Sunday, February 1, 2015

Monthly Archives: July 2012

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There’s been a lot of talk about the Vikings going after opposing defenses with a two tight end set featuring sophomore Kyle Rudolph and fellow Notre Dame alum John Carlson. That dangerous duo is now in question though after Carlson reportedly sprained his MCL today in practice.

John Carlson was signed this offseason as a free agent. The amount of his contract raised some eyebrows amongst Vikings fans considering Carlson was out with a shoulder injury the entire 2011 season. Now it looks like Carlson could potentially miss some playing time depending on the severity of the injury.

When asked by the media if the injury could cause Carlson to miss playing time, Frazier said, “It could. It could. We’ll see. They’ll tell me more when we get back in.”

Carlson was supposed to get an MRI today to make sure the injury isn’t a tear. We’ll keep you updated when those results come back.

A continuation of the news roundup from training camp.  Day three came and went, and here are the top 10 items that you should know:

1.  Michael Jenkins Is Feeling Good

30 year old receiver Michael Jenkins might have an uphill battle when it comes to making this roster, but if he is cut it won’t be because of his torn meniscus from last November.  Jenkins pronounced himself fully recovered from his surgery, which had seemed to hamper him earlier this offseason, on Monday.

2.  Chris Stroud In, Nick Taylor Out

Training camp has claimed its first victim.  A torn labrum landed cornerback Nick Taylor on the injured waivers on Monday, and the Vikings replaced his spot with rookie cornerback Chris Stroud out of Webber International.  Stroud had participated in the Vikings rookie minicamp back in May.  You might remember that Taylor was the “point guard” that Rick Spielman took a lot of grief for signing somewhat early into free agency.

3.  Jared Vs. Matt

The much anticipated matchup between Jared Allen and Matt Kalil got its first action on Monday.  Allen was able to put the moves on Kalil only once during their first head-to-head session, and Kalil largely held his own over the course of the day.  All accounts are that Kalil looked the part of a top five left tackle, and in being compared to Charlie Johnson’s first day on the job is an obvious and immediate upgrade at the position.

4.  Robinson’s Hammy Still Hurtin’

Third round pick Josh Robinson has the skill set to contribute to the Vikings defense, perhaps as a starter.  However, his hamstring injury is causing the Vikings to take a cautious approach and he has been missing practice time and that could continue for a while.  The Vikings and many others view Robinson as a valuable player to have, but he is missing important repetitions that could stunt his growth from a learn-the-game standpoint.

5.  Vikings Are Copy Cats Part I

The Vikings want to copy their divisional rival Chicago Bears when it comes to at least one phase of the game.  Special teams coordinator Mike Priefer admitted on Monday that when the Vikings signed Zack Bowman, a key member of Chicago’s annually fantastic special teams, he jumped on the chance to “grill” Bowman about Chicago.  He intends to not only use the information as a resource when playing against the Bears, but to also perhaps try and emulate the league’s best unit in recent years.  What did Bowman tell Priefer?  That it helps to have a really good returner (i.e. Devin Hester) on your team.  Zack Bowman’s new nickname here at VT is officially Captain Obvious.

6.  Vikings Are Copy Cats Part II

Last year, the tight end duo of the New England Patriots was insane.  Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Henandez combined for 169 catches, over 2,200 yards, and 24 touchdowns.  Talk about trend setting.  A number NFL teams would love to duplicate those stats and the Vikings are one of them, which had to play into their decision to invest so heavily in John Carlson this offseason despite the presence of Kyle Rudolph.  The Vikings gave their own duo a set of game tapes from Patriots games and asked them to study the way the Patriots use their tight end, which has Rudolph all excited about things to come.

7.  A Cautionary Tale

Today is July 31st which means it is the 11th anniversary of the saddest day in Vikings history:  the death of Korey Stringer.  Peterson’s seafood issue on Monday surely scared a number of people that have been with the organization to remember Stringer’s death which was caused by heat stroke.  It is hot right now in Mankato, and we have all read the stories year after year since Stringer’s passing, but you know that today’s date carries special meaning to those guys practicing today.

8.  Cook Standing Out

There are a number of good tidbits in this post from the Daily Norseman, who have a man on the ground at training camp, but one stuck out to me in particular.  Chris Cook, according to the report, is looking like a very good corner now that his off-field issues are (hopefully) behind him.  Cook looked decent before his mid-season arrest last year, and finding a true talent to play with Antoine Winfield and company could be a huge boost to this defense.

9.  Receivers Getting Some Attention

I’m not sure if this is a good sign for our defense, but I am encouraged by the sheer number of good reports coming out of camp about the Vikings receivers.  Jerome Simpson seems to be as advertised, Percy Harvin has been tearing it up, and every time I turn around another receiver is getting praise.  On Monday a Jarius Wright touchdown turned some heads (see below for more), Devin Aromashodu made the play of a day with a leaping catch, and even tight end John Carlson is getting praise from the local media.  Greg Childs was the only one to stand out in a negative way on Monday, as he dropped a wide open pass after burning a defensive back.

10.  Shocker:  Allen Is Vocal

A funny story originated from one of the final plays of Monday’s practice.  The third string offense, led by Sage Rosenfels, had a first down at the one yard line with eight seconds remaining on the clock.  Rosenfels lobbed a pass to rookie receiver Jarius Wright who caught the lob in the back corner of the end zone and stretched to get his feet down.  It was apparently a close call, but the referee on hand signaled it was a touchdown, and then all hell broke loose.  The offense celebrated while the defense argued, spearheaded by Jared Allen who wasn’t even in on the play.  “This is not college! This is not college! This isn’t high school,” Allen hollered as he got in the refs face, in good fun. “You gotta have two feet in!”  Mike Wobschall has a number of other great moments to check out right here.

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Much has been made of the Vikings efforts to protect their franchise running back, Adrian Peterson, by keeping him away from contact for as long as possible.

It appears, however, that seafood may have been a bigger threat to Peterson than taking a couple of shots from Jasper Brinkley.

Peterson suffered an allergic reaction to seafood and experienced a shortness of breath and swelling of the face, which gave team officials a scare on Monday.  Peterson was handled by the team’s medical staff and then taken to a hospital.  Peterson was able to return within a couple of hours, according to reports, and is expected to be at practice on Tuesday.

“I don’t know if any one of you has had anyone experience that, but, yeah, it was scary,” Leslie Frazier said. “But he’s fine now. Everything’s fine.”

“We’re anticipating him being back in rehab tomorrow, whether he’s doing things in the pool or back out on the field. He’s cleared to get going tomorrow,” noted Frazier.

After reportedly getting black eyes at the hands of the Houston P.D. earlier this offseason, and now experiencing these allergies, I find myself wondering for the first time ever if Peterson has an insurance policy on his face.

After a couple of days away from my computer, I got back and immediately took to the internet to see what I have missed.  I am glad to report that the worst news I was able to find is that AMC cancelled The Killing after only two seasons.

So, consider it good news that after two days of Vikings training camp nothing disastrous has taken place.  Here are the top ten notes I took away from the first two days of camp:

1.  Ponder And Rudolph Have Serious Chemistry

All reports out of camp indicate that Kyle Rudolph is far and away Christian Ponder’s favorite target.  Rudolph already had ideal size coming out of Notre Dame, but he has supposedly bulked up this offseason, and Ponder is regularly connecting with the tight end in the flats.  Take note, fantasy players.

2.  Peterson Fights But Loses

Adrian Peterson vowed to fight if the Vikings placed him on the PUP list to begin training camp.  He lost.  The Vikings place Peterson on the PUP list but plan to run him through individual drills that are custom tailored and require him to “read and react” to real-time simulated obstacles in an effort to make him cut.  Frazier said he would like to see Peterson play in the preseason at some point, but I am glad to see them playing it safe with their franchise back.

3.  Harvin Is Killing It

While Jerome Simpson has had a few good moments in the first two days, Percy Harvin has reminded everyone who the most talented receiver on the team is.  He has reportedly made a few sprawling grabs and is consistently beating the defense.  Oh, and he is currently being considered the top kick returner, but it remains to be seen if the Vikings will again try to reduce his reps at that spot.  Oh, and about that whole unhappy trade request thing, Harvin declared himself “happy” on Saturday.

4.  Todman Breaks One

With Adrian Peterson on the mend, the third string running back position could very easily prove to be one of great importance in 2012.  Second year player Jordan Todman has been getting a fair share of reps in the beginning of camp.  On one run, he broke free and got himself into a footrace with cornerback Zack Bowman.  Todman ran 80 yards and Bowman was unable to catch him, with Todman scoring a would-be touchdown.

5.  Injury Update

Peterson isn’t the only guy to worry about when it comes to staying healthy.  In fact, we would prefer to see every Viking come out of camp at 100%, but that is not going to
be the case.  The most notable non-Peterson injury is Josh Robinson’s hamstring which happened on Friday after practicing just long enough to impress reporters with his speed during punt return drills.  Tight end Mickey Shuler and wide receiver Stephen Burton both began camp on the non-football related injury list.  Shuler made it onto the field on Saturday, while Burton’s continued absence is disappointing considering he was one of the candidates to have a break through offseason.  Simpson and Bowman both were shaken up when they collided with each other at one point, and linebackers Marvin Mitchell and Corey Paredes were both hobbled on Saturday.  So far, none of the injuries appear to be uber-serious (knock on wood).

6.  Battle At Right Guard

One of the best battles to keep track of this preseason will be that of the starting right guard.  Brandon Fusco and Geoff Schwartz are the top candidates for the job, with Chris DeGeare as a dark horse.  Fusco is getting the most reps with the first team as it stands now.

7.  Reed Impressing

With Everson Griffen focusing on becoming an NFL linebacker, there is suddenly some room for backup defensive ends to make a lasting impression.  So far, it is last year’s seventh round pick D’Aundre Reed that is standing out, using his speed rushing abilities to notch at least one touch sack already.  Frazier described Reed as a “different player” from his rookie season a year ago.

8.  Pressure On Walsh

Blair Walsh is being handed the kicker position on a platinum platter, but the Vikings want to make sure the lack of competition doesn’t hinder his practice routine.  While there may not be much pressure coming in the form of another kicker on the roster, coaches are planning to bombard him with simulated pressure during game-like situations.  Walsh was two of three from 55 yards out on Saturday.  He also made six straight from 46 yards.  Oh, and on Friday, Walsh nailed a 60 yarder while working on his own.

9.  Staying Out Of Trouble Is Key

Leslie Frazier has told the media that he is disappointed in the Vikings arrest record over the last couple of years and is making a point to connect with his roster, doing what he can to ensure they keep out of trouble.  Training camp is not when you want to see a player get thrown behind bars… just ask Rhett Bomar.  Frazier said that the new CBA does not allow him to impose a curfew during training camp, but he suggested a time for players to return to their dorms.  Here’s hoping our guys heed Frazier’s advice.

10.  Felton Over D’Imperio

With roughly 72 of the Vikings 90 roster spots being taken up by fullbacks, there is no doubt going to be some healthy competition there.  Right now, it is Jerome Felton getting the most reps with the first team right ahead of Ryan D’Imperio.  I am still curious to see how fourth round selection Rhett Ellison figures into the team’s plans.

Linebacker Chad Greenway is the team’s most proven linebacker entering 2012, but his offseason got off to an understandably rough start as he missed most of the OTA’s to tend to his father who is fighting leukemia.

Greenway told reporters that his father’s condition has since improved greatly and he reported to Mankato on time.

“My dad’s actually feeling really well. He’s stable, he’s felt the best he has now than the last three months,” Greenway said. “That’s excellent for me cause once you sort of kick this day off then you don’t have another opportunity to go home for any amount of time. I’m really glad he’s doing well and hope that that obviously continues.”

I think I speak on behalf of all of us at VT in saying that we are all also glad to hear this news and we are all looking forward to seeing Greenway back on the field this season.

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