round score followed by a good sleeper…

  24. By TITUS on Jan 25, 2012 | Reply

    Yeah, Rudso, some things are not to be joked about.

  25. By TITUS on Jan 25, 2012 | Reply

    Spencer, do you think we should look for a quarterback?

  26. By Spencer on Jan 25, 2012 | Reply

    Not yet..I need to see more of Ponder before I make my final decison. You?

  27. By TITUS on Jan 25, 2012 | Reply

    No, I think it would be a mistake on Ponder’s psyche to draft another QB.

  28. By TITUS on Jan 25, 2012 | Reply

    And to think, we may be playing outdoors in the elements the next three years!

  29. By TITUS on Jan 25, 2012 | Reply



  30. By Mike B. on Jan 25, 2012 | Reply

    I am happy the possible speculation that the team will move out of MN will be done. Vikings need to stay in MN. Barroooohh

  31. By Mike B. on Jan 25, 2012 | Reply

    I will agree with Parody. The Colts would rather cut Manning or have him sign or renegotiate his contract. The top end of contracts are made very high and usually the player must renegotiate or move on. I am thinking that Hutch’s contract is very high in comparison to his play. There could be a renegotiation there. I also question if any of the UFA on the Vikings list will be resigned. What do you all think?

  32. By olmstedviking on Jan 25, 2012 | Reply

    peyton in purple? haven’t we been down this road before ?another veteran qb finishing his career in mn. it’s about time the vikings get it right and rebuild this team with young talent with long term potential.

  33. By DeerTracks on Jan 25, 2012 | Reply

    What is this?? Another guy named Joe performing a great job…Will he be set in a corner also??….

  34. By animal26 on Jan 25, 2012 | Reply

    I disagree Mike B. The Vikings should keep Hutch. He may be getting up their in years and he is due a big payday, but still. He is still able to play at a high level and would be a great Teacher for Matt Kalil.

  35. By Matthias on Jan 26, 2012 | Reply

    Vikings signed a new LB: Solomon Elimimian. He was an undrafted free agent playing in the cfl. More infos at

  36. By Matthias on Jan 26, 2012 | Reply

    PS.: He was awarded with the hardest hitter emblem!

  37. By Tim on Jan 26, 2012 | Reply

    Does anybody think that Fred Evens is good enough to start at DT next season or should the Vikings trade him or some thing like that.

  38. By Parody on Jan 26, 2012 | Reply

    If you’re talking about Joe Woods, hold back on the praise. He has been our DB coach. That’s an area of the team that many have labeled as the weakest over the past decade. Whether it’s because of weak coaching or weak players, I can’t say. But this year he had second-round picks in Griffen, Cook and Tyrell Johnson, and a third-round pick in Allen, all of whom should be playing better by this point in their career than they have over the past couple of years. Winfield has been good when healthy, but his performance is dropping. Also, the second rounder Madieu WIlliams busted out only a year ago.

    The rest of the crop he’s had to work with this year have been late rounders, but they’ve been producing just about as well as the early rounders when they get the chance to start…so maybe he’s only good enough to get improvement out of players who have a longer road to walk?

  39. By Parody on Jan 26, 2012 | Reply

    Tim – Evans is an Unrestricted Free Agent this year. He had a chance to show that he could take over the starting role in place of Pat Williams this past year, but I don’t think he produced. He only had 22-tackles in 16-games, and that was a career best. It looks to me like he’s a career backup, and at 28-years old, he’ll be too expensive to re-sign for that role.

  40. By Tim on Jan 26, 2012 | Reply

    Thanks @Parody for the info

  41. By Tim on Jan 26, 2012 | Reply

    SUPER BOWL 46 is gonna be one of the best ever i can feel it in the air tonight Tom Brady and the explosive PATRIOTS offense against Justin Tuck and the Ruthless New York GIANTS Defense get the pizza & B*ER out next Sunday because this one will be Epic.

  42. By Rogerthevikefan on Jan 26, 2012 | Reply

    Michigan DT Mike Martin can fill Fred Evans role early on and later fill Big Pat’s void and he should be around in the 4th-5th round range. Draft a CB early 2nd round either CB Stephon Gilmore, Janoris Jenkins, or Chase Minnifield. Then draft another CB in the 4th-5th round like Josh Norman or Cliff Harris. Asher Allen and Ced Griffin should go away. While Winfield is getting to old and injuries are starting to pile up.

  43. By Rogerthevikefan on Jan 26, 2012 | Reply

    Vikings LT Charlie Johnson is the reason Peyton Manning has had to have 4 neck surgeries. He can not be allowed to protect Ponder’s blindside. There are 3 LT in this Draft Matt Kalil(lacks elite Run Blocking ability), Riley Reiff(Best OT), and Andrew Datko(2nd Best). Last year Datko allowed only 1 sack against Ponder. Datko has had a shoulder injury and that is why his draft stock is so uncertain. 2nd-4th round is likely landing spot.

  44. By DRS on Jan 26, 2012 | Reply

  45. By ozzinator on Jan 26, 2012 | Reply

    lol Nova on the previous blog.
    You can land a helicopter on Howie Long’s head, lolololololol

  46. By ozzinator on Jan 26, 2012 | Reply

    From KSTP’s website:

    A key state lawmaker says Racino is still on the table with electronic pull tabs.

    Racino supporters say Racino gaming could bring in $130 million a year for the state.

    If Racino gambling is approved by the legislature it would clear the path for 2,000 slot machines at two horse tracks, Canterbury Park and Running Aces.

    John Derus, lobbyist for Running Aces, tells 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS, the slot machines could be in place, plugged in and running at both tracks, in less than a month after a bill is passed and signed by Gov. Mark Dayton.

    State Sen. Julie Rosen, (R) Fairmont, says Racino gambling and electronic pull tabs are still being considered as funding sources for the state’s $300 million portion of a new Vikings stadium.

    Derus says, not only can the slot machines be in place in thirty days, but the state already has regulators on site at each track and the gambling money could start flowing into state coffers immediately. And, Derus says, the best part of a Racino bill for voters, is taxpayers do not have to spend a penny on it, if they don’t want to.

  47. By OTKalil2012 on Jan 26, 2012 | Reply

    So why is Arden Hills out of the stadium hunt…If a Racino bill is passed…A State funded gambling bill that would make more than enough money a year to fund the stadium where ever they wanted plus Target center renovations…I guess the Mpls favored site politicians only see gambling as viable….Only if the stadium is built in Mpls…

  48. By Parody on Jan 26, 2012 | Reply

    Arden Hills has been shot down because the gambling bill would pay the state’s portion of the stadium. The proposal for Arden Hills also requires the county to contribute about $300 million, which they’re saying the voters in the county wouldn’t allow. They’re certain that the voters would call for a referendum that would get far too many votes against a stadium tax.

  49. By OTKalil2012 on Jan 26, 2012 | Reply

    Parody…Thanks…Forgot that would just allow the states portion on the stadium….And counties would still need to come up with their own funding…

  50. By Shawn on Jan 26, 2012 | Reply

    Anyone think the Wilfs should just build the $800million open air stadium they want in Arden Hill and tell the state to F’ off ? Tell the state since they refuse to help then they cant use the stadium ?

  51. By sandiamond on Jan 26, 2012 | Reply

    North Practice halted today due to tornado watch. CB Alfonzo Dennard out of the game sat with a hip flexor. Josh Norman(coastal carolina) replacement. This kid making a hugh impact on the draft boards and might prove me wrong about tiny college talent!

  52. By Shawn on Jan 26, 2012 | Reply

    Heres how dumb the “leaders” of MN are.

    They built a stadium for the golden gophers the same time the MN Vikings needed a stadium. Yes the Vikings were asking for a stadium when the Gophers got 1. But heres the dumb part …. THE UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA WONT LEAVE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    You thought I was going to bring up Miche’lle Bachman again ( another example of stupidity in MN )

  53. By Parody on Jan 26, 2012 | Reply

    Shawn – That very same argument has perplexed me since the decision was made. The Gophers only “needed” a stadium because the U of M students have been getting too fat to be able to handle a journey that sent them off campus.

    Both the Twins and Gophers built stadiums that have FEWER seats than the Metrodome, which is a strong argument that both teams were in less need of a new stadium than the Vikings.

    As sports teams go, the Vikings are the biggest asset to MN, both by popularity and finacial impact. We need to build them a stadium. I wish the state wouldn’t be so short sighted to keep trying to overcrowd Minneapolis, and allow the team to build out in one of the suburbs. But at this point, knowing how ignorant the people in power are, I’ll be satisfied so long as we find a solution to keep them here.

  54. By Saddy on Jan 26, 2012 | Reply

    What do you guys think about landing Josh Norman in 3rd round, looks like a steal there….He was not even in the radar but he is a good talent from a small school…

    Matt Kalil – OT – 1st Round or Riley Reiff – OT 1st Round
    Dwight Jones or Marvin McNutt – WR 2nd round
    Josh Norman – 3rd Round – CB

    Some Safety – 4th Round
    Mike Martin – DT – 4th compensatory pick

  55. By Spence on Jan 26, 2012 | Reply

    In Cook we trust

  56. By Shawn on Jan 26, 2012 | Reply

    Parody … Yea I thought about mentioning the Twins but I think the Twins make a little more sense than the gophers because the Twins could move. Also the Twins play 80ish home games a year compared to the Vikings 8ish (depending on preseason and playoffs).

  57. By Shawn on Jan 26, 2012 | Reply

    Im not sure if anyone has mentioned this but Minnesota lost the original baseball team they had as well. Ive heard people mention the Lakers and the North Stars but they also lost the original Twins organization long long ago

  58. By Rogerthevikefan on Jan 26, 2012 | Reply

    I said we should draft Josh Norman and sandiamond said it was a bad pick but now supports it. Did you watch the East-West Shrine practices and Game he dominated the practices and played very well. Now he will show at the Senior Bowl that he can compete against top talent. Just because a person played at a lower level in school does not mean that can’t play.

  59. By Rogerthevikefan on Jan 26, 2012 | Reply

    Kids from small schools give 100% effort on every play because they know that they will not get the chances that top school kids would get. Josh Norman will show the Vikings secondary what it means to go all out.

  60. By Viking-ology on Jan 26, 2012 | Reply

    Josh N. could be a good pick in 3rd round. It’s still very early in the procees. alot of things can happen with many players. One thing for sure is, if we don’t make an impact with FA and the draft, we will be looking at another bad season and a new coaching staff.

  61. By Viking-ology on Jan 26, 2012 | Reply

    Lets hope we have a great off-season leading up to the regular season. As loyal fans, no other fan deserves a Superbowl than Viking fans.

  62. By DRS on Jan 26, 2012 | Reply

    When will the first home game at the TCF be? Will ponder and the team be ready for the great outdoors? Have to go, see you all later.

  63. By Parody on Jan 26, 2012 | Reply

    Something just popped into my head this afternoon. Defensive Chaos. With a new coordinator from Indy, our former coordinator accepting a demotion to LB coach, and our head coach as a previous defensive coordinator and claiming that he intends to stay heavily involved with the defense, how much chaos can we expect to see this year? Will it be a similar power struggle as we’ve been harping about with the GM? Having two linebackers coaches, one of whom is also listed as the Assistant head coach, is likely to only add to this chaos…

  64. By Viking-ology on Jan 26, 2012 | Reply

    Ya Parody- it is an odd coaching situation. I am not a big fan of Singletary, so for me that makes matters worse. He will boss Pagac around, and then give Frazier coaching tips…it makes me shudder just thinking about it. I guess we’ll see how it all shakes out.

  65. By Rocksalt on Jan 26, 2012 | Reply

    MN is one of the only states to not receive $$ from the billion dollar indian casino business. …..for some stupid reason MN does not require the indian casinos to share revenues. So MN, LET’S pass legislation for STATE -SPONSORED AND REGULATED(SORRY TEABAGGERS) to FINANCE A STADIUM. We could expect at least 100 mil per year profit………

  66. By Rocksalt on Jan 26, 2012 | Reply

    Singletary is a poor coach. Not all grreat players make good coaches

  67. By Rocksalt on Jan 26, 2012 | Reply

    pagac not good either..should’ve sent him packing……

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