Day 7 Practice
Image courtesy of Chris Price

This morning’s training camp feed was rather uneventful, but that should change this afternoon. The Minnesota Vikings take the field for another practice to close out the week.

Multiple bloggers, reporters, and Vikings Territory writers are in Mankato, where they’re firing off tweets at breakneck speed. Today’s practice comes a week before Minnesota’s first preseason game of the year, a matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals. Joint practices begin on August 10 before the teams meet on Friday, August 12.

Enough about next week, though; it’s time for training camp practice!

2:32 pm: Cordarrelle Patterson is in pads for the first time in a week. He was having a strong camp up until his shoulder injury and could participate in team drills today.

2:38 pm: We’ll get rocking and rolling shortly. Players are making their way to the field and practice will begin soon.

2:39 pm: Per Matt Vensel, Jerick McKinnon is also in pads. Like Patterson, he was enjoying a strong training camp before his injury and looks to get back on track this afternoon.

2:41 pm: We wrote about McKinnon last week and the prospects of an expanded role for the electric running back.

2:48 pm: Andy Carlson is bringing exclusive content to Vikings Territory; the latest, a podcast with Luke Inman and Josh Zimmer.

2:50 pm: And practice begins! The Vikings start with punt coverage, a strength of the team in 2015. One of the reasons was Trae Waynes, who thrived as a gunner on the outside. He’s joined by Marcus Sherels on the opposite side of the field.

2:52 pm: Tony Sparano is changing the culture of Minnesota’s offensive line, both on the field and in the meeting room. Today, he has his unit running through yoga exercises; certainly a departure from traditional linemen drills.

2:59 pm: The team transitions to kick returns, and Troy Stoudermire is getting extra reps. Stoudermire is the NCAA’s all-time leading kick returner in his second stint with the Vikings.

3:01 pm: Neither Patterson nor McKinnon are participating in drills (yet). Patterson is watching on during kick returns and McKinnon is holding his helmet on the sidelines.

3:06 pm: While we wait for updates, here’s a look at Mankato in real-time. Quite the change from yesterday, no?

3:10 pm: Individual drills include quarterback-running back routes, wide receiver get-offs, backpedals for defensive backs, offensive linemen on the sled, and defensive linemen working hand technique.

3:12 pm: With Zimmer’s emphasis on turnovers, it’s no wonder linebackers are working on coverage and ball skill drills.

3:14 pm: Brent is impressed by Alex Boone’s size. That’s been the narrative around Boone this offseason.

3:15 pm: More emphasis on turnovers with defensive backs working on high-pointing the football.

3:16 pm: Rhett Ellison’s rehab continues as David Morgan continues to impress head coach Mike Zimmer.

3:19 pm: As he did with Trae Waynes last offseason, Zimmer is emphasizing hands-on coaching with rookie cornerback Mackensie Alexander.

3:22 pm: The first exciting moment of afternoon practice, as Charles Johnson hauls in a fade from Bridgewater with one hand. Reports out of camp indicate Johnson is solidifying his place as a starter.

3:24 pm: Matt Asiata stops short of finishing a drill with an undisclosed injury. According to Sam Ekstrom, it doesn’t appear to be serious.

3:26 pm: Each of the tight ends is impressing in one-on-one blocking drills against linebackers. In Minnesota’s run-first offense, that’s an encouraging sign, especially for Rudolph and Pruitt.

3:34 pm: Brent’s getting his first in-person look at Treadwell today. In short, he’s impressed by the rookie’s physicality off the line of scrimmage.

3:37 pm: McKinnon is participating in running back drills, and as expected, looks quick, technically sound.

3:39 pm: Waynes saw extended run with the first team yesterday, but Terence Newman is back in the saddle after a routine day off.

3:41 pm: The team has transitioned to red zone work, which has been the most exciting session of each practice. If you look closely, it appears Anthony Harris is running with the first-team defense.

3:45 pm: Emmanuel Lamur is getting first-team reps over Chad Greenway in the red zone.

3:46 pm: Zach Moore, one of Minnesotas’s über athletic defensive ends, has flashed during training camp. He’s pushing for playing time in Zimmer’s multi-faceted personnel groupings.

3:48 pm: Bridgewater throws interceptions on back-to-to-back plays. Both appear to be excellent efforts from individual defenders (Robison and Barr)

3:49 pm: It’s been an ugly series for the offense, as Treadwell drops a surefire touchdown. Brent summed the period up nicely.

3:51: I’m not going to get in the habit of overreacting. Players and units can’t always be perfect, and that showed on Minnesota’s last offensive series. Interceptions, drops, and miscommunications happen, and it’s okay for them to happen in early August.

3:56: In being more aggressive, Bridgewater has also thrown more interceptions; if that’s the case, it was bound to happen. However, many of the interceptions — per Eric Thompson — have come as the result of batted balls.

3:58 pm: In other news, Jeff Locke is having himself a strong camp.

https://twitter.com/Purple_Post/status/761667570831204353

4:12 pm: While we wait — Brett Favre didn’t know he’d have a Vikings jersey in his HOF exhibit.

4:13 pm: Bridgewater doesn’t let past mistakes haunt him; hits Charles Johnson for a big gain in first play of 11-on-11s.

4:15 pm: This is intriguing; the Vikings shifted Berger to right guard with Sullivan at center in 11-on-11s. First time I’ve seen that grouping this training camp.

4:16 pm: Bridgewater is a little off in practice today, floating outside routes and missing Treadwell for an easy completion along the sideline.

4:17 pm: This explains the Berger move to right guard (and also brings to mind Mike Harris’s injury)

4:22 pm: Teddy gets back on track with a laser to Diggs. According to Eric Thompson, Teddy’s passes sound different this offseason.

4:24 pm: Luke Inman proceeds to call Diggs ‘uncoverable’ after Bridgewater finds him again on a deep crossing route.

4:27 pm: When you’re the face of the franchise, you receive most of the attention; Bridgewater is suddenly firing on all cylinders, hitting multiple receivers back-to-back.

4:29 pm: Moritz Böhringer makes an appearance, hauling in a diving catch down the sideline. Sam Ekstrom called it the “best play of camp.”

4:32 pm: It’s frightening to think that Linval Joseph could be even better this season.

4:35 pm: Matt Kalil has work to do, but it’s nice to see that he can hold his own against Everson Griffen.

4:36 pm: Treadwell vs. Price has been one of the more entertaining matchups this training camp. Treadwell gets the best of Price in today’s 7-on-7 session.

4:39 pm: It’s also encouraging to see that offensive line depth isn’t as big of an issue this offseason. Jeremiah Sirles is one of the standouts thus far.

4:40 pm: Practice is nearly over as the team transitions to special teams.

4:41 pm: UPDATE on the Brandon Fusco injury

4:50 pm: Practice is over, thanks for tuning in!