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.