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.