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3 Observations From Saturday’s Practice

Posted by Mike Wobschall on July 28, 2012 – 7:41 pm

The Vikings conducted their second practice of 2012 Verizon Vikings Training Camp on Saturday and worked under ideal weather conditions to do so. The team also saw a spike in attendance on Saturday, as Vikings fans filled the bleachers and the fence line to see their favorite team and, consequently, create a fun buzz in the atmosphere during practice.

The team has yet to practice in pads – that will start on Monday. So it’s hard to draw too many conclusions after two non-padded practices. But it’s not hard to draw observations. Here are three observations from Saturday’s practice…

Tremendous 12
Without question, Percy Harvin has been the most impressive player on the field through the first two practices. He’s been a frequent target of the QBs during team and drill work, and he’s been in the rotation for kickoff return. Harvin has made several go-to-the ground catches so far, and midway through Saturday’s practice he made a catch along the sideline that was as good as you’ll see all of camp.

Leg Work
About three or four minutes into an early period of practice I started paying attention to field #2, where the Vikings specialists – P Chris Kluwe, LS Cullen Loeffler and K Blair Walsh – were working on their own. Loeffler and Kluwe were working together on landing punts inside the 20 while Walsh was kicking field goals. Kluwe was consistently landing punts inside the 10 with good hang time, even one time buzzing the tower of FOX Sports’ Jay Glazer after calling his shot. While I was watching, Walsh made six consecutive kicks from 46 yards and then was 2 of 3 from 55 yards. I was also told that Walsh hit a 60-yarder on Friday while working on the side.

“He knows being the only kicker here, he is putting a lot of pressure on himself to improve,” Special Teams Coordinator Mike Priefer said of his rookie kicker. “He is very conscious, a very hard working man, it’s extremely important to him. He competes with himself and that’s why I didn’t think we needed another guy at camp. I wanted to get as many reps as he can with Cullen, with Chris, with our whole first unit to put him in the situation where he can be successful.”

3rd And Long No Problem For Ponder-To-Rudolph
There is a period in practice called “special cats” (special categories) where the coaches put the players in certain game situations, such as red zone or the 2-minute drill. Saturday’s special cats period featured 3rd and long. The first-team offense looked the best of any group during the drill, as I saw Ponder convert at least three of five times. The first two conversions were accurate passes to TE Kyle Rudolph. On the first play of the period, Ponder found Rudolph on the right side for a completion near the 1st-down marker. CB Antoine Winfield was right in the area, but my guess is Rudolph would’ve had enough for the 1st down. The second conversion was also to Rudolph, as Ponder placed a pass perfectly along the sideline for Rudolph to haul in and get out of bounds.

“Kyle has had a great offseason,” Vikings Offensive Coordinator Bill Musgrave said. “He has gained strength without losing any movement. He is one of the guys that we are going to count on to contribute who wasn’t a full-time starter last year.”

The Vikings will have Sunday off and return to the field on Monday morning for a walk-thru and Monday afternoon for a padded practice.


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Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 57 Comments »


57 Responses to “3 Observations From Saturday’s Practice”

  1. By rogerthevikefan on Jul 28, 2012 | Reply

    I said it for a while now Defences will fear Rudolph.

  2. By rogerthevikefan on Jul 28, 2012 | Reply

    Also great to hear Walsh is doing well.

  3. By sandiamond on Jul 28, 2012 | Reply

    Looks like Walsh might be putting up a lot of 3′s on the scoreboard early on before the offense gets crankin’

  4. By Spencer on Jul 28, 2012 | Reply

    Who stood out on defense Wobschall? And hows Felder looking, does he have a good shot at making the team?

  5. By chris_b on Jul 28, 2012 | Reply

    sounds like everything is going peachy.

  6. By gitarzanfan on Jul 28, 2012 | Reply

    I hope having a rookie kicker doesn’t kick us in the hind end. He better be good. Thanks for getting back to blogging Wobs, it was extremely boring for most of the offseason. One request though, I’d appreciate it if we could have a new poll on a regular basis. And thanks for getting rid of the timeouts. I got a couple that I didn’t deserve. SKOL!

  7. By viking Mike on Jul 28, 2012 | Reply

    Even if Walsh misses a few field goals he’ll give the Vikings D field position that Longwell couldn’t, even when they moved the kickoff up.

  8. By RichardA1 on Jul 28, 2012 | Reply

    I hope they are beating the sh-t out of each other, other wise they will find out what they are made of when they get into the season and it will be to late!

  9. By Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus on Jul 28, 2012 | Reply

    Where is everyone? Watching the Olympics? Is Spencer on PlayStation again?

  10. By Frederick Jones on Jul 28, 2012 | Reply

    @Titus,

    Spencer blogs a lot. The DRS blogs a lot. Parody blogs a lot.
    Fred blogs a lot. Titus blogs a lot.

    So what. I can lay down 20 posts in a few minutes, and I think all of the above can as well.

    It’s the communication that is fun, not the being right, although you might as well admit…I’m always right! lol

  11. By Frederick Jones on Jul 28, 2012 | Reply

    Titus/BSAS in the house!!!

  12. By JEC334 on Jul 28, 2012 | Reply

    I have yet to hear how the defense is progressing. The only thing I’ve heard about the defense is Josh Robinson having some type of injury. I’m glad the offense is looking better and more comfortable. But Im a big fan of defenses and I would like to hear how are defense is doing, more importantly this secondary of ours. Can I get a fans take from anyone who’s attended the training camp thus far?

  13. By Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus on Jul 28, 2012 | Reply

    I looked in on our fellow bloggers on the other site– it does look well done. Shawn and all the lost bloggers are over there.

  14. By Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus on Jul 28, 2012 | Reply

    Fred, I am blogging less, although the past few days I did amp it up a bit, especially when I saw the time outs disappeared. But I have a busy schedule –and getting busier– so I will blog less and less.

  15. By Spencer on Jul 28, 2012 | Reply

    I was waiting for Wobschall to respond to me- but I guess my comment fell on deaf ears.

  16. By sandiamond on Jul 28, 2012 | Reply

    why want they release the names of the 2 potential DB’s worked out today after practice? will nick taylor be released or pup

  17. By sandiamond on Jul 29, 2012 | Reply

  18. By sandiamond on Jul 29, 2012 | Reply

  19. By rogerthevikefan on Jul 29, 2012 | Reply

    @Titus- We are not lost in fact we found freedom.

  20. By Carl K on Jul 29, 2012 | Reply

    No pads right now… So kind of hard for defense to look good.
    If you can’t tackle and bring a guy down, not much to get excited about on the defensive side. Let’s put the pads on Monday and see what they can do.

  21. By Purplepeteman on Jul 29, 2012 | Reply

    Rudolph will be all pro sooner than many people think.

  22. By 4eversteve on Jul 29, 2012 | Reply

    Rudolph will be used in the same mode as Gronkowski of the Pat’s, the scarey thing about that for teams in our division is Rudolph is faster than Gronkowski!

  23. By Woodboat on Jul 29, 2012 | Reply

    AND he’s smarter than Gronk.

  24. By Frederick Jones on Jul 29, 2012 | Reply

    What about Joe Webb? Ponder has had a history of injury problems. Regardless of that fact, we have to have a #2 Quarterback ready.

    Jones hopes that the Vikings aren’t giving all the reps with the first team to Ponder!!!

  25. By Frederick Jones on Jul 29, 2012 | Reply

    @Titus/BSAS,

    I have no quarrels with anyone posting a lot on Vikings.com. Since you will be on the computer daily with your job (I would assume) it will be easy for you to continue to post.

    As returning graduate student, Jones has to spend some time on the computer.

    (My dream job would be to have a big truck, go around and gather up computers, and throw them into the ocean! Computers are one of the worst things to hit our society.)

    Never the less, I will miss some blog time.

  26. By Frederick Jones on Jul 29, 2012 | Reply

    They used to throw short p.a.s.s.e.s to the backs in the “West Coast Offense.” Now they throw it to the Tight End. Whatever.

    What will be the new evolution in football?

  27. By RichardA1 on Jul 29, 2012 | Reply

    evolution? its going to be the Vikings defense, there going to think they are alien, supernatural, a bunch of sasquatchs who learned to play football! going to be real good! they have to stick to the Game Plan, play like a team….one gets hurt they all get hurt..that kind of team play, Griffen and Elimimien leading the way in the linebackers position!!!

  28. By Matthias on Jul 29, 2012 | Reply

    Just watched a perfect getaway. Am I the only one thinking that the “crazy” guy hunting with a bow and knive could be Jared Allen?

  29. By Rudso on Jul 29, 2012 | Reply

    Rudolph is my Fantasy TE sleeper I’m planning on drafting in the later rounds. The guy has one of the best pair of hands I have seen at the tight end position. I’m still upset they didn’t use him enough last season yet he still made highlight reel type catches. He was a steal in the 2nd round for the Vikings.

  30. By Dueyz on Jul 29, 2012 | Reply

    Watching Priefer’s press conferences last season and thus far: I’d like to give him a shot at OC for a year. If he does as well as I believe he’d do, I’d give him a shot at HC the following year. He displays a sharper understanding and more motivated approach to the game. Not taking anything away from any other staff, just a thought I think is worth entertaining…

  31. By govikes on Jul 29, 2012 | Reply

    To help a couple of you out…just because you comment on blogs, that doesn’t make you bloggers. It makes you ‘commentors’ And reading most of the regulars on here most of you deserve to be ‘put in timeout’ as you say. Blogs are only bad when the people commenting deviate from the original blog post which is what happens 75% of the time.

    Thanks to those of you who stick to football talk.

  32. By Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus on Jul 29, 2012 | Reply

    @govikes thanks for your commentary. Perhaps you should stick to the editorial page of your local Sun Newspaper and leave the regulars to dissect global events.

  33. By QB on Jul 29, 2012 | Reply

    Sandiamond,

    I enjoyed both videos of Blanton. Thanks!

  34. By Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus on Jul 29, 2012 | Reply

    Where is everyone?

  35. By Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus on Jul 29, 2012 | Reply

    Spencer? Sandiamond? Fred Jones? Parody? (Deertracks?)

  36. By sunnyazvike on Jul 29, 2012 | Reply

    Cant wait for pads. Finally we will start to figure out who belongs and who does not. No more guessing. Wobschall would love for you to do an interview with Guion and ask him what he did to get better in the offseason. I dont want to see teams gashing us the the fourth quarter this year and running out the clock.

  37. By DRS on Jul 30, 2012 | Reply

    We need another Tarkenton at the helm.

  38. By DRS on Jul 30, 2012 | Reply

    Good night to one and all. The real Vikings are reborn; I look forward to the day we play in the TCF Bank stadium, looking to seeing the Vikings playing outdoors once more.

  39. By DRS on Jul 30, 2012 | Reply

    Peace and freedom for all men.

  40. By DRS on Jul 30, 2012 | Reply

    Sorry for the repeat.
    Peace

  41. By DRS on Jul 30, 2012 | Reply

  42. By DRS on Jul 30, 2012 | Reply

    There’s the song I was trying to post, one of them days, SKOL Vikings, here is to a winning season, looking good, keep up the good work.

    Good night.

  43. By HCG. on Jul 30, 2012 | Reply

  44. By Parody on Jul 30, 2012 | Reply

    Been spending most of my time on the other site Titus. It allows for more of a conversation over there rather than people just randomly adding their two cents.

  45. By sandiamond on Jul 30, 2012 | Reply

    test

  46. By sandiamond on Jul 30, 2012 | Reply

    Offense

    LT Matt Kalil / Pat Brown / Kevin Murphy
    LG Charlie Johnson / C DeGeare / Tyler Holmes
    C John Sullivan / Joe Berger / Quentin Saulsberry
    RG Brandon Fusco / Geoff Schwartz / Austin Pasztor
    RT Phil Loadholt / DeMarcus Love / Levi Horn
    WR1 Jerome Simpson / Devin Aromashodu / Greg Childs
    WR2 Percy Harvin / Michael Jenkins / Kerry Taylor / (Stephen Burton)
    TE Kyle Rudolph / John Carlson / Allen Reisner
    QB C Ponder / Joe Webb / Sage Rosenfels
    RB Toby Gerhart / Lex Hilliard / Jordan Todman / (Adrian Peterson)
    FB Jerome Felton / Ryan D’Imperio / Matt Asiata

    Defense

    LE Brian Robison / D’Aundre Reed / Ernest Owusu
    UT Kevin Williams / C Ballard / Trevor Guyton
    NT Letroy Guion / Fred Evans / Chase Baker
    RE Jared Allen / Nick Reed / Jeff Charleston
    SLB Chad Greenway / Marvin M / Solomon Elimimian
    MLB Jasper Brinkley / Tyrone McKenzie / Audie Cole
    WLB Erin Henderson / Larry Dean / Everson Griffen
    LCB Antoine Winfield / Brandon Burton / Zackary Bowman
    RCB C Cook / C Carr / Marcus Sherels / (Josh Robinson)
    FS Mistral Raymond / Eric Frampton / Robert Blanton
    SS Jamarca Sanford / Harrison Smith / Andrew Sendejo

  47. By sandiamond on Jul 30, 2012 | Reply

    Pelissero did this unofficial depth chart based on 2 days on practice (no opinions)
    (injuried) cb nick taylor and de eric latimore not listed
    roster must be cut to 80 after the 1st pre-season game
    expect some waiver wire movement this week with 6 straight days of practice

  48. By sandiamond on Jul 30, 2012 | Reply

    some players without injuries not listed, I guess that would be 4th string but the coaches are subject to change their reps at anytime

  49. By Deer Tracks on Jul 30, 2012 | Reply

    Titus

    Was out fixing my A/C (again) getting it ready for “Hot August Nights”.

  50. By sandiamond on Jul 30, 2012 | Reply

    Vikings have waived CB Nick Taylor, who suffered a shoulder injury on Friday, and signed Chris Stroud, rookie DB from Webber International.

  51. By oDIm on Jul 30, 2012 | Reply

    How is Percy? Will he be having head pain, and out of games because of migranes?

  52. By Lucas on Jul 30, 2012 | Reply

    I do not like what I am hearing about Blair Walsh. We spent a mid round pick on a guy that had a horrible last year in college and is missing in training camp BY HIMSELF. To extenuate my point, the Baltimore Ravens brought in (didn’t draft) rookie kicker Justin Tucker who missed 8 FGs in his last two years. He has missed one field goal so far in camp and is kicking 50+ yarders. Vikings wasted a pick and in a division of close games have a 80% FG kicker….

  53. By Parody on Jul 30, 2012 | Reply

    Lucas, chill. He’s got insane leg power (not coachable) and they’re working on accuracy (very coachable). Preifer is a great coach and he’ll get Walsh on track.

  54. By Daniel on Jul 30, 2012 | Reply

    If Walsh is working hard, thats great

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