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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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It’s that time of year. As we get closer and closer to the start of the NFL season, Fantasy Football enthusiasts begin preparing for their league’s draft by putting together their own rankings and cheat sheets. So, we thought it might be fun to publicize our own rankings and then point out how off the other person is.

In the weeks leading up to the start of the 2012 season, we will highlight each of the major fantasy football positions. This week, we start off with a position that’s not the biggest point scorer fantasy wise, but still very important to a successful championship run, D/ST, or defense/special teams.

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Adam’s D/ST Rankings

  1. San Francisco 49ers
  2. New York Giants
  3. Green Bay Packers
  4. Houston Texans
  5. Baltimore Ravens
  6. Detroit Lions
  7. New England Patriots
  8. Philadelphia Eagles
  9. New York Jets
  10. Cincinnati Bengals

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Brett’s D/ST Rankings

  1. San Francisco 49ers
  2. Baltimore Ravens
  3. Detroit Lions
  4. Green Bay Packers
  5. Pittsburgh Steelers
  6. Philadelphia Eagles
  7. Chicago Bears
  8. New York Jets
  9. Houston Texans
  10. Minnesota Vikings

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Continue reading to see Adam and I duke it out on these rankings.

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Mike Wobschall from Vikings.com makes some observations from OTA #7. In one note, “Wobby” describes plays where both Christian Ponder and Joe Webb are scrambling to the right. Don’t like to hear that our QBs are still fleeing from pressure but glad that they’re able to if their hand is forced. There are also some great notes for OTAs #4-6.

Jared Allen is awesome. Watch Allen’s latest charitable event “Night Ops Golf” here on Youtube.

Stop the press. Everyone’s favorite hip-hop entrepreneur Bryant McKinnie showed up to camp phat. (See what I did there?) Will he even make the Raven’s roster this year?

I missed this one over the course of the week. Apparently, NFL Comissioner, Roger Goodell, sent out a memo to all teams addressing recent DUIs and reminding team players and personnel to “be responsible.”

The folks over at Pro Football Focus have been looking at each NFL team and determining that team’s “Secret Superstar.” Who was their selection for the Vikings? Go check it out. Who should we look out for on the Packers, Bears and Lions according to PFT? Linebacker D.J. Smith, cornerback Tim Jennings and defensive end Willie Young, respectively.

I really can’t stand this idea that the NFL is strictly a passing game and running the ball has lost its importance in the NFL. Adam and I will have to take the topic up in our next “Coin Toss.” Nevertheless, National Football Post has a good article up discussing the topic, using the Vikings lack of success even with Adrian Peterson as a prime example.

Although ESPN analyst Ron Jaworski expects Christian Ponder to “improve significantly this season” he still has Ponder ranked 28th out of 30 on his “Top QBs” list. Kevin Seifert from ESPN’s NFL North blog further inspects Jaworski’s analysis.

Vikings.com has some great OTA videos. Definitely check those out.

Our buddy Gil over at The Vikings Den landed a writing gig with Rant Sports. He’ll continue writing for TVD though and we wish him the best of luck. In this particular post, TVD looks at if the Vikings missed out by not signing linebacker Rocky McIntosh.

While the Vikings run play-action more than almost every team in the NFL, it turns out they’re not very good at it. (This is always something that has bothered me. With such an incredible running back, you think our play-action would be much more effective. I absolutely hate it when a quarterback doesn’t know how to sell the play-action. I think a good “just kidding” hand-off can really screw up a defense. Hopefully this is something Vikings QB Christian Ponder has been working on this offseason. Okay, rant over.)

Today is Father’s Day. And despite the fact that Chad Greenway’s father was recently diagnosed with leukemia and is now receiving hospice care, the Vikings linebacker still decided to host a Father’s Day fundraising 5k run. Please keep Chad and the Greenway family in your thoughts through these trying times for them.

The Minnesota Vikings have had good, spirited attendance at OTA’s so far this year by all accounts.  A few veterans have stayed away, including Percy Harvin after his shoulder presumably started to act up after attending the very beginning of OTA’s.  Jared Allen has also been away, which is not really a surprise given that is pretty much the norm for number 69.

One player that has been somewhat of a mystery has been Chad Greenway whose absence has been attributed to the vague reason of “family situation” up until this point.

According to reports, however, Greenway is indeed dealing with an unenviable and difficult situation.  His father, whom we can all remember for his words after Greenway was drafted, has been battling leukemia and is currently getting hospice care.

“I talked with him a few days ago and I don’t know if we’ll have him back for mandatory minicamp,” Leslie Frazier said. “His family situation is something he’s dealing with so we may or may not have him back for that but it’s understandable, what he’s experiencing.”

According to the reports, a number of South Dakota farmers have banded together to help Alan Greenway out by bailing his hay this season.

We here at VT would like to pass along our best wishes to Alan, Chad, and the whole Greenway family. This is surely the most trying of times for the Greenway family, and I know many of you would be eager to help out, but I have been unable to find any sort of fund being organized for Mr. Greenway.  If I find one I will be sure to pass that along.

In the meantime, Pennies for Patients has always been a standup organization to support in the battle against leukemia.

[UPDATE: It should be noted that the sixth annual Greenway’s Gridiron Gallup will be held this Sunday, Father’s Day, in Minneapolis.  The 5k run helps to raise funds for the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board youth athletic programming.  For more details, you can click here.]

This week here at VT we are bringing back our weekly “Coin Toss” column where Adam and I go head to head on a variety of different topics. This week, we’ll be debating the fate of Vikings new fullback Jerome Felton.

We’ve been talking about it a lot here at Vikings Territory, but in case you missed any of that coverage, let me bring you up to speed: Jerome Felton was arrested a few days ago for driving while intoxicated… at a McDonald’s drive-through. Since then, Felton has publicly apologized for his actions and the trouble he got himself into. The team has really taken no stance on Felton’s future with the team giving the typical “we’re waiting to gather more information” line. The NFL on the other hand is currently reviewing the case to determine if Felton should be suspended as this, apparently, isn’t his first run-in with authorities for getting behind the wheel after drinking.

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