Vegas to Minneapolis to Mankato all in the matter of a few hours (Okay, maybe like six or seven). Running on an hour of sleep right now but there is no place I’d rather be. I have to be honest with you… Standing on that field just a few feet away from all these incredible athletes was pretty surreal. Hard to be objective and analytical when you’re stuck just trying to take it all in.
Nevertheless, I did jot a few notes down (below). I’ll be back out on the field for the afternoon practice in just a few hours and will report back then. In the meantime, if you haven’t already, follow me on Twitter where I’ll be providing updates. Also, Arif’s Twitter List of training camp coverage is a great resource to be current with what’s going on. Plus, all those guys are pros. I’m just a rube who’s starstruck during his first training camp experience.
A couple of notes from the morning walk through:
- Josh Robinson did not participate in the morning’s activities. Robinson was taken out of practice a couple of days ago as a precaution when dealing with a hamstring related injury. Defensive Coordinator George Edwards was unwilling to provide an update on the status of Robinson’s injury and deferred to Zimmer on the issue.
- The first team nickel defense from this morning is as follows: Brian Robison, Linval Joseph, Shariff Floyd, Everson Griffen, Chad Greenway, Anthony Barr, Xavier Rhodes, Marcus Sherels (outside), Captain Munnerlyn (slot), Harrison Smith and Mistral Raymond. The only real surprise there is Mistral Raymond who I’ll touch more on in a second.
- Chase Ford, AC Leonard, Robert Blanton and Andrew Sendejo did not participate in the walk-through. Robert Blanton pulled his hamstring earlier this week and is not expected to return for a few weeks. Andrew Sendejo’s injury is becoming more worrisome as we move further through training camp. With Robert Blanton and Andrew Sendejo both out, the safety spot next to Harrison Smith seems to be wide open.
- Came in on the tail end of Peterson answering some media questions. Nothing really stood out as ground breaking. When asked how the defense was progressing, Peterson replied “Those guys are looking sharp.” He also noted that Jerick McKinnon was coming along well and was learning from guys like Peterson.
- Defensive Coordinator George Edwards held a presser after the walk-through. Edwards commented on the opportunity that Mistral Raymond has to shine in the outstanding safety spot with Blanton being injured. Surprisingly (at least to me anyway), Jamarca Sanford still seems stuck with the second team defense.
- Edwards also commented on Marcus Sherels who, as mentioned above, was on the field with the first team nickel defense. Edwards said Sherels, despite being undersized, always does the things we want him to and serves as a great example to the other guys of what you should be doing.
- Mike Preifer held his presser shortly after Edwards and thankfully didn’t have to answer to any questions about the Kluwe situation. Priefer noted that the focus of special teams this offseason has been consistency.
- Priefer discussed punter Jeff Locke and his personal improvement. According to Priefer, a majority of the issues Locke dealt with were in his own head. But they’ve also spent time working with Locke on his directional punting.
- When asked about how they were going to deal with the outdoor conditions at TCF Bank Stadium, Priefer said that the team has been working hard to use the conditions to their advantage. That while the Vikings have had tons of time to get familiar with the conditions there, their opponents have not. Blair Walsh and Jeff Locke (who are much smarter than Priefer – his words, not mine…) have spent time diagramming wind patterns… I’d love to see those.
- Finally, Priefer noted that Audie Cole is currently the back-up long snapper if Cullen Loeffler were to ever go down.